By Aaron Bragman on March 25, 2013
Buick's largest sedan is getting a makeover, pushing it further upscale with a more luxurious cabin and more aggressive styling. The 2014 Buick LaCrosse, unveiled at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, features more creased front and rear styling to keep the big sedan fresh, and to put some distance between it and its platform mate, the Chevrolet Impala. Other visual updates include a new front end with redesigned headlamps that use a new signature LED running light configuration and an available bi-xenon high-intensity discharge headlight system. A full-width chrome strip and new LED taillights complete the look out back.
Inside, new seats, updated materials and a redesigned center console create a more luxurious environment. Gone is the overdose of small, black plastic buttons that confused many drivers; in their place is a well-organized center stack with a minimal number of buttons. The setup looks far easier to use at a glance. Complaints about the last LaCrosse's button layout were apparently heard and addressed — the new radio, for example, has just seven buttons compared to the last one's 17.The latest IntelliLink system graces the center stack's 8-inch touch-screen, and capacitive-touch climate controls are employed to further simplify the car's layout. Another 8-inch display screen has taken over the gauge cluster. It's reconfigurable, similar to the units in Chrysler's latest products.
New for 2014 is the Ultra Luxury Interior Package, which brings unique Sangria and Ebony colors to the interior as well as semi-aniline leather seating, a faux suede headliner and real wood trim. A slew of new electronic safety features is also available, including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, collision preparation (with collision mitigation braking), full-speed-range adaptive cruise control and the Safety Alert Seat.
Powertrains carry over from the current model. The 2014 will use the familiar 2.4-liter four-cylinder eAssist mild hybrid as standard or an optional 3.6-liter V-6. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive an option.
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron