By on August 8, 2014

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Oh, GM, you so cray-cray. You’ve done it again. If the 2010 Buick LaCrosse was the ’84 Fiero 2M4 of entry luxury sedans — all the right ideas executed indifferently — this 2015 model is the ’89 GT V6 of entry luxury sedans. All the right ideas, executed well enough to get the attention of the choosy. But how much longer does this aging horse have to run before the knacker comes calling?

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Five years ago, I went endurance racing in a 2010 LaCrosse and lost the race due to a fueling infraction penalty that was slightly longer than my margin of victory. This time I went endurance racing in a 2015 LaCrosse and won the whole effing thing. You can read Sam Miller’s coverage from the past weekend if you want the scoop. I assure you, however, I did not eat any BBQ chips during the actual race. That’s libel and if Sam weren’t recovering from her wall hit I’d be sending her a very strongly worded Snapchat right now. Or Kik, or whatever the kids are doing now. They might be the same thing. I am this close to becoming the guy I knew in my 8-bit days who griped about how using a video terminal had taken the challenge out of computing.

But I digress. This Buick’s pretty ancient too. Were it a Honda, it wouldn’t exist. Were it a BMW, it would be deep into its facelift. Instead, it’s just fourteen months or so into a new look and there are a few years left on the clock. Oh, well. It’s GM, what are you going to do? The annoying part is that the Lexus ES was a fairly weak product five years ago and this LaCrosse could have hit it harder than the pre-facelift car did. As with the ’89 Fiero, this is what they should have provided five years ago.

Styling: this is what it should have looked like before. The 2010 model looked unfocused, this looks predatory. The weird tall and thin proportions are smoothed out by this deep grille and revised taillamp treatment. It’s a confident look. This car as I drove it scales out at $36,650 and I don’t think you need to be embarrassed about the looks at that number. Any BMW or Audi you can get for this money looks either po’-mouthed or bite-sized by comparison. Now here’s the question that will really bake your cookies: is this better-looking or more upscale-looking than an MKZ? I’d have to fall on the “hell no” side of that argument. There’s something very bespoke-looking about the little Lincoln’s profile. This just looks GM parts-bin and the wacky character line, like Elvira’s eyebrows, isn’t improving with age.

Can’t be helped. It was styled for the Chinese market and one of the important things that our future imperial masters wish to have conveyed to the proles in traffic is this: long back seat. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s totally legit. There’s a ton of room in the back seat of this Buick. This is the kind of room that should be standard with every Cadillac, but other than the platform sibling XTS, Cadillac isn’t “coming with length” in the States. We had four people in this car for a 1,461-mile trip, two of them working on their laptops almost continually, and there were no problems. Bonus: the rear windows go all the way down. That’s a detail that somebody made sure to get right. If you carry people in the car a lot, this is a winner.

If you carry luggage, on the other hand, the LaCrosse sucks like Seka in her prime and if you pop for the eAssist your misery will be compounded further. The battery is, by my calculations, the size of a Cylon battlestation and it occupies a solid portion of a trunk that’s already pretty tiny. The only way we could make the trip work was to use one rollaway bag as a center armrest in the backseat and have Ms. Miller leave her helmet bag in her rear footwell. Each one of the four nights we spent away from home included at least two games of Tetris as I tried in vain to make the luggage fit. (Or, if you’re feeling properly geeky, this was backpack algorithm time.) How I cursed the eAssist system again and again. The 3.6 V6 is a no-charge option in this car. You might want to consider taking it.

Unless, that is, you want to save fuel. This full eAssist system, described by Motor Trend magazine in a Ritalin-overdose fit of sympathetic manu-fellatio as “the wildest of mild hybrids”, really works as advertised. The basics are simple. There’s a fifteen-horsepower motor belted on to the front side of the engine. When you’re slowing down under certain conditions, say, not on a racetrack, the motor will slow the car and charge the big battery. It then uses that power to run the accessories properly during an auto-stop and then it helps get the LaCrosse moving again.

Readers of my recent Malibu review will remember my distaste for the half-assed start-stop system it uses in place of eAssist. I’m pleased to report that the LaCrosse doesn’t do any of that stuff. Only the lack of engine noise and the drop of the tach to a 0-rpm point alerts you to auto-stop. The A/C keeps running, the stereo keeps blasting Chromeo, it’s all good in the hood. Lift your foot from the brake, or sit for more than a minute, and it starts immediately. It doesn’t feel like convention engine starting, more like the Ford/Toyota synergy drive. It just starts running with no drama whatsoever. I like it.

