2014 Buick LaCrosse Sedan (3.6L V6 6-Speed Automatic)
Driven On 7/18/2013
The slightly refreshed 2014 LaCrosse sees few changes over last year's car and remains competitive with the Acura TL, Lexus ES 350 and Chrysler 300. The Buick scores with its comfortable ride and long features list, but loses points for the smallish trunk, slow IntelliLink interface and middling fuel economy.
PerformanceThe 304-hp V6 in the LaCrosse makes more power than competitors, but its performance is merely average. Its 4,076-lb weight may be to blame. Still, the LaCrosse's performance should satisfy buyers in this class.
0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds is more than adequate. Shifts are smooth and quick and there's no torque steer to speak of. The LaCrosse gets up to highway speeds and passes with confidence.
A panic stop from 60 mph takes 116 feet, which is better than competing sedans. There's plenty of nosedive and a slightly soft pedal, but it still feels confident.
Steering effort is extraordinarily light, making low-speed maneuvers effortless. There's little in the way of feedback, but it's still precise and trustworthy on curving roads.
Capable but not entertaining. Lots of body roll and its main rivals outhandle it on paper. But it's still plenty capable and confident enough for most drivers.
Well-mannered in daily driving, the LaCrosse is a willing and accomodating commuting partner. Light steering and narrow footprint make parking easy.
ComfortEmphasizing comfort over performance, the Lacrosse provides a pleasantly calm cabin. There's ample interior space and after hours of driving we emerged no worse for the wear.
All seats are adequately padded with eight-way power adjustments with 4-way lumbar up front. Lateral support is lacking, but larger folk should enjoy the roomier seats.
The LaCrosse is definitely tuned for comfort and easily smooths out rough surfaces. There's a good balance of comfort and composure without feeling floaty.
Wind and road noise are barely detectable over a variety of surfaces and speeds. Creaks from within are also well silenced. This kind of isolation approaches luxury sedan levels.
InteriorThe tasteful interior design with its wraparound dash is appealing, and materials are quite good for the class. The IntelliLink interface's slow reaction and the limited cargo capacity keep the LaCrosse from scoring higher.
The majority of controls are well placed and clearly labeled, but the touchscreen is a bit of a reach and angled away. The IntelliLink interface is frustratingly slow to react.
The elevated seat height makes getting in and out very easy, as does the tall door opening. No stooping required here. The same holds true for the rear seats.
As is typical for large sedans, the LaCrosse features a wealth of space in front and back seats with plenty of leg- and headroom for adult-sized passengers.
Thick A-pillars hamper visibility through turns and the high rear decklid requires reliance on the optional backup camera. Gauges and displays are placed well within sightlines.
Trunk space is below average at only 13.3 cubic feet, but can still carry a few golf bags with ease. Chevy's new Impala has 18.8 cu/ft. Inside the cabin, bins and door pockets are more than adequately sized.
ValueAt $44,800, this LaCrosse in Premium I trim is expensive for the segment and doesn't even include traditional navigation. Performance and quality are comparable, but a similarly equipped Chevrolet Impala, a close relative, is $6,485 less.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Interior materials are up to entry-level luxury standards and it feels solidly constructed. IntelliLink is terribly slow, but menus are simple and intuitive.
Real, map-based navigation should be included with this almost fully loaded LaCrosse. Opting for that costs $795. This tester included lane departure, collision alert, cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise.
A base LaCrosse's MSRP of $34,060 is competitive with other similarly equipped sedans in the class. The same holds true for the range-topping Premium 2 trim.
The LaCrosse's 21 mpg EPA Combined rating (18 city/28 hwy) is slightly lower than rivals' by 1-3 mpg. We averaged 29.9 mpg on our 116-mile evaluation loop and 26.4 mpg overall throughout our testing.
The Buick's 6-yr/70,000-mile drivetrain warranty is typical for cars in this class, as is the 4-yr/50,000-mile basic warranty.
Free scheduled maintenance for basic items is included for 2 yrs/24,000 miles. Six months of OnStar and Roadside assistance for 6 years/70,000 miles are also included.
Fun To DriveComfort supercedes any sporting intentions. Fun isn't on the menu with the LaCrosse but it's plenty capable for the typical Buick shopper.
This car puts you at ease. It neither begs to be driven hard, nor bores you into a stupor. In the absence of sporting performance, it has what it takes to be an excellent long-range cruiser.
The Buick LaCrosse is somewhat anonymous and lacking in personality, blending into the scenery as nothing more than a typical sedan with slight luxury leanings. Still a Buick to most.