By on June 24, 2009

Can someone please straighten me out here? What is a Buick? I mean, what’s the point? I’m serious. I don’t get it. The brand’s manager, Susan Docherty, is no bloody help at all. “We’re working hard to change the perception of the brand and to let people know Buick may not be what they think it is,” Ms. Dohery pronounced in a recent web chat. May not be, but might? How do we parse the fact that the brand is sticking a four cylinder engine into its forthcoming sedan? Sure the Honda Accord has one. A mighty fine four pot, in fact. But how does this engine option square with Buick’s “entry level luxury” schtick? AutoWeek is forced to go for the historical angle. “The four-banger is thought to be the first in a Buick since the 1998 Skylark,” AW reports. “It’s from GM’s Ecotec family and makes 182 hp and 172 lb·ft of torque. It’s an inline setup and employs direct injection; look for it to get an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.” So who’s looking?

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84 Comments on “New Buick LaCrosse Gets Four-Cylinder Engine, AWD...”


  • avatar
    johnthacker

    Four cylinders, all-wheel-drive? Clearly, they’re chasing after the Audi A4 then. (Not seriously, as it’s not a turbo apparently.)

    But yeah, expect to see more four-bangers, especially turbos, replace V6s, V6s replacing V8s, etc. All part of the fuel economy rules.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i actually think that’s a pretty attractive looking car… sure it looks like it’s knocking off nissan and the like

    but i doubt i ever want to drive a 3,400lb car (I’m guessing) with those kind of power/torque figures

  • avatar

    The V6 weighs around 4,000 pounds. The four MIGHT cut that to 3,800. Very heavy for a non-turbo four.

    Another oddity: AWD is offered with the 3.0 V6, but not with the 3.6. Based on the specs, the 3.0 has a strong top end, but the torque is, well, that of a 3.0-liter.

    All of this made possible by a six-speed automatic with some very short initial ratios.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I think it’s a resonable idea. When gas goes back to $5 a gallon, automakers will likely rush to get 4 bangers in everything they’ll work in. Buick is getting ahead of the game. European midsized cars have available 4 holers, and VW/Audi offers them here in some of their larger-than-compact sedans. Besides, 182hp/172ft.lb. isn’t exactly the same thing as the wheezy, powerless 4 cylinders of the ’80s.

    As far as “what is Buick”, I haven’t a clue. GM reckons it to be a Lexus fighter in the works, but I don’t see it. The problem is that Buick has way too much potential to bump into Cadillac’s territory, especially if Caddy tries to move down market with a new “entry level” car. Buick should not have survived the bankruptcy, but since they did, then they should get decent products to sell. The LaCrosse looks like exactly that. We shall see.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I wonder if someone among the B&B can enlighten me on the CAFE rules. I have always understood that if GM does not meet CAFE on its entire car line, then it is fined for each vehicle produced from its entire car line. In other words, if 5 V8 Cadillacs edges all of GM cars over the max mpg limit, GM is not fined just on those 5 V8 Cads but on every car it builds that year. Am I correct?

    Because if I am, this is why Buick is going to put a 4 into its Lacrosse. Just like they were doing in the 80s until technology caught up with the rules and allowed cars with decent drivabiliy again.

    If my understanding of CAFE is wrong, though, then there is absolutely no reason for a 4 cyl Buick (just like there is no reason for a 6 cyl Cadillac).

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Aside from AWD and the badge, there’s nothing a LaCrosse has that a Malibu LTZ doesn’t. However, that 4-cylinder option will be quite handy in China where the majority of LaCrosses are likely to be sold.

    And someone should tell Autoweek about the 4-banger in the Buick Excelle.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    The car looks nice… but at least should be V6, or turbo

  • avatar
    musicalmcs8706

    So it gets 20/30 for mileage. Which is what I get in my 2005 Impala with the 3.8. With a lot less power. Granted, the LaCrosse is much better looking, but how is this a step forward?

