Is the 2024 Buick Invista a good SUV? 5 pros, 4 cons

Is the 2024 Buick Invista a good SUV?  5 pros, 4 cons

Buick Invista 2024 | Cars.com photo by Stephen Pham

Written by Jim Travers

December 1, 2023

Buick’s latest offering is the 2024 Envista, a sleek, roomy alternative to traditional boxy SUVs that offers a more swooping roofline much like more expensive alternatives from upscale German brands.

Related: 2024 Buick Invista review: Lively and beautiful, but not expensive

With its sleek looks, seating for five, and the practicality of its hatchback design, the Envista subcompact is also Buick’s cheapest model for 2024 — though it’s about a foot longer than Buick’s other small SUV, the Boxier Encore GX. What you don’t get, however, is the availability of all-wheel drive or any powertrain options beyond the standard 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine. For either of these, you’ll want to look at the Encore GX; The Invista is front-wheel drive only.

But if price and passenger room are higher on your list of priorities than all-wheel drive, the Envista might be worth a look, Cars.com Detroit bureau chief Aaron Bragman recently decided after spending some time with Buick’s newest SUV. Click the link above for its full review; For a quicker breakdown, read on to learn five things we like about the 2024 Buick Invista and four things we don’t.

Things we love

Buick Invista 2024 | Cars.com photo by Stephen Pham

1. View from the helm

Visibility is surprisingly good in the Invista thanks to the low beltline and hood, relatively high seating position, and a great view of the rear despite the small rear and side windows. That’s something that can’t always be said about other coupe-cross designs He is you are welcome any time. The driver’s seating position is also good, with plenty of space all around even with the optional sunroof.

2. A room for the gang

The Envista is about a foot longer than the Encore GX, which translates to a surprisingly spacious interior for its size. There’s more than enough leg and headroom for both front and rear passengers despite the SUV’s choppy styling. One trade-off of not having AWD is the flat floor in the back row, which provides more room for three-seater seating.

3. Powertrain is acceptable

With the only available powertrain being a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo engine that produces just 137 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it would be reasonable not to expect much performance from the Invista. But Buick’s engineers did a commendable job of tuning the engine for more torque low in the rev range and giving more grunt than expected. There’s enough power around town, and the Envista has no trouble keeping up with freeway traffic.

4. Driving dynamics

The Invista is tuned more for comfort than performance, but it still delivers a surprisingly refined and engaging driving experience. The suspension is absorbent and well damped even with the 19-inch wheels and low-profile tires on our Touring-trim test car. The steering is greatly assisted with moderate feedback, and the brakes respond quickly with a firm pedal. What’s also impressive is how quiet the cabin is regardless of speed.

5. Affordable

Envista prices start at $23,495 for the base Preferred model, rising to $29,695 for the top Avenir model (all prices include destination charge). Load the Avenir with options, and you’ll find about $31,000. In an age when the average price of a new car is around $50,000, that makes the Invista a bargain.

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Things we don’t like

Buick Invista 2024 | Cars.com photo by Stephen Pham

1. Disappointing offers

The Envista’s attractive dashboard is largely shared with the Encore GX and includes a single glass panel that houses an 8-inch digital gauge cluster and an 11-inch touchscreen for the multimedia system. Unfortunately, both displays leave a lot to be desired, offering a rather dim and boring look, and lacking a lot of interesting configuration or graphics options. Competitors like Hyundai and Kia offer plenty of customization options and capabilities even on budget models.

2. Built on a budget

In an era where the quality of interior materials has improved even in lower-priced models, the Invista comes in rather low. Some of this is excusable due to the low price, but it’s confusing given the brand’s high-end ambitions. The fabrics, colors, and trim pieces are serviceable enough, but there’s also a fair amount of cheap-looking plastic inside. Evidence of cost-cutting is particularly visible in the backseat.

3. Shortcut to the basics

A closer look reveals more budget cuts, including some that are surprising given that the Envista’s missing features are common in competing vehicles. For example, there’s no rear wiper or washer, which is especially useful with the steeply sloped rear window. Further stress is evident in the lack of little things like height-adjustable seatbelts and one-touch auto-close windows.

4. There is no four-wheel drive option

The Invista isn’t the only small crossover without all-wheel drive; Rivals like the Kia Soul Soldier without it, and Buick offers buyers the similarly sized Encore GX with all-wheel drive. But since it’s an important feature for many buyers, it’s worth mentioning again that Envista doesn’t offer it.

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The Cars.com Editorial Department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In keeping with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers do not accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The editorial department is independent of the advertising, sales and sponsored content departments of Cars.com.

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