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William Maley

New York Auto Show: 2014 Buick LaCrosse: Comments

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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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Love the continued use of Ventiports, they're an intrinsic part of the brand. And cool, a red interior option.

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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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Finally a production LaCrosse that bears even ust a hint of the panache of the original late-90s concept. I like it.

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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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Love the interior update. HATE the exterior update.

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      -Sunroof was nice to have considering how bunkerlike the Malibu can feel....but again the hatch design limits the size of the sunroof here compared to the Malibu's BAMR.  I can live with the compromise here myself, and again, the wagon will satisfy your urge for BAMR if you need it.  I would encourage GM to develop a way to integrate a larger moonroof with the hatch design.  I think it could be done, but would require time and money on a redesign effort.
      -Options / packages on this car are, simply put, stupid.  But that merits its own post.  At least in this car, the heated steering wheel and leather heated seats were both included.  You can actually get this car with heated steering wheel but without heated seats.  How f-cked up is that?  In 2019, Fusion, Toyota, and others will have things like blind spot and cross path detection as standard equipment.  And those are not 'premium' makes.
      -I'll let others decide if they think the styling is too tepid.  I don't mind the understated styling but do admit that the color selections that are available on this car leave me wanting.  I like the red on the GS, and the smoked pearl metallic is nice.  And Buick seems to think they should charge extra for paint colors when they don't make the ride and drive anything special.
      -pricing.  I think the average nature of this car would be easily forgiven if the pricing were in line with being an average car; not priced for a premium marque.  Like the LaCrosse and Envision, it is best to wait out the model year if you are buying and wait for the inevitable 7,000-10,000 or more in discounts...which might bring the pricing in line with what the vehicle really is.  You can't say this vehicle is appealing at the prices it is at now.  
      SUMMARY:
      This probably seems like a negative review, but you should consider it more of underwhelmed and let down.  This car as I drove it just doesn't have any kind of endearing personality to speak of!  At the end of the day, it took Buick two extra years to bring to the US it's own Malibu clone, which doesn't have much more to show for it.... apart from the clever hatch and base 2.0 engine upgrade over the 1.5.  I actually am very curious now to be among the first to try the 2019 Malibu 1.5t + CVT combo.  But that's an aside for another discussion.  The 2.0 that general motors puts in so many vehicles has never impressed me, and that's due more to it's character than anything.  I had hopes this would be the ONE CAR that it would feel sporting in; one that would make the car feel at least a little, like a SPORTS SEDAN.  Nope.  I will wait with baited breath to someday find a v6 GS to test, as i think it will be the only Regal worth anything.  At least worth anything more than just being another option in the midsize, genericar class.  And I hope Buick is working on a twin turbo six option as well for the GS (GSX?).  I tend to think this car won't move the needle in marketplace excitement until it has a tire shredder under the hood to brag about...The v6 will promise smoother revs and deeper lungs at least......... Still, as a replacement in the bottom end of the Buick lineup for the Verano, I am ok with this.  Just please, sex it up!
       
       
       
       
    • By William Maley
      Buick is expanding their electrified options in China with the introduction of the Velite 6 plug-in hybrid and electric. They'll join the the Buick Velite 5 - a rebadged Chevrolet Volt.
      The design is interesting to say in the least with a fair number of creases and a blacked-out rear pillar on this hatchback body. 
      Arriving first is the plug-in hybrid which is comprised of a 1.5L four-cylinder, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors, and lithium-ion battery pack. With a full tank of gas and fully charged battery, Buick estimates a range of 700 kilometers (about 435 miles). Not much is known about the electric variant, aside from Buick saying the model "will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience." The electric variant will arrive next year.
      Both Velite 6 models will come with Buick's new eConnect cloud connectivity system. Different drivers can setup their own accounts to personalize settings for navigation, audio, and internet use. eConnect will also provide real-time intergration of WeChat, a Chinese social media service. Owners can use their smartphone as the key for the Velite 6.