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    I know of someone that traded in a 2 yr. old Lucerne for a new 4 cyl. Camry because the Lucerne did not get the milage that his Park Avenue got.

  • avatar
    Samuel L. Bronkowitz

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. As some others have mentioned… when high gas prices return we’d be killing them if they weren’t ready. OTOH a non-turbo four pushing a big, weighty car? Not exactly the right stance for an entry car to the luxury segment. Luxury buyers either (a) don’t care about efficiency or (b) pretend to care by buying a Lexus hybrid.

    Maybe it gets the turbo at its next refresh… if it lasts that long. It’s a fairly handsome car.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    Shouldn’t this be filed under Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    Seriously?

    If I’m buying Buick or Cadillac it damn sure better have a V8, at least as an option.

  • avatar
    jmo

    You can buy a A6 2.0T, E200, and a 520i in Europe, right?

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    OK. This has to be said: TTAC is branding-obsessed.

    “What is a Lamborghini?”
    “What is a Toyota?”
    “What is a Ford?”
    “What is a Buick?”
    …and I can go on.

    In all honesty, I would not be surprised if some of Farago et. al. had backgrounds and / or degrees in marketing.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    Despite my soft-spot for Buick (I blame my father, who remembers when they were great), and the new Lacrosse admittedly a looker, inside and out, the price is a non-starter, and the brand overlap in the near-lux pricepoint is still as brutal as ever.

    I wish them the best though.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Irvine

    Buick doesn’t need to waste any money reinventing itself to become “not what you thought it was.” Most people think of Buick as a car for old people that has armchair seats and easy ingress and egress. This is already perfect positioning. With our aging population of people with money and who can’t remember what their last tank of gas cost, the marketing is done and dusted. Just make ’em like that and sell ’em. There’s no competition.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    @Vorenus

    “What is a Lamborghini?”
    “What is a Toyota?”
    “What is a Ford?”
    “What is a Buick?”

    – Expensive Audi supercar when only a name-brand supercar will do.
    – A bathtub full of oatmeal with a few bits of fruit floating in it.
    – Got me. New domestic turnaround king, now producing plenty of solid product?
    – Constantly trying to shed their codger image, failing, repeating.

  • avatar

    Vorenus

    English major, Child Psychology minor, FYI.

    And it’s true: branding isn’t everything. It’s the only thing. (Apologies to Vince.)

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    You might say that this Vehicle with a 4 Cy engine could be underpowered don’t you think? including all accessories it will have, besides the size of this Car, time will tell I guess.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    Ha! We’re opposites.

    Psychology major, English minor.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    @ Geo. Levecque…

    We could say the same thing about the current Camry, which is freakin’ huge, considering most are powered by 4-cyls.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    @Geo

    It depends on the transmission and on the curb weight. Lots of family sedans today are powered by 4cylinder engines and have no trouble outrunning their V6 ancestors.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    GM is shredding brands to focus on stronger product. So what do they do? Ah, add more cars to their four brands so they overlap just as much when they had eight. For example, Buick is getting a version of the Chevrolet Cruize.

    They just don’t get it at all.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Geo,
    this Vehicle with a 4 Cy engine could be underpowered don’t you think?

    The 3.8L V-6 in the current car makes 200bhp and 230lb/ft or torque. My GTI makes 200bhp and a little less torque.

    The BMW 2.0 4cyl diesel makes the same BHP and way more torque. No reason in this day and age for a 4cyl car to be underpowered.

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    I know of someone that traded in a 2 yr. old Lucerne for a new 4 cyl. Camry because the Lucerne did not get the milage that his Park Avenue got.

    My 92 LeSabre with the 3800/4T65 got mid-20s mixed cycle driving. 100% Highway it was close to 30MPG. The old H-Car may have been the last great car GM made. Or maybe the W-Car.

