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    New York Auto Show: 2014 Buick LaCrosse



    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    March 25, 2013

    This morning, Buick pulled back the curtain on the new 2014 LaCrosse that will be shown at the New York Auto Show later this week.

    Outside, Buick designers put a lot of focus on the LaCrosse's front and rear ends. The front features a new oversized waterfall grille, LED-trimmed headlights, and Buick's signature hood vents being moved from the top to the side of the hood. The rear end sees reshaped LED taillights, full-width chrome trim on the decklid, and a new fascia design. LaCrosse V6 models get revised exhaust finishers.

    Moving inside, the 2014 LaCrosse gets new seats, updated materials, and a redesigned center console that features less buttons (down from 17 buttons to 7). The latest version of Buick's IntellLink IntelliLink system graces the center stack's 8-inch touchscreen, and a set capacitive-touch climate controls are used to keep the interior simple and elegant. There is another 8-inch screen in the gauge cluster which is reconfigurable.

    New for the 2014 LaCrosse is the Ultra Luxury Interior Package, which adds Sangria and Ebony colors to the interior as well as semi-aniline leather seating, a faux suede headliner, and real wood trim. Also available are a number of safety features including forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert, collision preparation (with collision mitigation braking), full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, and the Safety Alert Seat.

    Powertrains for the 2014 LaCrosse are carried over from the previous model. Base models come equipped with the 2.4L eAssist mild-hybrid system, while the 3.6L V6 is optional. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive can be optioned.

    The new LaCrosse arrives at dealers later this summer.

    Source: Buick

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Buick Introduces the New 2014 LaCrosse

    -Elegant sedan featuring refreshed exterior with wing-shape LED lighting

    -New interior design with new seats and available Ultra Luxury Interior Package

    -New advanced technologies: next-gen IntelliLink, standard eight-inch color display instrument panel, camera- and radar-based safety features that work with General Motors-patented Safety Alert Seat

    NEW YORK – Buick today introduced the new 2014 LaCrosse, the evolution of the landmark luxury sedan that established the brand's modern sedan lineup with design leadership and technological innovation.

    The full-size LaCrosse offers new interior and exterior design cues, advanced safety technologies and enhanced in-vehicle connectivity. New front and rear styling, featuring signature wing-shape LED daytime running lamps and LED wraparound tail lamps, complements its sculpted exterior design. The interior is more contemporary, with new seats, enhanced materials, redesigned central instrument panel and console – and an all-new, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package. The cabin also incorporates Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system, with intuitive controls and natural voice recognition.

    New radar- and camera-based safety features help surround the new LaCrosse with protection. They include Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Change Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic Collision Preparation. GM's patented Safety Alert Seat works with these features, providing seat vibration pulses indicating the direction of a potential crash threat.

    Adaptive Cruise Control is also offered. It senses traffic in front of the LaCrosse to adjust vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again.

    "We evolved the interior and exterior design, increased luxury amenities and materials, and enhanced the safety and personal technologies to give customers more reasons than ever to rediscover Buick," said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing.

    Globally, LaCrosse sales have exceeded 500,000 since its 2009 introduction and U.S. sales topped 57,000 in 2012, making it more popular than many other full-size luxury sedans, including Lexus ES, Acura TL and Lincoln MKS.

    The 2014 LaCrosse is offered in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models and offers two powertrains: a 2.4L engine with eAssist light electrification technology or a 3.6L direct-injected V-6. Each is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

    All models feature Buick's QuietTuning engineering process that reduces, blocks and absorbs unwanted noise from the LaCrosse's cabin, making it one of the quietest in the segment.

    The new LaCrosse makes its public debut at the New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display March 29-April 7. It goes on sale this summer.

    A more expressive design

    LaCrosse's flowing, sculpted styling helped redefine Buick's design language at its introduction in 2009. The 2014 LaCrosse introduces a more expressive interpretation of that successful design, with elements and cues that enhance the car's well-planted, wide stance. Highlights include:

    -New front fascia, sculpted hood and more prominent waterfall grille

    -Lower front active grille shutters are included on every model and close at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag

    -New headlamp designs, with available Bi-Xenon High-Intensity Discharge lamps (HID), Active Forward Lighting and LED wing-shape signature lighting

    -New rear fascia design and wraparound tail lamps with LED lighting.

    The LaCrosse's new appearance is instantly recognizable as a modern Buick and the LED lighting elements enhance its technologically advanced presence. The headlamp housings, for example, have a more angular appearance and LED signature accents that echo a familial appearance introduced on the 2013 Enclave crossover. They've also been positioned slightly outboard to reinforce the car's presence.

    The new Bi-Xenon headlamps incorporate new technology with enhanced brilliance that improves visibility, is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly (mercury-free). Active Forward Lighting is paired with these HID lamps, turning them with the direction of the front wheels to enhance visibility around corners.

    At the rear, a full-width chrome accent reinforces the car's stance, while fully enclosed exhaust outlets (3.6L models) are framed with a chrome finish within a new rear fascia. It's a more integrated appearance designed to show Buick's attention to detail. An integrated rear spoiler is incorporated in the trailing edge of the deck lid to help improve aerodynamic performance and new LED taillamps – in all-new, wraparound housings – provide a safety benefit by illuminate more quickly than conventional bulbs when the brakes are applied.

    In the front and rear, LaCrosse's new LED lamps continue the wing-shaped signature appearance that distinguishes Buicks day and night.

    New interior environment

    The 2014 LaCrosse's interior creates a more contemporary ambience and supports the integration of Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system. Highlights include:

    -New instrument panel "center stack" and integrated floor console with more storage

    -Configurable eight-inch color touch-screen in the center stack

    -Configurable eight-inch color electronic instrument panel display and gauge cluster

    -New, more comfortable front seats with four-way adjustable headrests

    -New door panels with revised door lock, seat memory and trunk release controls

    -New, available Ultra Luxury Interior Package with a synthetic suede headliner and pillars coverings, semi-aniline leather seating, authentic Tamo Ash wood trim and more.

    While the LaCrosse's new interior brings more amenities and enhanced personal technology with next-generation IntelliLink, it does so with greater simplicity. The new center stack radio controls, for example, have only seven buttons vs. the previous 17. The large, eight-inch color touch screen is designed to be easier to operate with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. Dual-zone climate controls also feature capacitive-touch operation and are framed in chrome.

    The rear-seat headrests fold down to enhance rearward visibility, while the new four-way adjustable front headrests are designed to provide a greater range of comfort, particularly for taller drivers.

    Four interior color/trim combinations are available for 2014:

    -Light Neutral seating/Cocoa accents, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Kyoto Maple wood-style décor

    -Ebony, offered with cloth or Soleil Keisel leather seats and Cellini Wood décor

    -Choccachino seating/Cocoa accents, with Soleil Keisel leather seats with contrast stitching and Phantasm Wood-style décor

    Ultra Luxury Interior Package

    Sangria seating color and Ebony accents, with semi-aniline leather seats and trim, along with Shadow Tamo Ash wood décor, represents LaCrosse's new Ultra Luxury Interior Package.

    "The warm color combinations, premium interior materials and advanced technology in the 2014 LaCrosse provide the interior environment our discerning luxury customers are seeking," said Ven Lai, Buick creative designer for color and trim.

    The new Ultra Luxury Interior Package features premium semi-aniline leather. It covers the seats, console armrest and door armrests and is complemented by synthetic suede on the headliner and door pillars. The Sangria contrast color with the Ultra Luxury interior is exclusive to LaCrosse.

    QuietTuning

    LaCrosse's use of Buick's unique QuietTuning engineering defines Buick quality, sound and vibration characteristics and refinement by following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds.

    LaCrosse's specific QuietTuning features include acoustical laminate on the windshield and front side glass; steel laminate on the front-of-dash body area; expanded baffles in the roof pillars; extensive use of melt-on sound deadeners throughout the entire lower body structure; and sound-absorbing material throughout LaCrosse's engine, passenger and cargo compartments.

    Next-generation IntelliLink

    Buick's next-generation IntelliLink infotainment system debuts on the 2014 LaCrosse. It offers more features designed for intuitive, easy-to-use functionality and incorporates a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options building on the safety and security of OnStar.

    In addition to easily identifiable icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, next-generation IntelliLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be highly customizable. It also features natural language voice recognition, which allows customers to safely place calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do.

    The system can store up to 60 favorites, including radio stations (AM/FM/XM), contacts, destinations and music from other media. This feature is convenient for those who travel to the same destination regularly and want to save locations such as hotels and restaurants.

    On its eight-inch screen, customers can "fling" through lists, swipe and drag just as they would on a tablet or smartphone. Users with compatible smartphones can pair them with IntelliLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection. This gives customers the ability to play passengers' music or other media through the vehicle.

    Another feature allows customers whose LaCrosses are equipped with available embedded navigation to enter destinations in a single step, without having to enter the state, city, street number and street name in successive efforts. City-by-city weather reports are also provided.

    OnStar customers can access the service via the screen display or by the traditional Blue button.

    A new audio system conveys the music and radio selections called up through IntelliLink's myriad of infotainment options. Featuring seven standard speakers – including strategically placed tweeters and a subwoofer – the system was developed to complement LaCrosse's quiet, acoustically optimized interior with rich sound. An 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound system is available.

    New safety features

    The 2014 LaCrosse employs new safety features with carefully developed directional alerts that help drivers quickly identify potential crash situations so they can react. They include radar- and camera-based features offered in two Driver Confidence packages:

    -Driver Confidence 1 package includes Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, High-Intensity Discharge headlamps with Active Forward Lighting, fog lamps and Head-Up Display.

    -Driver Confidence 2 package adds radar-based Forward Collision Alert, Collision Preparation (with Collision Mitigation Braking), full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control and the Safety Alert Seat.

    The Collision Mitigation Braking feature can intervene in certain crash-imminent situations, automatically triggering emergency braking if the driver fails to respond to a previous alert. The Safety Alert Seat vibrates on the left or right side, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the crash threat.

    The LaCrosse is one of the first vehicles to offer Lane Change Alert, which warns the driver of fast-approaching vehicles in the next lane that are up to 230 feet (70 meters) behind the car.

    LaCrosse's safety features also include eight standard air bags, including rear-seat thorax air bags, StabiliTrak, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Intelligent Brake Assist. A rear-vision camera is available.

    Efficient, refined driving experience

    The LaCrosse is equipped with a choice of two efficient engines: the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine with eAssist light electrification technology, rated at 182 horsepower (136 kW); and an available 3.6L V-6 rated at 304 horsepower (227 kW). Both are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions.

