The 2014 Buick LaCrosse represents an evolution of the landmark luxury sedan that established the brand's modern sedan lineup with design leadership and technological innovation.
The full-size Buick LaCrosse offers new interior and exterior design cues, advanced safety technologies and enhanced in-vehicle connectivity. New front and rear styling, featuring available signature wing-shape LED daytime running lamps and LED wraparound taillamps, complements its sculpted exterior design. The interior is more contemporary, with new seats, enhanced materials, redesigned central instrument panel and console - and an all-new, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package. The cabin also incorporates Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system, with intuitive controls and natural voice recognition.
New radar- and camera-based safety features help surround the new LaCrosse with protection. They include Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic Collision Preparation. GM's patented Safety Alert Seat works with many of these features, providing seat vibration pulses indicating the direction of a potential crash threat.
Full Speed Adaptive Cruise Control is also offered. It senses traffic in front of the Buick LaCrosse to adjust vehicle speed, including bringing the vehicle to a complete stop and accelerating again.
"We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and enhanced the safety and personal technologies to give customers more reasons than ever to rediscover Buick," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing.
Globally, Buick LaCrosse sales have exceeded 500,000 since its 2009 introduction and U.S. sales topped 57,000 in 2012, making it more popular than many other full-size luxury sedans, including Lexus ES, Acura TL and Lincoln MKZ.
The 2014 LaCrosse is offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models and offers two powertrains: a 2.4L engine with eAssist light electrification technology (FWD only) or a 3.6L direct-injected V-6 (FWD and AWD). Each is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
All models feature Buick's QuietTuning engineering process that reduces, blocks and absorbs unwanted noise from the LaCrosse's cabin, making it one of the quietest in the segment.
The suggested retail price is $34,060, including a $925 destination charge.
Buick LaCrosse is available in a four trim levels, including LaCrosse (1SB), Leather (1SL), Premium I (1SP) and Premium II (1SR). Standard equipment on all trims includes:
Eight air bags, including rear-seat thorax air bags
A more expressive design
Buick LaCrosse's flowing, sculpted styling helped redefine Buick's design language at its introduction in 2009. The 2014 LaCrosse introduces a more expressive interpretation of that successful design, with elements and cues that enhance the car's well-planted, wide stance. Highlights include:
New front fascia, sculpted hood and more prominent waterfall grille
The Buick LaCrosse's new appearance is instantly recognizable as a modern Buick and the LED lighting elements enhance its technologically advanced presence. The headlamp housings, for example, have a more angular appearance and LED signature accents that echo a familial appearance introduced on the 2013 Enclave crossover. They've also been positioned slightly outboard to reinforce the car's presence.
The new Bi-Xenon headlamps incorporate new technology with enhanced brilliance that improves visibility, is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly (mercury-free). Articulating Headlamps are paired with these HID lamps, turning them with the direction of the front wheels to enhance visibility around corners.
At the rear, a full-width chrome accent reinforces the car's stance, while fully enclosed exhaust outlets (3.6L models) are framed with a chrome finish within a new rear fascia. It's a more integrated appearance designed to show Buick's attention to detail. An integrated rear spoiler is incorporated in the trailing edge of the deck lid to help improve aerodynamic performance and new LED taillamps - in all-new, wraparound housings - provide a safety benefit by illuminating more quickly than conventional bulbs when the brakes are applied.
In the front and rear, Buick LaCrosse's new LED lamps continue the wing-shaped signature appearance that distinguishes Buicks day and night.
New interior environment
The 2014 LaCrosse's interior creates a more contemporary ambience and supports the integration of Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system. Highlights include:
New instrument panel "center stack" and integrated floor console with more storage
While the Buick LaCrosse's new interior brings more amenities and enhanced personal technology with next-generation IntelliLink, it does so with greater simplicity. The new center stack radio controls, for example, have only seven buttons vs. the previous 17. The large, eight-inch color touch screen is designed to be easier to operate with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. Dual-zone climate controls also feature capacitive-touch operation and are framed in chrome.
The rear-seat headrests fold down to enhance rearward visibility, while the new four-way adjustable front headrests are designed to provide a greater range of comfort, particularly for taller drivers.
Four interior color/trim combinations are available for 2014:
Light Neutral seating/Cocoa accents, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Kyoto Maple wood-style dÃ©cor
Ultra Luxury Interior Package
Sangria seating color and Ebony accents, with semi-aniline leather seats and trim, along with Shadow Tamo Ash wood dÃ©cor, represents LaCrosse's new Ultra Luxury Interior Package.
