2024 Buick Envista ST

The Envista channels the trendy "coupe SUV" look at a budget-friendly price, but there's not much substance to go along with the style
The Envista channels the trendy "coupe SUV" look at a budget-friendly price, but there's not much substance to go along with the style

by Jon Pangindian and Nathan Leipsig | May 27, 2024


Despite Buick’s well-documented recent success in China, they have faced their fair share of challenges here in North America. Across the Pacific ocean, Buick is seen in high regard and with more prestige than some German brands. On top of that, Buick continues to sell more vehicles in China than the U.S. and Canada combined, so it isn’t too surprising that the 2024 Buick Envista ST debuted there first. But it’s finally here, and we set out to determine whether or not Buick’s newest crossover has the goods to succeed here as well.

Depending on who you ask, the Envista’s looks is either a love-it-or-hate-it affair, specifically its silhouette. Those in the latter group clash with its overall shape, drawing comparisons with the BMW X4 and other, much pricier “coupe” SUVs out there. Funny enough, those that do like it also draw the same conclusions, which just goes to show you that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I do see it, but it’s not the biggest compliment.

This particular Envista is the ST model, short for Sport Touring. It certainly looks the part with blacked-out accents and exclusive 19-inch wheels, standing out (in a good way) over its competitors and Buick’s lineup as a whole. Plus, Buick deserves bonus points for channelling the look of  without breaking the bank.

The interior is where the Envista needs a bit more attention. Even with such low kilometres on this particular test car, much of the materials and panels already looked scratched-up and worn; I can’t imagine how it would look with an extra zero on the odometer. Aside from the low-rent materials, the overall look is certainly attractive, with blue stitching on the dash and seats breaking up the sea of black. Everything is easily within reach, and an eight-inch digital instrument cluster and 11-inch touchscreen for the infotainment live under one panel, again mimicking much more expensive SUVs. The gauge cluster layout is pretty basic, but the infotainment is responsive, easy to use, and both wireless AppleCarPlay and Android Auto are present.

As small as the Envista is, you do sit rather high. Visibility is excellent all around, so blind spots were never a complaint in our time with the Envista. It’s a tight fit for taller adults, however more average-sized will fit better and rear seat space is quite respectable. Cargo space, at 586 litres with the seats up and 1,189 when folded, is more than adequate and falls in-line with the competition. Most people don’t buy small SUVs like the Envista for the cargo space, anyway.

Power is another letdown with the Envista. You expect a bit of oomph, especially with the ST being the sport trim, but a Mazda CX-30 with the base engine offers more performance. The Envista uses a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, producing 137 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. With peak torque available at 2,500 rpm, the Envista ST feels peppy off the line, but quickly loses its breath on the highway, where it also sounds coarse especially under hard acceleration.

Thankfully, Buick uses a conventional six-speed automatic instead of a CVT, but the Envista is front-wheel-drive-only, unlike the closely related Encore. That alone is enough to dissuade many potential buyers in Canada or the northern parts of the U.S. Beyond that, the Envista ST is reasonably smooth and comfortable on the road, but the numb steering doesn’t instill a high level of confidence.

Fuel efficiency could be better for such a small crossover. You might expect much better fuel economy with only three cylinders, but in truth, these small engines need to be wrung out to get some semblance of power. During my test drive, I managed to achieve 9.5 L/100 km in a mix of city and highway driving; it’s quite a way’s off from the official estimates of 8.7 L/100 kilometres in the city, and 7.4 highway. Thankfully, regular-grade fuel is sufficient for the Envista. With gas as expensive as it is today, every little bit helps.

The entry level Envista Preferred trim starts at $26,999 before destination, taxes, and other fees, followed by the mid-level ST a step above at $28,299, and the range-topping Avenir at $31,899. Choosing a colour other than white automatically adds $495 to the sticker price, and our ST tester was equipped with the Experience Buick package, which for another $1,195 adds 19-inch wheels, a power moonroof, an upgraded rear suspension setup, and more. All-in, our Envision ST tester rang in at $29,989 as-tested.

While the 2024 Buick Envista ST has the looks, it does trail most of its competition as a value proposition. A similarly priced Mazda CX-30 looks just as good, offers a more premium interior, and more power. The Envista is a step in the right direction as Buick regains popularity here, however its competitors are moving at a faster pace in giving North Americans what they actually want.


Vehicle Specs
Subcompact crossover
Engine Size
1.2L turbocharged three-cylinder
Horsepower (at RPM)
137 hp @ 5,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
162 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
586/1,189 (seats up/down)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Jon Pangindian

Staff Writer

An experienced detailer and diehard car guy, Jon brings a creative eye to his new vehicle road tests. Aside from writing, Jon spends most of his time tinkering with new detailing products and experimenting with ceramic coatings.

Current Toy: ’13 650i Gran Coupé