One gripe: why does putting the car in Park turn the engine on? If you’re in auto-stop and you slip the gearshift into “P”, it starts the engine. That’s silly. It should run the battery down then start. I don’t understand the reason for this behavior. In New Jersey, where there are signs outside convenience stores asking people to snitch on their fellow citizens for keeping the engine running, having it stay stopped in Park would be useful.

On the move, the eAssist is strong enough. It feels about as fast as a four-cylinder Accord or Camry, which is complimentary given the Buick’s extra heft and size. I never felt caught out by lack of power, even merging on the Capital Beltway or the GW Parkway. There’s no joy in this Mudville of a four-banger, but neither does it strike out when it’s time to accelerate in traffic. Overall, it’s a satisfactory drivetrain.

Normally, this is the point where I give fuel-economy numbers for the trip, but in this case I need a disclaimer. For two days this Buick was left running in the pitlane of a race while a few children and the occasional adult used it to warm up, dry off, change clothes, operate laptops, and simply avoid the massive fly infestation that has settled over NJMP like a Biblical plague. (One of two, actually; there were a lot of frogs around at night, I’m told.) It wouldn’t be fair to report the 26.7mpg average reported by the LaCrosse for the whole trip. Instead, I’ll tell you that for the first 600 miles, which included plenty of time using the auto-stop in traffic, the Buick showed a solid 31.6mpg, said number being roughly backed up by fuel fill data. I drove without much aggression, trying to let the car stretch its fuel-economy legs, but I didn’t do anything hyper-mile-ish.

During the trip, the LaCrosse was remarkably quiet, pleasant, comfortable, and enjoyable. The revised interior, featuring good-quality leather seats in the mid-grade trim I rented, is far better than it was five years back. I would stack the dynamic and NVH qualities against a Lexus ES any day of the week. It was much better than my Accord or any competitor I’ve driven, even the relatively placid Fusion. The LCD-screen instrumentation is configurable like a C7 Corvette’s and it’s very readable in all conditions. The center stack has been improved quite a bit in appearance and function, although the temperature controls look and feel cheap. There’s plenty of 12v power available and the center armrest has a rather amusing hinge that unfortunately comes apart when young people are tugging at it. This is a usable proposition for the long American road. It’s what my father expected his 1977 LeSabre Custom to be when he chose it as a company car. No excuses need be made. If I need to quibble, I’ll do it about the Bluetooth Audio function which is amazingly stupid and frequently “skips” songs as if there were a 33-rpm turntable hidden somewhere in the dashboard. Nor is the phone interface terribly competent.

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Since I happened to be at a racetrack, one where it was raining, it seemed reasonable to wring the 4,100-mile LaCrosse around it for a few laps. Thanks to the deep-treaded tires, I was able to put some space on the AER cars that were using the track to shake down their rain setups. Hitting pools of standing water at 100-plus miles per hour, the Buick was remarkably stable. Cornering at the limit of the tires, there was a progressive breakaway from the front end that was signaled well in advance through the steering. Left-footing the car did very little to move the long tail around. If you want a chuckable family sedan, get a Camry SE.

I was curious to see what would happen to the eAssist system when it was driven beyond its likely usable parameters. After four hard laps, I pulled into the pits. I could smell the brakes and feel the heat wafting into the cabin from the hood, but when I came to a halt, the tach fell to auto-stop. Releasing the brake resulted in a no-drama instant start. Okay, GM, you win this one.

At thirty-six grand, this is a much better value than the Malibu at two-thirds the MSRP. It’s priced fairly, equipped properly, executed competently. I wouldn’t buy it over an Accord Hybrid but then again if I needed the room in the back I might rethink that position. If you want to buy a good car from the General, and your budget doesn’t stretch to the Corvette, stop by your Buick dealer and give the LaCrosse a shot.

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137 Comments on “Review: 2015 Buick LaCrosse eAssist...”


  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’ll be honest, the last Buick that caught any of my attention was the 5.3L LS4 powered Lacrosse. That car is a hoot. The latest Regal looks to be pretty nice, but I’ll be damned if any of my local dealers have ever had a GS on their lot.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      I was looking for a test drive late last year and found much the same thing: the Regal GS is a rare bird indeed.