    LaCrosse with eAssist uses a lithium-ion battery system and electric motor-generator to enable regenerative braking capability. Instead of providing all-electric propulsion, the system provides power assistance to the internal combustion engine. The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration situations, which saves additional fuel.

    New 18-, 19- and 20-inch tires, along with revisions to some chassis and suspension elements, contribute to stronger handling across the model range, while new wheel designs – including LaCrosse's first 20-inch wheel – match driving experience with style. LaCrosse is also available with an advanced Haldex all-wheel-drive system with electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) that automatically decides how to distribute torque based on vehicle speed, throttle position and individual wheel slip. It also contributes to a refined driving experience, with minimal torque transferred to the rear wheels when all-wheel-drive traction isn't required, for a quieter, smoother ride.

    The LaCrosse Touring Package – available on 3.6L front-wheel-drive models with 19- or 20-inch wheels – includes real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity, which uses four electronically controlled dampers to constantly "read" the road and make adjustments within milliseconds. It also features Buick's HiPer Strut front suspension, which enhances ride and handling by reducing torque steer, delivering more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control and delivering improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.

    Electric power steering is standard on models with the 2.4L engine, as well as 3.6L-equipped front-drive models. This technology helps save fuel by drawing energy only when the wheels are turned. It also contributes to the LaCrosse's driving experience with variable assistance at different vehicle speeds.

    About Buick

    Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan, Buick Verano sedan and the all-new 2013 Encore crossover. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick.

    2014 BUICK LACROSSE PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

    Overview

    Model: 2014 LaCrosse FWD/AWD

    Body style / driveline: front-drive/all-wheel-drive, front-engine, four-door, five- passenger sedan

    Construction: integral

    EPA vehicle class: midsize sedan

    Manufacturing location: Fairfax (Kan.) Assembly

    Key competitors: Acura TL, Lexus ES350, Lincoln MKZ

    Engines

    Type: 2.4L DOHC I-4 3.6L V-6 VVT DI

    Displacement (cu in / cc): 145 / 2384 217 / 3564

    Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.46 x 3.85 / 88 x 98 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6

    Block material: precision sand-cast aluminum cast aluminum

    Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum

    Valvetrain: DOHC with four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing DOHC with four valves per cylinder; continuously variable valve timing

    Ignition system: individual coil-on-plug individual coil-on-plug; individual cylinder knock control

    Fuel delivery: direct injection and electronic throttle control direct injection

    Compression ratio: 11.2:1 11.5:1

    Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 182 / 136 @ 6700 rpm SAE certified 304 / 227 @ 6800 SAE certified

    Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm): 172 / 233 @ 4900 rpm SAE certified 264 / 358 @ 5300 SAE certified

    Recommended fuel: regular unleaded regular unleaded or E85 (E85 capability not available in Northeast states with PZEV emissions)

    Emissions controls: close-coupled, catalytic converter; continuously variable valve timing; positive crankcase ventilation evaporative system; supplemental air injection system, partial zero emissions vehicle capable (eAssist) dual close-coupled catalysts and single underfloor catalyst; variable valve timing, evaporative system

    Fuel economy (city / hwy): TBD TBD

    Transmissions

    Type: Hydra-Matic 6T40 six-speed automatic Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic

    Application: 2.4L four-cylinder 3.6L V-6

    Gear ratios: (:1):

    First: 4.58 4.48

    Second: 2.96 2.87

    Third: 1.91 1.84

    Fourth 1.45 1.41

    Fifth: 1.00 1.00

    Sixth: 0.75 0.74

    Reverse: 2.94 2.88

    Final drive ratio: 2.64 2.77

    Electric Drive System (for eAssist)

    Type: belt-driven, liquid-cooled motor/generator unit and lithium-ion battery system; air-cooled power electronics and battery pack

    Maximum electric generating power: 15 kW @ 1570-3180 rpm

    Maximum electric motor torque (cranking): 110 lb.-ft. / 150 Nm

    Maximum electric motor torque (electric assist): 79 lb.-ft. / 107 Nm @ 1,000 rpm

    Maximum electric motor power (electric assist): 15 hp / 11.2 kW @ 1,000-2,200 rpm

    Lithium-ion battery: 115V, 0.5-kWh, 15 kW peak power

    Chassis / Suspension

    Suspension (front): MacPherson strut coil-over-spring; twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving; hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar (eAssist and 3.6L FWD/AWD without Touring Package);

    HiPer Strut coil-over-spring; twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving; hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar; real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity (3.6L FWD with Touring Package)

    Suspension (rear): four-link (eAssist and 3.6L FWD without Touring Package); H-arm (3.6L AWD); H-arm with real-time damping and Sport Mode Selectivity (3.6L FWD with Touring Package)

    Steering type: electric variable-effort power steering (eAssist and FWD V-6); power variable-effort: (AWD models)

    Steering ratio: 15.2:1

    Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.75

    Turning circle (ft / m): 36.8 / 11.2 (eAssist); 38.8 / 11.75

    Brakes

    Type: split, dual-circuit four-wheel-disc with power assist

    Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm): V-6: front: 12.6 x 1.2 / 321 x 30 (vented)

    rear: 12.4 x 0.9 / 315 x 23 (vented)

    eAssist: front: 11.7 x 1.2 / 296 x 30 (vented)

    rear: 11.5 x 0.47 / 292 x 12 (solid)

    Wheels / Tires

    Wheel size and type:

