Elegance and Value: So Much to Love about the 2023 Buick Envision Essence

The 2023 Buick Envision Essence blends Buick’s dedication to value and excellence, with noteworthy design, convenient technology, and a supremely comfortable interior, all for a $40,000 price point.

The 2023 Buick Envision Essence Is A Powerhouse Packed Into A Crossover Suv.
The 2023 Buick Envision Essence is a powerhouse packed into a crossover SUV.

The 2023 Buick Envision Essence is Here, and We Adore it.

The automotive industry has always been competitive, but Buick has always strived to stay ahead of the competition with its commitment to developing luxurious vehicles at an affordable price point. The 2023 Buick Envision Essence is a prime example of Buick’s dedication to value and excellence. Combining sleek design, advanced technology, and a comfortable interior, the Envision Essence offers a driving experience that is hard, if not impossible, to match at a price starting under $40,000.

Related: More Cuteness, More Sleekness, More Buick, Please

The Front End Of The 2023 Buick Envision Essence.

The sleek front end of the 2023 Buick Envision Essence is beautiful and purposeful. Photo: Annika Carter

Sculpted Style with a Purpose

Buick’s styling on its new models is a head turner from all angles, a great upgrade from their previous styling. The sleek and aerodynamic design exudes confidence and sophistication. The front grille, sculpted lines, and LED running lights give the Envision Essence a noticeable front end on the road. The design strikes the perfect balance between elegance and sportiness, making this crossover SUV a standout in its class.

The styling serves more than just good looks, though. The lines are carefully sculpted to give the Envision better fuel economy and reduce wind noise in the cabin. The LED headlights and taillights are available with a premium welcoming light animation to greet you when you walk up, a feature typically only on higher-end vehicles. 

Related: what are the best cars for the value out there? We’ve got a great list 

The Front Driver'S Seat In The 2023 Buick Envision Essence.

The front driver’s seat in the 2023 Buick Envision Essence – control at your fingertips. Photo: Annika Carter

Elegant Finishes in the 2023 Buick Envision Essence

Stepping inside the Envision, you are greeted with a well-crafted luxurious interior with plush leather seats that make driving a pleasure. I would have liked to have a little adjustability in the pedal height, as I found myself straining a little bit to “cover” the brake pedal as I drove. Lowering the pedals just ½” – 1” would have made my driving position a bit more comfortable, without having to adjust my seating position

The Rear Seat View Of The 2023 Buick Envision Essence.

Plenty of comfort to be had in the rear seat of the 2023 Buick Envision Essence. Photo: Annika Carter

I also would have liked to see slightly higher-quality finishes on some of the plastic trim pieces and buttons, which looked to be borrowed from some of Buick and Chevrolet’s lower trim level vehicles, but overall I was impressed by the styling and quality of materials used.

While something completely outside of Buick’s control, the lack of seat warmers was a bit disappointing. For those who may not be familiar, a computer chip shortage has made it difficult for some manufacturers to get the parts necessary for some components of vehicles, and the seat warmers (as well as parking sensors) of the Buick Envision were not immune to this struggle. Buick does provide a $50.00 credit off the price of the vehicle for this missing feature.

The button and the wiring are there so seat warmers can be added by the dealer when the parts are in stock. 

There'S Plenty Of Cargo Space In The Back Of The 2023 Buick Envision Essence.

There’s a plethora of cargo space in the back of the 2023 Buick Envision Essence. Photo: Annika Carter

Noteworthy Space in the Back

The Envision provides great cargo and rear seat space for a small SUV. A fully grown adult could fit comfortably in the second row, with 25.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the backseat (more than enough for suitcases on the way to the airport!). The rear liftgate is activated hands-free with a simple swipe of your foot. Unlike some other vehicles, Buick added a puddle light under the rear bumper to indicate where the hands-free liftgate sensor is, so you don’t find yourself foolishly kicking under the bumper, searching desperately for the sensor, all while trying not to drop your groceries!

Related: We Are Crazy for the Space in the Back of this Vehicle

Elegance And Convenience Abouncs In The 2023 Buick Envision Essence.

Elegance and convenience abound in the 2023 Buick Envision Essence. Photo: Annika Carter

What the Envision is Like to Drive

Driving the Buick Envision Essence is an experience unlike any other, and not for the reason you may think. The Envision is not the fastest car in the world, although it does make a spiffy 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. As a crossover, it does not handle the best of any car I’ve ever driven, although I certainly have no complaints regarding the continuous damping control that soaks up bumps in the road effortlessly, while providing stiffness on cornering so the car doesn’t feel floaty.

But what the Buick does do better than most vehicles I’ve driven, and certainly most, if not all, vehicles in its class, is create a quiet ride. The silence in the cabin is thanks to Buick’s active noise-cancellation system, built into the Bose audio system. This entertainment system is controlled by a 10.2” multimedia touchscreen featuring wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play, available built-in Amazon Alexa, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. 

Thoughtful Details Like A Super Quiet Cabin And This Light Help Guide The Driver Experience.

Details like a super quiet cabin and this liftgate sensor light help to elevate the driver experience. Photo: Annika Carter

Safety Features

The Buick Envision Essence comes with an array of driver-assistance features including front collision warning, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. As I mentioned previously, parking sensors are also present, although the feature was not available and was credited to the price of the vehicle. Active cruise control is available on the Envision, although it was not optioned on the vehicle I drove, and I would have loved to have it. While definitely not a necessity, active cruise control has become so common on modern vehicles, I have been spoiled and miss it when it isn’t present! 

The backup camera on the Buick was one of the clearest cameras I have seen. It provides multiple camera displays, including an overhead “birds-eye view,” front view, and rear view. Additional views can be toggled. 

Related: Cars Are Much Safer Now, Thanks to Cutting-Edge Tech 

Beautiful Lines On The 2023 Buick Envision Essence.

Beautiful lines on the 2023 Buick Envision Essence make it more aerodynamic. Photo: Annika Carter

2023 Buick Envision Essence Pricing

While the Envision Essence starts at $38,895 (or $40,695 in the AWD version, like the one I drove), the vehicle I drove was priced just over $46,000. It had the optional Sport Touring package, valued at $1,495, which comes with branded “ST” logos on the seat and floor mats, sport pedals, some additional glossy black moldings around the lower trim, mirrors, and wheel wells, and black 20” aluminum wheels. The available Technology package, valued at $2,500, features GPS navigation, wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play, additional USB ports, an upgraded backup camera with surround vision, front and rear park assist, and a heads-up display. A panoramic moonroof is available for a $1,450 addition. 

For buyers looking for Buick’s luxury with a lesser price tag, the Envision is available in Preferred trim, which features the same powertrain and comfortable driving experience starting at $34,795 (for the FWD version). This trim level lacks the ability to add certain options, like the heads-up display, emergency braking, and the technology package. 

Overall, the 2023 Buick Envision Essence is a great compact SUV that delivers on many fronts and provides a surprisingly smooth and quiet ride for the price. 

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Annika Carter has over four years of performance driving experience, both with and without professional instruction. She has driven... More about Annika Carter