2018 Buick Envision

2018 Buick Envision Review

This middle-of-the-road crossover SUV scores points for value.
by Mark Takahashi
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Among small luxury crossover SUVs, the 2018 Buick Envision might be worth your attention. Though its exterior styling is generic, it comes with a generous amount of features for the price and has an attractive interior trimmed in high-quality materials. It slots between the compact Encore and larger Enclave in Buick's portfolio. As such, it's pretty easy to maneuver around town but still has a decent amount of interior and cargo space.

We recommend stepping up to the Envision's optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine since it provides a more suitable amount of power for a luxury crossover. At that point, the Envision is priced similarly to crossovers such as the Acura RDX and Volvo XC60 but still less than what you'll likely pay for an Audi Q5 or BMW X3. In total, there's nothing about the Envision that makes it truly stand out in this class, but it nonetheless covers the bases well enough to make it worth a look.

What's new for 2018

The Buick Envision carries over largely unchanged for 2018.

We recommend

We consider the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine upgrade the best fit for the 2018 Buick Envision. The base 2.5-liter engine struggles a bit by comparison. For this reason, we recommend the Premium or Premium II trims, which are the only ones to come with the turbocharged engine.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Buick Envision is a midsize crossover SUV with seating for five. There are five trim levels offered, starting with the base Envision trim. It is only available as front-wheel drive and comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (197 horsepower, 192 pound-feet of torque). All-wheel drive can be added to the Preferred and Essence trims. The Premium and Premium II trims have all-wheel drive as standard and come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (252 hp, 260 lb-ft). All Envisions use a six-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features for the base Envision trim include 18-inch wheels, foglights, auto-dimming and heated mirrors, a hands-free power liftgate with adjustable opening heights, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable and heated front seats, and 60/40-split folding rear seats. Standard tech features include OnStar communications (includes 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot), Bluetooth, a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, four USB ports (two are charge-only), Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The Preferred trim is essentially the same but is eligible for more options. The Essence trim adds three-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, heated outboard rear seats, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

Stepping up to the Premium trim gets you 19-inch wheels, front parking sensors, automatic wipers, a larger driver information display, a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, a 110-volt household power outlet, a forward collision alert system, and lane departure warning and intervention system.

At the top of the range, the Premium II trim adds adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high beams, an automated parking system, a navigation system, a head-up display, an extendable thigh support for the driver seat, and ventilated front seats. This trim is eligible for the Driver Confidence package that includes adaptive cruise control, a top-down parking camera system, and forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking.

Some features are available on supporting trims as options. Other add-ons include a panoramic sunroof, side assist steps, a roof rack and a cargo cover.

Trim tested

Edmunds has only limited experience with the 2018 Envision. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.


With the turbo 2.0-liter engine, power is adequate. It's enough to merge onto highways without issue. Expect a more belabored experience with the base 2.5-liter engine. The Envision can feel a bit unsettled and ponderous when driven around turns.


The seats are well cushioned and supportive for long drives. The suspension ably soaks up bumps in the road, and the active noise canceling system helps to keep the cabin nice and quiet.


Interior design and materials are up to entry-level luxury car standards. Forward visibility is excellent, but the thick rear roof pillars will obstruct the rearward view. There's plenty of space in the rear seats for three adults, and the slide/recline function should keep them comfortable.


There's an average amount of space behind the rear seats, but folding them down reveals 57.3 cubic feet of total cargo space, which is smaller than average. Interior storage is generous, with plenty of large bins and pockets to hold your personal items.


Buick's GM-based infotainment system is easy to use. The inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes operation even easier.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.