After 18 months on the market in the United States, the Buick Envision took its place as the third-best-selling vehicle among Buick's eight models, slotting in behind the Encore and Enclave. January sales this year jumped 13.7-percent year-over-year, just a few hundred behind the Enclave. Now, the Chinese-made compact SUV gets a modest makeover, but buyers of the 2019 Buick Envision will need to reach up into the upper trims to access the best of what's new.
The big mechanical upgrade comes with the option of GM's Hydra-Matic 9T50 nine-speed automatic instead of standard the six-speed. However, that appears to be limited to just two of the five available Envision trims: Premium I and Premium II. The base, Preferred, and Essence models stick with the six-speed only.
Design changes center around the front and rear fascias. The grille motif switches to a be-winged Buick emblem - in tri-color spec, not monochrome - over the previous waterfall, matching that of the sibling crossovers. The lower front fascia gets redrawn, with the fog lights at the edges now sitting in square recesses with reworked chrome trim and sharper edges on the bumper. Premium trims move up from HID projectors to bi-LED headlights, while the other three trims shed their composite halogens for HID lights.
According to the 2019 order guide, Ebony seats with Dark Plum interior accents leave the menu, replaced by Dark Galvanized leather seats with Ebony trim. White interior lighting will illuminate the instrument panel and door trim, replacing Ice Blue, and comfort/convenience tweaks come in the form of wireless phone charging, an cabin air ionizer and a button to shut off the stop-start system. The latter would be a noteworthy upgrade as it's been a common complaint logged against so-equipped GM vehicles.
In back, design elements get sharper edges, and the taillights switch to slimmer LED units. Designers have hidden the single exhaust outlet on the lower three trims with the base, 197-horsepower 2.5-liter engine. It appears that choosing the optional, 252-hp 2.0-liter engine will be identified by dual rectangular exhaust finishers instead of the round tips of previous years.
Exterior colors hold steady at six, but Midnight Amethyst Metallic gives way to Satin Steel Gray Metallic, and the current 19-inch wheels get replaced with two new designs. The 2019 Buick Envision has already gone on sale in China, and should reach U.S. dealers in April.