      One of its problems is its staggering city fuel consumption. Real MPG reports it to be 16.5 MPG for the FWD version which is V8 gas consumption from a turbo 4.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        drove a GS to work today. Got a solid 31 on the highway and have been told that it never sees below 26 in mostly around town stuff.

        I believe 16.5 if you are having fun with it.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          Don’t bet on it. The same engine in the much lighter ATS yields around 19-20 in normal city driving so 17 and below make sense for a much heavier vehicle with the same engine.

          I love the GS but for that sort of money & mileage I would rather get a 300 or a new Mustang.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Just reporting on the lifetime number the dash gives.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Just reporting on the lifetime number the dash gives.”

            It’s not a lifetime number. Most are calculated based on a 500 mile rolling average.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            I glanced quickly and thought it had both like on my car.

            Considering the car has been driven by the same person for 18K miles, on the same roads at the same time of day, I’m willing to sort of believe its pretty close.

            I suspect it is probably optimistic by 2 or 2 mpg considering the kind of driving she does.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        If anyone is interested, after 10,000 kms, the 3400 lbs Verano T (2.0T, 6MT) has a lifetime average of 8.9 L/100kms (26.5 US MPG), with highway trips on average around 32 mpg.

        I generally drive smooth and easy, though I really enjoy dipping into the midrange passing power on boost.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      I thought that the V8 Lucerne got the Northstar V8 and not the LS4?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        It did. We’re talking about the Lacrosse. Or if you’re Canadian, Allure.

        I’ll admit I liked the V8 Lucerne too, but it reminded me a lot of the FWD Cadillac STS, and those haunt my nightmares.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          Oh, when I read modern Buick and V8, I thought it was only the Lucerne that got a V8 lately. I didn’t realize that the Lacrosse also got a V8.

          I never have got the privilege to drive anything with a Northstar, but it does seem like the sort of engine that I would like. Not sure I want to get a used Cadillac or Buick or an Oldsmobile for it, but I think that I would like it more than the 5.3L.

          When you say nightmares of the STS, were they over mechanical issues with the Northstar? Also, I thought that the STS was RWD and the DTS was FWD?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You are correct regarding the Northstar in the Lucerne.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Jack, there was no ’89 Fiero. The last year they built ‘em was 1988.

    • 0 avatar
      JLGOLDEN

      Hahaha I was going to post the same thing. Ohhhhhh….that ’88 Fiero. The V6 had such a nice baritone exhaust burble.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I really am getting old. I kept thinking the last GT was an ’89.

      You’re right, it’s an ’88, I’ll leave the error up to give my detractors a quick win.

      http://pontiac-fiero.blogspot.com/2008/05/1989-1990-fiero-that-could-have-been.html

      • 0 avatar

        It works better as an ’89. The car they should have made.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        Reg; “I really am getting old.” COL! Did Sam’s comments get to you, Jack.

        I have memories of taking an 84′ Fiero ‘Indy’ special on the Rowena loops drive from Hood River to The Dalles and back. Wonder what ever happened to those. I only recall seeing one on the street and one for sale in the past 25 years. Later, I also did the same lap of the Loops with the 88′ GT.

        Handling had improved considerably with the 88′ iteration. A Friend has owned several Fiero’s for years, so I still get around them and occasionally ride or drive one. They are not to bad a little car. He drives his ‘Iron Duke’ manual as a daily drive and Winter car for its mileage and Winter traction. We have plowed some snow with that car until it starts to float in the 6″-8″ stuff. For many years, we used it for skiing trips with just a set of unstudded Town& Country’s on the back. Never a problem getting up the mountains.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    “why does putting the car in Park turn the engine on? If you’re in auto-stop and you slip the gearshift into “P”, it starts the engine.”

    I don’t know either, but the 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid did the same thing.
    And you are right, when one is waiting on a long line in a drive-thru, it should be a no brainer to allow the engine to rest in “P” and start again when shifting into “D”.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Could it have anything to do with the air con? When you’re in park it assumes you might sit there for a while. Does the compressor still spin with the engine off? I assume so, but maybe the engine running takes the stress off the electric motor?

  • avatar
    NN

    it is so very GM to finally make the vehicle decent when everyone stops paying attention to it. It’s nice that they made the car competent, but probably from a business perspective a poor investment rather than putting the development focus and investment on making the next generation dynamite. This car won’t steal any thunder from competitors. All this really means is that if the reliability is acceptable, a 2015 e-Assist Lacrosse will be a great used car buy in a few years.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Awesome article, does the start/stop only come on the eassist?