    17-in machined alloy (std w/ eAssist)

    18-in machine-faced alloy, painted (std on 1SB, 1SL, 1SP FWD V-6)

    19-in painted, machined alloy (std on 1SL, 1SP AWD V-6)

    19-in chrome alloy (std on 1SP FWD V-6, and opt on 1SL FWD V-6)

    20-in alloy (std on 1SR)

    Tires: P235/50R17 low rolling-resistance all-season (std w/ eAssist)

    P235/50R18 all-season

    P245/45R19 all-season

    P245/40R20 all-season

    Dimensions

    Exterior

    Wheelbase (in / mm): 111.7 / 2837

    Overall length (in / mm): 197 / 5001

    Overall width (in / mm): 73.1 / 1857

    Overall height (in / mm): 59.2 / 1504

    Track (in / mm): front: 61.7 / 1567

    rear: 62 / 1575

    Curb weight (lb / kg): 3765 / 1708 (eAssist – estimated)

    3906 / 1772 (3.6L V-6 – estimated)

    Interior

    Seating capacity: 2 / 3

    Headroom (in / mm): front: 38 / 965

    rear: 37.3 / 947

    Legroom (in / mm): front: 41.7 / 1059

    rear: 40.5 / 1029

    Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 57.4 / 1459

    rear: 56 / 1423

    Hip room (in / mm): front: 55.2 / 1402

    rear: 53.9 / 1369

    Capacities

    EPA interior volume (cu ft / L): 99 / 2805

    Passenger volume (cu ft / L): 101.7 / 2878

    Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 10.8 / 306 (2.4L eAssist)

    13.3 / 376 (3.6L V-6)

    Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): 1000 / 454 (3.6L V-6)

    Fuel capacity (gal / L): 15.7 / 59.4 (eAssist)

    18 / 70 (3.6L V-6)

    Engine oil (qt / L): 5 / 4.7 (2.4L)

    5.5 / 5.2 (3.6L)

    Cooling system ( qt / L): 9.6 /12 (2.4L)

    7.6 / 7.2 (3.6L)

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    I don't like the shape of the new tail lights, and how the outer edge points downward. Looks like something you would see from Japan or Korea. And I'll miss the gently sloping center stack compared to this more conventional, upright design, but overall its a very nice update and the interior still looks great. I like the new front end a lot. I also like that it will get optional real wood trim.

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    I think it is a good update, the front looks better now and I am generally not a Lacrosse fan. The trim upgrades on the interior are needed because I think the new Impala's interior is very we'll done and Buick needs to keep up. The back end does look a bit Hyundai Equus but I like it more than the current car.

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    Nice update for an already lovely sedan. I still wish for a nice retro two tone option broken at the sweep spear for a nice,elegant and timeless effect!

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    really don't think this freshened the car enough, even though the updates were helpful. They sort of had the chance to really do a lot more than the piddly changes they did. Most folks won't notice the new front or rear.

    Interior console redo and actual decent steering wheel buttons are helpful, but the remainder of the interior is pretty much unchanged. I would have hoped for some plastics upgrades and a little less of a vast nothing dash or a tiny cowl over the gauges to get changed.

    What LaCrosse does have to its advantage is optional AWD. Because the LaCrosse has it, the Impala won't get it.

    What is most important now is that for the next three years while they milk these changes, that the packaging and pricing and rebates are all in place so people won't look at the newer Azeras, Avalons, and so many other competitors. I could see average transaction prices coming down on the Lacrosse to keep it selling.

    The LaCrosse at least hides the Epsilon disease visually (narrowness) more than the others in GM's stable.

    The venti ports, need to die.

    Edited by regfootball
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    I do think the Impala is the best big Epsilon 2. I think it looks the best is the best value, and has a well laid out interior. The Impala is better executed than the LaCrosse or XTS, the Impala just nails the sweet spot of the segment it is in, where as a car like the XTS is a bit of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and you can tell it is a stop gap product.

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    The exterior is a solid freshening. Like DF, I do not like the angle of the rear fascia but from the C-Pillar forward it's certainly an improvement. Nice new face. My gripe with this car is the interior which they seem to have made look cheaper through the use of that nasty nasty wood and less attractive looking plastics than the outogoing car. Not enough bling to my eye and way too much matte black plastic on the IP. While it's proportioned better than the XTS it just falls flat inside to my eyes, whereas Cadillac seems to be bringing its A-Game. As such my ranking of the EP-II cars are as follows.

    1. Impala

    2. XTS

    3. LaCrosse

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    I like the original, angular headlights and smaller grille on my wife's LaCrosse better. This looks a lot like a Lucerne to me in the front.

    The interior needed to be repackaged. While I liked the current design and materials, it suffers from a complete lack of storage (two coffees and a cell phone? nope.) i hope this new design includes some extra cubbies for cell, ipod, etc.

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    It's a good looking car, but doesn't really stir me. But it probably doesn't need to, this seems like something to compete with Lexus designs - soft, pretty, understated, not overly bold or exciting.

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    Over all I think this car will sell well for Buick. I am glad to NOT see a ton of chrome and bling in the dash or around the car. Over all pleasing design, but I do have to say that the Tail End has become very Asian in design. This one looks like a mad at you face.

    Interior I like very much, great flowing dash, clean and not cluttery, big improvement on what it was.

