Car Buyer Labs

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A red 2022 Buick Envision is shown parked outside of a modern home.

Not Your Grandpa’s Buick: The 2022 Envision vs 2022 Ford Escape

Over the years, Buick has become synonymous with an older base of customers. Think the grandad who had a Riviera in the ’70s when he was rebellious and a LeSabre in the ’90s when he became responsible. Today’s Buick, however, paints a far different picture. Buicks are being bought by an increasingly younger clientele. And younger buyers want SUVs. Like its rival, Ford, Buick has switched gears to exclusively produce SUVs in recent years. But, do they hold up against a brand as recognized for sport utility manufacturing as Ford? Can you compare the 2022 Buick Envision vs 2022 Ford Escape?

The short answer is: yes. The 2022 Envision is Buick’s entry into the crowded and ever-evolving market of compact crossover SUVs. Now in its second generation, the Envision stands as an example of what one company is doing to attract a new clientele by changing its image.
But apart from that, how does the Envision hold its own against the tried-and-true Escape, which has been in production for over 20 years? Let’s find out.

What Makes a Modern SUV?

The qualities that make an SUV an SUV are numerous and vary for each buyer. For the sake of comparison, we’ve boiled it down to five essentials we think a modern buyer would be looking for in a compact utility vehicle.

  • Capability – Basically, what we’re looking at here is what it can do. Is it equipped enough to handle tricky road conditions? Longer drives? Can it tow at all?
  • Space – One of the chief reasons people buy SUVs is for the promise of space. Space for passengers. Space for luggage. Space for innumerable pets or potted plants. Whatever suits your fancy.
  • Tech – There’s no getting around it, tech in cars is here, and it’s here to stay. That being said, it helps if the tech is user-friendly and enhances the driving experience instead of frustrating it.
  • Style – First and foremost, we buy cars because we like how they look. Modern styling offers unique looks for what is, essentially, a box on wheels.
  • Comfort – No one wants to be uncomfortable when they drive. Comfort is a huge selling point for cars and should be regarded with some decent scrutiny.

Clear enough? Good. We’ll be off then.

A grey 2022 Ford Escape Titanium Hybrid is shown during a 2022 Buick Envision vs 2022 Ford Escape competition.


The standard engine for all trim levels of the 2022 Envision is a 2.0L Turbo EcoTec 4-cylinder, mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, putting out 228hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Envision is rated to tow a maximum of 1,500lbs, which is not bad for its size. For the 2022 Escape, the base engine is a 1.5L EcoBoost mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, putting out 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Towing for this engine is 2,000 lbs.

Both the Envision and the Escape come available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Depending on what part of the country you live in, this could be an added bonus if you regularly experience conditions that require all four wheels to be working in tandem. Though, if fuel mileage is of some concern, the front-wheel drive models will help you save a bit of fuel as well as offer a lower purchase price.


Whether you’re making a road trip, hauling kids, or just looking for something more spacious, the Envision will provide you with the ability to seat up to five passengers, three of which will get 39.3 inches of legroom in the back seats. Cargo-wise, you’re looking at 52.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded and 25.2 cubic feet with them up. This is more than enough to handle a trip to the garden center, soccer field, or hardware store.

The Escape can also seat five passengers with relative ease. Cargo space is 65.4 cubic feet with the rear seats down, and 37.5 cubic feet with them folded up. The rear legroom also sees a slight nudge up at 40.7 inches. In comparison, the Envision is slightly smaller than the Escape, but it still manages to be competitive within the segment. And a smaller SUV is not necessarily worse. In fact, in certain situations, it could be an advantage.


Since Buick has made its name as a premium brand, it makes perfect sense that the tech in its vehicles would be a step up. Depending on the trim level, the Envision is equipped with either an 8-inch or 10.2-inch color touchscreen. The Escape tops out with an 8-inch touchscreen, but its base trim only comes standard with a tiny 4.2-inch LCD display, putting it far behind the Envision.

The Envision’s entertainment package includes a 3-month trial subscription to SiriusXM Platinum, and your smartphone can connect with standard Wireless Apple CarPlay or Wireless Android Auto. The touchscreen is also oriented towards the driver, making it quite clear who is intended to be in control of the car’s tech. No unwelcome passenger volume adjusting here.

Buick also offers QuietTuning noise cancellation, which uses a suite of unique technologies designed specifically by Buick to help reduce noise and create a quieter, more comfortable interior. There is also the gamut of safety tech, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, an HD rear vision camera, and OnStar services.

The Escape offers its fair share of tech, with Ford’s SYNC software and FordPass 4G WiFi standard, along with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Ford’s safety package is also included with BLIS blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane keep assist.

A unique comparison here: in order to change gear in the Envision, there is a set of electronic buttons, and in the Escape, there is a rotary dial. Depending on your feeling towards gear shifters, this may be something to take note of.

A black 2022 Buick Envision is shown parked in a driveway outside of a modern home.


Both the Envision and the Escape differ in style in several notable ways. It has a far more streamlined, athletic look that, for people who know Buick, somewhat evokes the sharp lines of the muscle cars of old. There are rigid lines along the door panels, standard 18-inch wheels, and a very aggressive face with angled headlights and a thin, slightly frowning grill.

The Escape, by contrast, is very gentle and rounded. Lacking any real aggressiveness and instead opting for a gentler, more tapered look, the Escape is easy on the eyes and comes as a stark contrast to the angular models of the past. However, it doesn’t grab the sporty look that the Envision has captured. The Escape is far more a classic SUV with rounded edges, while the Envision is more of a sporty car with SUV thrown in here and there.

Style is all a matter of personal preference, but besides the fact they share a common ancestry, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more different-looking compact SUVs.


Finally, we’re onto comfort, and it should come as no surprise that the Buick has the upper hand here. As you might expect from a modern luxury vehicle, the interior is very refined. Lots of leather and softer materials. Heated front seats are standard on the Essence and Avenir trims, but only an option on the base Preferred trim. The Envision also comes with advanced air filter technology, which uses microfilters to remove dust and pollutants from the cabin, leading to a more comfortable breathing space. The ride is also smooth and absorbs bumps in the road.

The closest thing the Escape has to the Envision’s interior is the Titanium Elite package. The Escape Titanium comes with dual-tone leather seats, perforated inserts for seat heating, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Otherwise, the Escape is relatively simple, with standard cloth seats and lots of hard plastic surfaces.

Buick Has Upped Its Game

Despite being relatively new to the SUV game, Buick is able to hold its own against the likes of Ford with its own unique touches. While it may be smaller and, on paper, less capable than the Escape, the Envision provides drivers with exceptional tech, modern styling, and premium comfort. If you’re thinking of buying a compact SUV with a more luxurious side but without the high price tag of a full-blown luxury brand, the 2022 Buick Envision may just be your ticket.