      Source: Buick
      Buick VELITE 6 Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle and Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Make Global Debut in China
      WUZHEN – The Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV made their global debut this evening at a launch event in the scenic Chinese city of Wuzhen, Zhejiang.
      Buick also announced that the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be launched this year and its sibling, the VELITE 6 electric vehicle, will be introduced in China at a later date.
      Buick VELITE 6
      Buick is focused on electrification, connectivity, intelligence and sharing in line with its Buick Blue new energy vehicle strategy. The VELITE 6 represents the latest application of this strategy.
      The two VELITE 6 models leverage electrification and connectivity technology from SAIC-GM’s parent companies, including Buick’s newest electric propulsion technology and connectivity technology. They are based on the VELITE Concept new energy vehicle that was unveiled in November 2016.
      The VELITE 6 has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. The modern, streamlined shape aptly represents the innovative exterior styling that matches the new nameplate’s exciting technological character.
      The high-performance propulsion system of the VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is composed of an EVT electronically controlled variable transmission, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors with a high-performance lithium-ion battery, and a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine especially tuned for hybrid vehicles.
      The motors and engine efficiently optimize power in different driving modes – such as the hybrid-driven mode of the motor and the engine, the single-driven mode of the motor, and the single-driven mode of the engine. It has a range of 700 km and combined fuel consumption of 1.4 liters/100 km.
      The new-generation modular high-performance ternary lithium-ion battery pack will be assembled at the new state-of-the-art SAIC-GM Power Battery Development Center in Shanghai. The battery incorporates leading battery heat management technology, providing independent and uniform temperature control of each battery unit via liquid cooling. This will ensure a longer life cycle and more stable performance.
      The VELITE 6 electric vehicle will adopt a new-generation pure electric drive system to offer customers a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience.
      The flexible and open cloud-based Buick eConnect technology in both models enables cutting-edge services and over-the-air update capability. With exclusive accounts, users can personalize their settings for OnStar, navigation, internet use and more. Music and destinations can be sent to the car display screen via WeChat in real time, for one-button navigation and listening. Users can also directly receive information about their vehicles’ condition and recommended maintenance.
      VELITE 6 users’ smartphones serve as a virtual key to enter and start the vehicle. They can authorize others to use their vehicles through their phones as well. Additional functions and new features will continuously be added to improve the user experience.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Describing a Buick as being bold seems somewhat strange, but the Enspire concept that debuted today in China is just that. Describing a Buick as being bold seems somewhat strange, but the Enspire concept that debuted today in China is just that.
      The overall shape is very different from Buick's current crossover lineup with a pronounced front end, deep cuts in the bumper, cameras mounted where the side-view mirrors would be, flared-out rear fenders, and a sharply raked rear end. The only interior shot provided by Buick is of the front. It looks very futuristic with the dash wrapped in microfiber suede and wood trim, OLED display, and a heads-up display featuring augmented reality technology.
      Power comes from Buick's eMotion electric powertrain producing 410 kW (about 550 horsepower). 0-60 mph is said to take about 4 seconds. On a single charge, Buick claims the Enspire can travel up to 370 miles. The concept supports both fast and wireless charging - the former providing an 80 percent charge within 40 minutes.
      Buick will be showing off the Enspire concept at Auto China 2018 in Beijing later this month.
      Source: Buick
      Enspire All-Electric Concept SUV Debuts in China
      Sculptural beauty meets advanced battery electric technology in Chinese concept SUV WUZHEN, China — The Buick Enspire all-electric concept SUV, an exploration of Buick’s bold design ideas and innovative technologies for future mobility, made its global debut in China. Key features include:
      Experience Features:
      Exterior feature lines and advanced aerodynamics accentuate the exterior’s strong, sculptural look. A “surround skyline” interior theme and suspended theater-type seating give the Enspire a bright and spacious interior. The center console and armrests are made from natural wood grain and microfiber suede. Cutting-edge technologies include an OLED display screen and an intelligent augmented reality technology-based head-up display system. 5G super high-speed network concept. Performance Features:
      Buick’s eMotion electric propulsion technology generates a maximum power of 410 kW, enabling the concept to sprint from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds.  The Enspire is able to travel up to 370 miles on a single charge. Supports both fast and wireless charging — the battery can be charged to 80 percent of capacity within 40 minutes. The Enspire all-electric concept SUV will be on display at Auto China 2018 in Beijing from April 25 to May 4.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Later this month, Buick will be debuting an all-electric concept SUV named the Enspire. The teaser picture released by Buick shows off a rakish back window and a taillight that runs the full length of the rear.
