2024 Buick Envista Is Great If You Want To Look Rich On A Budget

By March 29, 2024Buick
2024 Buick Envista

The 2024 Buick Envista could come through as another useless premium coupe crossover sold at a ridiculous price. Something along the lines of the Infiniti QX55. But after spending an entire week with it, I quickly discovered a surprisingly affordable vehicle, one that’s also packed with tremendous value. This is ironic considering Buick’s mission of being a premium brand. Whatever the strategy behind this thing, what you need to know is that if you’re on a budget and looking for something that looks and feels more expensive than it is, than Buick has you covered.

2024 Buick Envista Review: Nobody Saw It Coming

2024 Buick EnvistaI’ll be the first to say that I did not expect Buick to drop with a subcompact coupe-like crossover. It’s just not in its nature to dish out these types of vehicles. Then again, Buick’s image has been so convoluted in recent years, that you can’t blame the company’s product planners for thinking of new ways of attracting consumers back into its showrooms.2024 Buick EnvistaRemember the Chevrolet Trax I drove a while back? Well the 2024 Buick Envista is essentially that car but with a prettier body on top of it. You could also qualify it as the Encore GX‘s coupe twin, as both cars also ride on GM’s VSS-F platform. Except, contrary to the Encore GX, the Envista does not come with the option of all-wheel drive. So yes, it’s basically a fancier Chevy Trax.2024 Buick EnvistaI’ll begin with the looks, because, after all, that’s really what Buick wants to put forth with this vehicle. I personally like the styling. It reminds me of no other Buick product that came before it and, honestly, no other car on the road. This is a unique, engaging design language. Hey, if it can help Buick finally forge itself a positive image with a younger generation of buyers, then so be it.2024 Buick EnvistaLike the Trax, all Envistas come with only one engine configuration, in this case a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It’s good for a humble 136 horsepower, but an impressive 162 lb-ft of torque. What’s particularly interesting about that torque figure is that it kicks in way low in the rev band, at 2,500 rpm. So that engine may small, but it is mighty.2024 Buick EnvistaPricing is really where the Envista becomes truly appealing. There are only three trim levels to choose from, with base models kicking off at $29,830. The sportier-looking ST pictured here only costs $31,130, and even if you decide to opt for the full-fat Avenir model, you’ll stay under the $35,000 mark. I mean, those are totally reasonable prices, especially from a carmaker that claims to be a premium brand.

You Get What You Pay For

2024 Buick EnvistaOf course, I never expected this three-cylinder, sub $35,000 crossover to drive like a BMW. And in all fairness, the 2024 Buick Envista’s driving dynamics don’t even come close to what the Germans will sell you. But is it a bad vehicle? Not really. I mean, I can totally see someone like my mom daily driving one of these and being totally satisfied with her purchase.The Envista’s chassis isn’t what I would call state-of-the art. You can tell that this is essentially a sub-compact car platform that’s been lifted, stretched and widen. This is instantly recognizable in the way its suspension negotiates road imperfections. You feel the poor thing working overtime underneath your butt. It also bounces a lot on bumpy roads.Handling is predictable, with a light front end, and reactive steering, but the moment you try to push it too hard, heavy understeer and body roll come ruin the fun. This is not a performer by any means, but the Envista is at least nimble and agile enough to make it fun when zipping around town. But the 8.2L/100 km fuel consumption average felt more like it was powered by a four-cylinder.What the Envista really has going for it is its engine and transmission combination. I never thought I’d say this about a three-cylinder, but this engine is fun to rev out all while putting down decent performance. Also, thank you, Buick, for not shoving a fucking CVT in this thing. Feeling good old cogs shuffling around adds a purposeful, mechanic feel to the drivetrain, which I quite like.Like the Trax, the 2024 Buick Envista does a bang up job of making you feel like you’re sitting inside a product that’s worth a lot more than what you paid for. Ok, yes, some cabin materials, plastics and knobs do feel low rent, as if they’ve been taken straight out of a Malibu, but in all fairness, this cabin never feels all that cheap per se. Buick does a great job of camouflaging the cost cutting with materials that look and feel of good quality.The main star of this cabin is obviously the massive tablet that encapsulates an eight-inch digital display and an 11-inch infotainment system. For a vehicle of this price bracket, that’s rather impressive. It also looks and feels very premium, as if you’re sitting inside a budget Cadillac Escalade.The Envista’s cabin is surprisingly roomy given its small size, but it does feel narrow in there, especially if two full-size adults are sitting side-by-side. The coupe-like profile doesn’t hinder rear headroom too much. I sat back there and I was pleased to find a decent amount of it, but legroom can be slightly compromised if another tall adult is sitting in front of you.Finally, due to its shape, cargo space hand on the low side of the segment. Predictably, it’s just a hair under the Trax’ official numbers (1,531 liters). For reference, when lowering the rear seat flat, this Buick will accommodate up to 1,189 liters of total cargo. That’s a tad lower than the smallish Mazda CX-30 (1,280 liters).It’s still too early to know if the 2024 Buick Envista will help rejuvenate Buick’s brand image and attract a different, and younger type of demographic into its showrooms. As for the car itself, I honestly see nothing wrong with it. It looks good enough, it’s powered by a robust little engine and its pricing ladder is everything but offensive. So why not give it a shot?

Clavey's Verdict

Review of the 2024 Buick Envista ST by William Clavey
Subcompact Crossovers

  • It looks good!
  • Mighty three-cylinder engine.
  • An honest great value.
  • No all-wheel drive.
  • Narrow-feeling cabin.
  • Smallish cargo hold.

7.5 / 10

Clavey’s Corner is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prices and trim levels discussed in this article reflect the Canadian car market.

Special thanks: Buick Canada

Photography: Guillaume Fournier

Contact the author: [email protected]

William Clavey

About William Clavey

Automotive Journalist from Canada. Active collaborator at mainstream media outlets across Canada.

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