By on April 11, 2017

[Image: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

2017 Buick LaCrosse Premium

3.6-liter DOHC V6 (310 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm; 282 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive

21 city / 31 highway / 25 combined (EPA rating, MPG)

11.2 city / 7.5 highway (NRCan rating, L/100km)

25.5 mpg [9.3 L/100km] (Observed)

Base price: $33,915 (U.S.) / $37,195 (Canada)

As tested: $45,625 (U.S.) / $51,290 (Canada)

Prices include $925 destination freight charge in the United States and $1,750 freight and A/C fee in Canada.

“You weren’t kidding when you said it was big,” she said, flashing me a smile.

“I never lie,” I said, lying.

She was, of course, talking about the 2017 Buick LaCrosse. Get your depraved minds out of the gutter.

I’d told my longtime friend I’d pick her up in a “big, red Buick,” and I certainly came through on that promise. And, as this friend — a former owner of a pinot-grigio-colored ’89 Skylark — settled herself comfortably into the sedan’s commodious front passenger seat, it seemed the LaCrosse had fulfilled its own obligations.

Sadly, it’s a relic in a rapidly shrinking segment. The last of a dying breed that once proliferated across the American landscape in numbers that would make pre-railway buffalo herds jealous. Yes, the LaCrosse is the last real Buick, even as it adopts the latest in safety and convenience features and fuel-saving technologies.

As a lover of every landau-topped barge from the golden age of motoring (or malaise, depending on who you ask), it was a somewhat bittersweet experience to spend time in the LaCrosse, as it does its job quite well. It’s a good soldier, and it surprises in many ways. But it can’t be a dog-and-Playskool-swallowing crossover, and that’s why it and the other holdouts in its segment are effectively doomed.

There’s a train a comin’, and the .45-70 Sharps rifles on board are firmly grasped by legions of singles, families and geriatrics who’ve come to love a taller ride height and spacious cargo hold.

[Image: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

Drastically restyled for the 2017 model year, Buick’s traditional full-sizer doesn’t disappoint dimension-wise. This is a big car, riding atop the P2XX platform it shares with the Chevrolet Impala, though 300-pounds lighter than before. Similar in length to its predecessor, the new LaCrosse grows nearly 3 inches in wheelbase, sprouted an extra 4 inches of legroom in the process, while shrinking in height by almost 2 inches.

All of this adds up to a car that appears much longer and wider than before, helped in that regard by a sculpted redesign echoing the beautiful Avenir concept of 2015.

I appreciated it. My friends appreciated it. The problem is, I didn’t see any passers-by eyeballing it. No double-takes in sight. No one tripping over themselves or walking into walls. Not that any of that mattered — you’ll see a similar disinterest in those walking by Toyota Corollas, Honda CR-Vs and Dodge Grand Caravans. Still, driving the LaCrosse, I couldn’t help but feel like something of a big shot.

Maybe it’s the size.

Big, long, plush sedans were, traditionally, the domain of important people, and the LaCrosse’s front seat sometimes felt more like a lounge, with my posture more of a languid, relaxed sprawl. Someone cue up the hi-fi! And maybe it’s also the effortlessness of everything. From the over-assisted steering that makes low-speed driving a one-finger feat (it tightens up in all the right conditions), the surprisingly precise turn-in and sprightly power, it’s almost impossible not to feel comfortable behind the wheel.

[Imnage: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

The LaCrosse’s 310 horsepower, direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 ensures passing is a breeze and an “old person’s car” needn’t be too boring an experience. Sure, the engine seems to prefer loping along at 1,250-1,500 rpm, barely raising its pulse, as the eight-speed automatic smoothly ushers you into a fuel-saving high gear as quickly as possible. But unlike some other overly endowed transmissions, this one doesn’t perturb the driver with endless hunting and unanticipated multi-cog downshifts. When you want the power, it’s there. Otherwise, no drama.

If long highway drives or lengthy stakeouts are your thing, both the soft ride and cushy-yet-supportive seats are unlikely to lead to regrets (though rear passengers might gripe about the optional panoramic sunroof’s ability to gobble headroom). Even the start-stop system knows to be unobtrusive, firing the mill up quickly enough to be ignored and holding off on engine shutdowns in most stop and go situations. Again, no drama.

The excitement begins when the LaCrosse chances upon a roadway rendered a battlefield by potholes, frost heaves and general neglect. Then, the Buick’s soft, floaty ride transitions into that of a storm-tossed lifeboat. I’d expect better road isolation from a vehicle with this price tag.

[Image: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

Unfortunately, this tester left out the one option that could’ve turned the LaCrosse from a rutted-road zero to hero. Buick offers an option package that’s sure to add tone to those doughy legs — HiPer Strut front suspension, continuously variable real-time damping and Sport Mode, plus 20-inch wheels — but you have to wonder what the take rate is for such a package. Are traditional full-size Buick buyers the type to go for it?

All-wheel drive, I should add, remains a northerner-friendly option, which this tester didn’t possess.

Inside the spacious cabin, at least when the road flattens out, serenity is your co-pilot. Road noise, even with 18-inch winter rubber below, failed to perturb my carefully cultivated state of Nuclear Family-era nirvana. On a trip home from the airport, a friend commented that his front legroom was the best he’d ever experienced — even with 3 inches of rearward seat travel left untapped. That comment stirred some curiosity in me, so I traded places. Imagine my shock when I discovered it was actually possible for a 6’4″ man to stretch his legs, knees locked, and not have his feet hit the firewall.

That’s spectacular. If I wasn’t so busy that week, I’d have a nap report for you.

[Image: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

Furnishings and switchgear — at a glance — seem to possess an acceptable level of fit and finish, while climate controls and the various steering wheel-mounted functions were easy to spot, easy to use. (I did wonder whether the rear driver’s side exterior window trim, which had noticeably lifted, was the fault of shoddy adhesive or a snagged jacket. For GM’s sake, I hope the latter, but doubts remain.)

Tasteful and helpful accent illumination abounds, from the footwells to stripes along the dash and even the gearshift. Kudos to Buick for the large, bright digital speedometer and nicely laid out gauges.

You don’t have to spend much time piloting this latter-day Roadmaster to appreciate its multi-generational ease of use. Whether Buick wants to admit it or not, customers buying this model probably chose it over an Impala, and aren’t likely to be of let’s-crowdsource-a-brewery age. Because of this, some modern features might rub traditional buyers the wrong way.

[Image: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

The worst offender is the monostable-style shift lever borrowed from the Cadillac XT5. While safety aids like pedestrian and collision detection are innocuous nice-to-haves, this feature represents the biggest clash of generations in this car.

This shifter is the type of kit that screams, “so modern it’s almost futuristic!” And while it makes for an clean and uncluttered console, it has also seen other automakers forced into roll-away recall mode (often out of an abundance of caution). While it’s easy to get used to, it isn’t foolproof. Say, for instance, that you’ve accidentally shuffled that thing down to “M” instead of “D”. (God knows no one will use the shift paddles — though they’re there, for some reason.) Tapping the shifter forward doesn’t get you back into drive. No, you’ll have to tap it twice, sending the car into neutral, before bumping it back down to drive. It’s a weird hiccup.

That said, drivers are presented with a glowing light and noticeable shifting sound when changing gears, so the result of the act isn’t a mystery. Elsewhere in the vehicle, handy items included rear seatback release handles in the generous trunk, as well as a rear window sunshade.

Perhaps more than most, I’m always interested in how a manufacturer’s fuel economy numbers stack up. We have a large vehicle and powerful engine here, so off I went on a two-hour road trip to a neighboring city, taking a secondary highway for scenery.

[Image: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

The result? Well, on the way, I discovered the robustness of the optional lane-holding function, which — sometimes forcefully — kept us on a straight and narrow heading. I also saw 35 miles per gallon staring me in the face after arriving at my destination — no tricks, no hypermiling, just straight driving. That beats the EPA highway rating by 4 mpg. Overall, mixed driving over the course of a week returned 25 mpg, which was right on the money. (Its EPA city rating sits at 21 mpg). That weight loss, attention to slipperiness, and the 3.6-liter’s start/stop and cylinder deactivation systems made fueling this modern-day land yacht less of a wallet punch than you’d imagine.

With some exceptions, Buick has crafted a modern automobile that taps the halcyon memories of yesteryear while refusing to be a technological laggard. Unfortunately, much to Buick’s dismay, the winds of consumer change are blowing against this spacious sedan with gale force. Though improved in seemingly every way over its predecessor, the public’s abandonment of most passenger car segments meant that the 2017 LaCrosse saw sliding sales from day one.

That’s a shame, as the LaCrosse shows what members of a once-prolific segment that’s now on life support can achieve. While on the pricey side for a near-premium front-wheel-drive sedan, this bountiful Buick deserves whatever attention and guarded accolades comes its way.

Too bad for Buick that the customer is always right.

[Image: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

[Images: Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars]

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113 Comments on “2017 Buick LaCrosse Premium Review – Yesterday and Today...”


  • avatar
    markf

    Grandpas across America are gonna be befuddled by that shifter……

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      What the sam hill are they thinkin’ wit’ them tiny letters and sh1t?! I can either see the road or the gotdamn knobs. Can’t focus on both without different glasses! Not even with bifocals!

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      As a 30-something, I was befuddled by that shifter at first. It took me a full day to get used to it, especially for tasks like parallel parking and 3 point turns. I did eventually adjust to it, but it seems like a bad idea for a car like this.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Gee, I hope their life insurance is paid up. Oh wait, they’ve probably outlived the actuarial table, or the term life has paid back the premiums.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        Term life expires (the level period portion), and does not have a refund of premium typically, unless you’re converting to a permanent product. Conversions must be done within the level period to prevent antiselection.

        And even if you’re post-level on your term policy, you can still keep paying and have insurance, it’ll just cost a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      I had one of these as a rental. The shifter was not something I ever got used to. It is utterly non-intuitive, possibly dangerous. I had to look into the owners manual to figure it out. And when I saw the 5 pages of explanation on how to keep it in neutral when going through a pull-along car wash, I knew it was not well thought-out.

      Nice car if you like something the size of a battleship. It really seems excessively and unnecessarily big these days.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “…while shrinking in height by almost 2 inches.”

    Because that’s what sedan customers are asking for: less headroom.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      You can’t make this stuff up. In an era of CUV triumph.. “Look! We’ve brought you an even less accessible sedan!”

      • 0 avatar

        It’s lag time. Whoever approved this car and production did it a few years ago. Just In Time production sort of exists at the BMW level where you can custom order things and they don’t egregiously “Sales Bank”. The Detroit way is to turn on the hose and sort it out later.

    • 0 avatar
      Shinoda is my middle name

      …..because that’s what the EPA under Obama demanded….lower drag co-efficients for higher corporate mileage….in the middle of an epic friggin’ oil glut.

      Don’t blame GM for the regulatory environment which forces them to choose between satisfying the customer or submitting to the regulatory overlords.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Don’t bring politics into it, especially if you can’t back them up with verifiable sources.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Shinoda, maybe the current administration will set aside or otherwise repeal those ridiculous mandates and standards, beginning with mpgs and emissions.

        Bring back the BIG V8!

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          lololol at the “these poor car companies having to deal with evil EPA mandates.” Cars/trucks over the past 10 years have gotten more fuel efficient and MUCH quicker. And the automakers never stopped pumping out all the trucks they could sell, nor did they get rid of their steep discounts. Because they will sell anything people want and worry later.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “And the automakers never stopped pumping out all the trucks they could sell, nor did they get rid of their steep discounts. Because they will sell anything people want and worry later.”

            YO! That’s a good thing! I love my 5.7L Toyota V8s!!!

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            No! Replacement! For! Displacement!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            sgeffe, yes indeed.

            Love it!

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “Bring back the BIG V8!”

          Indeed, 35 mpg highway from a big car that can sprint to sixty in six seconds flat is deep punishment for the consumer.

          That, and the Buick Park Avenue that preceded this used a V6 for something like 2 decades straight.

          If you want a car that exemplifies the foibles of CAFE are you sure this is it?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’m enamored with Big V8s. Owned them much of my life on this planet.

            My dad used to run his 426 Hemi Nitro Rail dragster on the Riverside Raceway when I was a 12-yo kid, and rebuilding that Big V8 was my teething ring in auto mechanics.

            The slow-turning, stump-pulling torque of the Big V8 is what tickles my fancy.

            Fuel economy and emissions just don’t hack it with me having seen my dad’s Rail burn 5-gallons of Nitro in the quarter-mile.

            My personal favorites include the Olds Big Block 455, the Chevy Big Iron 454, and the more modest but far superior, magnificent Toyota all-aluminum, 32-valve, DOHC, 5.7L V8 in the more modest 350 cubic inch class.

            But I do think that the Lexus 4.6L V8 is an excellent fit for many other vehicles in that size and weight class — just not the Tundra or Sequoia.

            Remember the 283 cubic inch Chevy V8, or the 289 cubic inch Ford V8? I’d like to see them come back.

            Those V8s, updated with today’s hi-tech, would beat the daylights out of those nervous-nellie squirrel engines the Feds have foisted on car enthusiasts of this era.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            That’s fine but entirely irrelevant for this car. The 3.6 V6 isn’t a “nervous-nellie squirrel engines the Feds have foisted on car enthusiasts” and the LaCrosse and Park Avenue before it never had a V8.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            The W-Body LaCrosse came with a V8 in Super guise, and unless I’m hallucinating (it’s possible) the Park Avenue had a V8 option in its final years*

            *I am likely hallucinating and/or confusing with the Bonneville GXP.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            30-mile fetch. I’m an old guy, so I remember when Buicks had a V8, standard, and the industry’s first V6 in the Skylark.

