Buick LaCrosse Performance
While reviewers disagree about whether the 2014 Buick LaCrosse eAssist model’s engine is refined or powerful enough, they like its excellent fuel economy. At least one reviewer thinks the V6 model is the better choice because of its much stronger acceleration. Critics agree that the LaCrosse has a comfortable, quiet ride and competent handling for a large car.
- "The key point about the 2013 Buick LaCrosse driving experience is how transparent its eAssist system is on the road." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
- "The hybrid system’s additional torque helps this new LaCrosse get to 60 mph 0.2 seconds sooner than the last car, according to Buick." -- Automobile Magazine (2012 LaCrosse eAssist)
- "It's still no sport sedan, but it won't make you fearful of short freeway on-ramps. The auto start/stop feature works pretty well, starting almost imperceptibly except in very quick transitions from brake to throttle." -- Motor Trend (2012 LaCrosse eAssist)
Acceleration and Power
The 2014 Buick LaCrosse eAssist is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor. Combined, the LaCrosse eAssist’s mild hybrid powertrain delivers 182 horsepower to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. A 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine is available as a no-cost option. All-wheel drive is optional on V6 models. According to the EPA, the LaCrosse eAssist gets 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is very good for an affordable large car. V6 models get up to 18/28 mpg city/highway, which is slightly low for a V6-powered car in this class.
Reviewers say the eAssist model provides excellent fuel economy and has a smooth start-stop system, which shuts the engine off when the car is stopped to conserve fuel. However, some also write that the LaCrosse eAssist could use more power. As a result, some reviewers recommend the more powerful V6. The LaCrosse’s transmission earns praise for its smooth shifts, though some reviewers write that it doesn’t shift as quickly as they would like.
- "The key point about the 2014 Buick LaCrosse driving experience is the transparency of its eAssist system. ... The gasoline engine also shuts down at stop signs, but restarts quickly without the shudder typical of some hybrids. In short, the LaCrosse with eAssist drives absolutely normally." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Although it understandably returns lower fuel economy, the strong V6 is better suited to the LaCrosse's personality. Shifts from its automatic transmission are smooth but not particularly quick." -- Edmunds
- "Despite a boot from its electric motor, 4-cylinder LaCrosse models are still far from quick. ... The transmission shifts smoothly, but downshifts occasionally suffer from a noticeable delay from the time you press the gas pedal to when you speed ahead." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "Like everything else in the LaCrosse, the direct-injection four-cylinder is impressively smooth, quiet, and refined." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
- "While taking off from lights, passing other cars, or going for a quick lane change in traffic, the car responded promptly. The electric boost from the hybrid system works with the four-cylinder engine to deliver adequate acceleration for most needs." -- CNET (2012)
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say that the LaCrosse has a comfortable ride and decent handling. Some test drivers say that the LaCrosse is easy to steer, though some write that it could also provide better road feel. The LaCrosse’s brakes also earn praise for their stopping power and good pedal feel. One reviewer recommends skipping the all-wheel drive model, noting that it feels heavier and less nimble than the front-wheel drive LaCrosse.
- "We found the handling competent, the ride quality smooth, and the brakes strong, though the new electric power steering lacks road feel." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "With either engine, the LaCrosse's driving dynamics are perfect for the car's mission of being a refined cruiser. It's easy to steer and has an impressively comfortable and quiet ride." -- Edmunds
- "The AWD model lacks the best suspension bits and the smooth ride of its counterpart. And it just feels heavy. We'd recommend it only for those in regions with the worst winter weather, and even then we'd advise shopping AWD alternatives." -- Popular Mechanics
- "The Buick LaCrosse eAssist doesn’t use a typical hybrid blended brake master cylinder, so its brakes feel no different than any other nonhybrid vehicle. This is a very good thing." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
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