The Buick LaCrosse is fresh for 2014 with a variety of improvements in almost every area, but with pricing that holds the base line at $34,000.
The outside is sharper than before with LED and bi-xenon lighting up front, while new LED styles for the brake lights come in out back.
Inside, everything takes a step toward classier finishes and surfaces, while tech integration for the touchscreen infotainment and active safety is now one of the best from any luxury brand.
Larger wheels all around are a LaCrosse feature for 2014 as well, but the most notable improvements to this smooth full-size sedan really come from its manners on the road.
A far stiffer chassis than ever before is married to the traditional Buick attributes of smooth, quiet and safe cruising. The increased rigidity for the platform brings only benefits, including a ride that is just as cozy as before in standard settings, but with a firmer ride selectable electronically, as well, for windy mountain roads.
During its stay here a few weeks ago, the LaCrosse’s benefits were clear from the moment we sat in its huge leather chairs.
Our tester was the 304-horsepower, V-6 model, but almost all of the new tech and other updates also apply across the new-for-2014 eAssist hybrid model at the base side of the price range.
For this much roominess and comfort, the only other contenders in the Buick ’s $35,000 to $45,000 segment are the revised Lincoln MKZ or the smaller Audi A6.
How does the flagship Buick define itself in a segment filled with other classy limousine options?
Exterior – 2014 Buick LaCrosse – Driven
The exterior of the LaCrosse actually really shines as one of its key selling points. The overall shape is quite refined and mature, without too much detailing to the rear or profile an especially helpful change versus past Buicks.
Even the nose is much cleaner than ever before, with LED daytime running lights forming a deep eyebrow above each headlamp up front. The glossy grey finish of the latest Buick waterfall grille is also handsome in person, despite seeming quite large in photos.
The more-subtle finish of the internal grille bars in grey makes a big difference for the LaCrosse. This Buick flagship still wears a double helping of chrome trim for the grille’s outside edge, but it blends with the headlights and bright-work of the wheels very nicely.
Exterior Updates for 2014
– New front fascia, sculpted hood and more prominent waterfall grille
– Lower front active grille shutters are included on every model and close at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag
– New headlamp designs, with available Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge lamps (HID), Articulating Headlamps and LED wing-shape signature lighting
– New rear fascia and deck lid, with integrated spoiler
– New wraparound taillights with LED lighting.
Interior – Buick LaCrosse – Driven
The interior of the LaCrosse feels really solidly assembled and comfortable versus the largest previous Buick : the discontinued Lucerne.
Where much of the interior of previous Buick s felt fragile and moments from snapping off, the new cabin is extremely well-assembled with almost zero flex or movement from any dashboard or trim fittings.
A new center stack design joins the LaCrosse for 2014 along with a full suite of available active safety systems. The lane alerts and the GM Safety Seat are actually pretty subtle and helpful, or can be disabled as needed.
The Heads-Up-Display is a particular highlight because of its adjustable height on the windshield, its full-color display, and overall outstanding graphics versus the first few generations of HUD systems.
2014 Buick LaCrosse – Interior Updates for 2014
– New instrument panel “center stack” and integrated floor console with more storage
– Configurable eight-inch color driver information and cluster display
– New, more comfortable front seats with four-way adjustable headrests
– New door panels with revised door lock, seat memory and trunk release controls
– New, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package with a synthetic suede headliner and pillars coverings, semi-aniline leather seating, authentic Tamo Ash wood trim and more
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 décor
– Ebony, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Cellini Wood décor
– Choccachino seating/Cocoa accents, with Soleil Keisel leather seats with contrast stitching and Phantasm Wood-style décor.
2014 Buick LaCrosse – Standard Features – Buick LaCrosse – Driven
– 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
– StabiliTrak electronic stability control with full-function traction control
– Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Intelligent Brake Assist
– OnStar (complimentary six months of Directions and Connections service)
– Premium audio system with AM/FM/SiriusXM Radio/XM Travel Link (with three months of service), Bluetooth, USB port, CD player, auxiliary input jack, steering wheel-mounted controls, Buick IntelliLink eight-inch color touch-screen radio
– Leather-wrapped steering wheel
– Dual-zone automatic climate control
– Remote keyless entry
– Power windows with driver and front passenger express up/down
– Heated and power outside rearview mirrors
– Electric parking brake
– High-resolution driver information center
– Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
– Eight-way power seat in addition to four-way power driver lumbar
– Remote start
– Universal Home Remote
The back seat is huge and very, very comfortable. Climate controls, a regular 12-volt plug and also a regular, three-socket power outlet are reachable from the back seat.
Trunk Detail – Buick LaCrosse – Driven
Worth noting about the trunk is that, while it is a great flat shape and very accessible, the size is not huge compared with the Chevy Impala and other full-size sedans. The LaCrosse can fit 13.3 cubic feet of cargo in the trunk with the V-6, but down to just above 10 cubic feet for the hybrid eAssist model.
Performance Feel Analysis – Buick LaCrosse – Driven
The LaCrosse rides quite smoothly and silently over almost any surface, without any of the previous feedback or vibration perceptible over rough roads in even Cadillac sedans.
The helm is now defined by a much firmer and more responsive steering wheel that offers some tactile feedback despite its main mission to isolate and comfort drivers.
There is even some poise in corners once the big LaCrosse has settled into a steering angle, no doubt helped by the combination of active dampers, soft springs, and huge wheels.
2014 Buick LaCrosse – Mechanical Details
Engine 3.6-liter 24-valve V-6
Transmission Six-Speed Auto
Powertrain Layout Front-engine, Front-drive (AWD Opt)
Power (Horsepower) 304 @ 6,800 rpm
Torque (Torque) 264 @ 5,300 rpm
0-60 mph (Seconds) 7.4, est
Top Speed (MPH) 130, est
EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) 18/28/NA FWD, 16/26/NA AWD
Pricing and Availability – 2014 Buick LaCrosse – Driven
The 2014 Buick LaCrosse is available now from $34,060, including the $925 destination charge.
For all the features and specifications of the 2014 LaCrosse, cruise over to the full review here .
Ultra Luxury interior package $2,495
Driver Confidence I package $2,125
Driver Confidence II package $1,745 (must be paired with the Driver Confidence I package)
No longer just a retirement castle Cadillac, the latest generation of Buick LaCrosse brings all the most important benefits in ride and rear-seat luxury of the Caddy XTS – but for a cool $20,000 less in most cases.
When paired with the Buick’s silent cruising manners and high-tech cabin features, this LaCrosse is a real winner for luxury limo buyers with a $40,000 budget.
– Huge inside but easy to drive and park
– Very, very comfortable seats and ride smoothness
– Vastly improved style
– Strongly consider AWD option for V-6
– Trunk volume is a little less than expected
– V-6 model is the highway smoothness champ with power to spare
– LaCrosse eAssist Hybrid an option for great mileage, but less performance
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.