            They were so proud of that first-ever V6 that the demo car had a plexiglass hood so we could all admire it.

            Hell, my very first car, ever, that got me through High School, was a ’49 Buick with a Straight-8! And Fluid Drive………

            It also had a fantabulously large back seat where I got laid for the first time, ever.

            Yeah, Buick and me, we go back a long time.

            Compared to the Buicks of old, these new Buicks ain’t schit.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            86er, there was even a Supercharged option.

            Great promise. Lousy delivery.

            Prior to his first and final Cadillac, my dad had one of those Supercharged Park Avenues, as an option to the standard V8 of old.

            It was great when the supercharger worked. Power galore.

            But when the supercharger failed, as it did on three occasions, that Yank tank was, not surprisingly, underpowered.

            I don’t know all the details because I was no longer living at home during that era.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “and the LaCrosse and Park Avenue before it never had a V8.”

            “The W-Body LaCrosse came with a V8 in Super guise, and unless I’m hallucinating (it’s possible) the Park Avenue had a V8 option in its final years”
            ___________________________

            Poor Lucerne :\'(

            No one even remembers it existed. And it offered a V8.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            “the Park Avenue had a V8 option in its final years”

            Negatory there. 3800/SC.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I did indeed forget about the Lucerne.

            HDC, The supercharged Park Avenue and V8 Lucerne were both slower than this V6. And this isn’t a small displacement turbo four with odd power delivery, its a linear naturally aspirated engine so I’m not seeing the reason for reflexive, distorting nostalgia here.

            “Compared to the Buicks of old, these new Buicks ain’t schit.”

            You’re right. This LaCrosse isn’t schit. It’s actually good.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            30-mile fetch, no doubt they were slower. Probably weighed twice as much in that day and age. Hell, maybe three times as much.

            And that’s why we should not compare today’s cars directly with those of the past.

            Lotsa changes since then.

            But it is OK to reminisce, remember and ruminate when cars were cars and each had its own mystique and allure about them.

            Why do people who owned the Lincoln Towncar think it was the best long-distance cruiser ever? We owned a ’92, and I think it was the best cruiser to gobble up the miles with.

            We have to live in today’s world, but the old cars are why there are so many collectors who treasure them.

          • 0 avatar
            Johnster

            The Park Avenue trim level was first offered on 1975 model year Buick Electras,so there were V-8 powered Park Avenues through 1984. Then they were replaced by the 1985 front-wheel drive models with the Buick V-6.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        ..and yet the largest selling cars are tall and certainly not sleek.

        I know history began about 8years ago, but there is rumor that there was a prior oil glut, and the car companies produced mostly huge inefficient things called SUVs, and lo – they went bankrupt when a dumb guy declared war on the second largest oil producer, after a group of men from the first largest oil producer attacked to really large buildings, and oil prices rose.

        It’s only a story told around the fire – we all know history began 8 years ago….and this could never happen again…..

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      The old LaCrosse looked so oddly proportioned, tall and frumpy. Maybe they figured that whatever buyers still want a sedan instead of a CUV would like something that looks a bit more sleek and stylish. The new LaCrosse does not suffer from a lack of headroom or any other interior space. It would be nice if the console was a bit narrower, but it is not Ford Taurus level intrusive. My biggest complaint is the narrow and irregularly shaped trunk.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I love the looks of the LaCrosse, it will be interesting to see what the transaction prices are in about 2 years when I’m looking for something new. I’m very much in the mindset of “BIG SEDAN”, the segment is dying so rapidly it might be my last chance to own new the kind of vehicles I was raised on.

    There was an article here a week or more ago about the LaCrosse not selling but in my area Buick doesn’t seem to be putting much cash on the hood. The advertised prices are pretty close to MSRP. A LaCrosse outfitted as I want it is a few ticks over $39K, an Impala right about $35K, Avalon around $32K (advertised), and 300S are being blown out in the low $30sK where I’m at.

    I don’t think Buick can compete by being the most expensive in its class except for the Lexus ES350.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    45k… take off the 15k on the hood and it starts to look not bad…

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I have not ridden in a Buick since my family’s 1990 LeSabre was put out to pasture back in 2002, but I really want to like this car for some reason that I cannot explain. I like the look, I like the idea of the comfort and quiet. Holy crap, I’m old.

  • avatar
    86er

    I’m not sure you could build anything now to be a latter-day Roadmaster, whether you’re talking about the originals of 1936-58 or the pale imitation 1991-96.

