Many of the reviews written around stately, premium sedans these days at one point or another use a reference to Buick including my review of the Hyundai Azera where I accused that Korean sedan of being so “Buicky.” Well, let’s take a look at the latest large car from General Motors’ premium brand in the form of the 2014 LaCrosse.
LaCrosse is the largest of the three passenger cars currently offered by Buick and shares its Epsilon II platform with the large sedan cousins over at Cadillac (XTS) and Chevy (Impala). While it is the largest Buick it is categorized as a midsize sedan in EPA vehicle classification and is said to be cross-shopped against Acura TL, Lexus ES and Lincoln MKZ. Sorry, Charlie, the big Buick is a full-sized sedan.
One interesting tidbit I found on Wikipedia concerning recent LaCrosse sales is that the model is selling twice as good in China as it is here in the U.S.
LaCrosse arrives with the 2.4-liter four with eAssist light electrification or the now bread-and-butter direct-injected 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for the larger engine that arrived in a recent test model in Premium 1 FWD package.
All new LaCrosse models are backed by six-speed automatic gearbox with manual shift mode (and steering wheel paddles) and sport mode available. Those with the V-6 can be ordered in fron t- or all-wheel drive and LaCrosse features real-time damping suspension with sport mode selectivity.
For the 2014 year model LaCrosse features some styling upgrades inside and out as well as receiving the latest safety and infotainment technologies including Land Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic Collision Preparation, with many of these features working in conjunction with GM’s new Safety Alert Seat where seat vibration pulses can alert the direction of the threat or danger.
Full Speed Adaptive Cruise Control is a nice feature we discovered on a road trip during our week with the car and we found out more than once just how well this technology works to even slam on the brakes for you if it feels uncomfortably close to a vehicle or object ahead.
The new LaCrosse is a very comfortable vehicle with plenty of space inside and in the trunk and while offering quite the sedate ride on the open road it did a fine job of tackling some twisty mountain roads we encountered on our travels. That trip found us utilizing both ends of the climate controls spectrum as we began in warm sunshine under seat ventilation mode with our final morning seeing the heated steering wheel called into duty.
The new 8-inch color display makes viewing the navigation screen easier and NavWeather and NavTraffic kept us informed of the latest threats to our happy trails that included sighting of Bison, Bald Eagle and even one scraggly black bear.
Pricing for the 2014 Buick LaCrosse in Premium 1 trim begins at $38,810 with this loaded tester arriving at $44,400. And about those fuel economy figures I mentioned earlier – this tester continuously saw better numbers than what the EPA puts on the window sticker.
If there is anything wrong with the new Buick LaCrosse it was certainly not discovered during the extended week this car spent here. Quiet, comfortable, smooth, safe – the 2014 Buick LaCrosse offers an enjoyable driving experience from the heart of the city to the cabin in the woods.