Buick Envista Sets Benchmark for ‘Affordable Premium’

The 2024 Envista’s great interior design should ignite new interest in the brand among all demographics.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

May 30, 2024

2 Min Read
Buick Envista Avenir seat with Whisper Beige stitching detail.

General Motors’ 125-year-old Buick brand has always stood for premium styling at affordable pricing. The 2024 Envista Avenir exemplifies this idea and delivers on one of our goals when picking 10 Best Interiors & UX winners: having a terrific interior at a compelling price.


The average transaction price for a new vehicle in 2024 is over $48,000, according to Cox Automotive. Yet, the price of the Envista starts at less than $24,000, and the top-of-the-ladder Avenir, which Wards’ judges tested for the competition, is less than $30,000. A well-tailored interior in which designers made smart decisions, the 5-seat CUV with a fastback look should be on the consideration list of anyone looking for value, styling and utility in one package.

Sit behind the sporty flat-bottom wheel, and you feel like you’ve got designer shoes for about $300 bucks. The Envista just feels like a smart purchase for the times

The Envista Avenir’s infotainment interface is dominated by a more than adequate 11-in. (28-cm) infotainment screen, which connects to the 8-in. (20-cm) driver screen, creating one big, fluid command center. There’s great balance between touchscreen controls in the center screen and physical controls for the HVAC system. Navigating through entertainment options and apps is instinctive with quick responses. Not to leave the traditional Buick buyer behind, there is a big volume knob many will like.

Buick Envista screen.jpeg

“The overall design is clean and simple, from the dashboard and screens to the ‘real thing’ on/off/volume button for the audio system,” says judge Jim Irwin. “And the designers did a very creditable job of making the plastic in the cockpit look attractive.”

The interior materials and executions are what makes the Envista Avenir feel like a suit you want to wear all the time. Leather-appointed seats have a stylish Whisper Beige stitching pattern on the seat backs and the Avenir name stitched into the headrest. The dark knit headliner is an easily overlooked detail, but helps add to the premium feel of the cockpit, with judge Dave Zoia noting the material is on par with the headliners in high-priced luxury models we evaluated this year.

Use of aluminum-look trim is well placed and styled air vents and rice-paper-pattern soft trim on doors are a nice touch, too.

Inclusion of both USB and a USB-C outlets in front and backseats are welcome details. A wireless phone charger and Wi-Fi hotspot are useful tech at an affordable price.

Improving the user experience is a chunky floor shifter, a good choice over fussy steering column shifters on other, pricier models.

Our judges also appreciated the small CUV’s great driver-seat lumbar support, roomy backseat, generous cargo space, fast phone pairing and CarPlay activation, as well as heated front seats and steering wheel.

All in all, Envista makes our list for how well-tailored and laid out, useful and enjoyable this classy-looking CUV is at an extraordinary price.

Buick Envista ext three quarter.jpeg

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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