- Repair & Care
Although it shares aspects with the Chevrolet Malibu, the five-seat Buick LaCrosse is intended to compete with premium or near-luxury models like the Volkswagen Passat. It was designed in the U.S. and China, where Buick has a significant presence. Buyers can choose from a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with fuel-saving eAssist hybrid technology or a 3.6-liter V-6.
(Skip to details on the: LaCrosse eAssist)
New for 2012
The LaCrosse's available 3.6-liter V-6 is now rated at 303 horsepower — an increase of 23 hp — and it can also run on E85 ethanol instead of regular gas. Additional newly available features include dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a high-resolution color driver information center, an 8-inch touch-screen radio and a USB port. Available is Buick's IntelliLink, which uses Bluetooth or the USB port to pair a smartphone to the touch-screen stereo and stream music from Pandora Internet Radio or Stitcher SmartRadio.
Though it's a midsize sedan, the LaCrosse is a bit larger in all dimensions than the Malibu and a few hundred pounds heavier. The grille is large and bold, and a distinctive accent line runs along the side from headlight to taillight. It's a stronger statement than the previous generation, but Buick hasn't redefined itself to an extent that will turn off traditional buyers. Exterior features include:
The interior is modernized with features such as ambient LED lighting and USB connectivity. It doesn't trade the classic interior for anything too edgy. There are high-quality materials and contrasting-color stitching. The backseat truly has room for three passengers. Optional interior features include:
Under the Hood
The LaCrosse comes with one of two engines: a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist hybrid technology or a 303-hp, 3.6-liter V-6. Both are direct-injection designs, a relatively new development in gasoline engines that portends good gas mileage for the engines' size and power. Mechanical features include:
The LaCrosse has front- and side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags that cover both rows of seats. Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control are also standard, as is OnStar communication system with six months of free service. Optional safety features include:
In the LaCrosse eAssist, Buick engineers paired a 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder with an advanced lithium-ion battery pack and a 15-kilowatt electric motor. The result is EPA-estimated gas mileage of 25/36 mpg city/highway. This technology enables regenerative braking, electric-power assist during acceleration, fuel cut-off during deceleration and a stop-start function for the gas engine. The LaCrosse eAssist also has improved underbody aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance tires and unique electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds to direct more air over the car. Back to top
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