    That’s absolutely crazy New Jersey forces people to turn off their vehicles when idling forget that.

    Also did we ever get the C7 review? I can’t remember it being here.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    “…I’d be sending her a very strongly worded Snapchat right now. Or Kik, or whatever the kids are doing now. They might be the same thing. I am this close to becoming the guy I knew in my 8-bit days who griped about how using a video terminal had taken the challenge out of computing.”

    Lines like this are why I keep reading Jack’s articles (with Lynx).

    “the stereo keeps blasting Chromeo, it’s all good in the hood”

    +1 for Chromeo, good to see a bit of Canadian culture around here!

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    “The 2010 model looked unfocused, this looks predatory.”

    That sentence meant as praise represents the kind of teenage testosterone I was hoping would start leaving TTAC along with this guy.

    But I guess it’s like getting a mildew smell out of basement carpeting; takes a while and is never really complete.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Lots of old conservative folks around where I live and I see a lot of LaCrosses and Buicks in general, old and new. That seems to be their market even if Buick doesn’t want to associated with old folks. Heck I’m a few years from retirement and I liked the Regal.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s okay, I’m 25 and I like all three of their sedans (the Encore though, that’s seriously dorky). They aren’t doing as bad as they seem to be on the appeal front.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like their sedans as well, save for the chromey eyebrows on the back of the Verano.

        And I think the Regal is waaaaaay too expensive.

        And I think the 3.6 should be the ONLY option in the LaCrosse. The 3.6 AWD would be the only one I’d consider. I wish the LaCrosse were larger as well. Like the XTS, it’s not big enough to be Buick’s largest car.

      • 0 avatar
        anti121hero

        Holy cow I saw my first encore the other day and did a double take, then laughed out loud. 1 it’s seriously ridiculous in person 2 the proportions are terrible 3 it was a blonde middle aged lady on her cell phone going much too fast around a four way intersection and there was painful body roll in the buick

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Other than you not caring for the style (very subjective obviously) it seems like this boat made a good showing for itself. Now if they could just make it sound like a Lucerne Super it might be even more appealing.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Lucerne Super had the Northstar? I guess they could throw a small block V8 in the LaCrosse.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        Just the sound, that’s all it needs.

        Throw in the new LT1 into an GS with AWD.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The Lucerne is another good used car value. Large, mid-late 2000s Ford and GM sedans are so cheap on the used market right now. I’d drive a Lucerne or a Sable (D-platform) and be happy about it.

          I also like the idea of a LaCrosse GS. I’m sure they’d sell all seven of them, but I’d test drive one.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            I agree, a black/black Lucerne Super or a black/black Sable (with the clear tail lamps) is a pretty cool ride in a way only large american cars can be. Slightly tint the windows and they get a mafioso vibe to them.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            As far as used car values go, the 2010+ Ford Taurus is my pick.

            Despite all the criticism and abysmal sales, it a) has a very solid chassis, b) quiet ride, c) relatively communicative steering (much better than the Lucerne IMO), d) decent exterior styling (again, better than equivalent GM/Chrysler products), and e) acceptable reliability.

            I honestly prefer the Taurus to the stablemate Lincoln MKS. It’s less stodgy and less floaty.

            Ford goes ahead and builds a solid, quite, comfortable sedan with a proper V6 that is safe & comfortable, and they get punished for it.

            It’s one of Ford’s better cars, IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            DW-

            I agree. The Taurus is a good car. The interior seems to put people off since it isn’t very space efficient. I have a few friends that went from a Taurus to a 2013+ Fusion, and they aren’t happy about it. The Fusion just isn’t as solid.

            As a used vehicle, I find the price of Tauri to outweigh any negative points. I often say this, but if my daughter was 16, I’d buy a used Taurus (unless my wife convinced me to get a 2 year lease on a Focus or Fiesta).

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            bball – I almost got hit from the rear as I was at a stop (in left hand turnaround lane that was over-occupied) by a car doing warp speed with my little one on board.

            The car that almost rear ended me swerved to the left and went airborne at the last minute, as it struck the center concrete curb/median on M59, and ended up facing the opposite direction near the opposite lanes.

            It seemed like it was happening in slow motion. I shudder to think what would have been had he/she struck us.

            Needless to say, I am seriously shopping for a very safe vehicle, and a lightly used Taurus is on the short list (as well as some new vehicles).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sable Premier AWD + Nav in cinnabar red FTW! Must have dark wood and monotone leather.

