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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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      On the upside, the Cascada’s interior is well-built and features decent quality materials. A fair amount of dash and door panels feature some soft touch material. The front seats are comfortable for short and long distance trips. Power adjustments for the driver’s seat make it easy to find a position that works. One touch Buick deserves applause for is the seat belt presenter. The front seat belts are nestled away when the Cascada is turned off to make it easier to get in and out of the back seat. But when you start it up, the presenter extends for both the driver and passenger to buckle in. The back seat provides enough space for kids or small adults. Taller folks like myself will find minimal legroom. With the top up, anyone sitting back here will feel very confined. With the top down, this feeling goes away. 
      Step into the 2016 Camaro Convertible’s interior and you’ll find the same retro ideas from the previous model such as the shape of the dash and circular vents. But Chevrolet improved the overall usability of the Camaro’s interior. For example, the retro-inspired engine information gauges that were placed ahead of the shifter in the previous generation are gone. In its place are a set of air vents that also control the temperature of the climate control system. 
      Our tester featured the optional Chevrolet MyLink system with navigation. We know we’re beating a dead horse with our complaints with MyLink such as a slow response when going from various screens and recognizing devices plugged into the USB ports. But you would think that GM would maybe issue an update or something by now to fix some of these issues? Like other Chevrolet models we have driven this year, the Camaro’s MyLink system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We tried CarPlay and found it to be easier to use than most automaker’s infotainment systems. But, we had issues with apps crashing and the system not always recognizing our phone.
      The front bucket seats are quite comfortable and will hold you in if you decide to tackle that special road aggressively. A set of power adjustments makes it easy for anyone to find a comfortable position. The back seat is best reserved for small kids or extra storage as legroom is nonexistent. You would think that the Camaro Convertible wouldn’t feel as claustrophobic as the coupe since you can put the top down, but it isn’t. Sitting in the Camaro convertible with the top down, I felt like I was being contained in a small box. Blame the high belt line for this.
      Powertrain:
      Power for the Buick Cascada comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. The figures are impressive for this engine. But drop it into the Cascada and it is quite disappointing. Performance is very lethargic as the engine has to overcome the nearly two tons of Cascada. It feels like an eternity getting up to speed and you’ll find yourself putting the pedal to the floor to get the vehicle moving at a sufficient rate. EPA figures for the Cascada stand at 20 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week landed at 21 mpg. 
      The Camaro’s engine lineup includes a 3.6L V6, turbocharged 2.0L four, and our SS tester’s 6.2L V8. The V8 pumps out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. We had the optional eight-speed automatic, but you can get a six-speed manual. The V8 makes the Camaro Convertible stupidly fun. I found myself wanting to roll down the window at a stop light to tell the vehicle next to me “let me play you the song of my people” before stomping on the accelerator and having the V8 roar into life as the light turns green. The engine will pin you in your seat if you floor it and there is a never-ending stream of power throughout the rev range. A nice touch is the optional dual-mode exhaust system that only amplifies the noises of the V8. The eight-speed automatic is ofine around town and on the highway but stumbles somewhat in enthusiastic driving where it takes a moment to downshift when slowing down. Fuel economy for the Camaro SS Convertible stands at 17 City/28 Highway/20 Combined. I got about 19 mpg during my week-long test.
      Ride & Handling:
      Describing the ride and handling characteristics of the Cascada can be summed up in one word; smooth. Buick’s engineers tuned the Cascada’s suspension to deliver an almost magic carpet ride. Even with a set of twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment, the Cascada is able to deal with rough roads with no issues. Around corners, the Cascada feels planted and body roll is kept in check. But don’t plan on doing anything enthusiastic with it. The steering is a little bit too light for it. Drive it like a relaxed cruiser and you’ll enjoy it. Wind buffeting is minimal with either the windows rolled up or down.
      The Camaro Convertible is shocking as to how well it handles. Part of this comes down to optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system which limits body roll. Chevrolet engineers also worked on improving the structural rigidity of the Camaro. The combination makes the convertible just as good as the coupe in corners. Direction change is fast and there is plenty of grip coming from the meaty tires. Where the Camaro Convertible falters is the ride quality. The SS comes with a set of twenty-inch wheels. While they do look sharp, it makes for a somewhat unbearable ride. Bumps of any size are clearly transmitted to those sitting inside. MRC does its best to provide a comfortable ride, but it might be worth considering going down to a smaller wheel to improve the ride. Wind buffeting is kept in check with the windows up or down.
