For Sale By:Private Seller
Drive Type: Rear
Model: Grand National
Riverside, California, United States
87 grand national 790 miles! All factory.. Immaculate inside and out. All factory paint in excellent condition
"This is just silly," I said as I laughed my way sideways around the icy track at Circuit ICAR, a racecourse, drag strip and kart track at the Montreal-Mirabel International Airport in Quebec. It wasn't the activity that had me cracking up, though. After all, winter driving experiences aren't uncommon in this business.
No, in this particular case, it was the car that had me chuckling. I wasn't in a mad hot hatch or a rally-derived rocket - I was in a Buick. The 2014 Regal GS, to be more precise. Somehow, despite its recent product renaissance (not to mention its distant - yet storied - history of performance models), I was having a hard time believing that this attractive, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive sedan sliding around the Great White North could possibly be wearing a Tri-Shield badge on its nose.
But it was, and slide about it did. While having access to a vehicle in this setting is fairly rare, what's rarer is the fact that I've had so much exposure to it. In Mr. Ewing's recent Volkswagen Golf R drive story, for instance, his ice capades were his first experience with the new model. In my case, though, I was lucky enough to first test the refreshed Regal GS for a week back in December before flying to Quebec to drive it on the snowy, icy, winding roads of Canada's most fiercely independent province and on the track at Mirabel.
Buick first showed the facelifted 2014 LaCrosse at this year's New York Auto Show, and General Motors' luxury-ish arm has now confirmed that pricing for the updated sedan will start at $34,060 (*including $925 for destination), a increase of $1,505 over the 2013 model.
Buyers will be treated to an updated appearance, both inside and out. On the outside, tweaks were made to the LaCrosse's front and rear fascias, and new wheels are on offer (though the ones seen on the car pictured above seem to have been simply pulled from the 2011 Regal Turbo). Inside, there's a much cleaner center stack layout, complete with a standard eight-inch reconfigurable touchscreen IntelliLink interface. Buick is also offering a new Ultra Luxury interior package ($2,495), featuring Tamo Ash wood throughout the cabin, black synthetic suede on the headliner and leather seats in a new sangria color. Standalone options include different wheels, Bose audio, rear seat entertainment, navigation and a sunroof.
The 2014 LaCrosse's base powertrain is the trusty 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with eAssist, which is capable of achieving up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway. But for folks wanting more power, a 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 is available as a no-cost option, available with either front- or all-wheel drive.
Not Luxury. Not Sport. Not Buick. Not Bad.
Those of you who still think of the Buick Verano as some sort of callously badge-engineered, gussied up version of the Chevrolet Cruze ("Why would anyone spend that much money on Buick's Cruze?" you may have been heard to mutter) have got the wrong idea. Entirely. Even in its most modest form, the Verano turns out to be a sedan that is feature-rich, insulated from wind and road noise in proper luxury car fashion, pretty good to drive and not bad to look at in the new school of high-nosed pedestrian-impact-regulated fashion. In a less modest form then, one that attaches the word "Turbo" to the moniker and plops a force-fed 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood, the Verano is downright interesting.
Of course, "interesting" is rarely a descriptor that fills one with lust - and so it goes with this example. There are two competing forces within this near-premium subcompact sedan, and the balance struck between them must resonate with any potential customer before the Verano Turbo can become a serious purchase consideration.