            I’m very picky on those Sables.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            DW-

            I know you are not fond of the cetacean looks of the MKT. However, I never worry about my wife and daughter being safe in it. It is a 5000 pound Volvo cousin that has 5-star safety ratings across the board. I’ll admit that I wanted a Flex, but I didn’t want to pay $5K-$7K more on the used market. Luckily, I do not have to look at the exterior while driving and I cannot see its Jaws like face while it is in the garage.

            Corey-

            You are picky with the Sables. I like the choices though. I have a customer that has one without the Nav, but he has a landau top….

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Yeah, it’s incredible to the degree that kids can elevate safety way above exterior design on the priority list – especially after a close call/near serious miss.

          • 0 avatar
            tekdemon

            I think the Taurus really is a good used car value UNLESS you need to do a lot of miles, especially in a city environment. It’s reliable, it’s cheap used, and it’s fairly safe. What it isn’t, is that it’s not even vaguely fuel efficient so if you do a lot of miles you might want to consider something more fuel efficient. Was really close to getting one myself since I think there’s a lot of value for money but it would have been murder at the pump with its 17-18 mpg city rating. If you drive a lot of city miles an Avalon Hybrid will save a lot on fuel costs…for a city driver doing 20000 miles a year you save almost 2 grand a year in fuel driving the Avalon hybrid. I think that’s why I’m seeing a lot of private car service guys switching to the Avalon hybrid. If you drive infrequently and do more highway miles the Taurus would be a really good deal.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            You people are crazy how you swing to make “17-18″ mpg sound bad. I mean pull up a spreadsheet, do some calculations, but in no way shape or form is it “murder at the pump”.

            It’s not like your spending an extra $10,000.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            @tekdemon Yeah, but outside of a car service, who on earth does 20k city miles a year? I drive everywhere in the city, have a non-highway commute to the suburbs, and average well under 10k a year — with a significant fraction of that being occasional longer trips.

            I suspect you’d be hard pressed to find many non-professionals who do more than 5k of their driving in city conditions, making that cost differential much closer to $500 — less than $50 a month — than $2k.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            Yep. 20,000 miles in city traffic is in the order of three hours a day, 365 days a year.

  • avatar
    Dan

    My introduction to the Lacrosse came in 2009, when my uncle drove over to show off his new car. The very first thing he did with it was back into my lawnmower which he couldn’t see.

    Besides having no visibility to the rear, which was still a novel thing back then, it also had the thickest pillars – all six of them – I’d ever seen.

    I’m sure you’d get used to it eventually but the only enduring memory that twenty minute lunch trip left me with is how terrible the blind spots were. I don’t remember how it rode, I don’t remember if it had any pickup, I don’t remember the seats, I remember how useless it was to look over your shoulder in a parking lot. Even making a left turn meant bobbing your head from side to side like a squirrel calibrating for a jump to see what was hiding behind the A pillars this time.

    • 0 avatar
      PhilMills

      I borrowed a very similar vehicle from my Aunt back in Michigan last Thanksgiving and had the exact same impression. It was literally impossible to see any point on the car south of the B-pillars from the driver’s seat no matter what you did with the mirrors or your neck.

      Helpfully, the backup distance sensor system was broken and reportedly many monies to repair.

      I spent 4 days in that car doing everything I could to avoid having to use Reverse.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      The 09 LaCrosse was a W-body car with literally nothing in common in the 10.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      I rented a 2014 Lacrosse last year and I was really bothered by the thickness of the pillars as well. Even forward visibility was extremely hampered by the thick A pillars on twisty roads. The blind spots to the rear were worse.

      But I must say it was a very quiet, comfortable highway cruiser and I regularly drive a Benz.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    “Instead, I’ll tell you that for the first 600 miles, which included plenty of time using the auto-stop in traffic, the Buick showed a solid 31.6mpg, said number being roughly backed up by fuel fill data.”

    My inner old man wonders what the good ol’ 3800 V6 would do whilst hooked up to a modern 6 speed transmission.

    Just had to be “that guy”.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “During the trip, the LaCrosse was remarkably quiet, pleasant, comfortable, and enjoyable. The revised interior, featuring good-quality leather seats in the mid-grade trim I rented, is far better than it was five years back. I WOULD STACK THE DYNAMIC AND NVH QUALITIES AGAINST A LEXUS ES ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.”

    BOOM.