      Price:
      The 2016 Buick Cascada starts at $33,065 for the base model. Our up-level Premium starts at $36,065 and comes to an as-tested price of $37,385 thanks to the vehicle being finished in an optional blue color. You really don’t get much in terms of additional features when compared to the base Cascada aside from some additional safety features - front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert - and automatic wipers. Also for that amount of cash, you could with the Audi A3 cabriolet which offers a slightly more premium interior. But you would lose out on the larger back seat of the Cascada. You would be better off with the base Cascada.
      If you have your heart set on a Camaro Convertible, be ready to shell out the cash. The 2016 Camaro 2SS Convertible carries a base sticker of $48,300 - $6,005 more expensive than the coupe. Add on the list of options fitted to our tester such as the eight-speed automatic, magnetic ride control, and dual-mode exhaust system and you’ll end up with an as-tested price of $54,075. I’ll give you a moment to pick yourself up from the floor due to the price shock. The Camaro is nice car all-around, but is it really worth dropping $54,000?! We’re not so sure. 
      Verdict:
      Both of vehicles have issues that don’t make them as appealing. The Cascada’s engine either needs to be kicked to the curb or head off to the gym to get a bit more power. It would nice if Buick could also figure how to put in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascada, although that might prove to be an engineering nightmare and something that would be better suited for the next-generation model. The Camaro Convertible’s price tag will make a number of people and their bank accounts cry. Also for being a convertible, the Camaro still feels as claustrophobic as the coupe.
      But when you drop the tops in both models, you forget all about the issues. Instead, you begin to take in the sky and rush of the wind. This makes you remember why you bought a convertible, to enjoy the feeling of openness. It is only when you put the top back up that makes you wonder if you can live with the issues. In the case of the Cascada, the answer is no. The Camaro is a maybe.
       
       
      Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the Cascada and Camaro; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Buick
      Model: Cascada
      Trim: Premium
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L SIDI DOHC with VVT
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 207 @ 1,800 - 4,500, 221 @ 2,200 - 4,000 (with overboost)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,979 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gliwice, Poland
      Base Price: $36,065
      As Tested Price: $37,385 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Deep Sky Metallic - $395.00
      Year: 2016
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Camaro Convertible
      Trim: SS
      Engine: 6.2L VVT DI V8
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 455 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 455 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/28/20
      Curb Weight: 3,966 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $48,300
      As Tested Price: $54,075 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Magnetic Ride Control - $1,695.00
      Eight-Speed Automatic - $1,495.00
      Dual-Mode Exhaust - $895.00
      Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation - $495.00
      20" 5-Split Spoke Aluminum Wheels - $200.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Summertime means something different for everyone. For some, it’s time to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. For others, it is the time to take that trip you have been thinking about for awhile. If you’re an automotive writer like myself, summertime means convertible season. The feeling of having the roof down and enjoying the expanded view of the sky is something quite special. This summer saw two of GM’s latest convertibles roll into the Cheers & Gears’ Detroit garage, the new Buick Cascada and recently redesigned Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible. How did these two droptops fare in the summer heat?
      Exterior:
      There is no denying the Opel/Vauxhall roots of the Buick Cascada as it is just basically the Cascada sold in Europe with Buick basing. But that isn’t a bad thing since the Cascada is handsome for the most part. The front features a new grille design and headlights with LED accents. The side profile reveals short overhangs for the front and rear. These overhangs make the side look somewhat oddly proportioned. A set 20-inch wheels come standard. Around back, a long chrome bar runs along the trunk lid into the taillights. 
      On the opposite end is the Chevrolet Camaro. If you’re looking for something quiet and doesn’t bring attention, then maybe you should pass on it. Redesigned last year, Chevrolet retained the Camaro’s basic profile with its sharp lines and rounded corners. But major work was done on the front and rear ends. The front features a narrow top grille and slim headlights. A massive grille sits underneath between a set of deep cuts into the front bumper. The back has been cleaned up with a new trunk lid design, rectangular headlights, and quad-exhaust tips. 
      One item both the Cascada and Camaro share is a fabric top. Putting the top down or up takes under 20 seconds for both vehicles. With the tops down, both vehicles look quite good. But put the tops up and the Cascada is the better looking of the two. I can’t put my finger as to why, but I think it deals with how the Cascada has a little bit more glass than the Camaro. 
