GM China loosed more photos of the all-new 2021 Buick Envision, this time of the interior. We are happy to report that the cabin design is just as pleasing to the eye as the exterior. When the 2021 model shows up for the reunion with its earlier model-year siblings, no one will recognize it. The modestly dated interior of the current crossover with its too-small infotainment screen and Rorschach-blot button placement is all gone. The gaudy curves and textures on the current instrument panel give way to a simple, split-level, bi-color form. What’s more, the IP subtly carves out distinct driver and passenger spaces, a design trait normally reserved for sports cars. When Buick and GMC design boss Helen Emsley said the coming Envision would possess “striking styling designed to combine the expressiveness of a car with the practicality of an SUV,” she wasn’t lying.
The new steering wheel picks up more substantial spokes decorated with linear buttons instead of the circular pads, and its center cap is wider and no longer reminiscent of an alien face. The dash’s dark portion up top houses a 10-inch infotainment screen canted at an 18-degree angle for the driver’s ease-of-use. Air vents accentuate the break between the top and bottom of the instrument panel. Beneath the center vents, in the cabin-colored portion of the dash, are a slick set of climate controls. The pushbutton gear selectors along the left side of the center tunnel come from the China-market Enclave. And even the cupholders are handsome.
The Envision Avenir gets a few exterior changes like a mesh grille and nicer wheels to set itself apart, the interior wearing Ivory White and Jazz Black hues and diamond-stitched seats. We might prefer the interior with peanut-butter brown and black even more. And suddenly, the Cadillac XT4 could have a problem; the Buick and the Cadillac share the E2 platform, but one of them — in photos, at least — is incontestably more fetching.
As for tech, expect Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard, and driver safety features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, and the automaker’s safety alert seat. Regular conveniences will include space for five, nearly two dozen storage cubbies, and an available giant panoramic moonroof.
The only engine we’ve heard tell of so far is a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit, expected to be a carryover mill with 252 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It will shift through a nine-speed transmission and drive either the front or all four wheels. The 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 197 hp could be a goner.
The Envision hits the market here in early 2021. We’ll be looking for all the details before then.