    However, as an owner of said pale-imitation, the emergence of this car, especially in *that* shade, which particularly matches the hue of Maple Red Metallic to which I’m accustomed, has rousted me from a decades-long slumber of awareness of modern vehicles.

    The return of the tri-colour tri-shield has also helped signal to the old and old-at-heart to come home. As an aside, the 90s tribute grille on the Silverados have also triggered some latent memory.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Saw and sat in one at the auto show. Huge car dwarfed only by the size of the consol and dash. When will this epidemic end? Huge cars with cramped seating, and almost no useful at hand storage.

    And that shifter…

    Im gonna go buy something from 2005.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Keep the faith, Dave. Some old guy/widowed lady in Forest Lawn must have an ’05 Park Avenue Ultra tucked away.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        The 04-05 got silly grille treatment and bad turbine chromed wheels. Better off with an 03!

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          Better off with a Roadmaster, but from personal experience, those are hard to find. Then again, so are Park Aves.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            The Park Ave is just a more usable, modern vehicle. The Roadmaster is so much older (at least seven years), less efficient, etc etc even if it is more true to form for Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            Yes, and not everyone’s into driving something so ancient. Also old. :)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Park Avenue ULTRA por favor.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            My favorite Park Avenue would be the Ultra for 1996, as the last of the C-body.

            Build quality took a nosedive in 1997.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Also since I was compelled.

            https://dayton.craigslist.org/cto/6051143182.html

            Cheap, low miles Ninety-Eight!

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Corey

            There you go Son. A completely underappreciated Oldsmobile.

            I was so worried you were going to post one from the late 80s. With apologize to Alja, that first FWD generation is dead to me.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            A late ’80s Ninety-Eight Touring Sedan is legit, and I would gladly post it!

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I’m sure I could buy this off my dad in a heartbeat. He is starting to have WAY more cars then they can reasonably use.

            ’92 98 Touring

            http://s749.photobucket.com/user/dave_bernardin/library/92%20Olds%2098%20Touring

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I’ve gotten my eye onto a new Frontier Pro 4x, mainly for the following reasons:

            1) midsize maneuverability over full size
            2) available fully loaded with cloth seats
            3) basically a brand new vehicle designed in 2004. (this is good to me)
            4) I like me some VQ series V6.

            Just an idea, but one I’m investigating.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            I’m really not a fan of the VQ40. It’s incredibly thirsty and very low in refinement.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            @dave

            What a creampuff. And a supercharged example to boot.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Dave, exactly what I was about to post. I really liked it looking at the outside at the DC auto show, and then I sat in it. That huge high rising console made me feel cramped. If I were in the market for this class of car that alone would chase me away.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I agree. I was looking at trucks and even the small ones had huge centre consoles.
      You can get a good deal on a Frontier and even without any wheeling/dealing, they are cheaper than comparable Colorado’s or Tacoma’s.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Cheaper, and way more pleasing to my older school sensibilities. The VQ40 is a nice truck engine, the truck is square, and still has a sunroof, dual zone auto climate, and a nice stereo for the road trips. I can’t stand the styling of the GM twins, and I’m not ok with the smaller motor in the new Taco, which is also very pricey.

        Lots of people bashing the Frontier due to its age, but it hit me like a lightening bolt recently, there is a lot I like there.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          The new Tacoma took a big hit in durability. Statistically, older platforms are more durable.

          I like the looks of the Colorado. I saw a Denali Canyon and from far away I could have sworn it was a full-sized truck.

          The more I look at the Frontier the more I like it. Even the Titan is growing on me.

  • avatar
    make_light

    I love the looks of this, and there’s still something seductive and endearing about a big elegant machine like this. And I’m hardly the typical Buick demographic (28 y/o).
    Was kind of let down when I sat in one at the auto show though. The panels when the glove box meets the center console flexed against each other- it was unbelievable. Maybe just a bad example? The plastic around the shifter is also cheap and hollow feeling. And I’m not being picky, it really felt uncalled for in a car with this price tag.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      It sure doesn’t hold a candle to the Continental interior, although it is a class below.

      The problem is it doesn’t seem to be a whole class above the Impala, inside.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “The problem is it doesn’t seem to be a whole class above the Impala, inside.”