      Interior:
      Unfortunately, both the Cascada and Camaro fall on their face when it comes to the interior for different reasons.
      In the case of the Cascada, it features the dash from the outgoing Verano and Encore. This reveals that the Cascada is older despite what Buick may have you think. For example, the center stack is laden with buttons and it will take you a few moments to find the specific one you’re looking for. Not helping is the Cascada using GM’s last-generation infotainment system. While the system is easy to use, the interface is looking very dated. It would have been nice if Buick could have slipped in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascade, but that would have likely introduced more problems than solutions.
      On the upside, the Cascada’s interior is well-built and features decent quality materials. A fair amount of dash and door panels feature some soft touch material. The front seats are comfortable for short and long distance trips. Power adjustments for the driver’s seat make it easy to find a position that works. One touch Buick deserves applause for is the seat belt presenter. The front seat belts are nestled away when the Cascada is turned off to make it easier to get in and out of the back seat. But when you start it up, the presenter extends for both the driver and passenger to buckle in. The back seat provides enough space for kids or small adults. Taller folks like myself will find minimal legroom. With the top up, anyone sitting back here will feel very confined. With the top down, this feeling goes away. 
      Step into the 2016 Camaro Convertible’s interior and you’ll find the same retro ideas from the previous model such as the shape of the dash and circular vents. But Chevrolet improved the overall usability of the Camaro’s interior. For example, the retro-inspired engine information gauges that were placed ahead of the shifter in the previous generation are gone. In its place are a set of air vents that also control the temperature of the climate control system. 
      Our tester featured the optional Chevrolet MyLink system with navigation. We know we’re beating a dead horse with our complaints with MyLink such as a slow response when going from various screens and recognizing devices plugged into the USB ports. But you would think that GM would maybe issue an update or something by now to fix some of these issues? Like other Chevrolet models we have driven this year, the Camaro’s MyLink system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We tried CarPlay and found it to be easier to use than most automaker’s infotainment systems. But, we had issues with apps crashing and the system not always recognizing our phone.
      The front bucket seats are quite comfortable and will hold you in if you decide to tackle that special road aggressively. A set of power adjustments makes it easy for anyone to find a comfortable position. The back seat is best reserved for small kids or extra storage as legroom is nonexistent. You would think that the Camaro Convertible wouldn’t feel as claustrophobic as the coupe since you can put the top down, but it isn’t. Sitting in the Camaro convertible with the top down, I felt like I was being contained in a small box. Blame the high belt line for this.
      Powertrain:
      Power for the Buick Cascada comes from a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. The figures are impressive for this engine. But drop it into the Cascada and it is quite disappointing. Performance is very lethargic as the engine has to overcome the nearly two tons of Cascada. It feels like an eternity getting up to speed and you’ll find yourself putting the pedal to the floor to get the vehicle moving at a sufficient rate. EPA figures for the Cascada stand at 20 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. My average for the week landed at 21 mpg. 
      The Camaro’s engine lineup includes a 3.6L V6, turbocharged 2.0L four, and our SS tester’s 6.2L V8. The V8 pumps out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. We had the optional eight-speed automatic, but you can get a six-speed manual. The V8 makes the Camaro Convertible stupidly fun. I found myself wanting to roll down the window at a stop light to tell the vehicle next to me “let me play you the song of my people” before stomping on the accelerator and having the V8 roar into life as the light turns green. The engine will pin you in your seat if you floor it and there is a never-ending stream of power throughout the rev range. A nice touch is the optional dual-mode exhaust system that only amplifies the noises of the V8. The eight-speed automatic is ofine around town and on the highway but stumbles somewhat in enthusiastic driving where it takes a moment to downshift when slowing down. Fuel economy for the Camaro SS Convertible stands at 17 City/28 Highway/20 Combined. I got about 19 mpg during my week-long test.
      Ride & Handling:
      Describing the ride and handling characteristics of the Cascada can be summed up in one word; smooth. Buick’s engineers tuned the Cascada’s suspension to deliver an almost magic carpet ride. Even with a set of twenty-inch wheels as standard equipment, the Cascada is able to deal with rough roads with no issues. Around corners, the Cascada feels planted and body roll is kept in check. But don’t plan on doing anything enthusiastic with it. The steering is a little bit too light for it. Drive it like a relaxed cruiser and you’ll enjoy it. Wind buffeting is minimal with either the windows rolled up or down.
