This is the 2024 Buick Envista and it’s one of the nicest and most stylish premium crossovers I’ve seen this year, in fact for a very long time. It’s a compelling proposition, has a very appealing price, and is made in Korea, so today I’m going to test it and see what it’s like.

The Envista slots below the Buick Encore GX, filling a gap created by the discontinuation of the entry-level, Encore, which wasn’t a great car, its short wheelbase made for jiggly progress wherever you went. . This one is not an Encore successor, because the upgraded looks and better driving dynamics make it a brand-new car.

Size wise it’s nearly a foot longer than the Encore GX and rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase, which is 4.1 inches longer than the Encore’s providing a decent 97 cubic feet of passenger space.

Stylish Exterior

With its curving roofline, it reminds me of a Jaguar F-pace and it’s certainly the most distinctive sub-compact crossover I have seen in a while. The front grille with the ST badge should not be mistaken in any way with Ford’s ST, the two letters simply indicate that this one is a Sport Touring which sits between the base model Preferred and the top trim Avenir. My Sport Touring tester came with optional 19-inch rims with Continental ProContact TX tires, 245/45s all around.

Under The Hood

Now for the bad news, all Envistas drive their front wheels only using GM’s turbo 1.2-liter with three-cylinders, it makes 137 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed auto. The good news is it’s fairly fuel-efficient offering 32 mpg on the highway, the bad news is it’s slow taking a yawn-inducing 9+ seconds to get to sixty.

It seems odd that they didn’t use the 1.3 liter instead which has more power and torque and is a lot less pedestrian. I can only think Buick is saving that for a more sporty model. Hmm.


There’s a trick to driving the Envista and that’s to not mash your foot into the carpet, max out the revs, and hope it will be quick. Instead, drive it on the torque which kicks in at a relatively low 2,500 rpm but don’t exceed 4,000, that way the little turbocharged three-cylinder is quite punchy around town.

If you do find yourself mashing the throttle, the little three makes a pleasing snarl-like noise but it’s all very serene in the cabin, the Envists is one of the quietest cars I have driven.

The six-speed automatic transmission is another obvious cost saving but it manages the power well and I only experienced a couple of missed shifts during the week.

Of course, I took it out onto some backroads to see if you could have a little fun and the short answer is yes you can. Dive into a corner and the Envista feels light on its feet and is very composed, it drives more grown up than its price suggests. There’s little body roll and the chassis seems quite capable, you can chuck it about and it goes pretty well, if only it had more power.


The driver has two screens, directly ahead is an 8.0-inch digital cluster that can be configured using a scrolling control on the steering wheel. You can choose from two different views and also access MPG, range, and other ancillary gauges.

The touch screen in the center is connected to the driver display as one single pane and is an 11.0-inch unit that responds well and has cool graphics with an easy-to-decipher menu structure. The dash materials are decent and are of a textured nature with blue stitching, but below that, there’s plenty of hard plastic but nothing you wouldn’t get in a car costing thousands more.

The heated seats are some of the best, in fact on more than one occasion I had to turn them down because they were too hot. There’s also a charging icon on the main screen that shows you if your phone is charging or not, a nice feature.

Rear seat passengers suffer the most from the cost-cutting, no rear vents and no center armrest but it’s a small price to pay for a decent car that costs less than $30,000.

At the back

There’s no rear wiper due to cost-cutting but once you open the power liftgate it does offer 21 cubic feet with the seat up and 42 cubes with the seats folded.


This is where it gets interesting, the Envista starts at under 24K, and this sport touring model has a few optics including a heated steering wheel, driver and passenger heated seats, and a power tilt/slide moonroof with manual shade. Adaptive cruise control, lane change alert, and a wireless charger. That takes the price including destination to an incredible $29,070.



I like the Envista a lot, it’s poised, refined, and extremely good value starting at under $30,000. The interior is stylish with some cost-cutting here and there but no more so than cars costing considerably more. The major problem is it needs more power, at the very least GM should offer the 1.3, three-cylinder engine we know it has.

2024 Buick Envista Sport Touring Numbers

BASE PRICE: $24,100
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
ENGINE: Turbocharged DOHC 12-valve inline-3
POWER: 137 hp @ 5,000 rpm
TORQUE: 162 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 3,120 lb
0-60 MPH: 9.3 seconds
CARGO SPACE: 21 cubic feet, 41 cubic feet with rear seats folded
PROS: On-road refinement, incredible price, nice interior
CONS: Needs more power, some inferior interior plastics