Buick is expanding the Sport Touring trim level recently introduced for the Encore to its lineup of sedans. The three sedans get similar styling changes to the subcompact crossover, but that’s all.
The 2016 Buick LaCrosse, Regal, and Verano Sport Touring all get model-specific 18-inch wheels with machined faces and black “pockets,” plus a rear spoiler. Despite Buick’s claim to be emphasizing “design-focused choices,” it’ll take an eagle eye to spot the difference between these and run-of-the-mill Buicks.
The Buick sedans are unchanged mechanically for 2016, which means they feature the same powertrain lineups. For the LaCrosse, that means either a mild-hybrid system with a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine and electric motor and 182 horsepower, or a 3.6-liter V6 with 264 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only option. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional with the V6.
The Regal gets the same mild-hybrid system as the LaCrosse, as well as a standalone 2.4-liter four that produces the same 182 hp, plus 172 lb-ft of torque. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger is also available, with 259 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, with all-wheel drive optional. A six-speed manual is also offered on the sporty GS model.
Completing the Buick sedan triad is the compact Verano, which is starting to look a little older now that its sibling, the Chevrolet Cruze, has moved on to a new platform. The Verano’s standard engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque, but there’s also a 2.0-liter turbo four with 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are both available, with front-wheel drive.
Like most General Motors models, the LaCrosse, Regal, and Verano come standard with OnStar 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to seven devices. A separate data plan is required for service, though. The LaCrosse and Regal will also get Apple CarPlay at launch, with Android Auto following sometime before the end of the 2016 model year.
The 2016 Buick Sport Touring models go on sale this fall.