      "The Enspire leverages GM’s global resources and is an exploration of design and new technologies. It is the brand’s latest example of innovation and application of future electric smart mobility," Buick said in a press release.
      We're not surprised that Buick is showing off an electric concept in China. Last year, Chinese buyers bought 1.18 million Buick models - compared to the 219,231 sold in the U.S. China is also pushing automakers to build electric vehicles to help reduce emissions in the country.
      We'll have more information when the Enspire debuts on April 17th during Buick Brand Night.
      Source: Buick 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Buick Enspire Concept SUV to Make Global Debut in China
      SHANGHAI – Buick today announced that the Enspire, its new all-electric concept SUV, will make its global debut at Buick Brand Night on April 17 in Wuzhen, Zhejiang. It will also be on display to the public at Auto China 2018 in Beijing, which begins later this month.
      The Enspire leverages GM’s global resources and is an exploration of design and new technologies. It is the brand’s latest example of innovation and application of future electric smart mobility.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The 2019 Subaru Forester which debuted yesterday at the New York Auto Show looks very familiar to the current Forester. Despite what the body looks like, there are major changes underneath the Forester's skin.
      It begins with the platform. The 2019 Forester becomes the latest Subaru model to move onto the company's new global platform. This allows for a 1.2-inch increase in overall wheelbase which Subaru has used to improve rear legroom. In fact, Subaru says the new Forester offers more head, shoulder, and legroom than the outgoing model. As for cargo space, the 2019 Forester boasts 76.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded - up 1.9 cubic feet. Subaru has increased the width of the tailgate opening 5.3-inches to make it easier to load items.
      The interior is the same as you'll find in the Impreza and Crosstrek, down to the Starlink infotainment system in a 6.5- or 8-inch touchscreen. Other interior improvements include more comfortable front seats, larger seat pockets, automatic climate control being standard on all trims, and the option of a Wi-Fi hotspot.
      There will only be one engine available for the 2019 Forester - a revamped 2.5L boxer-four producing 182 horsepower (up 12) and 176 pound-feet of torque (up 2). This will only come paired with a CVT and AWD. Touring and Sport models add a a manual mode and paddle shifters to mimic a seven-speed transmission. Subaru's X-Mode with Hill Descent Control allows to Forester to go slightly deeper into great outdoors is standard on every Forester except the base model.
      Being a Subaru, the Forester comes chock full of safety equipment. All Foresters come with the EyeSight suite of active safety features - adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist. The top-line Touring introduces Subaru's DriverFocus fatigue and distraction alert. Using cameras and facial recognition software, it monitors signs of fatigue or distraction on up to five different drivers. The system can also remember a driver's preset on the seat, climate control, and radio.
      The 2019 Subaru Forester arrives at dealers later this year.
      Source: Subaru 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      ALL-NEW 2019 SUBARU FORESTER® DEBUTS AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
      Roomiest, most capable Forester to date Standard EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology Subaru Global Platform: quietness, stability, agility Available new segment-exclusive DriverFocus safety technology Updated 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER® engine New Sport model with unique exterior and interior Standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Panoramic moonroof March 28, 2018 , NEW YORK - Subaru of America Inc., debuted today the all-new 2019 Forester at the New York International Auto Show. The fifth generation of the best-selling SUV introduces the roomiest, most capable and most versatile Forester ever made and also features groundbreaking new safety technology.
