2024 Buick Envista ST Review: Fancy Footwork

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick

Love It

Leave It

Stylish looks

Tight rear headroom

Mature powertrain

Mid fuel economy

Lots of standard kit


Have you ever gone to a restaurant, enjoyed an incredible meal, and ended up shocked at the bill—because it’s so low? Buick evidently has.

The 2024 Buick Envista ST is that experience in four-wheeled form: a satisfyingly rich and robust sit-down meal with a fast-food price. Champagne—actual champagne, not just the taste of it—on a beer budget. While Buick’s new baby is something of an anomaly on the market, it’s so good that I’d be surprised if other premium brands don’t follow its lead into this segment.

What’s new?

The Envista replaces the unloved Encore—though confusingly, the Encore GX remains, sounding even more like a trim than entire model. The Envista is a platform-mate to that model, as well as the Chevrolet Trax, the latter with which the Envista shares its powertrain and wheelbase. We’re talking a tiny 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo, exclusively powering the front wheels via six-speed automatic transmission. Yes, this crossover eschews all-wheel drive, basically making it a car on stilts.

Buick has leaned into it with one stylish design. A sharp crease bisects the front fascia, with thin headlights framing the redesigned Buick logo up top and a sizeable air intake below. Buick knows this isn’t an off-roader, so the contrasting trim piece down low doesn’t even pretend to be a skid plate—it’s just part of the design. Unfussy flanks meet with that rakish roofline and interesting C-pillar texture, all terminating in a subtle lip spoiler and Buick’s traditional wing-shaped taillights. Well, some of them: one of my only real criticisms of the Envista design is that it follows the trend of shoving the turn signals low down in the bumper. Bad.

This particular model is the Sport Touring, which blacks out much of the exterior trim and the huge 19-inch alloys. It does make for a pretty monotone look with the Ebony Twilight Metallic paint, but get up close and there’s a sparkle that feels suitably swanky.

Big car feel

Every Envista makes the same 137 horsepower. That puts it (and the related GM siblings) in the bottom 5 of the lowest-powered new vehicles you can buy. Except it doesn’t feel like it. Make no mistake, the Envista isn’t a rocket ship, but the ample turbo torque (162 pound-feet, peaking at just 2,500 rpm) ensures it keeps up with traffic around town. Skipping the CVT that most other vehicles in this class employ—not to mention base-model Encore GX models with the same engine—helps the Encore feel more premium, too. The six-speed does a good job balancing power and quiet needs, gently slurring between ratios. Out on the highway, the Envista does need a heavy foot, but everything does in this class.

Contributing to the big car feel is the light and accurate steering, which trades feedback for carefree consistency. The ride is generally well-composed and quiet, though there’s a harder edge over bumps here than the Trax I drove late last year. Blame the oversized 245-width tires on the upgraded wheels; if you’re set on the black-out ST look, maybe just stick with the 18s.

Fuel economy is only okay. The official combined figure is 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km), the same as the smaller Encore GX manages. I saw a little worse than that after mostly highway driving, and in an unusually warm part of the month.

Big inside, too

The Envista cabin is the classiest space this side of a Mazda3 at this price point. The smooth curves of the dashboard and tasteful bits of chrome work well with the ST’s blue contrast stitching. Leatherette seats are convincing stand-ins for the real thing, with the ST stitching in the headrest a nice touch. The thrones themselves are reasonably comfortable but light on bolstering and under-thigh support. Buick has kept the central stack pleasantly uncomplicated, grouping all the climate controls together. Piano black does cover an awful lot of the center console, but the texture surrounding the classic shifter almost makes up for it. While the armrests are thin in both rows, the door pockets will swallow a surprising amount of water bottle.

Second-row accommodations are generally good. There’s acres of legroom and headroom is okay too, but that sloping roof makes it very dark back there. The Buick’s windowline stays flatter for longer than that of the Trax, but know that you’re sacrificing passenger comfort for those looks.

A useful 20.7 cubic feet (586 liters) of seat-up space more than doubles to 42.0 cubes (1,189 L) with the seats folded down. The Envista’s power tailgate is a welcome bit of luxury too: it’s not even a guarantee on most of the sub-compact AWD crossovers out there.

Useful tech

Each and every Envista features an 11.0-inch central touchscreen and 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, grouped together in one panel with a thick bezel. It’s a good system, and this one didn’t exhibit any of the hiccups I witnessed in the Trax. The wireless phone mirroring works without a fuss on each start-up, and the charger is consistent. Speaking of, you won’t find plugs in the back; gotta save money somewhere.

The digital instrument panel is an odd one. It’s technically customizable if you hold the right-side scroll wheel on the steering wheel, but it’s only to change the design itself. You can’t flit through different vehicle parameters, for example. Instead, you can find all that in the Android-based infotainment system.

A long list of safety kit is included on this optioned-up ST, including standard automated emergency braking, the clever follow distance indicator, lane keep assist, and GM’s Teen Driver mode. The adaptive cruise control works well, though I found the Envista ping-ponged from side to side in its lane.

Dollars and sense

The 2024 Buick Envista starts at just $23,495 ($28,999 CAD) including destination. In addition to the premium paint, this tester has the Experience Buick ($995 / $1,195 CAD) and Convenience II ($595 / $700 CAD) packages. The former adds the bigger wheels, power moonroof, and upgraded rear suspension; the latter brings in a power liftgate, wireless charging, and rain-sensing wipers.

American buyers also have the choice of the Convenience I ($1,195 for a power driver’s seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, keyless entry and remote start) and Advanced Safety ($595 for adaptice cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change with blind-spot monitoring). Those are both rolled into Canadian models as standard, making the as-tested price $29,070 ($32,684 CAD). Put another way: a completely bog-standard Toyota RAV4 is another grand.

Verdict: 2024 Buick Envista ST Review

General Motors was one of the worst offenders of cynical badge engineering back in the ‘90s. (Don’t worry, you get credit too, Chrysler.) The company very much could have gone back to the old ways with the Envista too, simply pasting some Buick family design cues on the otherwise excellent Trax.

But Buick did better. The Envista’s swoopy styling and premium feature set does make it a pricier than its Bow Tie buddy, but you won’t find another stylish coupe-over for even close to this amount of money. That it’s also pleasant to drive and be in secures it as one of the smartest new premium models on the market, regardless of price. Enjoy the meal.

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2024 Buick Envista ST


7 / 10


7 / 10

Handling and Drivability

8 / 10

Passenger Comfort

8 / 10

Ride Quality

4 / 5

Exterior Style

4 / 5

Interior Style and Quality

7 / 10


8 / 10


3 / 5


4 / 5


8 / 10

Emotional Appeal

7 / 10


75 / 100

2024 Buick Envista ST


1.2L I3 Turbo


137 hp, 162 lb-ft



US Fuel Economy (mpg):


CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km):


Starting Price (USD):

$23,495 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (USD):

$29,070 (inc. dest.)

Starting Price (CAD):

$28,999 (inc. dest.)

As-Tested Price (CAD):

$32,684 (inc. dest.)

Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

More by Kyle Patrick

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2 of 5 comments
  • David Lambing David Lambing on Mar 01, 2024

    I just wish the auto writers would consider telling us where Buick vehicles are being produced today. I think this one is made in Korea. The others are made in China and Lansing. Yes, Buick is selling Chinese made vehicles here in the US of A.

  • Gch81924079 Gch81924079 on Mar 28, 2024

    “Swanky” nice new entry in the auto field; photos of backgrounds are atrocious, for what it’s worth🤔.