Car Maintenance

The strange Buick LaCrosse full-size sedan for the US – and Australia?

Buick LaCrosse: The Perfect Blend of Luxury and Performance When it comes to the sedan segment, the Buick LaCrosse shines as a true masterpiece, offering the perfect blend of luxury and performance. With its elegant design, spacious interior, and advanced technology, this car is an epitome of class and comfort.

The strange Buick LaCrosse full-size sedan for the US - and Australia?
The strange Buick LaCrosse full-size sedan for the US – and Australia?

Exterior Design Buick LaCrosse:

The Buick LaCrosse boasts a sleek and sophisticated exterior design that commands attention on the road. Its aerodynamic curves, bold grille, and signature lighting elements create a striking first impression. The attention to detail is evident in every aspect, from the chrome accents to the refined lines that exude an aura of elegance.

Interior Comfort Buick LaCrosse:

Step inside the Buick LaCrosse, and you’ll be greeted by a spacious and luxurious cabin. The seats are crafted with premium materials, providing exceptional comfort and support for long journeys. The interior is designed to offer a serene and peaceful atmosphere, with minimal noise and vibration. Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, you’ll appreciate the attention given to every detail, making every ride a truly enjoyable experience.

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The strange Buick LaCrosse full-size sedan for the US - and Australia? 4

Technology Buick LaCrosse:

Buick is known for its commitment to advanced technology, and the LaCrosse is no exception. The infotainment system features a user-friendly interface with a responsive touchscreen, allowing you to easily access your favorite apps, navigation, and entertainment options. The available Bose premium sound system envelops the cabin with rich and immersive audio, enhancing the overall driving experience.

Performance Buick LaCrosse:

Under the hood, the Buick LaCrosse delivers impressive performance. The available V6 engine delivers ample power, ensuring smooth acceleration and confident handling. The suspension is finely tuned to provide a balanced and comfortable ride, even on rough road surfaces. With its precise steering and responsive brakes, the LaCrosse offers a dynamic driving experience that is both engaging and refined.

Safety Buick LaCrosse :

Safety is a top priority in the Buick LaCrosse, as it comes equipped with a range of advanced safety features. From forward collision alert and lane departure warning to blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, the LaCrosse provides an extra layer of protection for both the driver and passengers. Additionally, the available adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking systems help to mitigate potential accidents and enhance overall peace of mind.

Not too long ago, Buick primarily catered to elderly customers who reminisced about the Golden Age of Radio. However, Buick has successfully shifted its focus towards a younger generation that has grown up with the internet. Within just seven years leading up to 2013, Buick managed to lower the average age of its customers from 64 to 59, marking a significant change in its target demographic. Despite this shift, Buick still attracts a considerable number of traditional sedan buyers who prioritize luxury and are willing to pay for it. Simultaneously, the brand has embraced the preferences of a tech-savvy audience, offering sleek crossovers to those who believe in the mantra “information wants to be free.” As a result, the completely redesigned Buick LaCrosse is a unique vehicle that caters to both ends of the spectrum.

The Buick LaCrosse comes in two distinct versions. The first is the standard model, a spacious sedan with seating for five passengers. Starting at just $32,990, the base model harks back to a bygone era with its limited color options of black and white, devoid of premium features or additional choices. Interestingly, Buick’s marketing team proudly highlights the presence of “seatback map pockets” on the online configurator, which begs the question: Do those who still use paper maps also utilize online configurators? For an extra $4,000, the Preferred trim adds a cargo net, power-adjustable steering column, satellite radio, and upgraded wheels, but it still falls short of offering even the most basic luxury amenities. Leather upholstery and heated seats are reserved for the Essence trim, priced at $39,590, along with optional features like a sunroof and blind-spot/rear cross-traffic alerts. Advanced safety technologies such as adaptive cruise control and automated braking are only available as a $1,690 add-on for the top-of-the-line Premium trim, which starts at $41,990. If you desire the finest Buick experience, you must be prepared to pay a premium.

However, even the LaCrosse Premium can be elevated to a whole new level by opting for a package priced at $1,625. This package includes 20-inch wheels and tires, an adaptive suspension, and GM’s HiPer Strut front suspension. By choosing the 20-inch wheels, you transform the traditional Buick into a futuristic LaCrosse that offers a smooth ride and nimble handling, even on curvy roads. If you prefer the modernity of Jimmy Fallon over the classic charm of Johnny Carson, this is the LaCrosse that suits your tastes.

