2014 Buick LaCrosse: Luxury, Safety and a Butt Massage

2014 Buick Lacrosse

2014 Buick Lacrosse

There’s a scene in the very funny ’80’s movie “Peggy Sue Got Married” when the time-traveling Peggy Sue, played by Kathleen Turner, returns to her senior year of high school and learns that her father bought an Edsel.

“You bought an Edsel?!?” she cackles with a belly laugh at the expense of the Edsel, a legendary car biz dud.

This sums up a girl’s hesitation to step out of the box when it comes to cars: No one wants to make an expensive mistake, much less one that can be so hugely visible at the grocery store or sitting in front of your house. Luckily, all of the ‘out of the box’ thinking in the new Buick LaCrosse is the smart and leading kind, not the ‘statement’ kind.

These days the exterior design of so many cars is a demure silhouette, and they are distinct for their sublime inner details. Much like a Prada dress, it’s all armor on the outside and luxury in how it fits, feels and flatters you.

That must be what the designers of the new Buick LaCrosse were thinking when they began to redesign this classic marque. Luxury on the inside was clearly the goal, from leather seats, in-car technology and cutting edge safety features (like a rear view camera) on the basic model, to an everything-but-a-butler package that only boosts the price by $5,000- $10,000 over the base price.

The car’s silhouette is classic modern: sleek and aerodynamic, with streamlined features like larger wheels that fill their wheel wells and exhaust pipes that are flush with the rear bumper (and won’t become an expensive casualty when the poor parallel parker who parks behind you taps it one too many times!). The LaCrosse is not overly large but still quite comfortable for five passengers, making it easy to navigate in city traffic and fun to cruise the highway.

Please, Massage My Butt

We recently took the LaCrosse out for a day of wandering through New York’s Hudson Valley and bucolic New Jersey byways (and yes, there is a huge part of Jersey that is bucolic, even picturesque). The LaCrosse was a cushy carriage for sightseeing, both for back seat passengers (ample leg room and clubby-feeling upholstery) and front seat passengers (there’s nothing like leather seating for a long drive). The driver’s experience was pretty nice, too, with capable handling and acceleration.

But sitting in a car for long periods can be a bit tiring on your derriere. The LaCrosse has an app for that. It’s called the lane change alert. If you start to move from one lane to the other without using your turn signal, you get a nudge on the tush from your seat. A nice nudge. Sort of like the rumble-y pedicure chair massage at your nail salon. Except you have to keep veering from your lane without signaling to trip it, which might be a concern to drivers around you. As we drove through New York’s winding roads, there was some nice butt massaging; on New Jersey’s more populous roadways, not so much.

At the end of the trail it was almost hard to get out of the car for ice cream—but not too hard. It was ice cream, after all.

What We Loved

  • Rear view camera and rear cross traffic alert
  • Remote starter
  • Lane change alert
  • IntelliLink media console with touch screen
  • Bluetooth streaming, hands free voice, and apps from your phone that load onto the media console (as in, no USB plug needed to listen to your Pandora playlist)
  • Leather everything
  • Heated steering wheel and seats
  • Choice of 18” 19” or 20” wheels (depends on the model; but 20” wheels? Yes, please.)
  • Bose speakers
  • Sunroof
  • Rear seat DVD player available
  • Forward collision alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Heads Up Display
  • Articulating head lights (they move with the wheels to to focus light on where you’re headed)
  • Adaptive cruise control (slows the car down when traffic in front of you slows. Awesome)
  • Two years of scheduled maintenance free

What You Need to Know

  • Many safety features available only on Premium models
  • Base model starts at about $34,000; price tops out at about $48,000
  • 4 years/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
  • 6 years/70,000 mile power train warranty
  • 6 years/70,000 mile roadside assistance and courtesy transportation
  • 6 months trial subscription to OnStar

Disclosure: Buick provided the LaCrosse and the drive itinerary, as well as ice cream and lunch, for this review; opinions here are purely my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss