Unveiled in New York, the 2014 Buick LaCrosse is a mid-cycle evolution of the current car that brings visual and functional enhancements that should bolster the competitive position of the automaker's front-drive flagship sedan. The updating process also includes the introduction of new available safety technologies.

Offering a more expressive take on its exterior styling, the 2014 LaCrosse carries over all of its body panels but features revised nose and tail treatments with edgier soft fascias. Up front, a more prominent waterfall grille is flanked by recast headlamps that have wing-shaped LED running lights and are available with Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge lamps that include corner-following Active Forward Lighting. Both 4-cylinder and V6 LaCrosse models also feature new active shutters in the lower grille to help reduce aero drag at higher speeds. The recast tail boasts wraparound LED taillamps, a full-width chrome accent element and an integrated decklid spoiler, plus new enclosed dual exhaust outlets on cars fitted with the V6 engine.

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A similar kind of upgrade has taken place inside of the 2014 Buick LaCrosse's roomy passenger compartment. All versions get a new configurable 8.0-inch color electronic main instrument display as well as a like-sized configurable touch-screen in the center stack. The seats have been redesigned for greater comfort, there's more space in the console and the door panels have a more sophisticated look. A new Ultra Luxury Interior Package offers synthetic suede on the headliner and pillars, semi-aniline leather on the seats and Tamo Ash wood trim. Upgraded audio and available navigation systems feature enhanced connectivity thanks to a new-gen IntelliLink infotainment package.

The formidable roster of standard passenger-protection features on the 2014 Buick LaCrosse can be further upgraded with the addition of two new radar- and camera-based Driver Confidence Packages that include Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, HID headlamps with Active Forward Lighting, Head-Up Display, Collision Preparation (with Collision Mitigation Braking), full-range Adaptive Cruise Control and the Safety Alert Seat.

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There are no powertrain changes on the 2014 LaCrosse, which continues to offer the 182-horsepower/2.4-liter 4-cylinder base engine with eAssist and the 304-horse/3.6-liter direct-injected V6 that allows buyers to opt for either front- or all-wheel drive. Both engines are backed by a 6-speed automatic transmission. Minor chassis tweaks -- including the V6-only Touring Package that brings real-time adjustable damping -- reportedly improve handling while new 18-/19-/20-inch alloy wheels add a bit more curb appeal.

The 2014 Buick LaCrosse arrives in dealers this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the actual on-sale date.


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