      The Camaro Convertible is shocking as to how well it handles. Part of this comes down to optional Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system which limits body roll. Chevrolet engineers also worked on improving the structural rigidity of the Camaro. The combination makes the convertible just as good as the coupe in corners. Direction change is fast and there is plenty of grip coming from the meaty tires. Where the Camaro Convertible falters is the ride quality. The SS comes with a set of twenty-inch wheels. While they do look sharp, it makes for a somewhat unbearable ride. Bumps of any size are clearly transmitted to those sitting inside. MRC does its best to provide a comfortable ride, but it might be worth considering going down to a smaller wheel to improve the ride. Wind buffeting is kept in check with the windows up or down.
      Price:
      The 2016 Buick Cascada starts at $33,065 for the base model. Our up-level Premium starts at $36,065 and comes to an as-tested price of $37,385 thanks to the vehicle being finished in an optional blue color. You really don’t get much in terms of additional features when compared to the base Cascada aside from some additional safety features - front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert - and automatic wipers. Also for that amount of cash, you could with the Audi A3 cabriolet which offers a slightly more premium interior. But you would lose out on the larger back seat of the Cascada. You would be better off with the base Cascada.
      If you have your heart set on a Camaro Convertible, be ready to shell out the cash. The 2016 Camaro 2SS Convertible carries a base sticker of $48,300 - $6,005 more expensive than the coupe. Add on the list of options fitted to our tester such as the eight-speed automatic, magnetic ride control, and dual-mode exhaust system and you’ll end up with an as-tested price of $54,075. I’ll give you a moment to pick yourself up from the floor due to the price shock. The Camaro is nice car all-around, but is it really worth dropping $54,000?! We’re not so sure. 
      Verdict:
      Both of vehicles have issues that don’t make them as appealing. The Cascada’s engine either needs to be kicked to the curb or head off to the gym to get a bit more power. It would nice if Buick could also figure how to put in the dash from the updated Encore into the Cascada, although that might prove to be an engineering nightmare and something that would be better suited for the next-generation model. The Camaro Convertible’s price tag will make a number of people and their bank accounts cry. Also for being a convertible, the Camaro still feels as claustrophobic as the coupe.
      But when you drop the tops in both models, you forget all about the issues. Instead, you begin to take in the sky and rush of the wind. This makes you remember why you bought a convertible, to enjoy the feeling of openness. It is only when you put the top back up that makes you wonder if you can live with the issues. In the case of the Cascada, the answer is no. The Camaro is a maybe.
       
       
      Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the Cascada and Camaro; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Buick
      Model: Cascada
      Trim: Premium
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L SIDI DOHC with VVT
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 207 @ 1,800 - 4,500, 221 @ 2,200 - 4,000 (with overboost)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,979 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gliwice, Poland
      Base Price: $36,065
      As Tested Price: $37,385 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Deep Sky Metallic - $395.00
      Year: 2016
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Camaro Convertible
      Trim: SS
      Engine: 6.2L VVT DI V8
      Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 455 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 455 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/28/20
      Curb Weight: 3,966 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI
      Base Price: $48,300
      As Tested Price: $54,075 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Magnetic Ride Control - $1,695.00
      Eight-Speed Automatic - $1,495.00
      Dual-Mode Exhaust - $895.00
      Chevrolet MyLink with Navigation - $495.00
      20" 5-Split Spoke Aluminum Wheels - $200.00
    • By William Maley
      The Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse are well past their sell-by-date. GM knows this and will be introducing new versions of both within the next year. We haven't seen any spy shots of either model, til today.
      Autoblog published some spy shots of the next-generation Buick Enclave undergoing some hot-weather testing in Death Valley. From the shots, it looks like Buick will be retaining the shape of the current model. Although, it looks like the roofline has changed somewhat towards the back. We can pick out the new grille that we first saw on the new LaCrosse along with a set of LED running lights.
      The Enclave is expected to use a stretched version of the Chi platform that currently underpins the new GMC Acadia.
      Source: Autoblog

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse are well past their sell-by-date. GM knows this and will be introducing new versions of both within the next year. We haven't seen any spy shots of either model, til today.
      Autoblog published some spy shots of the next-generation Buick Enclave undergoing some hot-weather testing in Death Valley. From the shots, it looks like Buick will be retaining the shape of the current model. Although, it looks like the roofline has changed somewhat towards the back. We can pick out the new grille that we first saw on the new LaCrosse along with a set of LED running lights.
