2014 Buick LaCrosse is like 100mph Butter
December 4, 2013—I signaled and swung into the right lane, star-lit saguaros and mile markers whizzing past, as the transmission downshifted. My right foot was already buried in the carpet. Ahead of me, and now to the left, a twelve car convoy vanished into little red dots in the darkness at a less-than-brisk sixty mph. I cursed them all and heard a gasp from the back seat as the 2014 Buick LaCrosse surged forward.
Buick would like me to tell you all about the electronics and gizmos that pack the 2014 LaCrosse or just how quiet the cabin is (very), but all I really care about is the driving experience. Sorry, Buick, this is Wide Open. Please allow me to explain that even though my passengers may have been frightened momentarily during passing maneuvers I never once heard the dreaded, “please slow down for the LOVE OF GOD, youaregoingtokillus!” You may be surprised but it happens to me with alarming regularity. Indeed, there was no backseat driving at all.
That it didn’t happen on our drive from Venice, CA to Scottsdale, AZ borders on water-into-wine miraculous when you consider my passengers: my fiancé and her parents. My fiancé’s folks are both very nice, polite people. I’d like to think that their disposition coupled with my smooth driving allowed me to flirt with (and sometimes exceed) triple-digit speeds, but in fact all credit should go to the LaCrosse.
Simply put, the suspension is tuned well for medium/high-speed interstate driving. The car is just butter-cliché smooth. But don’t misunderstand; this is definitely not the easy-chair land-yacht of Buick’s past. The operative word for the LaCrosse truly is smooth, but the ride has firmness to it and the steering does provide decent feedback (personally, I’d like more but I’m convinced everyone should be driving a Formula One car, so take it with a grain of salt).
In fact, the only thing that threatened my, and perhaps my passengers’, perception of the Buick’s silkiness was the car’s transmission. The six-speed automatic isn’t bad, it just hunts a bit too much and seems to hesitate when you mash the gas pedal (aka the worst possible moment). But the engine is strong and makes ample torque to the point where freeway passing is effortless and doesn’t allow your future in-laws to question whether or not you’ll complete the pass or smack into the back of an eighteen-wheeler.
We flew through the dark desert uneventfully and we made it to Scottsdale in very good time, especially considering the Thanksgiving-holiday traffic. In fact, the most upsetting incident of the whole drive was listening to an eighteen-minute (!) live version of Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” off my future father-in-law’s iPod (upsetting for my fiancé, I enjoy folk music). Most importantly, my future in-laws haven’t forbidden me from marrying their daughter. Thank you, Buick!
Would I buy this car as tested for its roughly forty-five thousand dollar price tag? Probably not, but not because it’s a bad car. I think it’s actually quite good, but there are many cars at that price point that are also more than capable. Anyway, I’d rather save my money for something that doesn’t allow for the possibility of rear seat complaints. [kiWO]