    As much as the tech spec snobs like to turn their noses up at things like Push Rod Engines and 4 Speed Transmissions, the sad fact is GM’s early 90s Line Up was more attractive in many ways than what they’re selling now.

    I’d rather have an A-Car for a reasonable price than any of the Epsilon clones. THAT was a true GM, not a GM trying (and failing) to be an Acura.

  • avatar
    mattstairs

    Branding (or lack thereof) is sort of like the old saying, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will you get you there.

    My Father-in-law (pushing 70) has a Lucerne. 3.8 V6 (old, but folks around here swear by it), base model, cloth seats.

    If a Buick is “near-luxury”, it should have modern/premium engines and luxurious interiors. Shouldn’t even make stripper models.

    If GM wants to sell traditional big cars that old folks want to buy/drive, why not just make and market a big FWD Chevy (go larger than an Impala if you have to)? That would free up Buick to appeal to the Acura or Audi crowd.

    Cadillac could then go upscale to (really) take on BMW, M-B, Lexus, etc.

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    Vorenus

    TTAC has always been about the brand from its inception.

    Why, I don’t know as while you can buy into
    the image, you still have to purchase product to do that.

    What image has a four banger Buick got?

    Incidentally GM has been down this route before as in the early nineties Holden had the bright idea to put a four in the Commodore (the G8 sized thing) which not surprisingly didn’t sell either.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    @ jmo:

    “No reason in this day and age for a 4cyl car to be underpowered.”

    No reason today for a 4-cyl *engine* to be underpowered. Stick that engine in a bloated me-too sedan, and it’s a little different than sticking the same engine in a (much smaller) GTI.
    It’s all relative to the application.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Lots of family sedans today are powered by 4cylinder engines and have no trouble outrunning their V6 ancestors.

    in the old days 3 litre 6 cyl will put out anywhere from 100 to 160 HP.
    180HP at 60% efficiency is very much race car technology.
    And right after the Cat was mandatory put in, even a 5.7 V8 puts out not more than 160 HP.

    None the less a 4cyl sounds inadequate, only gave u a false sense of security, when u need to go places u need to be pedal to metal most of the time, and trying to pass or merge into freeway will be a challenge.

  • avatar
    ajla

    @educatordan:

    If I’m buying Buick or Cadillac it damn sure better have a V8, at least as an option.

    You’re going to be disappointed then.

    GM has all but said that in the future the Camaro, Corvette, and truck/SUV applications are going to be the only place a customer is going to find 8 cylinders (Although, the CTS-V should be around for a few more years). The LS4 program is gone, along with the Zeta-sedan, and there is no replacement for the Northstar; so the Lucerne, DTS, and STS replacements will probably be V6-powered.

    Mulally, OTOH, has explicitly said that the Mustang and truck/SUV applications are the only place a V8 is going to be offered because they want to push the Ecoboost system.

    Now these companies do notoriously change their minds, so these plans aren’t set in stone. However, it looks like if you want a V8 sedan in the future for under $55K, Fiatsler and Hyundai are going to be the only two options.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Vorenus,

    True, I’m just saying a modern 4cyl makes the same bhp and about the same torque as a 3.8L v-6 lump from GM. If the 2009 wasn’t underpowered with it’s 200bhp v-6, 4-speed auto, then there is no reason the 2010 would be underpowered with a 200bhp 4-cyl with a 6-speed auto.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    I wonder if someone among the B&B can enlighten me on the CAFE rules. I have always understood that if GM does not meet CAFE on its entire car line, then it is fined for each vehicle produced from its entire car line. In other words, if 5 V8 Cadillacs edges all of GM cars over the max mpg limit, GM is not fined just on those 5 V8 Cads but on every car it builds that year. Am I correct?

    Well, first off, CAFE is changing to a footprint mechanism, where cars with different footprint sizes have different targets.

