Buick currently offers two SUV models - or more correctly, crossovers - the diminutive Encore and the mid/full-size Enclave. There's a big size and price gap between the two.
But not for much longer.
Shanghai GM officially introduced a new tween-sized Buick crossover called the Envision this week in Chengdu, China. It will be offered in four trim levels, in China, all with standard all-wheel-drive.
With styling that echoes that of General Motors' Envision concept vehicle, the production model measures 4,667 mm in length, 1,839 mm in width and 1,696 mm in height, and rides on a wheelbase of 2,750 mm.
Inside, its split rear seats fold flat and can slide fore and aft to provide up to 1,550 litres of space for carrying cargo. In addition, there are 24 individual storage compartments in the interior.
Power comes from GM’s latest-generation 2.0T direct injection turbocharged engine, rated at The engine was named one of Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2013. It generates maximum power of 256 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and peak torque of 260 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm.
Mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission, GM says the engine will accelerate the Envision from 0-to-100 km/h in 8.4 seconds.
A standard engine start/stop system helps achieve a combined fuel consumption rating of 8.4 L/100 km.
The Envision's intelligent all-wheel-drive system provides a variable front-to-rear torque split and a 0:100~100:0 rear torque split. Offered for the first time by GM, it features two electronically controlled multi-plate clutches in the rear axle that automatically distribute torque from the front to rear wheels and between the rear wheels as needed.
At this point, GM has announced Envision production only for the Chinese market. But GM is on record that Buick will introduce seven new models in the next three years and it's a near certainty that the Envision will be one destined ultimately for North America. How could it not be?