Envista crossover in China showcases Buick’s design direction for the future
Compact SUVs have been the best-selling segment in most countries over the past decade, as they offer the right mix of everything you could ask for in a car. They offer enough power to weave through daily life with ease and are easier to handle and park around town, unlike other segments. Most compact SUVs look great and have spacious cabins, as well as decent cargo space, which makes them very practical. They are also safer and more reliable and have thus risen to the top of the automotive industry.
Buickoften considered a sub-luxury brand of GM, only offers three products in the United States, but their story is different in China as they sell all types of vehicles in China, from compact cars to minivans, attracting 80% of their annual profits.
Last week, Buick introduced the Envista in China. The Envista is a China-specific crossover SUV based on GM’s new compact SUV platform. The incoming Envista incorporates a very similar design to the Electra-X concept and is a “feisty urban compact SUV designed for the progressive younger generation and modern families in China”. With the aggressive growth of the compact SUV segment, the Envista is a crucial vantage point and luck factor for Buick. “The launch of the Envista is part of our strategy to further elevate Buick’s SUV lineup and meet the diverse needs of our customers in China,” said Cesar Toledo, Buick’s general manager of sales and marketing.
Buick will sell the Envista with a starting price of 150,000 RMB, or about $21,769 after conversion. Below we talk about everything we know about the new Envista.
The new Buick Envista displays a youthful character
The Chinese market is Buick’s top priority as 80% of Buick’s sales are made in China alone. Since the crossover market is growing at a rapid pace, Buick has decided to stick with what customers want in China, where it makes huge profits. That said, they introduced the new Envista and we’re very impressed with the new hull styling.
The overall shape of the Envista is very attractive. While Buick calls it a compact SUV, it has the coupe-SUV design cues that will appeal to a lot of buyers. The styling of the fascia is meaner with sharp triangular headlights up front. The grille is lower and equipped with a bumper for better air circulation. We can also see a pair of chiseled DRLs and fog lights below. The front projects a more aggressive character with the forward-swept nose and Buick’s new tri-shield logo.
Seen from the rear, the Envista is more impressive. The SUV coupé-like rear proportions are further streamlined with an aggressive bodyline to deliver a muscular character. On top of that, Buick will supposedly offer the Envista in a GS trim that adds sportier design cues such as a black diamond braided sport grille, a set of blacked-out 18-inch spinning wheels with red brake calipers, blackened exterior mirrors and black front and rear bumpers.
In terms of proportions, the Envista is 182 inches long, 71.49 inches wide and 61.6 inches high, with a wheelbase of 106.2 inches. These proportions make it very similar to the Buick Envision. Overall, the Buick Envista is very similar to the Electra and is Buick’s classiest car to date.
The Envista arrives with a premium cabin
The Envista is arguably Buick’s most luxurious car to date, and once you take a look at what the Envista has to offer inside, you’ll be truly impressed with the effort Buick has put into this crossover.
The Envista features a premium cabin with excellent styling, fine materials and space. The Envista is a large crossover, and we’d expect it to offer at least 100 cu. ft. of interior space given that it’s very similar in size to the Envision. The dashboard design is premium and highly functional. The upper instrument panel uses soft-touch surfaces with accent stitching to provide a premium look and appeal. Additionally, the lower sections are fitted with piano black or open-pore wood interior accents to enhance the status quo of the interior. Below, the passenger compartment offers intuitive controls and cleverly organized storage spaces.
As we can see, the cabin will accommodate five passengers, and we expect the interior to offer ample space in both rows. The front features a large slab display unit with a pair of 10.25-inch screens, one on the left for an all-digital dashboard and one in the middle for multimedia.
The front side can be equipped with bucket seats with electric adjustment, heating and cooling and lumbar adjustments. The rear will have folding seats. Buick says the seats will also be upholstered in perforated leather.
The Envista will offer decent performance
Buick says it developed the Envista on GM’s next-generation compact SUV platform. While we don’t know the exact name of the platform, we can tell they built the Envision on a unibody chassis, which Buick calls a “one-piece high-strength BFI body structure.”
The Envision will get an all-new 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine mated to a CVT gearbox and direct fuel injection system. This engine will offer 181 horsepower and can take the car from 0 to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds. Plus, the Envista will also deliver 36 MPG, making it a great commuter and daily driver for families.
An all-new infotainment system
Buick has also made sure that the occupants inside not only have sufficient comfort, but also a good infotainment system for seamless entertainment. The interior offers a large tiled display unit that houses a pair of 10.25-inch screens. The central touch screen is used for entertainment and also houses various controls. The infotainment system also features an optimized interface and offers an all-new Baidu intelligent voice control system for easier functionality. Apart from that, the infotainment system is equipped with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, voice-activated navigation and many other features. Additionally, the interior features a premium Tune Melody 3D surround sound system for a rich aural experience.
Buick has prepared Envista well for the Chinese car market. It looks good inside and out and will offer a decent amount of features. Additionally, Envista has a powerful and efficient engine that will deliver great mileage and power every day. Although Envista is a milestone for Buick, only time will tell how well it performs in real life.
Source: Buick China, GM Corporate Newsroom China.