NEW: Get Updates by Email

A Week With: 2024 Buick Envista ST

by | March 13, 2024

A brand in transition, Buick’s shift to a lineup of only crossovers and sport-utility vehicles gets a new entry, the Envista. With a new design language and intriguing drivetrain, does Buick have a winner?

2024 Buick Envista ST side beach REL

The 2024 Buick Envista’s coupe-like roofline doesn’t make it look like you’ll have duck while sitting in the back seat.

As a premium brand, Buick faces plenty of challenges. Those trials are compounded by the fact it’s only just now beginning to find its voice. It’s tough to take on the likes of Audi, Volvo, Infiniti and others that hover just below the luxury line, but to do so while in a state of flux is daunting.

Now Buick’s got a design language to hang its hat on, courtesy of the Buick Wildcat EV concept, and the 2024 Buick Envista is the first of the brand’s trio crossovers to fully adopt the look. And Headlight.News spent a week with Sport Touring, or ST, model to tell you if the look matches the experience.

It’s what’s on the outside …

The shift to a coupe-like roofline for crossovers has been firmly in place for several years now with Mercedes-Benz and BMW leading the charge. However, the new Envista’s doesn’t make it look like you’ll have duck while sitting in the back seat.

In fact, the new exterior calls to mind the new Lamborghini Urus more so than either of the offerings from the German brands. It is a small roundish crossover. However, the large hexagonal grille on the fascia framed with thin, slit-like headlamps on the corners paired with long crease that comes from the front wheel arch to the taillamp take it from looking like a bubble on four wheels to a sporty, capable machine.

2024 Buick Envista ST rear 3-4 beach REL

The Envista is powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged inline 3-cylinder engine that offers a surprising amount of punch.

Our ST model came in Copper Ice Metallic, offset nicely by the optional 19-inch painted aluminum wheels. It’s tough to say something powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged inline 3-cylinder engine appears aggressive or sporty, but in this look, it does.

What’s under there?

Speaking of the 1.2-liter turbocharged inline 3-cylinder engine, it’s the primary reason I wanted to drive the new Envista. It’s matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission that puts out, um … 137 horsepower.

You see those numbers and the words just flood your brain: anemic, slow, underpowered, weak, laborious, snail-like … I’m here to tell you, that it is none of those things.

It’s shockingly responsive. Quick even. When you put your foot into the go pedal, it does just that. You can actually feel it hopping forward in response to the command. Now are you going to take it racing on the weekend? No. But do you feel like you’re taking your life in your hands merging onto a busy freeway? Definitely not. And, even better, it gets great fuel economy: 28 mpg city, 32 highway and 30 combined, according to EPA estimates. My combined result was a little over 30 mpg, despite my heavy-footed driving style.

2024 Buick Envista ST interior REL

Drive the Envista a couple of times, and you’ll have no problem locating the seat heater button or any other control without having to take your eyes off the road.

It’s nice in here

The performance of the engine also helps in other ways … like getting past the underwhelming interior. Our tester came in ebony with Santorini blue accents. That color combo is great. But there’s something about the dashboard that’s a little off-putting.

It took me nearly the entire week to finally put my finger on it, but there’s simply too much black on the all-glass dashboard, which Buick calls the Ultrawide Infotainment Display. It looks … unfinished. Dashboards looking like a single piece of glass are all the rage right now, and most of them lend an air of sophistication — or at least make you stop and say “Wow!” That happens in the Envista, but not for the reasons designers were hoping.

That said, the 11-inch touchscreen is crystal clear; however, the volume knob sits in a spot that it’s hard to see — and impossible while you’re driving. I felt like I had to reach around the steering wheel and grope a bit before finding it. The same goes for the push-button starter. However, the climate controls and two center vents are easily accessible. Drive the Envista a couple of times, and you’ll have no problem locating the seat heater button or any other control without having to take your eyes off the road.

2024 Buick Envista ST moon roof REL

The Envista cabin is spacious and bright, especially the large moonroof that can be opened and comes with a power shade.

The Envista cabin is spacious and bright, especially the large moonroof that can be opened and comes with a power shade. Getting in and out is easy for front- and rear-seat passengers. Once you’re in, there’s plenty of room. Buick says it will hold five people. I take that to mean adults, and I agree. They’d even be comfortable if they sat in the back for a few hours. The driver and front passenger enjoy heated front seats in the ST, which are supportive and comfortable.

All charged up

If having a technologically advanced vehicle is a must, then the Envista can remain on your shopping list. Buick’s made certain its crossover offers plenty of safety tech standard with its Buick Driver Confidence package. It features lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, forward collision alert, following distance indicator and automatic high beams.

Our tester also featured adaptive cruise control, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change alert and more. So often these driver assistance technologies are intrusive and irritating. But I found the technology behaved perfectly. I had to let it stray to get the lane keep assist to kick in, and it didn’t freak out anytime I was close to another vehicle or a building.

2024 Buick Envista ST touchscreen

Buick’s Ultrawide Infotainment Display grabs attention, although it may not be the focus designers want.

As for its convenience tech, it comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a wireless phone charger. To be honest, I feel like that’s what the vast majority of consumers want in their vehicles.

One more nod to Buick and its technology. It offers keyless entry, and I really like the brand’s version of it. Like other versions, you must have your key fob on you when you approach the vehicle. However, to activate it, you need only grasp the door handle and press the little button on the outside of the handle and it will unlock the door or doors. Others will do it if you put your hand in the space between the door and the handle, but it so often fails to work properly. The button is right where my thumb goes when I pull the door handle. Simple. Clean. No sensors needed. Well done.

Money, money, money

Since it was a Buick, I was concerned how much this small crossover was going to cost. Confession time: it’s loaded with technology and other options even though it’s the middle trim level. The Envista starts at little more than $24,000. Our test vehicle with all its options was priced at $29,070, including the $1,095 destination charge.

Another pleasant surprise from the Envista.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List is Live!
Get Updates by Email

Get on our list to receive the latest automotive news in your inbox!

Invalid email address
I would like to receive:
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Share This