      The 2019 Forester is built on the Subaru Global Platform to deliver significantly higher levels of driving pleasure, agility, crash protection, ride comfort and quietness. Arriving at Subaru retailers later this year, the all-new Forester will be available in standard, Premium, Limited, Touring and new Sport trim levels. All are powered by an enhanced direct-injection, 182 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder BOXER engine featuring Auto Stop/Start and paired with a standard Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). Also standard on all trim levels is Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
      For 2019, all Foresters come standard with the award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. The top-of-line Touring debuts the segment-exclusive DriverFocus safety technology which offers yet another layer of safety and convenience for the driver. The system can alert the driver of fatigue or distraction while on the road as well as automatically adjust many driver settings at start-up.
      Segment First DriverFocus Safety Technology
      With DriverFocus, Subaru is taking on one of the biggest issues in the automotive industry; distracted driving. Each day in the United States, more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes reported to have involved a distracted driver. * As an industry leader in safety, Subaru has developed DriverFocus, a state-of-the-art system to help address distracted driving for both new and experienced drivers.
      DriverFocus is a driver monitoring system that uses facial recognition software to identify signs of driver fatigue or driver distraction. DriverFocus works with Subaru’s award-winning EyeSight Driver Assist Technology to reduce the chance of an accident. And for added convenience, DriverFocus can also recognize up to five drivers and remember their presets for seat position, climate, multifunction display and more.
      The all-new Forester is the first in its segment, and among the first vehicles in the industry to incorporate technology that can address the important societal issue of distracted driving. The feature will be standard on Touring models.
      Added Power and Efficiency
      All Foresters are powered by a new version of the 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER four-cylinder engine, now with direct fuel injection and higher compression, along with active valve control system (AVCS) on the exhaust side. The new engine produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, versus 170 hp and 174 lb-ft in the previous Forester, for a boost in everyday performance and responsiveness.
      The 2019 Forester comes standard with Lineartronic CVT. The new powertrain not only yields quicker acceleration than the previous Forester, but also up to 33 mpg highway fuel economy (manufacturer’s estimate, pending EPA certification). On Sport and Touring variants, the CVT features a manual mode that simulates a seven-speed manual transmission, using steering wheel paddle shift control switches.
      Adding more flexibility for driving conditions, is a standard driver-selectable SI-DRIVE. SI-DRIVE is a powertrain performance management system that allows the driver to tailor the vehicle’s throttle characteristics by choosing between “Intelligent” and “Sport” modes (Sport Sharp on Forester Sport). “Intelligent” mode helps smooth out accelerator inputs for fuel saving, while “Sport” mode tunes the throttle to emphasize performance.
      Signature Subaru Design
      The 2019 Forester debuts a more rugged style that showcases Subaru’s new design language while retaining a strong family resemblance to the rest of the brand’s portfolio. The exterior has shoulder lines that follow around the pillars to emphasize height and strength. Prominent wheel arches emphasize the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system’s functionality. Front, side and rear underguards are standard on all models, with color finish according to trim line. New LED headlights are standard on all models and complement the brand’s signature hexagonal grille. High-gloss black or silver trim highlights the Forester’s premium appearance, accentuated by new colors such as Jasper Green Metallic, Horizon Blue Pearl and Crimson Red Pearl.
      Forester’s new design brings added function. The wheelbase is increased to 105.1 in. from 103.9 in., with the gain benefitting rear seat legroom, which is now 39.4-in., a 1.4-in. increase. Gains in headroom, hip and shoulder room further bolster passenger comfort and a feeling of spaciousness in the cabin. Wider rear door openings and a steep C-pillar angle make ingress/egress and installing a child seat easier. All Forester models feature lower body side cladding, which helps protect against mud, rocks and other road debris.
      The new Forester design maintains outstanding outward visibility, a hallmark of Subaru models. Strategically designed pillars and generous glass area ensure an excellent all-around view from inside, and all models feature a standard rear vision camera.