The improvement in handling achieved by the larger wheels and revised suspension cannot be overstated. The LaCrosse equipped with 235/50R-18 tires glides effortlessly, with extremely light steering that gives it a somewhat imprecise feel. The soft suspension further accentuates the car’s floating sensation. All LaCrosse models feature a multilink rear suspension, which imparts a rigid structure, but the standard tuning allows for noticeable up-and-down body movement. However, the HiPer Strut suspension paired with 20-inch wheels sporting 245/40R-20 tires delivers an entirely different driving experience, especially when the driver engages the Sport mode via the dash button. This firms up the suspension and introduces a more responsive steering program. Body control significantly improves, to the extent that even the provided Sea-Bands, designed to prevent motion sickness, become unnecessary.

Buick also offers an all-wheel-drive variant, exclusively available with the Premium trim, at an additional cost of $2,200. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to test this specific model, but we eagerly anticipate experiencing the changes in the LaCrosse’s on-road behavior due to its torque-vectoring rear axle, similar to the one used in the Cadillac XT5 crossover.

All LaCrosse models are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine producing 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. The V6 perfectly matches the 3,700-pound car, with the eight-speed automatic transaxle seamlessly carrying out gear shifts. However, in Sport mode, there is no distinct shift programming, although the standard steering-wheel-mounted paddles partially mitigate this issue. The V6 engine features direct injection, auto stop/start, and active fuel management, allowing it to seamlessly switch to four-cylinder mode for better fuel efficiency. These improvements, coupled with a claimed 300-pound reduction in weight compared to the previous year’s LaCrosse, result in a 3 mpg increase in the EPA combined estimate, now reaching 25 mpg.

The powertrain also introduces a new shifter, shared with the XT5 and set to be implemented across General Motors’ lineup. Like other car manufacturers, GM has reimagined the traditional PRNDL pattern since electronic advancements have eliminated the physical linkage between the shifter and the transmission. To engage Drive, the lever requires pulling back accompanied by pressing a side button, while Reverse involves a push up through Neutral and to the left. There’s a separate button for Park. This design choice is peculiar and likely to confuse both experienced and inexperienced drivers alike, leading to potential low-speed accidents, as evidenced by Chrysler’s struggles with a similar shifter design.

Despite the changes in target demographics and offerings, Buick has managed to strike a balance by catering to both traditional luxury sedan enthusiasts and tech-savvy crossover seekers with the redesigned Buick LaCrosse.

Regarding the interior and exterior of the Buick LaCrosse, there are notable improvements worth mentioning. One positive aspect is the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard features, which has become the industry norm for infotainment systems. The dashboard is dominated by an 8.0-inch frameless touchscreen that seamlessly integrates with the smartphone systems and utilizes GM’s modern infotainment software. This is a significant upgrade from older Buick models that were plagued by confusing button layouts and low-resolution screens. The overall interior quality has also seen substantial enhancements compared to the previous generation LaCrosse. The materials used are of higher quality, with more soft-touch surfaces and the inclusion of real wood trim in higher-end models.

However, there are a few downsides to consider. The base model lacks certain equipment and features, which may disappoint some buyers. Additionally, the electronic shifter design may be considered unconventional or strange by some, potentially causing confusion for both experienced and first-time drivers. Lastly, the standard suspension setup provides a more traditional ride and handling experience, which might not be as sporty or responsive as some drivers prefer.

In terms of the exterior, the Buick LaCrosse has undergone noticeable changes that are likely to catch people’s attention. The car has a longer wheelbase, stretched by 2.7 inches, and a lower roofline, lowered by 1.6 inches, giving it a sleeker and more elongated appearance. Despite maintaining its overall length of 197.5 inches, the LaCrosse manages to create a visually longer and lower profile. While it may not be considered groundbreaking in terms of design, it possesses an undeniable elegance that surpasses its archrival, the Lexus ES, which some criticize for its aggressive and controversial grille design. In contrast, the LaCrosse exudes a sense of sophistication and luxury. Chrome accents are generously applied throughout the vehicle, including a horizontal wing on its newly designed grille, flanking the iconic Buick tri-shield badge.

Buick’s commitment to its loyal customer base is evident in its decision to reinstate the traditional red, white, and blue colors on its badge. This symbolizes the brand’s dedication to serving its longstanding customers while simultaneously attracting new generations with credible products, such as the significantly improved Buick LaCrosse.

Is the Buick LaCrosse a good car?

The Buick LaCrosse is a remarkable sedan that embodies the perfect fusion of luxury and performance. With its exquisite design, comfortable interior, advanced technology, and impressive safety features, it offers a driving experience that is truly exceptional. Whether you’re heading out for a long road trip or navigating the city streets, the Buick LaCrosse is sure to elevate your driving experience to new heights.

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