As I get older, it's getting harder and harder to surprise me, so Buick deserves a golf-clap-style round of applause for accomplishing this difficult task. The 2010 Buick LaCrosse wowed me by living up to all its hype. The new design is modern and curvy. Its exterior looks much less geriatric than past models, and it maintains a roomy interior that’s defifnitely about comfort and style. The LaCrosse is a comfortable family midsize sedan that will appeal to parents looking for a little luxury in their lives.
This car is a game-changer for Buick. It's loaded with details, from a lovely faux wood trim to an illuminated band, which is visible only at nighttime, that extends across the dash. While it does seem to be a little excessive (as do some other LaCrosse design elements), it indicates that Buick is serious about being a younger, updated brand.
The LaCrosse has a V-6 engine that seemed a bit lackadaisical when I first started driving this test car. Then I realized I was driving it lackadaisically. Once I put a more aggressive spin on my driving style, the LaCrosse responded in kind.
A base LaCrosse has an MSRP of $26,245. My test car, a CXL with all-whfeel drive, started at $31,820. It had the Comfort & Convenience Package 2 and the Luxury Package, and the price went up to $35,865.00.
Buick's geriatric look and feel is gone. If you had no prior knowledge of Buick's reputation as the favorite car of grandparents, you wouldn't worry about people thinking you like early-bird specials and canasta if they saw you in the 2010 LaCrosse. That's because this car is a hottie. It's sleek, with curves in all the right spots, and it strikes a nice balance. It looks good from every angle.
I appreciated this car's thoughtful details such as the trim on the thresholds, heated (and auto-dimming on the driver's side) side mirrors and a keyless entry system, which means I only had to have the key fob in my purse or pocket to unlock the car's doors. There were a few chrome details, such as the chrome portholes on the LaCrosse's exterior, that felt a little over the top, and the grille struck me as too busy with all the slats and the large Buick logo.
My kids liked this car because it was so darn easy for them to use. They found the doors to be easy to open and close, but it should be noted that my son grew 2½ inches this year and has turned 8. My daughter is 6 but almost as tall as her brother. A younger child will probably need to be assisted, but you probably aren’t surprised by that.
With a 252-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine that's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, my test LaCrosse could really move. It also had all-wheel drive, so it got an EPA-estimated 16/26 mpg city/highway, which is 1 mpg lower than the front-wheel-drive version.
SENSE AND STYLE
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times-Groove On
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great-Excellent
The LaCrosse's interior is terrific. It looks luxurious, and I truly enjoyed being in the car. The quiet cabin was another huge plus for me. When I'm surrounded by kid noise all the time, it’s wonderful to have a quiet retreat where the only noise is silence.
The leather seats are comfortable and supportive. Between all of the power adjustments and the tilt/telescoping steering wheel, I found my perfect fit in the driver's seat. My whole family was comfortable in the LaCrosse, with a roomy cabin that felt bright and open. This five-seater is so roomy that it could actually hold three people in its backseat. Also great is the backseat’s legroom. I wouldn't hesitate to take long trips in this car because even my 6-foot husband was able to spread out in the front passenger seat without squishing anyone in the backseat.
My favorite feature was the head-up display. I loved being able to see the car's speed all the time without having to lower my gaze to the instruments. With the push of a button, the display also could show rpm and radio station information. If I changed the station, the display would briefly change to show me what I'd selected and then go back to the speed setting. I could move the display up or down and adjust the brightness to my liking.
There are faux wood accents across the center stack, and the front row's cupholders sit under retractable covers. The back row also has two cupholders with knuckles that adjusted to the cup size. They work well with small cups, juice boxes or bottles. However, bottleholders are noticeably absent in this five-seater.
Let's talk about the trunk. It's huge. During my test drive, it held a slew of grocery bags without balking. I was impressed. The trunk has a pass-through to the cabin for longer items, and the backseat folds in a 60/40 split for even more room.
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
The 2010 LaCrosse has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. To earn this award, a car must get the highest score of Good in front, side, rear and rollover crash tests as well as have standard stability control.
The LaCrosse's other standard safety features include four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front row and side curtains for both rows. Optional safety features include side-impact airbags for the backseat ($350), a backup camera, a blind spot warning system and all-wheel drive.
When it comes to child-safety seats, the LaCrosse's flat bench seat is awesome. There are no seat bolsters to interfere with the car-seat fit. However, the lower Latch anchors were hard to get to because they were wedged under the seat cushions. The backseat's seat belts also were problematic because the buckles were buried in the seat cushion. This would be tough for little hands and tempers to deal with.
Get more safety information about the 2010 LaCrosse here.