    But currently, you figure out the sales-weighted harmonic mean of your mpg. Then, if it falls the limit, you pay $5.50 per 0.1 mpg below the limit, multiplied by total production for the US market. So yes, you’re fined on every car you build that year, but the cars that pass the limit improve your average and so may decrease the overall fine.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    True, I’m just saying a modern 4cyl makes the same bhp and about the same torque as a 3.8L v-6 lump from GM. And it’s not like they are hooking that 3.8L to a 8 speed auto – it’s a 4 speed.

    Sure, and one of the expected results of the fuel economy changes and any gas price increases is more turbo fours replacing V-6s. (Audi’s already doing something similar with their S4, replacing a naturally breathing V8 with a supercharged V6 in the 2010.) You can indeed get similar hp and torque with better fuel economy. More expensive gas and costs of repair, of course, but there’s obviously would be reason why companies aren’t using them already. (And no, worse engine note would not be a sufficient reason by itself.)

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Wouldn’t you really rather have a Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac , ahm, Buick?

    This isn’t your father’s , Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac , ahm, Buick?

    The same old guys using the same old logic:

    Well, the B/P dealers are losing the Pontiac, so they need a small car to sell…. and we’re off to the race to the bottom again.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    let me tell you this

    Hyundia/Kia have a new 2.2 liter turbo diesel four that does 200hp but get this… 320lb/ft

    this kind of motor would motivate the fatty Taurus SHO

    thankfully the Koreans will limit its use to 3,750lb SUVs

    that is irrelevant of course

    now my question is this… why is it medium sized sedans are 3,800 – 4,000lb? this is patently ridiculous. Unless you so solve this CAFE is meaningless than it is now.

  • avatar
    shaker

    What gets me is that the same engine with the 6-speed autobox is EPA rated @ 22/32 in the upcoming 2010 Equinox (FWD), with a 0-60 time rumored @ 9.5 seconds. The Equinox 4cyl is listed @ 3800 lb curb weight.

    So this lower, more aero and lighter vehicle with the same engine gets worse mileage?

    Something is rotten in Detroit…

  • avatar
    jmo

    “More expensive gas and costs of repair,”

    True, but you are “adding lightness” the 4 or 6 is going to be much lighter than the V-8. So better braking, acceleration and handling.

  • avatar
    slateslate

    Invariably…..some Joe/Jane Buicks will buy the 4-cyl. car and then complain six months into ownership that the car doesn’t have enough merging/passing power.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    What’s a Buick? It’s an appliance car that’s more comfortable than other appliance cars, and serves as a good choice for people who want a luxury car, but don’t actually care about cars.

    That seems like a simple enough definition, and a four-cylinder engine isn’t out of place in such a car.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    The problem with the Buick LaCrosse is not that it will have an I4, it is that it will have a crappy I4.

    GM knows how to make a direct injection 260HP, 260LB/FT Ecotec, and it puts it in cars as low rent as the Cobalt and HHR.

    That 260 HP engine gets 22/30 MPG in the Cobalt and 21/29 MPG in the HHR, with a 5 speed, not a 6 speed like the Buick will have.

    To put a much less advanced, much less powerful engine in a larger Buick, especially when Buick is supposed to represent “premium”, and has historically represented technology and engineering, is a major blunder.

    From a branding perspective the 260 HP Ecotec should be the base engine in the LaCrosse, for those who don’t need that much technology and power there is the Malibu.

  • avatar

    It’s not a 200-hp four-cylinder, it’s 180. And it’s propelling a car that weighs nearly 4,000 pounds. Reminds me of the 2.7-liter V6 Chrysler saw fit to put in the 300 and Charger.

    The six-speed, four-cylinder combination in the new Equinox generates so much NVH that they had to add an active noise cancellation system. GM can’t build a refined four-cylinder like Honda can.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    In the USA, the 2010 Audi A4 is 2.0L turbo four cylinder only. No more V6. That said, the Audi 2.0L will probably outrun the AWD Buick V6 anyway.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    If the car is good enough, it could be reasonable competition for the Lexus ES, which is itself not that much of a stand-out, but is very comfortable and nicely appointed. The problem is that it has to be really, really good in order to do this, or people are going to walk past this fancy Malibu in favour of the fancy Camry.

