Thursday, December 14, 2023




In a prior life, the Buick Envista that debuts as a 2024 model might have been dubbed a hatchback coupe. But in keeping with company’s vehicle E-style nomenclature Buick prefers to call it a crossover SUV, joining compacts Envision and Encore GX and the mid-size Enclave in the company’s North American portfolio.

Putting aside quibbling over what it is called, the 2024 Buick Evista provides a fairly affordable way for shoppers looking to step up a bit in class from Chevrolet offerings without going full-on luxury with a Cadillac.

The 2024 Buick Envista comes in three trim levels — Preferred, Sport Touring, and Avenir — all with front-wheel drive and featuring a turbocharged 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

As you might deduce, this is not a vehicle for those wanting to leave others in their dust getting away from a stop light. Horsepower is a meager 136 ponies. But the torque is a healthier 162 pound-feet kicking in at 2500 rpm so the driving experience is not as sluggish as you might think.

The payoff comes at the pump. The 3-cylinder 2024 Buick Envista earns fuel mileage figures of 28 miles-per-gallon city, 32 highway, and 30 combined using regular-grade fuel, making it one of the most fuel efficient in the luxury compact class and competitive with non-hybrid mainstream compacts.

Check that. The payoff also comes when negotiating at the dealership. The 2024 Buick Envista Preferred base trim carries a starting price under $25,000, and the top-of-the-line Avenir model that this review is based on starts at under $30,000.

The interior is roomy with legroom of 41.9 inches up front and 38.7 in the back. Even with a sloping roofline that gives the 2024 Buick Envista its coupe-like profile, rear headroom is still 37.3 inches.

Cargo space does take a bit of a hit. With the second-row seats in place cargo space of 20.7 cubic feet is more like a big sedan than a typical SUV, but those seats fold to increase the max to 42.0 cubic feet.

Standard features include push-button start, remote start, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with 2-way power lumbar support, (the passenger seat is 4-way manual), a rear folding seat, single-zone air-conditioning, auto dimming rear-view mirror, 19-inch premium Avenir wheels, LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights, and a rear power liftgate.

Tech features include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming audio, a 6-speaker audio system, an 8-inch driver information system, and an 11-inch touchscreen for infotainment functions. 

Standard safety features include a following distance, forward collision alert, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, front pedestrian braking, and automatic emergency braking.

My test 2024 Buick Envista came with only one option, an Avenir Advance Safety Package for $795 that included adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, heated outside mirrors, lane-change alert with blind-size alert and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Add that and the $1,095 destination charge and the final bottom line still stayed well below the $31,000 threshold at $30,490.

What I liked about the 2024 Buick Envista: Styling, both inside and out, belies its price point. Its outer appearance is appealingly coupe-like. The interior is comfortable, quiet and quite roomy. Tech features are surprisingly plentiful though there is no built-in navigation. Horsepower (137) is meager, but 162 pound-feet of torque delivers a peppier performance than you might expect. Fuel mileage is excellent.

What I didn’t like about the 2024 Buick Envista: All-wheel drive is not available so that could be an issue in northern climes with winter coming up. Even in South Florida, which can get some heavy rains, AWD is nice to have. There’s a knob to adjust audio volume but not to surf the radio dial. You can’t just hold down the button to advance to various stations, but must keep punching the arrow and go station-to-station. There is a bit of an overuse of chrome touches on the exterior.

Would I buy the 2024 Buick Envista? The Avenir is the most expensive trim of the least expensive Buick model and still has a starting price under $30,000. It is far from a typical econobox in the compact genre and well worth a look.

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