While at the 2019 Rocky Mountain Redline Ice Driving Encounter, I sampled the 2019 Buick Envision AWD with the Premium II package. This event, which took place in Winter Park and Georgetown, Colorado, Brough journalists and automakers together for two days. Over the two days, all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles were challenged on both snowy and icy courses.
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting too much. I was less than thrilled with the mellow 2.5-liter version I drove a while back, but the turbo was something else. It made 252 horsepower and 295 abs-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm. Great power and excellent torque for a small crossover.
Wile it was never as hot-blooded as some of the other performance-biased crossovers (like the Acura RDX A-Spec and Mercedes-Benz GLE 450) its ride on all surfaces was impressive. While the interior is well sorted for comfort, I could hear the engine at full boil – it was a tad more than I expected.
Later on, during our ice driving component of the event, I sat in the back seat of the 2019 Buick Envision AWD and was pampered with comfortable, heated rear seats (the outer seats only) and an easy to access wifi system. It was a great place to be when the outside wind gusts were blowing terrifically cold at over 60 mph.
The turbocharged engine is the most exciting part of the 2019 Buick Envision AWD. Power is meaty down low and with maximum torque coming in at 3,000 rpm, you scoot off the line in a big hurry. It handles well at low speeds, but it wallows a bit when pushed.
Steering is a bit vague, but no performance-seeker would be driving this in the first place. Breaks are good, as is breaking on snow and ice. Sure, the Buick had snow tires (all of the vehicles on this event did) but it always stopped predictably.
There are no multi-terrain selections, no driver modes and no selectable traction variation other than turning traction-control on and off. This Buick is not built to be a driver enthusiast’s ride. It’s a somewhat luxurious, capable and comfortable crossover – that’s about it.
In the snow and on ice, you either had a cautious vehicle that cut power and banged its ABS system to keep you pointed the right way – or you didn’t. Switch the ABS and ESP system altogether and you get a bucking bronco by comparison. It had no issue with losing traction or its way when you shut off the traction overseer.
Shutting the system down never helped its performance other than make things more exciting to juvenile automotive journalists.
I’m not complaining, it’s a fine alternative to the Lexus NX for some. Unfortunately, the as-tested price of $49,925 (fully loaded with the Premium II package) seems a bit steep. Still, the starting price for the 2019 Buick Envision AWD with the Premium Package II starts at $44,795 (without extras) and that price seems just right for this comfy, little ride.
Check out more on the current generation (pre-facelift) Buick Envision below: