Buick has just launched the 2024 Envista, a new crossover that replaces the long-running Encore with a model that is larger and much more fashion-forward, but will only come with front-wheel drive.
With the death of the Encore, the 2024 Buick Envista will be the entry point into the Buick lineup. But it won’t be the brand’s smallest model.
The honor of Buick’s smallest model goes to the Encore GX, a model that is mechanically unrelated despite the name and that will be noticeably smaller than the Envista.
Envista Bigger, Cheaper Than Encore GX
Confused? Don’t be. The Buick Envista is bigger than the Encore. Six inches longer in wheelbase and 14.2 inches longer overall, it is also 11 inches longer than the 2024 Encore GX.
But the 2024 Buick Envista is cheaper than both. The new crossover will start from $23,495, almost $3,000 less than the old Encore and $2,500 less than Encore GX.
How is Buick making it cheaper? It’s certainly not by cutting corners you can see.
Wildcat Concept Styling
The Envista, like the refreshed Encore GX, gets styling inspired by the Buick Wildcat electric concept. The slim headlights, forward-leaning nose, and the new Buick logo are all part of it.
But where the Encore GX was just a facelift, the Envista follows through on the promise all the way to the tail. The Envista has a sleek crossover-coupe-style roofline as well as the brand’s new wing lighting signature at the rear.
The design is striking — not something you would expect to see for a sub-$25,000 starting price.
Largest Screen in the Segment
Buick’s interior is equally impressive. Gone are the giant buttons and lackluster plastics of past Buicks, parts that didn’t help the perception that the brand’s average buyer was closer to 90 than 40.
The Envista has the largest center screen in the segment. The 11.0-inch panel is part of a single bezel that combines it with an 8.0-inch digital dashboard display.
Look beyond the screens, and there are upscale touches like colorful seat stitching and embroidered logos on Avenir and ST trims. There is even a flat-bottom steering wheel, Buick’s attempt to convince you this is sporty.
The cabin will have plenty of passenger space as well. The long wheelbase maximizes space, giving Envista more legroom than any previous small crossover from Buick. Cargo behind the rear seat is also up, from 18.8 to 20.7 cubic feet. However, Envista has significantly less cargo space than the shorter Encore GX, with the blame going to that lower and more stylish roofline.
No AWD for Buick Envista
So, how did Buick keep the price down? With the platform.
The Buick Envista doesn’t offer all-wheel drive, and neither does its sibling, the Chevrolet Trax. Not designing for two rear suspensions and two powertrains helps the budget.
A 1.2L turbo-three drives the front wheels. It is a new engine compared with last year’s 1.2, and the company says it is lighter and more efficient. The engine makes 136 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, though it may be hampered by the six-speed automatic transmission in a world where most vehicles have eight or more speeds.
Buick’s base Envista is the $23,495 Preferred trim. Sport Touring and Avenir grades will also be offered. Avenir is Buick’s premium grade. In this model, it will offer 19-inch alloys and unique finishes. It starts from $26,695.
Orders for the 2024 Buick Envista open this summer. The company didn’t give an exact timeframe, but you can expect it at dealers in the fall.