    Lexus is losing its reason to exist, much in the same way that Acura already has; res ipsa loquitor.

    The fact that the LaCrosse can be had for under 30k decently equipped all day long (with the 4 or 6 cylinder; I see 4 banger LaCrosses listed with cloth seats for around 26k online), or what would work out to be a 10k discount versus a new Lexus ES, in real world Average Transaction Pricing, is pretty amazing, if one ponders this fact.

    If fact can be established, and word of that fact spreads, that the wide reliability margin Lexus once held against most competitors, foreign and domestic, has diminished considerably, NIGHT NIGHT LEXUS! SEE YOU IN THE 8th CIRCLE OF DANTE’S INFERNO ALONGSIDE ACURA!

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      I dunno why anyone would buy an ES over a Toyota Avalon anyway. My aunt’s 2003 Avalon was certainly luxurious enough for me riding in it that I didn’t pine for a ride in a Lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        It’s all about the badge on the trunk.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Lawyer at work crashed his 08 ES (not his fault), bought a 14 ES. He knew already that it was on the Avalon platform, before I even brought it up he mentioned it.

        His comment was, “Yeah, I USED to have an Avalon.” Toyota was not in the running because of the badge!

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          He could have bought the Toyota, got some fishing line, removed the logos and turned it into a Lexus. Problem solved – money saved – achievement unlocked. 99% of the world wouldn’t know the difference.

          • 0 avatar
            turboprius

            Those people are annoying, like the people who de-badge their cars.

            Every time I think of people rebadging their cars, I think of a bright green Dakota I saw at Sam’s Club with a BMW grill and M badges.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        I’d have to think hard about the cost-benefit, but the customer service experiences at the Lexus and Toyota dealerships nearest to me couldn’t me more different from one another. (I’ve helped relatives make purchases at both places.) The Toyota dealer is sleazy and dishonest; the Lexus dealer is helpful and honest. And I don’t think that’s atypical of the brands.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          My aunt has her Avalon serviced at a Lexus Dealership and they treat her like a bona fide Lexus customer.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            DW: “My aunt…”

            Why would they treat her any other way?

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Absolutely true. If I didn’t earn “Subie bucks” I’d be taking my Legacy to Lexus for service. They said “Hell, more than half my techs drive Subaru’s anyway, bring it in for anything. If it’s too specialized we negotiate a deal for that portion of the service and you never have to talk to the Subaru dealership.” I’m shopping for a better rewards card now.

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Platform mates doesn’t mean “badge swaped”. I’m not convinced that the shocks and mode selection are identical, or the HVAC and infotainment. I don’t know otherwise, but will withhold judgement until I’ve compared replacement parts for some key components or heard a trusted source like JB, the Toyota equivalent of Tresomanos, or mr Lang speak on the subject. Just knowing they’re platform mates doesn’t hold the same offense to me that it does for DW. I can’t hate on DW for it, I’m exactly the same about Audi. Then again, my passionate hatred of Audi and VW are more likely to become love than my indifference towards MB.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      My Verano 2.0T is the same or similar as the LaCrosse. With the HVAC and radio off a stoplight you swear it was running on battery as she is whisper quiet.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      Not sure if I can agree, I’d rather own an ES for 10-15 years than take my chances on a Buick for the same time period. Reliability counts a lot, and I don’t see the gap closed just yet.

      That said, I have a couple of Lexus’s and don’t see myself buying another one. Not because they’re terrible cars, but because they don’t have the product mix I’m looking for. I’ve come to the conclusion that the 3-box form factor’s sole reason for existence is aesthetics, otherwise why wouldn’t a rational person buy a crossover/wagon/minivan? Lexus’s offerings are mighty thirsty save the RX450h, whereas the QX60 hybrid and even Model X are highly appealing to me. It doesn’t help that Lexus have also moved away from touch screens to that idiotic mouse controller.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        Soooo, you worried about a Buick’s reliability but you are going to buy an Infiniti? Interesting.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Which Infiniti models have worse reliability than Buick?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            What Infiniti models have better reliability than a Buick?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            And now that we’ve established your head space currently, I know I can ignore everything you say.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Sorry you’re butt hurt Corey. You younger guys are always so serious.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            >Sorry you’re butt hurt Corey. You younger guys are always so serious.

