Buick has updated the LaCrosse sedan for the 2018 model year with a new standard eAssist system, an available nine-speed automatic transmission and more.

The eAssist system is standard with the entry-level 2.5-liter four-cylinder powered 2018 LaCrosse. A small lithium-ion battery pack powers an electric motor which provides assistance to gasoline engine when accelerating and ensures smooth stop-start operation. Buick says the system contributes toward a 19 percent increase in city fuel economy over V6 versions of the LaCrosse. It also boosts powertrain torque by 9 percent over the 2017 2.5-liter LaCrosse.

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In addition, Buick has replaced the eight-speed automatic transmission in V6 versions of the LaCrosse with General Motors’ new nine-speed automatic for front-wheel drive cars. The automaker says it will offer five models with the nine-speed transmission by this time next year. In response to consumer demand, Buick has also made all-wheel drive available on the Essence trim-level, whereas it was previously only offered on the range-topping LaCrosse Premium.

Rounding out the changes for the 2018 model year are three new exterior colors: Satin Steel Metallic, Dark Slate Metallic, and Red Quartz Tintcoat. Pricing for the entry-level LaCrosse 1SV has been lowered from $32,990 to $30,490 for 2018, with deliveries expected to commence this fall.