    That four-cyl, though, I’m not sure about. In principle it’s not a bad thing and I don’t have real issues with four-cylinder luxury cars, but it runs this risk of being the rental fleet special (which never, ever happens to Lexuses) and, if my experience with base Buicks of the past is worth anything, will be pared with a depressingly rental interior (again, not something Lexus does).

    If they have to do the four the meet CAFE requirements, they must make sure it’s at least as balanced and inaudible as a Japanese four, and it must not come with the industrial-grey interior and mouse-fur seats typical of your entry-level Buick. If it does, it’ll a) get “why bother?” when lined up to Chevy’s own Malibu, and b) will cement Buick on the path it began when it started hocking decontented Skylarks, Centuries and Regals/

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Buick… Setting today’s rental car standard for lackluster performance and insular driving experience.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Psarhjinian : “which is itself not that much of a stand-out” Right, but it is a Lexus… and you can put that name on an excrement slathered shingle and still have a good chance of selling it to some image obsessed fool, at a profit.

  • avatar
    Potemkin

    Help I’m channeling Bob Lutz. People who can afford a Buick aren’t that concerned about a few mpg. It will however be amusement for the neighbours when the owner pops the hood to reveal a mighty Ecotec 4.

  • avatar

    The NVH of the turbo Ecotec is far from where it would need to be for this application. No doubt they’re working on this, but it’s going to take a lot of work.

    The LaCrosse is heavier than the Equinox, and much heavier than an Accord or Camry. I assume to make is really smooth and quiet–which would make a buzzy engine stick out like a sore thumb.

    What’s it got over a Malibu? The best interior yet from GM.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “still have a good chance of selling it to some image obsessed fool, at a profit.”

    Lexus seems to be, at least to me, what Buick was back in its heyday. It’s a car for the decently employed professional – a doctor’s car one might say. Not something the real image and fashion obsessed go with. They are more into the Range Rover Sports and RS4’s.

    I mean you wouldn’t want your radiation oncologist to pull up in a beater – one could only assume he’d had one too many malpractice suits. Hence the Lexus. Respectable transportation for the respectable.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Looks a bit like an ES350. It seems like a good alternative to a Maxima, ES350 and TL, if it goes as good as it looks. I think I like the car best as a Chevy. The Chevy Buick.

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    “People who can afford a Buick aren’t that concerned about a few mpg. It will however be amusement for the neighbours when the owner pops the hood to reveal a mighty Ecotec 4”

    Potemkin, you’re absolutely right and was exactly my argument why people wouldn’t want a Mercedes three cylinder in the USA.

    What is a Buick?

    Isn’t it the sound you make when you retch up too much Tequila?

  • avatar
    carguy

    As shaker mentioned earlier, the 2010 Equinox has the same engine and is about the same weight (3800 lbs) and makes the run to 60 in about 9.5 seconds. Even if better aerodynamics will help the LaCrosse, it will mean high revving to get even adequate amounts of power and that means the type of noises that are simply inconsistent with the Buick brand.

    If they wanted an entry level engine then the de-tuned DI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl would have been a good choice – maybe 200hp and 250lbs of torque would have delivered good MPGs and made a good combo with the auto box.

  • avatar

    I order cars for a Buick dealer and the only engines available for the new 2010 Buick Lacross are a 3.0 v6 with 252hp and a 3.6 v6 with 280 hp. The AWD is only available with the 3.0 v6.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    I don’t think “4 cylinders” and “near luxury” are necessarily mutally exlusive. Enough power is important and if a 4 cylinder DI 180hp engine with a broad torque curve can move the car pretty well, then it’s OK.

    However, this is Buick and GM, so the engine may not be smooth enough and the car may be too heavy for 180hp, so this could be a complete lose.

