Competes with: Lexus ES, Chrysler 300, Toyota Avalon
Looks like: A sleek, but not particularly distinctive, luxury sedan
Drivetrain: 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Early summer 2016
Buick used the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil its redesigned luxury sedan. The 2017 LaCrosse has concept-car-inspired styling, an all-new V-6 drivetrain and offers available features designed to make driving safer and more comfortable. The 2017 LaCrosse hits dealerships next summer.
Buick says the 2017 LaCrosse is the first model to wear the brand’s new front-end styling theme. With its tri-color badge, wide waterfall grille and LED accent lighting, the LaCrosse draws from the Avenir concept car shown earlier this year, albeit in a toned-down way. The new LaCrosse has shorter overhangs, a wider track and a lower roof that helps give it a sleeker, more athletic appearance. It’s also lighter by about 300 pounds, according to Buick, thanks to the use of high-strength steel and more effective but lighter sound-deadening materials.
Standard features include high-intensity-discharge headlights with LED accents, LED taillights, 18-inch aluminum wheels and a capless fuel filler. Twenty-inch wheels are available.
The LaCrosse’s restyled interior incorporates an electronic gear selector that’s offset toward the driver and a new dashboard design. Available comfort and convenience features include heated and ventilated front seats that have a massage feature, perforated leather upholstery, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic air conditioning and a power rear sunshade. Bose premium audio and aluminum trim are also offered.
Available technology features include the Buick IntelliLink multimedia system with an 8-inch dashboard touch-screen and subscription-based OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hot spot. Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, which lets you interact with select apps from your phone on the car’s touch-screen, is part of the IntelliLink system. Also available is wireless smartphone charging and a head-up display, and the instrument cluster has a configurable 8-inch screen.
Under the Hood
The LaCrosse is powered by a 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine that incorporates a number of fuel-saving measures like cylinder deactivation and auto stop-start. The cylinder deactivation system shuts down two of the engine’s cylinders under light loads, and auto stop-start turns the engine off when the car comes to a stop and automatically restarts it when you lift your foot off the brake pedal.
The V-6 works with an eight-speed automatic transmission that routes power to the front wheels or all four wheels with the available all-wheel-drive system, which can vary the amount of torque going to each rear wheel.
The LaCrosse also has a new five-link rear suspension that improves tire contact with the road, according to Buick. An adaptive suspension with driver-selectable Touring and Sport modes is available.
Luxury cars are increasingly adding high-tech safety features, and the LaCrosse is no different. Available features include adaptive cruise control, a blind spot warning system, a backup camera and GM’s Safety Alert Seat, which warns the driver of potential safety issues by vibrating different areas of the seat cushion. Also offered are lane departure warning and prevention and forward collision warning with automatic braking for both other cars and pedestrians.
There’s also available technology designed to keep an eye on young drivers, with the ability to mute the stereo when front-seat occupants aren’t wearing their seat belts, emit visual and audible warnings when a preset speed is surpassed, and provide parents with a report card on their child’s driving.