        That’s my problem too. If you don’t absolutely need AWD and you are interested in the Lacrosse, you might as well head across town to the Chevy store and see how cheap you can get an Impala with the same features.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        It also costs between 10-30K less than versions of the Continental I saw this weekend with one Black Label AWD with the 3.0TT V6 that had a sticker that was over 80K! The most expensive LaCrosse was a maxed out Premium for a hair over 50K. Comparing the lower trim 32995 trim to a V6 Impala LT V6 sees the Buick with more equipment, a more advanced and efficient V6/8 speed combo that is quicker to 60 and the interior is more nicely appointed. The two things missing on that base 1SV that the Impala 2LT V6 are the heated front seats and Satellite radio so you do have to move up to get those things. The Buick also gives you a better warranty of 4/50 basic vs 3/36 on the Chevy and 6/70 powertrain vs 5/60 for the Chevy so there are reasons to choose the Buick. It’s also more refined to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “Why would I buy this and not an ES350?”

        Local Buick dealer has $6K on the hood of their LaCrosses, making them $37K.

        Local Lexus dealer has $1,500 below MSRP on base (I think) ES350s, making them $38.5K.

        Unless that LaCrosse is *perfect* it’s going to be a rough sell … and there’s no way a Buick is perfect, not today.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          “Why would I buy this and not an ES350?”

          As an owner of a 14′ AWD Lacrosse premium you would buy it over a Lexus? Because it is nicer than a Lexus, quieter, and does not use premium fuel. Granted, i cross shopped GS 350 AWD not ES350.

          On the used end of the spectrum, the buick was substantially less $$ than the Lexus for comparable miles and year. Ridden in several ES350, never driven nor ever impressed.

          • 0 avatar
            cgjeep

            In 1994 my parents were shopping for a luxury coupe. Was between the SC400 and the Eldorado. The Lexus was 8k more. My dad didn’t didn’t think it was worth more ( and my mom had a Japenese car bias) so they got the Caddy. My dad thought he was smart and saving money. Eight years later the SC400 was worth 16k more at trade in. So there’s one reason to get the ES350.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Cg, looks like ES350’s are down to $38K and LaCrosse Premium is down to $34K or about $47K difference. Residuals from Edmund’s for 12/36,000 miles is 59% Lexus and 57% Buick. But if you go lower spec than Premium to Essence the LaCrosse is $29K or $9K less than the Lexus.

            I’ll take my cash upfront, on the hood on the Buick rather than what for an expected residual on the Lexus. Plus the Buick is newer and faster.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Sig, the Buick offers AWD where the Chevy does not.

          When the 2010 LaCrosse was introduced Edmund’s put it up against the Lexus ES and it won them over. You can read more for this decade and mostly the results have been the same. The middle ground Lexus sedan is not really that good and has never been for some tkme2.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    This should be the Buick that my old man bought. Instead he got an Enclave. I imagine the latter is easier for him to get in and out of, plus the capacity with the back seats down is better for the Home Depot trips.

    btw, I miss my ’94 Roadmaster – this review brought back some Buick memories. All I could think: put that shifter on the column!

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I think the previous-gen car was much better looking. This one looks too generic and nondescript. In profile and rear 3/4 view, it reminds me of the first-gen Hyundai Azera, or maybe the fourth-gen (2006-2010) Hyundai Elantra.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Clearly you haven’t seen this thing in the flesh. It has far more character and presence in person. The previous Lacrosse was the textbook definition of bland. This isn’t going to set anyone’s heart a-flutter, but it’s nice.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      I too see the Azera/Cadenza in the rear 3/4, but at least that was the best angle on those cars.

      This Buick’s hood cut lines are all kinds of wrong. The hood should meet the grille, connect to the headlights, and run along the fender character line. The paralleling-but-significantly-inset actual hood cut line accentuates the poor fit and inconsistent shape/position of GM’s sheet metal while highlighting how obvious it would have been to make it in a more pleasing way.

      The doors and trunk are done well. I don’t see why the hood cut lines have to shout “look at meeeeee!!!!1” from just about any angle when the rest of them look right.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Wow that is certainly good mileage for this weight and size of car. My rental 2017 Fusion SE 2.5 did worse seeing real world 21.3 mostly city and suburban driving, 24 combined and 32.5 on a pure highway trip and that was with 19,700 miles as it was fully broken in. Also worth noting was the lack of rear seat headroom in that car as with this Buick. It had the optional moonroof and both of my 6′ friends heads were touching the rear ceiling. I was at a dealer that was offering about 4K off the sticker of the LaCrosse and they actually had a base for under 30K! The Premium trims were a hair over 5k off sticker with a red crimson AWD example stickering for 49070 on sale for 43999.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    Everything about what is written tells me that this is the descendant of the used cars I used to drive as a young, cash strapped lad: comfortable sedans able to swallow highway miles with ease, usually with not much fuel penalty, and room for friends or family to come along (before my current ride, I had 1996 Olds Cutlass Supreme with the 3.4 V6 that I meticulously maintained until 2012, and before that, aside from an indestructible Cavalier, there were a series of American and Japanese mid-sizers).

