Everyone can admit, whether you’re a driver or passenger, traveling in a full-size car is relaxing. The smoothness of the ride, the space and the comfort is a premium when compared to the average urban freeway fighter during that miserable everyday commute.
Buick’s LaCrosse has been a full-size industry leader, and sells well against other large cars in the segment (Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala, Toyota Avalon). The new 2014 LaCrosse is the next evolution of Buick’s luxury sedan, with improved Quiet Tuning engineering and many technical innovations. This new LaCrosse is truly a good reason for people to rethink their views about the Buick marque.
While Buick has been known for Quiet Tuning, it goes a step further in the new LaCrosse, making it one of the quietest cars in the category by reducing, blocking and absorbing unwanted cabin noise. Dare we say as quiet as a Cadillac, with which the LaCrosse shares some comfort features?
In addition to the quiet ride, the LaCrosse receives minor styling updates, such as new front and rear ends that included sculptured LED headlights and taillights, plus a choice of 17-, 18-, 19-, and 20-inch tires! We preferred the 20-inch tire option (available for the first time for 2014 models), as it gave the Buick a more solid ride feel than the 18-inch tire, plus felt sportier than the standard 17-inch tires. Another reason to buy the 20s is that the LaCrosse was equally as smooth as it was with the 19 inchers. Why the 20-inch tire combination felt great was because of the Sport Mode Selectivity that’s comes with the big tires. The Sport Mode Selectivity uses real-time dampers that “read” the road and instantly adapt the suspension to provide the optimum ride depending on the road surface.
The interior of the 2014 LaCrosse also has been improved, first and foremost with the noticeably old 17-button radio cluster reduced to just seven. An eight-inch touchscreen display now supports the updated IntelliLink infotainment system, which includes one great feature for 2014: Siri! Yes, Apple’s iPhone assistant is now integrated into the LaCrosse when using an iPhone. Interior colors such as Sangria, Ebony, Cocoa, Kyoto Maple wood, and shadow Tamo Ash wood are some of the new color/material configurations available. Buick also is featuring a new Ultra Luxury Interior Package, which was paired with the V-6 in the LaCrosse we drove; it seemed unbeatable in an American luxury sedan.
An array of safety features abounds in the new 2014 LaCrosse. With the addition of radar and camera systems, this Buick makes available many of today’s newest technologies such as Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Blind Zone Alert, Forward and Rear Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat, and Full Speed Adaptive Cruise Control.
There are two engine choices to match your desires: the standard 2.4-liter DOHC I-4 that makes 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, or the option we liked better, the 3.6L GDI V-6 good for an impressive 304 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. An AWD model also is available with either engines, and all are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4 also had eAssist, a battery technology system to help the engine with an added power boost, and for fuel savings.
The LaCrosse goes on sale at the end of this summer, and pricing starts at $34,060 including destination for the entry front-drive model, and $40,280 base for the LaCrosse Premium II trim. When it comes to luxury, comfort, and now technologies, the Buick LaCrosse is going to be hard to beat.
Written by Scott Killeen