      The Enclave is expected to use a stretched version of the Chi platform that currently underpins the new GMC Acadia.
      Source: Autoblog
    • By William Maley
      Chevrolet Retail Share Up in August and 7 Out of 8 Months This Year
      Record ATPs reflect retail strength and strong mix Disciplined incentive spending significantly below industry average Inventories low but growing on all-new Buick Envision, GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 Cadillac gains retail share DETROIT – Despite very tight dealer inventories, General Motors (NYSE: GM) sold 212,915 vehicles to individual or “retail” customers in August, down about 5 percent from last year, but in line with the industry’s retail performance for the month. 
      Based on initial estimates, Chevrolet’s retail market share rose 0.4 percentage points in August to 11.0 percent.  Chevrolet has gained retail market share in seven out of eight months this year, and remains the industry’s fastest growing full-line brand.    
      GM’s total sales in August were down about 5 percent year over year to 256,429 vehicles.
      Year to date, GM’s performance is reflecting a very strong retail business.  
      Retail share up 0.5 percentage points Average transaction prices up more than $2,500 Disciplined incentive spending, in line with 2015 Daily rental deliveries down 34 percent Disciplined inventory levels and growing availability of key launch products Through the first eight months of the year, GM retail sales are up 1 percent, which continues to be 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. Year to date, Buick retail deliveries have grown 3 percent and Buick has gained 0.1 percentage points of retail share.
      “Despite tighter dealer inventories, we had a solid retail performance in August led by Chevrolet, which gained retail share in eight different segments,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “Our retail strength is reflected in our record ATPs in August, which were up more than $1,600 from last month and nearly $5,800 above the industry average while our incentive spending was below the industry average and well below our domestic competitors.”
      In addition, GM continues to take advantage of a strong, stable U.S. economy and industry.
      “All the economic factors continue to point toward a strong second half of the year and another potential record year for the industry,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist. “We think the industry is well positioned for a sustainable high level of customer demand.”
      August Retail Sales and Business Highlights vs. 2015 (except as noted)

      Chevrolet
      Malibu, Cruze, Trax, Silverado, Colorado, Spark, Tahoe and Suburban, and Corvette all gained retail share in their respective segments Colorado, Suburban, Tahoe and Trax were up 35 percent, 42 percent, 29 percent and 17 percent, respectively Cruze, Malibu, Corvette and Volt were up 18 percent, 9 percent, 16 percent and 52 percent, respectively Year to date, Chevrolet posted its best retail sales performance since 2007 Year to date, Malibu had its best performance since 1981 Corvette had its best August since 2008 Tahoe and Suburban had their best August since 2008 Colorado had its best August ever Crew Cab Silverado had its best August ever HD Silverado had its best August since 2007 GMC
      Canyon, Yukon and Yukon XL were up 39 percent, 43 percent and 66 percent, respectively The brand had its highest monthly ATP on record at $45,000 Denali penetration reached more than 28 percent, the highest on record Sierra had its best year to date sales since 2006 Canyon had its best August ever Yukon and Yukon XL had their best August since 2007 Yukon had its 12th consecutive month of year over year growth Buick
      Buick dealers delivered 1,531 Envisions, in line with plan All-new Lacrosse began shipping to dealers in late August Year to date, Encore up 21 percent Six out of 10 Cascada buyers and more than half of Encore buyers are new to GM Cadillac
      Escalade was up 8 percent Cadillac dealers delivered 4,839 XT5s CT6 had its best month since launch Average Transaction Prices (ATP)/Incentives (J.D. Power PIN estimates)
      GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $36,730, nearly $5,800 above the industry average and more than $2,500 above last August’s performance GM’s incentive spending as a percentage of ATP was 11.1 percent, below the industry average of 11.5 percent and well below other domestic and select Asian competitors. Fleet and Commercial
      GM’s fleet mix in August was 17 percent of total sales, below the company’s full-year guidance of 20 percent and 19 percent year to date According to plan, daily rental sales were 10 percent of GM’s total sales for August and 10 percent year to date with deliveries up 4 percent in August Large vans were up 18 percent for August Sales to small business are up 3 percent year to date Industry Sales
      GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in August was approximately 17.2 million units. On a calendar year-to-date basis, GM estimates the light-vehicle SAAR was 17.3 million units
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