Already on sale in China, the Buick Envision crossover SUV made its debut in U.S. trim at the Detroit Auto Show. Designed and engineered in America, this slick 5-passenger model slots between the Encore and the Enclave and will face off against the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, Lexus RX and Lincoln MKC. Crossover SUV models make up 65 percent of Buick's current annual sales in North America, and the new Envision is expected to further expand the automaker's reach in what's become the dominant market segment. 

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The first vehicle to be spun from GM's new global compact architecture, the 2016 Buick Envision will be produced by Shanghai GM in the same facility that currently builds the domestic-market version. Motivation will be supplied by a turbocharged 2.0-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder with start/stop technology developing 252 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Although a front-drive version is expected later, at launch the Envision will come only in all-wheel drive, fitted with Buick's new Active Twin Clutch system. Also found on the 2017 LaCrosse, the setup allows individual torque vectoring on each rear wheel. The U.S.-spec Envision also will be the first Buick crossover to feature the division's sophisticated HiPer Strut front suspension in place of conventional MacPherson hardware used in China, a change that improves handling and mitigates torque steer. 

Premium look and feel

Stretching 183.7 inches nose to tail and measuring 107.9-inches between wheel centers, the Envision is wrapped in sleek sheetmetal that reflects its own contemporary take on Buick signature cues. The look is set off by LED-infused lighting and standard 19-inch alloys as well as less-obvious, efficiency-enhancing active grille shutters. Like its siblings, the Envision also benefits from QuietTuning technologies, including active noise cancellation in its standard Bose premium audio system. 

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Other upscale features in this new Buick crossover include power front buckets, tri-zone climate control, IntelliLink with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Safety Alert Seat for the driver, Lane Keep Assist and a programmable hands-free power liftgate. Buyers also will be able to fit the Envision with extras like a panoramic moonroof, cooled front seats, Automatic Park Assist, a Surround Vision 360-degree camera system and OnStar 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot as well as Full Speed-Range Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Mitigation Braking.  While official pricing, packaging and EPA figures won't be released until closer to its on-sale date, the 2016 Buick Envision is expected to start around $35,000.


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