      The 2019 Forester design increases cargo space to 76.1 cu. ft. with the 60:40 split rear seatbacks lowered, a gain of 1.4 cu. ft. The load floor sits flatter, and the cargo area’s squared-off shape has been further optimized for ease of carrying large objects. Notably, the rear gate opening maximum width is now 51.2-in. wide, a 5.3-in. increase over the previous model and up to 8-in. wider than on some competitive SUVs. For example, with the 2019 Forester, it will be possible to load a full-size golf bag sideways without tilting it. A power rear gate is standard on Limited and Touring trim levels and available as an option for Premium and Sport.
      Roof rails, standard on all but the base model, allow for a number of Subaru Genuine Accessories for carrying items such as bicycles and kayaks. New tie-down hooks integrated into the rails, on Sport and Touring trims, allow ropes to be tied down more easily and securely.
      New Forester Sport
      Inspired by the needs of outdoor enthusiasts, the 2019 Forester Sport joins the line with unique appearance elements and specially enhanced standard equipment. A Sport grille with black gloss finish frame, black-finish 18-in. wheels and rear roof spoiler give Forester Sport a rugged look, while orange accents on the black underguards and roof rail mounts add a modern, youthful touch. The interior is a unique dark gray material with orange stitching and accents throughout that is exclusive to the Sport model.
      The Forester Sport exclusively employs a version of Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) with Intelligent and Sport Sharp modes and the Lineartronic CVT features a seven-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle-shift control switches. Building on the standard equipment of the Forester Premium trim, the Sport also features a high-grade instrument panel combination meter and multi-function display, LED fog lights, High Beam Assist, exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, Keyless Access with Push-Button Start and PIN Code Access and the All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer).
      A standard cargo area tray helps protect the interior. For added convenience when loading or unloading equipment at night, the Sport features a cargo area LED light with auto-off and a rear gate LED flood light that illuminates the area around the rear gate when it is opened.
      Family comfort and quiet space
      The roomiest Forester cabin yet is also the quietest, thanks to the Subaru Global Platform’s inherent resistance to noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Road noise is significantly reduced and Subaru has worked to tune out certain frequencies to make conversation or listening to music at highway speeds more comfortable.
      Forester’s interior has been designed for both greater passenger comfort and increased durability in everyday and recreational usage. New front seats, are constructed to enhance comfort on long drives. A new Electronic Parking Brake frees up console space by eliminating the traditional parking brake handle.
      All Forester models now feature standard automatic climate control (dual-zone on Limited and Touring models), and the available heated front seats feature three-stage control versus two-stage before. The Touring trim adds new heated rear seats for 2019. Keyless Access with Push Button Start is standard on Sport, Limited and Touring trims and optional for Premium. In conjunction with this feature, SUBARU STARLINK® Connected Services now offers available Remote Engine Start via the MySubaru smartphone app. Climate controls can also be set on the app when Remote Engine Start is activated. Many other connected services such as Wi-Fi and concierge services are newly available on Forester for 2019 model year.
      Numerous new details throughout the Forester reflect the Subaru brand’s meticulous study of real-world customer usage. The material used for the cargo area floor, sides and rear gate interior trim offer a textured surface to resist dirt. The robust material also resists scuffing, such as when carrying camping equipment or other outdoor gear, and is easily cleaned. PVC material used on the bottoms of the front seat backs likewise resists scuffing and the material is easily cleaned. Pockets on the front seatbacks are now divided to more easily organize items such as magazines and electronic devices.
      Legendary Subaru Value Gets Even Better
      The 2019 Forester is the best-equipped ever, with the standard model adding features such as EyeSight, LED headlights, Auto Start/Stop, SI-DRIVE Engine Performance management, Active Torque Vectoring, Automatic Climate Control, Electronic Parking Brake, Trailer Stability Assist and Welcome Lighting. A panoramic power moonroof is standard on Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring trims.