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    I wonder if this fixes the disaster interior packaging of the 2010-2013 models some? Is there an overhead sun glasses holder? Is there cup holders in the doors? Is the center console's rear cubby large enough to hold something other than two packs of cigarettes? Is the center console less intrusive? It looks like they did nothing about the mail slot side windows but hopefully the A-pillars are smaller for better forward vision. I would also have liked to see the 2.4 replaced with the 2.5

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      Malibu and Volt were up 24 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Silverado and Colorado were up 5 percent and 39 percent, respectively. Suburban, Tahoe, Equinox and Trax were up 6 percent, 12 percent, 7 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Malibu had its best November since 1997. Silverado had its best November since 2003. Colorado had its best November since 2004. Trax, Volt and Equinox had their best November ever. Tahoe and Suburban had their best November since 2007. 17th straight month of year over year gains for Chevrolet full-size utilities. GMC
      Sierra and Canyon were up 14 percent and 43 percent, respectively. Acadia, Yukon and Yukon XL were up 4 percent, 22 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Brand ATP was at $43,887, the highest November on record. Highest November ever for Denali penetration, at 27.8 percent. Best November ever for Canyon and ninth month of year over year increases. Yukon and Yukon XL had their best November since 2007. Buick
      Regal and Encore were up 41 percent and 35 percent, respectively. 68 percent of sales were crossovers. Best year to date retail performance since 2005. Cadillac
      Escalade was up 24 percent and had its best month of the year. Escalade had its best November since 2007. XT5 had its best month since launch with sales up 12 percent over last month and up 27 percent over the SRX last November, the vehicle it replaced. Year to date ATP was $53,690, the highest ever in Cadillac history Average Transaction Prices (ATP)/Incentives (based on JD Power PIN estimates)
      GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $35,767 in November, more than $4,000 above the industry average. In November, GM’s incentive spending as a percent of ATP was 13.7 percent, above the industry average of 12.4 percent. However, year to date, GM’s incentive spending was 11.7 percent, slightly above the industry average of 11.4 percent and well below the incentive spending of its domestic competitors and many of its global competitors. Fleet and Commercial
      Automotive Fleet magazine named Malibu “Fleet Car of the Year”. GM Fleet sales were up 19 percent versus last November. Fleet sales were 22 percent of GM’s sales for the month. Commercial deliveries were up 11 percent for the month and it was the best November Commercial sales since 2008. Malibu Commercial deliveries were up 170 percent versus last November. Small Business deliveries were up 15 percent for the month versus last November, driven by large vans, which were up 93 percent and large pickups, which were up 16 percent versus last November. Federal government sales were up 9 percent versus last November. Rental sales were up 27 percent versus last November but are down 25 percent CYTD, according to plan. GM’s outlook on its daily rental sales mix remains in the 11 percent range of total U.S. sales for 2016 and daily rental sales for the year are expected to be down about 75,000 vehicles. Industry Sales
      GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in November was approximately 17.9 million units. On a calendar year-to-date basis, GM estimates the light-vehicle SAAR was 17.5 million units.
    • By William Maley
      Chevrolet and Buick Post Big Retail Sales and Share Gains Keeping GM the Fastest-Growing Full-line Automaker
      Chevrolet U.S. retail sales up 6 percent for best October since 2004 Buick U.S. retail sales up 7 percent for best October since 2003 GMC sets brand’s all-time record for October ATP at $43,988 DETROIT – General Motors (NYSE: GM) sold 208,290 vehicles in October to individual or “retail” customers in the U.S., up 3 percent from last year, despite two fewer selling days. Based on initial estimates, GM outperformed the entire U.S. retail industry by a wide margin.
      Led by Chevrolet and Buick, GM’s U.S. retail market share rose to its highest October level since 2009. Based on initial estimates, GM’s retail market share jumped 1.6 percentage points in October to 18.1 percent, the largest retail market share gain of any manufacturer. GM has gained retail market share in 16 of the past 19 months.
      Chevrolet’s October U.S. retail sales were up 6 percent compared to last year, the brand’s best October since 2004. Buick’s October U.S. retail sales were up 7 percent, the brand’s best October since 2003.
      Chevrolet gained 1.4 percentage points of U.S. retail market share in October to 12.3 percent.  Chevrolet has gained U.S. retail market share in 9 out of 10 months this year, and remains the industry’s fastest-growing full-line brand.  Buick gained 0.2 percentage points of retail market share in October.
      In addition, GMC set an all-time October record for the brand’s ATP or Average Transaction Price of $43,988, up more than $1,800 over last October’s performance. 
      GM’s total U.S. sales in October were 258,626 vehicles, down less than 2 percent from last year. In addition, GM’s daily rental sales were down approximately 8,000 vehicles or about 19 percent in October compared to last year, as planned.
      “GM’s October performance reflects the strength of our retail business and our operating discipline. We gained profitable retail share in October while spending less than the industry average on incentives and commanding the industry’s best average transaction prices for any full-line automaker,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations. “We will continue our disciplined approach and focus on retail in a strong industry.” 
      In October, GM’s incentive spending as a percent of ATP was 11.7 percent, below the industry average of 11.8 percent.
      GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $36,155 in October, more than $4,650 above the industry average and more than $1,000 above last October’s performance. 

