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It's Not Your Grandfather's Buick
Buick has traditionally been a brand designed to appeal to an older demographic. General Motors might disagree, but take a look around at who drives the Buicks on the road next time you're out and about. A change is coming though, because the brand is getting more stylish and feature-packed. This means that the cars are becoming more appealing to a new audience.
Buick sales are rising in unpexected areas previously lacking in growth. The lines are fresh, the interior tech is top notch, and the ride is comfortable. It may be a bit cliché, but this new batch of Buicks just aren't for your grandfather anymore.
You can see this change in cars like the Verano, Encore, Regal GS, and, now, you can see it in the 2014 Buick LaCrosse.
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Classy and Subtle at the Same Time
Buick is on a mission to reestablish its name as one that stands for luxury cars with silky smooth rides. The 2014 LaCrosse will help immensely with this goal because it's a quiet-riding machine that is also exceedingly comfortable. The suspension is geared towards making sure the driver and his or her passengers float along the road. But you won't get those buyers into that cabin if the car doesn't look good on the outside too. That's what will help draw in buyers regardless of age.
Classic Buicks are wonderfully stylish machines that didn't shout in your face the way Cadillacs of the same era did. We're not knocking classic Caddys, of course, as those are ultra-cool fin-bearing machines, but it was Buick that was the more understated of the American luxury cars. The same is still true today, but gone are the boring cars that Buick has become known for. Today's lineup features vehicles with great shapes, sharp character lines, and well-sculpted edges.
The 2014 LaCrosse fits in perfectly with the rest of the family. There's a clearly pronounced rear fender that provides this four door with just the right amount of aggression. The multi-spoked optional 20-inch wheels look ultra sharp and help lend the stance a dash of luxury. Up front, the face is set off with a sharp grille that is clearly a Buick jewel piece. Off to the sides are the crisply cut headlamps that work tightly back from the front fascia into the fenders.
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Modern Luxury Inside
The exterior of the 2014 Buick LaCrosse may be subtly stylish, but it's inside the cabin where this premium machine starts to shine. Comfortably bolstered front buckets seats are set into a cabin that wraps around both the driver and front passenger. A large touch screen sits atop the center stack and relays all of the pertinent information. If you've been in pretty much any General Motors product in the last few years, the interface will be instantly familiar. If you haven't, you may be in for a treat.
A suite of apps are offered up to make the driving experience more enjoyable. Once your smartphone is paired, you now have access to Pandora and you can access your own music library by way of the standard Bluetooth hands-free connection. If you have an iPhone paired, you can also utiize the Siri functions on the phone by way of the built-in voice recognition system found inside the LaCrosse.
Buick has also listened to comments from existing customers to improve the cabin space of the LaCrosse. The cupholders have been moved to a better location. Rear seat comfort has been improved by the use of better foam, and the overall quality of the materials used in this space has been raised a few notches.
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The refreshed LaCrosse wouldn't be much if it only had a fairly sharp exterior paired with a well-sorted cabin space. It needs an engine, and it needs to drive in a manner that makes Lexus shoppers think twice. Under the hood sits a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which comes standard with the Buick eAssist mild-hybrid drivetrain. It's a fuel-concious unit that improves economy by 25 percent. This can be swapped out for the normal V6 as a no-cost option, of course.
The 3.6-liter V6 pumps out 304 horsepower and is paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic gearbox. That power can be sent to the front wheels or all four if you opt for the all-wheel-drive version. Though if you do desire the optional (and rather good looking) 20-inch wheels, you're going to need to keep drive duty to just the front rollers. All-wheel-drive lovers will have to stick to the 19-inch units.
On-road manners are rather refined, and the Buick boasts an incredibly quiet and composed driving experience. Lexus owners take note: if you think your car is quiet you should spend time in the LaCrosse to see what true sound isolation feels like.
The steering is light and the brakes are perfectly progressive. The result is a ride that is ultra smooth on the highway, and exceptionally easy around town.
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Buick is on the Comeback Trail
Buick has been slowly adding updated and all-new models to its lineup over the course of the last few years. The result is a fresh lineup populated by well-built premium machines that are suited to take on some seemingly more luxurious offerings in the segment.
What Buick presents here with the 2014 LaCrosse is a well-sorted, premium ride that should have Lexus owners thinking twice about their next purchase. Lexus is moving on to sportier machines, while the real quite, cozy ride now seems to wear the Buick badge.
Add in a starting price of just over $30,000 and you have a Buick that demands to be looked at by in-market shoppers. Sure, the most common LaCrosse will wind up being priced more closely to $40,000 but it's still a good deal even at that price point.
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