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  5. 2022 Buick Envision Avenir Test Drive Review

Front view of the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir

When the Buick Envision was introduced in 2016, it was the first Chinese-made vehicle ever sold in the United States. And at the time, there was little else noteworthy about the compact SUV. Fortunately, that changed with the all-new, second-generation Envision.

The machine which debuted for the 2021 model year featured more luxury, improved technology, and a dramatic improvement in styling. After my recent seat time with the subcompact Encore GX and three-row Enclave, I was excited to sample the 2022 Buick Envision in its top-of-the-line Avenir trim level, and see how it competes in the crowded premium small SUV market.

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2022 Buick Envision Avenir Exterior

Rear view of the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir

Buick's new design language has now been applied to the second-gen Envision and the refreshed 2022 Enclave, and it's easy to say these are some of the best-looking SUVs in their respective segments. For the 2022 Buick Envision, the face alone is bold and aggressive with an upright grille and narrow headlights that lead back into a sharp crease that creates athletic arches over the wheel openings.

 In profile, the roof provides a stylish coupe-like vibe, and not even the fake exhaust outlets can take away from the Envision's impressive look! Paying extra for the range-topping Avenir trim level adds distinctive elements like a mesh grille, clear-lensed LED taillights, body-color fender trim, and 20-inch aluminum wheels. To complete the upscale look, my tester was finished in the premium ($495) Satin Steel paint job. 

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2022 Buick Envision Avenir Interior

Dashboard of the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir

As good as the new Envision looks from the outside, Buick has really stepped up its game in regards to the interior design of this compact SUV. I haven't had the chance to check out the lower trim levels, but the Avenir trim level definitely puts the Envision in the same luxury arena as the Acura RDX, Lexus NX and Lincoln Corsair. The overall design is attractive and intuitive, and while I'm usually not a fan of push-button gear selectors, with a prominent, easy-to-find Park button and perfect contours for the Reverse and Drive buttons, Buick did a great job with these controls. My wife wasn't a fan of how the entire center stack (especially the HVAC controls) was canted toward the driver, but this does result in a very driver-friendly cockpit.

Buick's Avenir trim level is akin to GMC's Denali trim, which maximizes style, luxury and content. The highlight of the Envision Avenir's interior is easily the diamond-pattern quilted leather seats (shown here in Whisper Beige), and the front seats also have the "Avenir" script embroidered on the headrests. This package also includes high-lux features such as heated and cooled front seats, heated rear outboard seats, dimpled wood accents on the door panels and Avenir sill plates, plus tech like the 10.2-inch touchscreen navigation system and wireless smartphone charging. For added measure, this tester was equipped with the $1,450 panoramic roof and $350 Premium Seat Package, which adds power lumbar for both front passengers and a massage function for the driver.

Obviously, since the 2022 Buick Envision is aimed at the luxury segment, the interior is roomy and comfortable. Even with the sporty roofline, the Envision offers up more rear-seat passenger comfort than the Audi SQ5 I recently tested, and with 25.2 cubic feet of space available behind the rear seat and 52.7 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded flat, there's plenty of room for cargo, too. 

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2022 Buick Envision Avenir Powertrain

Engine bay of the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir

The 2022 Buick Envision is offered with a single powertrain configuration, which pairs a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission. All told, the engine produces 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty for this 3,759-pound Envision Avenir. And with EPA estimates of 24 mpg city and 31 highway, fuel economy is respectable too.

To give its compact SUV the ride quality of a true luxury vehicle, the second-gen Envision rides on a chassis shared with the Cadillac XT4 instead of its predecessor's Chevy Cruze roots. This setup upgrades to a five-link independent rear suspension (instead of the previous Envision's four-link system). But the biggest news for the latest Envision is that the Avenir is available with Buick's Continuous Damping Control (part of the $1,965 Technology Package II), which adds active dampers for peak ride and handling qualities. My test vehicle was equipped with this setup, and while its operation was indetectable, the smooth, quiet and responsive ride was instantly obvious. All 2022 Envision trim levels are rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds.

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2022 Buick Envision Avenir Safety

Rear seats of the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir

With a 5-Star crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the compact 2022 Buick Envision shows that Buick's small SUVs can deliver big on safety. All trim levels come standard with the Buick Driver Confidence suite of advanced safety technology. This package includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Intellibeam automatic high-beam headlights.

This tester was also equipped with the aforementioned Technology Package II, which adds adaptive cruise control along with enhanced versions of the automatic emergency braking and auto parking assist systems. The $200 Safety Package includes Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

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2022 Buick Envision Avenir Overall

Cargo area of the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir

Today's new-car market is flooded with SUVs, but the 2022 Buick Envision Avenir proves that it belongs in the same class as other premium compact crossovers. Because while it might not be as not as fast or sporty as some of its rivals, it certainly looks and feels as good, if not better, than its key rivals.

As such, Buick prices the Envision inline with comparably sized luxury SUVs. The 2022 Envision has a base price of $38,545, and the Avenir trim level will set you back $44,110. About the only option not included on this 2022 Buick Envision Avenir was all-wheel drive, which means it clocked in at $45,505. To experience the 2022 Envision Avenir for yourself, contact your local AutoNation Buick dealer today.

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Jeffrey N. Ross | Oct 19, 2021

2022 Buick Envision Avenir Specs


4-door, 5-passenger


2.0L I4
228 hp, 258 lb-ft
Nine-speed automatic



NHTSA Rating

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

AutoNation Drive Test Drive Review: ★ ★ ★ ★

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