      Through the first ten months of the year, GM retail sales are up 1 percent, compared to last year. GM has gained 0.6 percentage points of retail share during that timeframe, the largest retail share gain of any full-line automaker. Year to date, Chevrolet retail sales are up more than 2 percent and the brand’s retail share has grown 0.5 percentage points to 11.2 percent. Year to date, Buick retail deliveries have grown nearly 4 percent and Buick has gained 0.1 percentage points of retail share.
      GM continues to benefit from a strong U.S. economy.
      “Key fundamentals like job security, rising personal incomes, low fuel prices and low interest rates continue to provide the environment for a very healthy U.S. auto industry,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist. “The U.S. auto industry is well positioned for sales to continue at or near record levels for the foreseeable future.”
      October Retail Sales and Business Highlights vs. 2015 (except as noted)

      Chevrolet
      Chevrolet had its best October since 2004 and best year to date sales since 2006 Chevrolet cars sales continue to grow faster than the passenger car industry Malibu, Camaro, Corvette, Spark and Volt were up 39 percent, 14 percent, 8 percent, 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively Malibu had its best October since 1980 Camaro had its best October since 2009 Colorado, Suburban, Tahoe and Trax were up 42 percent, 35 percent, 49 percent and 37 percent, respectively Tahoe and Suburban had their best October since 2007 Colorado had its best October since 2004 GMC
      ATPs growing three times faster than industry pace Acadia, Canyon, Yukon XL and Yukon were up 17 percent, 15 percent, 3 percent and 26 percent, respectively More than 25 percent Denali penetration for the brand Sierra had its highest ATP ever at $46,876 Canyon had its best October ever Acadia had its best October ever Yukon had its best October since 2007 and 14th month of year-over-year growth Yukon XL had its best October since 2007 Buick
      Best October since 2003 and best year to date since 2005 LaCrosse was up 13 percent with new model off to a strong start Envision had best month since launch Cadillac
      Escalade retail sales up year to date more than 6 percent October ATP was a record $55,058, up more than $2,300 from last October Record year to date ATP of $53,542 Year-to-date retail luxury market share in line with 2015 performance Average Transaction Prices (ATP)/Incentives
      GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $36,155 in October, more than $4,650 above the industry average in October and more than $1,000 above last October GM’s October incentive spending as a percentage of ATP was 11.7 percent, below the industry average of 11.8 percent, but down 1.4 percentage points from last month and well below many other competitors Fleet and Commercial
      Commercial fleet up 13 percent vs. September, and up 3 percent, selling day adjusted, YOY Malibu up 95 percent compared to last October Mid-size trucks up 218 percent compared to last October Federal Government sales up 53 percent Rental down 19 percent for October, and 29 percent year to date, according to plan Industry Sales
      GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in October was approximately 18.0 million units. On a calendar year-to-date basis, GM estimates the light-vehicle SAAR was 17.4 million units
    • By William Maley
      It seemed that it would never happen, a domestic brand cracking into the top three of Consumer Reports' annual Auto Reliability Survey. But in the 2016 survey, Buick became the first domestic brand in three decades to be in the top three of reliable brands - behind Lexus and Toyota.
      “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers. One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing in a statement.
      For the 2016 survey, Consumer Reports changed up their predicted reliability score to a 0-100 scale. Brands that score between 41 to 60 were deemed to be reliable. If a brand finishes below, it is deemed to be less reliable, while those that finished above were deemed to be more reliable. 
      Rounding out the top ten list include Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti (up 16 spots), BMW, and Honda. Chevrolet was the second highest domestic brand by finishing 15th. Ford placed 18th in the survey, still being troubled by the dual-clutch transmissions used in the Fiesta and Focus. FCA had a rough showing again with Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram Trucks finishing in the bottom three. 
      Other notes from the 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey:
      Tesla is now part of the survey as they now have two models - Model S and X. They placed 25th. The Model S saw its reliability rating improve to average, while the Model X is toward the bottom due to numerous problems. Subaru fell out of the top 10 because of the WRX and STI getting below average reliability, and the Legacy/Outback falling to average. The recently redesigned Honda Civic is said to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to issues with the infotainment and power accessories.  Source: Consumer Reports, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Consumer Reports 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: Buick Becomes First Domestic to Reach the Top Three
      New Honda Civic Plagued with Power Equipment and Infotainment Systems Problems YONKERS, NY – While Asian brands continue to dominate, Buick has become the first domestic brand in more than three decades to earn a place in the top three most reliable brands in Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability Survey. The findings were announced during a press conference before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit today.
      There was trouble, too, for one of the imports: Honda’s popular Civic model proved to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to problems with its power equipment and infotainment systems. The Civic was North American Car of the Year for 2016.
      Buick, General Motors’ near-luxury brand, has been hovering in the top 10 of CR’s brand reliability rankings for the past few years. But CR’s latest findings show Buick has joined Lexus and Toyota on the podium for the first time since the organization began tracking brand performance in the early 1980s. Chevrolet ranks as the second-best domestic brand and is in 15th place overall among the 29 brands covered.
      Consumer Reports—the world’s largest and most trusted consumer nonprofit—first published its annual brand reliability rankings in 2001. That initial analysis showed that domestic nameplate vehicles had been lagging behind Japanese and European imports for the previous 20 years. Factoring in that history makes Buick’s third-place finish the highest for any American brand in more than 35 years.