    I mean, the color, the dash buttons, the powerful, low stress V6…its glorious.

    But as noted in the review, the lack or headroom and possibly legroom for rear passengers, the sloping rear windshield cuts into trunk space, and that stupid looking shifter all are reasons why I looked at CUV/SUVs during my last buying cycle. That and the smaller window space and inability to feel that I could sit up right with my knees at a reasonable angle with thigh support like I used to be able to make a lot of modern sedans not very roomy in actuality.

    Its a shame too, because this is something I really would love to look at in my garage everyday.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      A nearby GM store has one in that green colour with that tan/brown interior. Pretty sharp. It would be a visual treat after looking at a few dozen Ford Escapes during one’s commute.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    “You don’t have to spend much time piloting this latter-day Roadmaster to appreciate…”

    Oh you’ve crossed a line there! Take it back!

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Also, it’s nice they’ve provided a printed image of a scanned piece of wood for the dash. I’ve not seen anything so fake in quite a while. And the cup holder door there in the center console is just squared off, and entirely incongruous with the rest of that entire area.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I may get laughed out of here for this, but two new Kia Cadenzas recently appeared in my parking garage, and that is a much more handsome car than this, inside and out. One of them is painted brown, and looks great. No stupid shifter, much better visibility, and an interior that’s probably no more cost cut than this Buick.

    Of course the name alone is enough for most people to never give it a chance.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      I haven’t driven one yet, but in theory I wouldn’t mind a Cadenza at all. Dealers apparently have a hard time moving them, too, so you can find new ones with absurd discounts.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    ” Kudos to Buick for the large, bright digital speedometer…”

    Hate it!

  • avatar
    jamesbrownontheroad

    I see ‘Lacrosse’ badges and a Quebec license plate – when did Buick Canada stop selling this under the ‘Allure’ nameplate? Have Francophones basically got over the fnar fnar double-entendre of the US name?

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Center console looks very wide. I recently rented a new Optima and liked most things about the car, but the wide console & rough panel seams chafed my knee.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Classy looking car, I like the styling inside and out. The powertrain seems impressive as well. They got this vehicle pretty well nailed down just in time for the segment to completely collapse beneath them.

    The reason for the monostable shifter is obvious. Just look at that nifty trapezoidal cubby they were able to accommodate as a result. It could hold all sorts of important things like your gum wrapper or a wadded up Kleenex. I can’t believe no one thought of removing a functional shift lever for such critical handiness before.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      They could have designed in a rotating knob like on FCA products, and accomplished the same thing without the confusion. My recent rental while the Tacoma was getting the hail damage pushed and glue pulled out was a 2017 RAM 1500 Big Horn Edition. It uses a rotary knob, and is smart enough that when I once shut the engine off while it was in Drive, the truck detected that it was in Drive, and *it moved* the knob over to Park by itself.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I love my 14′ Lacrosse AWD. I could see the appeal of the 8 speed and stop/start if it is done correct.

    As for the shifter…I am fairly certain it is the same one as the one found in the BMW 650I. Possibly other BMW as well, I have not ridden in any that have it so I can’t comment. I am not sure who manufactures it, I think Magna as they list both GM and BMW as customers on their web site but the assembly is pretty much an off the shelf from the supplier type thing.

  • avatar

    got 8200 miles on my Red Lacrosse Premium. the shifter wasn’t all that easy to get used to agreed. other than that I love the car and have many compliments.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    I think the problem with this car is that the Impala is so good. There is no reason to aspire to this car. My Brother in Law had a W Impala and when that was used up he got a new 2LT Impala. It is a great car. I think they made it too good. I think the Impala should top out below the Lacrosse. Maybe have a smaller engine in it like 3.0 V6 or a 4cyl turbo. So there would be more of a reason to move up to the Buick. Make people wish they could have had the Buick. Isn’t that the way GM started. Get them into a Chevy then move them to a Buick then maybe someday a Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “Get them into a Chevy then move them to a Buick then maybe someday a Cadillac.”

      That presupposes a several-decade, uninterrupted, upward earning trajectory for thems as wants to achieve it. *Despite* the kids with which they’ll almost inevitably handcuff themselves.

      Where you gonna find that in today’s US?

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        Fair enough, most never get to the Cadillac. But there should still be a reason to buy the Buick. For most people today Buick has no status. So the people that buy the Lacrasse aren’t status seekers. And if you don’t careabout status (and I’m not claiming you should) the Chevy Dealer across the street has as good a car even cheaper. Wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick should be Dam I wish I had a Buick.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    Hypothetically speaking, if I had to replace my 2013 200, I would probably consider this car (along with the 300).
    It checks my boxes: sleek, conservative, doesn’t use voodoo to eke out a few more MPGs.

