When the current Buick LaCrosse first debuted back in 2010, it represented a new chapter in Buick design and performance, but newly-revitalized competitors such as the Lexus ES and the Chrysler 300 made the flagship Buick seem stale and outdated. Buick engineers aimed to solve this dilemma and have unveiled the final result of their efforts, the 2014 Buick LaCrosse. The car features reworked interior and exterior styling to make the Buick LaCrosse a compelling contender in the near luxury segment once again.
The exterior styling of the 2014 Buick LaCrosse is more of an evolutionary update than a ground up redesign, but Buick stylists have made several revisions that give the car a more elegant and refined appearance while also keeping things simple at the same time. The company’s signature waterfall grille is still present and accounted for but it is now larger and more distinct than the one found on the old car, which should give the new LaCrosse a more assertive face especially when paired with its newly redesigned headlamps which now feature LED running lights as well as optional HID headlamps for maximum illumination at night. The rear fascia of the 2014 LaCrosse has also been similarly updated and features new LED tail lamps as well as new framed exhaust tips for all models equipped with the 3.6 liter V6. Rounding out the changes are revised 18 and 19-inch wheels as well as an all new 20-inch option with all three choices featuring new designs which should give the big Buick some much needed style when viewed from the side.
The interior of the 2014 Buick LaCrosse has also been reworked, but follows the theme set by the exterior styling when it comes to elegance and simplicity. A good example of this new found simpleness is the revised center stack which shelves the misguided mess of buttons found in the old car (all 17 of them) in favor of a brand new touch screen infotainment system which is equipped with the latest iteration of Buick’s IntelliLink system, and only requires a mere seven buttons for items such as the climate control. Another eight inch screen in the instrument cluster (a distant nod to the setup found in the Cadillac XTS) features all digital gauges and replaces the analog units found in the old model. The seats are now more supportive and feature four-way adjustable headrests while new locations for the door panel-mounted window and lock controls solve the few ergonomic flaws the car had. When the 2014 LaCrosse arrives in Buick showrooms, it will debut a new “Ultra Luxury” Package which comes equipped with semi-aniline leather that is slathered on the center console armrest, seats, and door armrests while performance inspired faux suede trim makes up the headliner and door pillars. The 2014 LaCrosse also comes equipped with several safety features including forward collision alert, lane change warning, adaptive cruise control, GM’s clever “safety seat” which made its first appearance on the Cadillac XTS, and collision mitigation software to reduce the chance of an impending impact.
Performance for the 2014 Buick LaCrosse is largely carried over from the previous generation LaCrosse with a 2.4 liter four cylinder engine serving as the base LaCrosse engine. Good for 182 horsepower, the engine features the company’s familiar eAssist mild hybrid system which helps aide fuel economy and can even power the car when it is completely stopped thanks to a trunk-mounted battery. The battery can also assist the engine during acceleration but unlike pure hybrids such as the Toyota Prius, it lacks the ability to move the LaCrosse on electric power alone. The optional 3.6 liter V6 is also carried over from the previous generation model and is still good for 304 horsepower.
Regardless of which engine is selected, power is channeled to either the front or all four wheels through a six speed automatic gearbox which is the sole transmission choice available throughout the LaCrosse model range. Buick claims that buyers will notice better ride quality and sharper handling characteristics thanks to revised suspension components, while V6 models equipped with the optional Touring package now feature four way adjustable shock absorbers as well as Buick’s new HiPer strut system which promises to reduce unwanted torque steer behavior.
Look for the 2014 Buick LaCrosse to make its official debut tomorrow, just prior to the New York Auto Show (where Autosavant will be on hand), with deliveries expected to begin sometime this summer. Buick did not release official pricing or fuel economy estimates, but look for those details and more to be unveiled closer to the vehicles official launch.