I acknowledge the fact that I have already posted a review of the Buick LaCrosse. Recently, I found myself with another LaCrosse in my driveway – only this time I was about to drive a ton of miles and have a quite a bit of seat time in the car. The vehicle was painted in a red jewel tintcoat with a cocoa/light cashmere leather interior. This was a CXS model with the optional navigation system and upgraded audio system. Riding on the optional 19″ 9-spoke painted alloy wheels the car is a looker. Without question, people told me the car was good looking.
Getting to that road trip I mentioned earlier – I drove the car from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Kenosha, Wisconsin and then onto Elkhart Lake, WI for the spring MAMA rally. Then, I went back to Minneapolis, only to turn around and head up north to my cabin. Needless to say, this all equated to over 1,200 miles in a short period of time. That is quite a bit of seat time in a car, and one gets to know things about that car spending that much time in it.
The first thing I noted was how quiet the LaCrosse was at speed. With the cruise set to over 70 mph, the interior was library quiet. The ventilated seats were very easy to adjust and find a comfortable seating position. I did find them to be a little flat after an entire day on the road, but regardless they were comfortable. The two cup holders in the center console are the right size. The second cup holder gets covered by the sliding arm rest, which is quite annoying because I had the arm rest slid out covering it. The side mirrors are rather large and this makes it easy to see cars in your blind spot (when the mirrors are adjusted accordingly). The A-pillars are literally ginormous. You could (and I did) lose a biker at an intersection in those pillars, and it is a real safety hazard. This is a huge oversight and I am not quite sure how someone in development did not say something. I found that even though the belt line is rather high (the new trend) I was able to rest my arm on the window sill – but if I set it wrong it was quickly uncomfortable. The short hood is very noticeable when driving on the highway and it did not bother me, but I took note of it. I would also like to comment that I think that at least on the CXL (mid trim level) and CXS (highest trim level) model, projector headlights should be standard equipment.
The infotainment system worked terrifically, but I noted a few things. The navigation system will not let you enter a destination while moving. This is annoying – because what if you have a passenger that can do it safely while you are driving? I hate this little safety feature. Also, the navigation system would not let me enter certain addresses, so I had to resort to using my Google Maps on my iPhone. I loved the Harman Kardon branded sound system – it sounded absolutely fantastic. This is the upgraded system and it’s really worth it. The touchscreen worked well and there are a ton of buttons if you would rather operate the system using them.
On the way up north to the cabin, both my mother and girlfriend noted that the LaCrosse rode nicer than another family members 2006 Lexus LS430. After questioning them to find out more details, they noted the seats (specifically the rear seats) were more comfortable.
This LaCrosse was equipped with the 3.6 liter V-6, pushing the power to the front wheels. The transmission was a six-speed automatic with manual shift capabilities and a sport mode. While the car is rated at 17/27 mpg, I was able to average 28.9 mpg on the highway with the cruise set to 65 mph in Wisconsin. Once pushed to 77 mph back in Minnesota, the mileage dropped down to a 27.2 mpg average.
After all the miles and discussion about the car with people, my conclusion is quite similar to my original review. The car is a winner. With a sticker price of $36,135 out the door, this is a real value for the money. That said, it is not perfect and has a few flaws that need addressing. However, no one can say the car is not competitive.
Full Disclosure- The review vehicle was provided by General Motors