    Trouble is, Buick may not be around when it comes time to replace my 200, and as much as I’d hate to face it, Chrysler may not either, not with two models in the lineup.

    I’ve considered a Mercedes C- or E-Class as a future buy based on what are now the predecessors of the current lineup. I wouldn’t touch a 2017 if I had to. They are a downgrade in my eyes.

    At 26, I should be excited about cars like Subarus, BMWs, Lexus, Kia, Volkswagen, Audi…but no, I like nice, conservative cars, the kind that grandparents drive. In high school, I could have chosen so many other cars but I beelined to a mint 1997 Concorde.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “the kind that grandparents drive.”

      As a grandparent myself, I have seen today’s “grandparents” changing their tastes in cars dramatically from what they were from those of MY grandparents.

      Ultimately, you need to buy what fits your lifestyle and needs. My oldest grandson and granddaughter are both in the mid-twenties and they drive what suits their lifestyles.

      • 0 avatar
        Johnster

        I agree. I see a lot of senior citizens driving Corvettes, Mustangs and Camaros. I think they are buying the cars they idolized in their youth and that they now can afford.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      You sound like a good candidate for a 2 year old Cadenza or K900.

      • 0 avatar
        PentastarPride

        Nope, Kia and Hyundai are a no-go for me, always have been, always will be. I never cared for their styling or their long-term quality. They have become a lot better (on the surface anyways) than, say, 10 years ago, but I wonder if the quality is restricted to what you can see.

        If I were spending K900 money, I’d rather buy a gently-used pre-refresh (2011-2014) 300 or a pre-refresh (2010-2012) W212 E350, key word pre-refresh as the refreshed models of both cars became a little uglified.

        I have a feeling that the K900 will end up in the same predicament as the Hyundai XG, where they’re one snapped timing belt or blown head gasket away from leaving their subprime owners completely underwater.

        Even if not, I just don’t care for what Hyundai, Kia (or just about every other manufacturer) has out on the market right now.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    It’s a really nice car. I drove one recently. One of the nicest cars GM has built in the last half century or so.

    And I almost never see them on the road. I live in Warren. Perhaps 3-4 so far on the roads. IT seems like GM should be able to move a few La Crosse’s in Warren. They can’t.

    Which might be good if you want one, as I assume the dealers will be knocking $15-20k off the sticker to move them.

  • avatar
    geisteskrank9

    E2xx is the platform not P2. it does not share a platform with impala.

    for the shifter you tap backwards on the shifter to go into M. to get out of M you tap it backwards again and it goes into D. you dont have to go to Neutral first.

  • avatar

    That’s SUV money for a big sedan . . . no surprise buyers are buying SUVs instead.

  • avatar

    forgot to mention the cheap plastic in the trunk. not a big issue but discouraging for a premium automobile. I bought my Lacrosse after getting tired of waiting 10 years for a new Enclave. now that I see the pics released yesterday I have decided not to order one, which I usually do asap. the grille is a major disappointment so I’ll wait another year to see if they get it right. it looks like it belongs on a Denali.

    Roger Adams touted Buick’s water fall grille as “A bold, dominant brand characteristic for Buick. It’s pronounced shape gives customers a premium feel that’s unmistakenly Buick. Bold, refinement, quiet and premium.”

    if I wasn’t The Buickman, I would buy a Continental

  • avatar
    legacygt

    With so much of car design and development driven by lawyers and regulations, it’s amazing that shifters like these make it into production.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    There is too much Hyundai Grandeur/Azera in this shape, right down to the flat windscreen, side profile and bodyside creasing. It looks dated. The Impala and XTS do the big American sedan look in a more convincing style.

  • avatar
    JamesB

    I love the 2017 Buick LaCrosse and wish that I had room for another car! I drove this and it felt great. Well-described in this review. Disclaimer: I hate SUV’s. Ugly sheetmetal clones blocking my traffic vision. Back to my story -I rented a 2016 Chevy Impala, decently optioned, to cart my Dad around on a short road trip and it was great, as well. Big, not too much, surprisingly light and agile feeling and nice understated styling. As it should be. My own car is a Chevy Corvette, so I’m not a Buick guy or land-yacht driver. Still, driving the LaCrosse/Impala cousins really does impart the feeling of being “important”. It’s different that zooming people in my Vette, this big car feels more like, “Yeah, it’s me. I’m here and doing just FINE!” :)


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