      “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet.”
      All of the Asian nameplates scored among the top half of the 29 brands tested, accounting for seven of the top 10 spots. Lexus and Toyota continued their domination, finishing in first and second place for the fourth straight year. All nine Lexus models CR rated had better-than-average reliability, as would have Toyota, had it not been for the below average score of the redesigned 2016 Tacoma pickup truck.
      Among the other Asian brands, Infiniti made the biggest gain, while Acura was up six spots and Nissan moved up two. All Mazda models remained above average except for the new CX-3 small SUV, which came in at average. Kia and Hyundai continue to surge up the rankings, coming in at five and seven this year. No Kia or Hyundai models scored below average.
      Honda has continued with its erratic trajectory, making landfall at number 10 among all brands. Usually a top finisher known for reliability, the brand has been hurt by new introductions. In addition to the new Civic, the redesigned Pilot SUV was just average.
      Historically a strong performer, Subaru is an example of how smaller manufacturers can be helped—or hindered—by the performance of one or two models. Subaru fell out of the top 10, hurt by the 2016 Legacy and Outback falling to average, and the sporty WRX/STi dropping to below average.
      Reliability improvements helped some luxury brands move up. Infiniti jumped 16 spots to number eight, but the brand still runs hot and cold. The older QX50 SUV and Q70 sedan had top scores, but the newer QX60 SUV and Q50 sedan were below average. BMW also moved into the top 10, with the 5 Series, X5, and i3 improving to average.
      Audi has had several years of upward progress, and it continues to rank in the top five. The new Q7 and the Q3 SUVs were very reliable. Other European brands continue their inconsistency. Mercedes was one of the big movers, jumping four spots to number 17. The 2016 GLC, which replaced the reliable GLK, launched with well-above-average reliability, and the GLA and GLE SUVs were average. But the large GLS SUV was among the 20 most trouble-prone new cars in the survey, and the C- and S-Class sedans remained unreliable.
      Volkswagen and Volvo, however, tumbled. Aside from the Tiguan SUV, all other VW models had below average reliability. The redesigned XC90 was the big culprit in Volvo’s plunge to the bottom third ranking, with its touch-screen infotainment and climate systems being particularly problematic.
      Transmissions with more ratios and advanced drivetrains continue to be a challenge for a number of brands. While the Acura TLX and Jeep Cherokee have seen improvements in the reliability of their nine-speed automatics, earlier models are still problematic. Ford’s dual-clutch automatic transmission continues to afflict the Fiesta and Focus, which is one reason they are among the lowest-scoring models. Likewise, early versions of the current Nissan Pathfinder and similar Infiniti QX60 SUVs continue to suffer from problems with their continuously variable transmissions.
      Other GM marques did not fare as well as Buick. Chevrolet saw gains, moving up five spots since last year. It was helped in particular by the stellar reliability of the redesigned 2016 Cruze, which topped all compact cars, and the Corvette, which moved up to average. Cadillac has two models with below-average reliability—the Escalade and small ATS sedan—while the CTS and XTS sedans were average or better. GMC has dropped, hurt by its versions of the same large SUVs and pickup trucks that haunt Chevrolet.
      Consumer Reports requires at least two models with sufficient data in order to be included in its brand reliability rankings. With the introduction of the new Model X SUV, Tesla is now included and is ranked toward the bottom, at 25th. The Model X launched with abundant problems, including frequent malfunctions of the falcon-wing doors, water leaks, and infotainment and climate-control system problems. The Model S gained ground this year, improving to average reliability.
      Fiat-Chrysler continues its turbulent voyage. The Fiat 500L, the most trouble-prone new car for the past two years, is now only the seventh-most troublesome. No Fiat or Ram vehicle managed even an average reliability rating. Only the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, and Jeep Patriot SUV managed an average or better score.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It seemed that it would never happen, a domestic brand cracking into the top three of Consumer Reports' annual Auto Reliability Survey. But in the 2016 survey, Buick became the first domestic brand in three decades to be in the top three of reliable brands - behind Lexus and Toyota.
      “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers. One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing in a statement.
      For the 2016 survey, Consumer Reports changed up their predicted reliability score to a 0-100 scale. Brands that score between 41 to 60 were deemed to be reliable. If a brand finishes below, it is deemed to be less reliable, while those that finished above were deemed to be more reliable. 
      Rounding out the top ten list include Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti (up 16 spots), BMW, and Honda. Chevrolet was the second highest domestic brand by finishing 15th. Ford placed 18th in the survey, still being troubled by the dual-clutch transmissions used in the Fiesta and Focus. FCA had a rough showing again with Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram Trucks finishing in the bottom three. 
      Other notes from the 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey:
      Tesla is now part of the survey as they now have two models - Model S and X. They placed 25th. The Model S saw its reliability rating improve to average, while the Model X is toward the bottom due to numerous problems. Subaru fell out of the top 10 because of the WRX and STI getting below average reliability, and the Legacy/Outback falling to average. The recently redesigned Honda Civic is said to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to issues with the infotainment and power accessories.  Source: Consumer Reports, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Consumer Reports 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: Buick Becomes First Domestic to Reach the Top Three
      New Honda Civic Plagued with Power Equipment and Infotainment Systems Problems YONKERS, NY – While Asian brands continue to dominate, Buick has become the first domestic brand in more than three decades to earn a place in the top three most reliable brands in Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability Survey. The findings were announced during a press conference before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit today.