            That didn’t sound like a very sincere apology at all.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Danio,
            The man dishes it but doesn’t like to take it. I admit, not my best attempt at an apology, mostly because he has not sense of humor. Who instantly huffs away and ignores someone over a car brand comment.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I know far more about Buick than I know Inifinti, but the newer models of both brands are vastly different than those of five years on. If you give me a 2000s timeframe, I’m going to say Buick is probably more reliable than the equivalent Infiniti. Now I cannot be as sure, multiple engines, multiple new platforms, some Opel assembled. Not nearly as consistent as before.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          You ignore someone? I doubt that could happen.

          Do a quick JD power search, Buick constantly gets 4 stars out of 5 for reliability, Infinity varies greatly from 2 to 4 stars.

          Sorry if you are somehow insulted. No need to get all huffy an walk away.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            PI: “Do a quick JD power search, Buick constantly gets 4 stars out of 5 for reliability, Infinity varies greatly from 2 to 4 stars.”

            Of course it does. Most Buick owners remember how crappy their cars were in the ’50’s and judge the new Buicks accordingly.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Kix!
            You’re back. Still upset about the tampon dispenser in the Prius comment? You seem angry

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            PI: “Still upset about the tampon dispenser in the Prius comment? You seem angry”

            Not at all. But thanks for reminding me how obnoxious you can be.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Kix
            My pleasure. If you weren’t so arrogant in all of your replies I wouldn’t feel the need to reply with any form of obnoxious phrases.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Guys, you need to calm down. May I suggest taking a ride in a Buick?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Dave…I’m a-okay actually. Maybe slightly out of line in some of my posts, but a-okay.

            Ironically, I will be taking a ride in a Buick in about 20 min. I just hope it doesn’t take the customary 2 hour Friday night traffic commute to get home tonight.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Poncho, I missed he tampon dispenser in a Prius bit and it sounds likely to amuse me. Where was it?

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            05lgt: “Poncho, I missed he tampon dispenser in a Prius bit and it sounds likely to amuse me.”

            The search function should take you right to it wih “prius factory tampon dispenser” but it’s not worth the trip. There’s zingers that are worthwhile and then there’s zinger-wannabe’s. That one fell into the latter category.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            o5lgt

            As you can see Kix has zero sense of humor. I think it is listening to too much NPR while driving the Prius.

            The tampon dispensor joke is actually a line from the movie “The Other Guys” with Will Farrell and Mark Walberg, Will Farrell is driving a Prius and one of the cops asks him if it came with one…

            I only use it on Kix to knock him down a notch and lighten up, obviously a futile attempt with him.

          • 0 avatar
            KixStart

            Oh, I have a fine sense of humor.

            But if we look at your earlier post in context, it’s a second-rate joke from a second rate movie, not even an original use on TTAC, intended as an oblique slap on my masculinity becuase you didn’t have anything worthwhile to say but possessed a desperate need to be heard and approved. Worse still, for you, I don’t worry enough about my masculinity to be disturbed by commenters on the internet.

            Some months later, I find you’re still reflecting on it as a big score. Sorry, you’re more to be pitied than anything else. Humor really isn’t part of the picture.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Kix
            I try to like you, I even try to respect some of your opinions. You just make it very difficult for anyone to take you seriously.

            Your 1950’s Buick quality comment was a pretty weak at taking a shot at me. I’m not sure what you do for work, but I have a feeling it is probably writing technical manuals or something.

            At least your serious attitude an attempt at insulting me (I have to respect someone to feel even remotely insulted by them) at least gives me a chuckle, and for that I’m glad you often comment on here.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Reg; “gives me a chuckle”

            You can state that the way I do, PonchoIndian’, with ‘COL!’… ‘Chuckling out Loud’ or ‘CUMB’… ‘Chuckling Under My Breath …..’, or ‘DC!’… ‘Derisive(ly) Chuckling’, or ‘CC’… Contemptuously Chuckling’/’Chuckling Contemptuously’.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      You literally cannot see what’s behind you in this car. Getting the back up camera requires the Leather group (sticker up to $36,700). Rear cross traffic and blindspot monitoring are another $2,125.

      Brief research online suggests that around 15% off sticker is reasonable right now. Even without the blindspot sensors (which, along with the camera, ought to be standard) that’s still 31 and change before taxes. Cheaper than an ES but not $10,000 cheaper.

