2014 vs. 2013: Here's what's new at Buick this year
Although there are no totally new entries in Buick's five-vehicle corral for 2014, all models roll into showrooms with at least some updates. A shorthand summary of each model follows, with basic MSRP pricing for the various trim levels.
2014 Buick Enclave
Buick's big three-row SUV continues to be the king of GM's trio of full-size crossovers, with classy interiors, quiet operation, respectable power, and lots of room for seven or eight passengers. The Enclave continues to be offered with front- or four-wheel drive in three trim levels: Convenience (1SD, from $39,665, $41,665 with all-wheel drive); Leather (1SL, from $43,680, AWD $45,680); and Premium (1SN, from $47,240, AWD $49,240 AWD). Modest changes for 2014 include a pair of USB ports in the rear of the center console for smart phone and/or computer charging; updates to the Intellilink infotainment system (satellite radio tune select and text-to-voice); lane departure warning; and forward collision alert.
2014 Buick Encore
Created on the same architecture that supports Chevrolet's Sonic subcompact hatchback, the little Encore crossover was new to the Buick lineup for 2013. Consequently, 2014 updates are minimal: upgrades to the voice-activated IntelLilink infotainment system (smart phone voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free, test message support); and the availability of rear cross traffic alert and blind spot proximity warning. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the Encore is offered in four trim levels: Encore (from $25,085, $26,585 with all-wheel drive); Convenience (1SD, from $26,710, AWD $28,210); Leather (1SL, from $28,410, AWD $29,910; and Premium (1SN, from $29,890, AWD $31,390).
2014 Buick LaCrosse
Lacrosse is Buick's premier sedan, as well as its biggest. It's also the car that's most reminiscent of Buick's heyday as a purveyor of roomy, easy-riding sedans with plenty of power and an appetite for the open road. Freshened for 2014, the LaCrosse sports a redesigned front fascia enhanced by LED headlight liners, with the option of bi-Xenon headlamps, and a going away view brightened by LED taillamps. Although there has been some suspension retuning, powertrains and structure are basically unchanged. But the interior has been extensively redesigned with new seats, new instrumentation, higher grade materials, and a new Ultra Luxury package option. Like other Buicks, the IntelliLink infotainment system has been updated, and a new configurable 8-inch color display, for nav system and secondary controls, dominates the center of the dashboard. Safety features include a blind zone alert, lane change alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic collision preparation. There are four trim levels: the basic LaCrosse (1SB, from 34,060); Leather (1SL, from $36,135, add $3605 for all-wheel drive); Premium (1SP, from $39,735, add $2035 for all-wheel drive); and Premium II (1SR, from $40,280).
2014 Buick Regal
The Regal is Buick's mid-size sedan, and the hottest performer in the lineup, and the recipient of the most extensive revisions for 2014. Front and rear fascias have been redesigned, with slightly different looks for the standard Regal and the higher performance GS version. Interiors have also been updated-new materials, including standard leather, and upscale décor for the standard Regal, sporty black for the GS-as has the IntelliLink infotainment system, and like other Buicks there are new safety options: blind zone warning and rear cross-traffic alert prominent among them. But the biggest changes are mechanical. A new direct injection 2.0-liter turbo four replaces the previous 2.0-liter, and becomes the standard engine, replacing the 2.4-liter four and supplemental electric motor in the eAssist mild hybrid, which becomes an optional package. Generating 259 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, it propels both the standard Regal, where it represents a big bump in output, and the GS, where its rating is slightly lower than the 270 hp of the previous GS engine. On the other hand, fuel economy ratings rise, either with the standard six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission, the latter limited to GS front-drive models. That distinction is important, because the 2014 Regal also includes an all-wheel drive option for the first time (not offered with the eAssist powertrain). Other changes include revisions to the suspension tuning, softer in the standard Regal, firmer in the GS. Regal pricing: Regal (1SL, from $30,615, $32,790 with AWD); Premium I (1SN, from $32,485, $34,660 AWD); eAssist (1SN, $32,485); Premium II (from $34,685, AWD $36,860); GS (1SX, from $37,830, AWD $40,195).
2014 Buick Verano
Extensively updated for 2013, with the addition of a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine option, the Verano enters 2014 largely unchanged. Significant updates include heated front seats, standard on the top three trim levels; second generation Intellilink infotainment system with smartphone voice recognition, Siri Eyes Free, and text message support; new safety options (forward collision alert and lane departure warning); and one new color (smoky gray metallic). Pricing starts at $24,625 for the basic Verano (1SD); Convenience (1SG, $25,795); Leather (1SL, from $27,825); and Turbo (1ST, from $29,990). The Verano Turbo offers the choice of a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission at no extra cost.
Where to Next?
See the 2014 Buick Regal, now with more horsepower and all-wheel drive
Check out the 2014 Cadillac XTS and its optional twin-turbo V6
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