By Asian Journal Auto Editor

The 2019 Buick Envision is a mid- size 5-seater CUV was designed for the Chinese market where Buick does very well. Its styling, which was updated for 2019 is sleek, contemporary, with a nice heft to the design. Positioned as an entry-level premium CUV, the Envision arrives with a flurry of updates for 2019. There is a turbocharged engine upgrade that produces more low and mid –range torque, along with a with a 9-speed automatic transmission for better fuel economy. There is now a deactivate feature for the automatic stop/start system, and improved headlights, backup camera, heated rear seats and Bluetooth microphone. There is also regular and adaptive cruise control, while wireless smartphone charging is now featured. On the outside, there is a new winged-tri-shield grille and an updated fascia featuring chrome-ringed HID headlights that are now standard, along with rear LEDs. There are also new optional 19-inch wheels.

The Envision’ s first two trims levels come with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder DOHC engine that produces 197 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder found in the Premium trim offers 252 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic and AWD are standard. The entry-level Preferred trim level ($38,300) comes standard with 18-in wheels, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights, fog lights, a hands-free power lift gate, rear parking sensors, a backup camera, remote ignition, proximity entry and push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated 8-way power front seats, a 60/40-split back seat (folds, reclines and slides), cloth/leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors. Also included is, OnStar emergency and remote services, in-car Wi-Fi, an 8-in touchscreen, four USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a 6-speaker sound system. The Essence trim ($42,300) does add extra equipment, including roof rails, rear cross-traffic alert perforated leather appointed seating, heated rear seat, heated steering wheel, and other niceties.

The Premium  trim ($45,400) adds the 252 hp turbo engine, an upgraded front suspension, 19-inch wheels, bi-LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, with lane departure warning and the an upgraded trip computer and a 7-speaker Bose sound system. Every 2019 Envision comes standard with 10 airbags (front, front knee, front- and rear-side, side-curtain), a backup camera and OnStar emergency communications. In US government crash tests, the Envision received 5-star overall and side ratings, and 4-star frontal and rollover ratings.

The Envision interior reveals a premium well-crafted cabin. Its typical luxury orientated Buick, with a nice level of design and execution. I like the smart dash and richly appointed leather seats. It is a roomy, lavish looking cabin for sure. The 2019 Envision’ s cruise control defaults to adaptive mode, but pressing and holding the main power switch can change it to standard cruise. There’s now an off switch for the auto start/stop feature. A new interior air ionizer helps eliminate odors and reduce bacteria, and the wireless smartphone charger is upgraded to suit the   latest iPhones. The rearview camera resolution is improved. The as standard preferred trim line is very well equipped, while the higher up versions are downright luxurious! I like the confortable seats and the easy to use infotainment offerings. A clear, crisp 8 –inch touchscreen is well designed. In terms of space, there is an abundance for occupants  with  sliding and reclining back seats. The high step height and seating position means entry and egress is easy

On the road, the 2019 Envision is one of the quietest CUVS in its class thanks to plenty of sound deadening insulation, acoustic glass and standard active noise cancellation. Power from the base 197-hp engine is more than adequate with good acceleration and highway power. The suspension is soft and soaks up bumps well. The Escape’s comfortable and spacious interior is a major attraction as well, with excellent premium materials and well finished soft touch plastics throughout the doors and dash.

On road habits are exemplary. The Envision handles well and is enjoyable to drive, although it’s a tad slow around corners. To sum up, the Buick is fine family hauler that can be outfitted from a decent standard base spec all the way to an uber luxury and high technology equipped CUV that will satisfy every need. Not a lot to complain about, rear cargo capacity is on the small side, and fuel economy is an estimated City/Hwy 11.1/8.6 L/100 KM. The excellent combination of looks, equipment, fit and finish, means the Buick Envision will not disappoint for those looking for a very competent family CUV.

2019 Buick Envision priced from $38.300.