      I suspect those $26,000 listings are the typical car business honesty that doesn’t mention $500 in “processing fees” and $925 in destination, but does assume that you’re a veteran who just graduated from college. Oh, and that you also already own either a GM or a competing vehicle depending on whether the loyalty or conquest rebate is higher this month.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      The ES hybrid craps all over this in terms of fuel economy, trunk space, and most of all in depreciation so I don’t think Lexus is quaking in their boots. This thing is clearly second tier against the ES-a mild hybrid battling against true dual mode competitors with proven power trains and an excellent reliability record versus GMs nonstop recall train (which even if you don’t mind it, is hurting resale values). Sure, if this came out five years ago it would have been competitive against the last ES. It’s not five years ago and there is no sane reason to buy this over an Avalon Hybrid let alone an ES.

  • avatar
    jc130

    I can imagine how nice this would be with a front bench. And side windows.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So they still hock their Quiet Tuning thing, right? I’ve heard modern Buick vehicles are extra eerily quiet. Quietness is my MOST FAVORITE thing next to a large-sized car, so that would be probably the biggest draw to Buick for me, as a consumer in their 20s.

    Is the MagnaRide thing the XTS gets not available on the LaCrosse, and is it very noticeable? Presumably this and the XTS have a very similar suspension set up.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    (Welcome back JB!)
    So it appears that eAssist is somewhat successfully implemented on the LaCrosse, unlike the Regal.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    “Bonus: the rear windows go all the way down. That’s a detail that somebody made sure to get right.”

    Some bonus.

    Considering that in my cousin’s Lacrosse I can touch the top and bottom of the back seat window 2/3 of the way to the rear with my spread middle finger and thumb, combined with the visibility impairing, very high belt line, it would be especially pathetic if the rear window did not go all the way down.

    IMHO, the full hybrid Avalon for nearly the same price would be my choice.

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    It is stiil a POS GM POS POS. All GMs will always be POS. And it will cut off on you or simply die at some time in its stitty life.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wifey and I checked out a 2012 La Crosse 2 years ago. We both really liked the car, but went with the last W body 2012 Impala LTZ.

    Two reasons:

    1. I can see better out of it, and with my visual impairment, that is paramount.

    2. Cost. Nothing like a new Impala LTZ at 7K less than sticker! Done deal.

    We have a winner.

    (Thing is, we really would’ve rather have had a Buick La Crosse…)

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I had a 2012 LaCrosse rental with the 3.6L and darn close to every option (if not all options). It certainly wasn’t stripped. I was very impressed. It was crazy quiet inside and had a great ride. Once I figured out the Star Wars center console button array (that has been addressed I understand) it for the most part made sense. I could definitely drive that car all day long and not get out feeling beat to death.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    It’s a nice, solid, quiet big sedan. But FWD large sedans are a category I’m finding less and less interesting, as FWD midsizers have gotten better and better packaged.

    I’d rather have a base Acura TLX for the same money. A bit smaller, but more modern, more attractive, and vastly more fun to drive.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “The battery is, by my calculations, the size of a Cylon battlestation…”

    A Base Star or the “colony”?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    After having sampled a pretty lightly used ’14 LaCrosse (with the V6), I can pretty much concur with this whole review. No one’s going to mistake this car for an Audi on the road, but it has that effortlessly fast / quiet demeanor that the best big sedans have.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    If I recall correctly – and maybe I don’t – the Lacrosse initally offered a 3.0L V6, which was panned as being not near enough engine for this car. I’m surprised JB is satisfied with the 4, even allowing for the extra zero-RPM torque from the electric motor.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    As a designer, I’m very generous and understanding about vehicle design, but I find nothing that works with the featured Buick. It is a mish-mash of over played and weak design elements that run away from any sort of cohesiveness, and, there is nothing remotely interesting about the exterior design.

    No idea of what the interior looks like, so can’t comment on that aspect.

    The mentioned Lincoln, is visually interesting, even, though, it does have some over played elements, but they work, because there is a cohesiveness to the overall design.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Terminal emulation? Meow.

    Too subtle?

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The sad thing is there is not one Buick that I would ever consider unless I was in the market for a heavy overweight SUV (Enclave). The LaCrosse is a design miss mash of Lexus and Chinese design, it is hard to see out of, grossly overweight and the front seat is cramped. The Regal is decent but rides hard, has only 4 cylinder power with V6 mileage and is overpriced. The Verano is okay but far too small and cramped inside and it’s bland styling does nothing for me. Overall I like the current Impala and Malibu better overall and there cheaper. Te Buick quietness is missed however but the 2014 Malibu rental I drive was darn close.


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