      There was trouble, too, for one of the imports: Honda’s popular Civic model proved to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to problems with its power equipment and infotainment systems. The Civic was North American Car of the Year for 2016.
      Buick, General Motors’ near-luxury brand, has been hovering in the top 10 of CR’s brand reliability rankings for the past few years. But CR’s latest findings show Buick has joined Lexus and Toyota on the podium for the first time since the organization began tracking brand performance in the early 1980s. Chevrolet ranks as the second-best domestic brand and is in 15th place overall among the 29 brands covered.
      Consumer Reports—the world’s largest and most trusted consumer nonprofit—first published its annual brand reliability rankings in 2001. That initial analysis showed that domestic nameplate vehicles had been lagging behind Japanese and European imports for the previous 20 years. Factoring in that history makes Buick’s third-place finish the highest for any American brand in more than 35 years.
      “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet.”
      All of the Asian nameplates scored among the top half of the 29 brands tested, accounting for seven of the top 10 spots. Lexus and Toyota continued their domination, finishing in first and second place for the fourth straight year. All nine Lexus models CR rated had better-than-average reliability, as would have Toyota, had it not been for the below average score of the redesigned 2016 Tacoma pickup truck.
      Among the other Asian brands, Infiniti made the biggest gain, while Acura was up six spots and Nissan moved up two. All Mazda models remained above average except for the new CX-3 small SUV, which came in at average. Kia and Hyundai continue to surge up the rankings, coming in at five and seven this year. No Kia or Hyundai models scored below average.
      Honda has continued with its erratic trajectory, making landfall at number 10 among all brands. Usually a top finisher known for reliability, the brand has been hurt by new introductions. In addition to the new Civic, the redesigned Pilot SUV was just average.
      Historically a strong performer, Subaru is an example of how smaller manufacturers can be helped—or hindered—by the performance of one or two models. Subaru fell out of the top 10, hurt by the 2016 Legacy and Outback falling to average, and the sporty WRX/STi dropping to below average.
      Reliability improvements helped some luxury brands move up. Infiniti jumped 16 spots to number eight, but the brand still runs hot and cold. The older QX50 SUV and Q70 sedan had top scores, but the newer QX60 SUV and Q50 sedan were below average. BMW also moved into the top 10, with the 5 Series, X5, and i3 improving to average.
      Audi has had several years of upward progress, and it continues to rank in the top five. The new Q7 and the Q3 SUVs were very reliable. Other European brands continue their inconsistency. Mercedes was one of the big movers, jumping four spots to number 17. The 2016 GLC, which replaced the reliable GLK, launched with well-above-average reliability, and the GLA and GLE SUVs were average. But the large GLS SUV was among the 20 most trouble-prone new cars in the survey, and the C- and S-Class sedans remained unreliable.
      Volkswagen and Volvo, however, tumbled. Aside from the Tiguan SUV, all other VW models had below average reliability. The redesigned XC90 was the big culprit in Volvo’s plunge to the bottom third ranking, with its touch-screen infotainment and climate systems being particularly problematic.
      Transmissions with more ratios and advanced drivetrains continue to be a challenge for a number of brands. While the Acura TLX and Jeep Cherokee have seen improvements in the reliability of their nine-speed automatics, earlier models are still problematic. Ford’s dual-clutch automatic transmission continues to afflict the Fiesta and Focus, which is one reason they are among the lowest-scoring models. Likewise, early versions of the current Nissan Pathfinder and similar Infiniti QX60 SUVs continue to suffer from problems with their continuously variable transmissions.
      Other GM marques did not fare as well as Buick. Chevrolet saw gains, moving up five spots since last year. It was helped in particular by the stellar reliability of the redesigned 2016 Cruze, which topped all compact cars, and the Corvette, which moved up to average. Cadillac has two models with below-average reliability—the Escalade and small ATS sedan—while the CTS and XTS sedans were average or better. GMC has dropped, hurt by its versions of the same large SUVs and pickup trucks that haunt Chevrolet.
      Consumer Reports requires at least two models with sufficient data in order to be included in its brand reliability rankings. With the introduction of the new Model X SUV, Tesla is now included and is ranked toward the bottom, at 25th. The Model X launched with abundant problems, including frequent malfunctions of the falcon-wing doors, water leaks, and infotainment and climate-control system problems. The Model S gained ground this year, improving to average reliability.
      Fiat-Chrysler continues its turbulent voyage. The Fiat 500L, the most trouble-prone new car for the past two years, is now only the seventh-most troublesome. No Fiat or Ram vehicle managed even an average reliability rating. Only the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, and Jeep Patriot SUV managed an average or better score.
    • By William Maley
      Usually, we don't report on wagons in our spying reports because there are no chances they are coming to the U.S. But with the recent rumors of the next-generation Buick Regal possibly getting a wagon variant. we tend to pay attention. Which brings us nicely to a set of spy photos of the 2017 Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer.
      Compared to the current Sports Tourer, the new one shown in these pictures looks to be slightly longer and wider. Up front, the nose looks to be more upright and there are new headlights. Opel has attached body panels behind the c-pillar to try and disguise the slope of the roof and window shape. 
      How does this connect to the Buick Regal? As we reported a couple of weeks ago in the rumorpile, Buick is possibly getting a version of the Insignia Sports Tourer. Wearing the Tourx nameplate, the wagon would get an increase in ride height, body cladding, and all-wheel drive. 
      Opel and Vauxhall are expected to reveal the new Insignia and Insignia Sports Tourer sometime next year. Hopefully then, we'll learn whether or not Buick will get the Sports Tourer or not.
      Source: Autoblog, Carscoops

      View full article
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