"The warm color combinations, premium interior materials and advanced technology in the 2014 LaCrosse provide the interior environment our discerning luxury customers are seeking," said Ven Lai, Buick creative designer for color and trim.
The new Ultra Luxury Interior Package features premium semi-aniline leather. It covers the seats, console armrest and door armrests and is complemented by synthetic suede on the headliner and door pillars. The Sangria contrast color with the Ultra Luxury interior is exclusive to LaCrosse.
LaCrosse's use of Buick's unique QuietTuning engineering defines Buick quality, sound and vibration characteristics and refinement by following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds.
Buick LaCrosse's specific QuietTuning features include acoustical laminate on the windshield and front side glass; steel laminate on the front-of-dash body area; expanded baffles in the roof pillars; extensive use of melt-on sound deadeners throughout the entire lower body structure; and sound-absorbing material throughout LaCrosse's engine, passenger and cargo compartments.
Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system debuts on the 2014 LaCrosse. It offers more features designed for intuitive, easy-to-use functionality and incorporates a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options building on the safety and security of OnStar.
In addition to easily identifiable icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, next-generation IntelliLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be highly customizable. It also features natural language voice recognition, which allows customers to safely place calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do.
The system can store up to 60 favorites, including radio stations (AM/FM/XM), tone settings, contacts, destinations and music from other media. This feature is convenient for those who travel to the same destination regularly and want to save locations such as hotels and restaurants.
On its eight-inch screen, customers can swipe and drag. Users with compatible smartphones can pair them with IntelliLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection. This gives customers the ability to play passengers' music or other media through the vehicle.
Another feature allows customers whose Buick LaCrosses are equipped with available embedded navigation to enter destinations in a single step, without having to enter the state, city, street number and street name in successive efforts. City-by-city weather reports are also provided, so XM Travel Link customers can access the service via the screen display.
A new audio system conveys the music and radio selections called up through IntelliLink's myriad of infotainment options. Featuring seven standard speakers - including strategically placed tweeters- the system was developed to complement LaCrosse's quiet, acoustically optimized interior with rich sound. An 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is available.
New safety features
The 2014 LaCrosse employs new safety features with carefully developed directional alerts that help drivers quickly identify potential crash situations so they can react. They include radar- and camera-based features offered in two Driver Confidence packages:
Driver Confidence 1 package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with Articulating Headlamps, fog lamps and Head-Up Display.
The Collision Mitigation Braking feature can intervene in certain crash-imminent situations, automatically triggering emergency braking if the driver fails to respond to a previous alert. The Safety Alert Seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the crash threat.
The Buick LaCrosse is one of the first vehicles to offer Lane Change Alert, which warns the driver of fast-approaching vehicles in the next lane that are up to 230 feet (70 meters) behind the car.
LaCrosse's safety features also include eight standard air bags, including rear-seat thorax air bags, StabiliTrak, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist. A rear-vision camera is available.
Efficient, refined driving experience
The Buick LaCrosse is equipped with a choice of two efficient engines: the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine with e Assist light electrification technology, rated at 182 horsepower (136 kW); and an available 3.6L V-6 rated at 304 horsepower (227 kW). Both are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions.
Buick LaCrosse with eAssist uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability. Instead of providing all-electric propulsion, the system provides power assistance to the internal combustion engine. The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration situations, or at a stop, which saves additional fuel.
New 17-, 18-, 19- and 20-inch tires, along with revisions to some chassis and suspension elements, contribute to stronger handling across the model range, while new wheel designs - including LaCrosse's first 20-inch wheel - match driving experience with style. LaCrosse is also available with an advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system with electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that automatically decides how to distribute torque based on vehicle speed, throttle position and individual wheel slip. It also contributes to a refined driving experience, with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn't required, for a quieter, smoother ride.
Available on 3.6L front-wheel-drive models with 19- or 20-inch wheels is real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity, which uses four electronically controlled dampers to constantly "read" the road and make adjustments within milliseconds. It also features Buick's HiPer Strut front suspension, which enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer, delivering more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and delivering improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.
Electric power steering is standard on models with the 2.4L engine, as well as 3.6L-equipped front-drive models. This technology helps save fuel by drawing energy only when the wheels are turned. It also contributes to the Buick LaCrosse's driving experience with variable assistance at different vehicle speeds.