      Each trim level adds more features and amenities, while maintaining all the vehicle’s rugged capability. The 2019 Touring is the most luxurious Forester ever, with standard and exclusive features including 10-way power driver’s seat, new 8-way power front passenger seat, new heated rear seats and heated steering wheel. Also new for 2019, the exterior mirrors have a two-position memory function synchronized to the driver’s seat position memory and in addition tilt downward when reverse gear is engaged, to aid in parking maneuvers. A new power rear lock button is available on the rear liftgate that will close and lock the gate and all doors on the vehicle.
      Adventurous Spirit and Function
      The 2019 Forester continues the model’s tradition of offering the optimal blend of SUV capability with car-like ride and handling with legendary Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. This key technology provides stable, secure driving for young families and all-around capability for outdoors enthusiasts. Subaru’s all-wheel drive system actively monitors acceleration, deceleration, cornering and traction to transfer power to the wheels with the best grip.
      Active Torque Vectoring, first introduced on the brand’s iconic WRX ® and WRX STI® performance models, is also standard on all 2019 Foresters. The Forester base model features standard 17-in. steel wheels, while the Premium gets standard 17-in. alloy wheels. Sport, Limited and Touring models ride on 18-in. wheels with each trim featuring its own wheel design.
      Forester offers a generous 8.7 inches of ground clearance, which is more than most competitors and allows for confident off-pavement driving. Yet, the 2019 Forester maintains an easy step-in height.
      For handling difficult driving conditions such as snow or mud, Forester Premium, Sport, Limited and Touring come standard with driver-selectable X-Mode® with Hill Descent Control. When engaged, X-Mode optimizes control of the engine, transmission shift pattern, Active AWD front/rear clutch force, brakes and the Vehicle Dynamics Control system to optimize wheel control on slippery surfaces and steep inclines. New for 2019, the Sport, Limited and Touring models come standard with a dual-mode version of X-Mode that offers Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud modes for even more capability to go virtually wherever necessary.
      Subaru Safety Throughout
      The Forester’s new platform integrates the latest version of the Subaru ring-shaped reinforcement frame design, proven over nearly two decades to provide excellent occupant collision protection. All versions of the 2019 Forester come standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology that includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Pre-Collision Throttle Management and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.
      Other available driver-assist technologies include Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Reverse Automatic Braking can apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing.
      Forester Sport, Limited and Touring include High Beam Assist, and Limited and Touring also add Steering Responsive Headlights. New for the 2019 Forester, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) now displays pressure for individual tires. New standard Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) utilizes yaw sensors to monitor trailer sway and then can brake individual wheels to stabilize the vehicle and trailer.
      A power locking fuel door is integrated into the new automatic power door lock/unlock system as standard. The system locks all doors, the rear gate and fuel door once the vehicle is driven over 13 mph, and the owner can set locking/unlocking preferences.
      Inside, the Forester fills out its safety roster with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage.
      SUBARU STARLINK™ In-Vehicle Technology
      The 2019 Forester offers the latest touchscreen SUBARU STARLINK multimedia systems with standard features including Apple CarPlay™, Android™ Auto and SiriusXM® services (subscription required) with Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming. Music, news, podcasts and much more can be enjoyed with standard Aha™, Pandora® and STARLINK app integration. A built-in, voice-activated navigation system powered by TomTom with an 8” high resolution touchscreen is also available. The standard Forester comes with the 6.5” Multimedia system, while higher trim levels feature the 8.0” Multimedia Plus and 8.0” Multimedia Navigation systems.
      SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services now offers remote engine start (on models equipped with Keyless Access and Push-Button Start); concierge service; anti-theft vehicle immobilizer with flashing vehicle security lights; young driver safety functions including geofencing, speed alert and curfew; and firmware updates over the air.
      Also available, the Safety Plus package offers SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, maintenance notifications, monthly vehicle health report, and diagnostic alerts. The Safety Plus & Security Plus upgrade package adds stolen vehicle recovery service, vehicle security alarm notification, remote lock/unlock, remote horn and lights and remote vehicle locator.

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