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Auto blogWed, 27 Mar 2013 09:30:00 EST
Following the introduction of the updated 2014 Buick LaCrosse and Regal, the oldest vehicle in Buick's lineup will be the Verano, which was just introduced last year. Having such a fresh product mix bodes well for Buick as it tries to create a new image in the US, and after checking out the amount of luxury being stuffed into the new LaCrosse for 2014, GM's awkwardly positioned brand may finally have the ability to stand out.
Granted, the model unveiled was the all-new, top-of-the-line Ultra Luxury Interior Package, but this package brings top-notch leather and soft suede covering everything above the beltline as well as real ash wood accent trim throughout the cabin. While there was no mention of price, we don't expect this model to come cheap in terms of what we expect from Buick, although it will likely be competitively priced with similarly equipped rivals like the Acura TL or Lexus ES. Adding even more to the LaCrosse's interior, dual eight-inch displays make up the gauge cluster and center stack, and the number of buttons on the center stack have been greatly reduced, creating a cleaner look for the instrument panel.
Another big change is the next-generation of Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system that brings with it all of the recent enhancements of the Cadillac CUE and Chevrolet MyLink systems. Differentiating itself from other GM infotainment systems, the new Buick IntelliLink stands out by allowing users to customize the apps they can add and not just being limited to what GM sees fit.
Inside Line reports Buick is planning to bring back some of the more storied names from the company's past, including the Grand National, GNX and the T-Type. Those cars rose to prominence in the 1970s and '80s to become performance legends of their day.
The new models will reportedly make use of the rear-wheel drive platform that currently underpins the Cadillac ATS and all would arrive as sedans - according to an unnamed source familiar with the initiative. Odds are the T-Type and the Grand National would share a driveline, with honest money being on a new twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 as the engine of choice. Word has it the mill will be good for anywhere from 350 to 400 horsepower.
That leaves only the GNX. Inside Line seems to think that machine could get down the road with some help from the all-new GM LT1 small-block V8. The engineers behind the ATS platform have already told us the engine bay is large enough for to accommodate the big eight pot, and since GM is most certainly working on an ATS-V, a slightly less powerful, less luxurious Buick iteration makes some kind of sense. We can't wait to see these things in the light of day.
JD Power has released its annual Sales Satisfaction Index Study, and once again Mini and Lexus have taken top honors. Overall, buyers are more satisfied with the auto-buying sales experience than they were last year, with those surveyed reporting an average score of 664 points on a 1,000-point scale. That's up from 648 in 2011. Dealer satisfaction also increased by five points over last year as well.
All told, Lexus brought home an index score of 737, which was high enough to put it atop the luxury brands for the second year in a row. JD Power says Infiniti came in second in that category with a score of 728 and Cadillac rounded out the podium with it's rating of 725. Speaking of Infiniti, that brand saw the single largest jump in sales satisfaction of any brand on the survey, popping up 52 index points over 2011.
Among mass-market brands, Mini ranked highest with a score of 712, followed closely by Buick with 706 and GMC farther down the line with 683. You can check out the full press release below for more information.