2017 Buick Envision Review: From China, with love

– Cleveland, Ohio

Buick is making a lot of right moves lately, and the Envision is shaping up to be its latest. Slotting nicely in size between the elfin Encore and fullsize Enclave (Buick’s two best-selling vehicles), the Envision targets the meatiest part of the SUV market where buyers want a Swiss Army Knife vehicle that does it all. The Envision doesn’t have a pair of scissors folded up in its center console, but it does do everything well that most buyers will ask of it. And if you care about this sort of thing, it happens to be one of the first vehicles sold in the U.S. that’s manufactured in China.

See the facelifted model:




Made in China doesn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong: the Envision being made in China isn’t itself a pro. What’s positive is that its manufacturing origin makes no difference at all in how the Envision operates or the quality of its assembly. If you’re worried because that knock-off iPad you bought in the Beijing black market broke after opening the box, don’t be. Time will tell whether or not reliability is impacted, but as far as first impressions go, the Envision convincingly demonstrates the workers at GM’s factory in Shandong can screw together an SUV. That said, your issue with the Envision’s final assembly being outside the U.S. may be a philosophical one, in which case it doesn’t matter if the Envision is built in China, Mexico, or on Mars.

Cushy yet controlled suspension. Jus...