    I’m thinking along the lines of those Acuras with the 4-cylinder engines and I like those cars well enough. If the Lexus IS sedan came with a 4-cylinder engine that got >30mpg and decent performance, I’d consider it.

    Mostly, I just want a car that’s comfortable, nicely appointed and quiet. If Buick can make that happen, it’s worth doing.

  • avatar
    shaker

    carguy: “If they wanted an entry level engine then the de-tuned DI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl would have been a good choice – maybe 200hp and 250lbs of torque would have delivered good MPGs and made a good combo with the auto box.”
    Agreed, but maybe the word “Turbo” would scare off the demographic? :-)

    budskisnm: I guess later in the MY…
    http://www.autoblog.com/2009/06/22/four-play-gm-confirms-2010-buick-lacrosse-will-be-available-wit/

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Why wouldn’t a four cylinder go with a luxury car? Infiniti got away with it for years with the G20. Honda gets away with putting Acura badges on civics and selling it to our friends of the north (while killing the RSX and claim they wanted to move up in the market). And have we forgotten about the king of entry level luxury, the 3-Series?

    There’s plenty of room for four banger luxury rides. Whether the lacrosse deserves to be mentioned among them remains to be seen.

    I wonder: if the lacrosse turns out to be a competitive car in the marketplace, will “great landing, wrong airport,” become the new excuse why you dismiss this car?

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    @Vorenus

    “What is a Lamborghini?”
    “What is a Toyota?”
    “What is a Ford?”
    “What is a Buick?”

    YOU don’t know “what a Buick is”, and you don’t care…. but the people who HAVE been buying Buicks know what a Buick is…. They’ve known for 40 years.

    As JMO points out … Buick … back in its heyday was a car for the decently employed professional – a doctor’s car one might say.

    But now we have: “We’re working hard to change the perception of the brand and to let people know Buick may not be what they think it is,”

    Now we are going to go down the Oldsmobile route, where Buick doesn’t mean what it used to its old traditional customers, but it hasn’t conquered any new customers.

    This is exactly what killed Oldsmobile, and now will kill Buick.

  • avatar

    First of all, I wouldn’t want a car this heavy with anything less than a V6 with 300 HP starters.

    For people in cities with bumper to bumper traffic, maybe this would be ok but for me…I couldn’t take a 4 cylinder seriously.

    I know the VW CC with the 2.0T is getting better ratings than the V6 model, but I’d rather have 350HP or more @3000 RPM.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Flashpoint
    “but I’d rather have 350HP or more @3000 RPM.”
    You don’t have many cars to choose from.

  • avatar
    commando1

    4 cylinder Buick??? They just lost 60% of the Florida market.

    Wait. 60% of the current Buick buyers in Florida will be dead in a few more years anyway.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    no_slushbox: From a branding perspective the 260 HP Ecotec should be the base engine in the LaCrosse.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Then they could get rid of the answer-to-no-question 3.0 and allow the 3.6 to be a 300-315 hp dynamo instead of detuning it to 280 hp. Oh, and the 3.6 would only come with AWD, FWD/AWD for the 2.0T.

    Since they ARE putting the 2.4L 4 in the Lacrosse, do we know if this iteration will be coming to the US or is this a China-only move?

    (Please say China-only, please say China-only, please say China-only…)

  • avatar

    So this engine only gets 20mpg city and 30mpg highway. I know the new EPA measurements are a bitch to work with these days, but damn….that means the last rental-grade Impala I drove gets slightly better gas mileage, and that was the 3.5L with 30 additional horsepower. For those wondering, I got nearly 20mpg city and 33mpg highway.

    There are better engines to work with, but the spreadsheets said this was more “economical”, and whatever the spreadsheet wants, the spreadsheet gets.

    Honoring the spreadsheet’s every single wish is what got General Motors to morph into Government Motors.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    John Williams
    So this engine only gets 20mpg city and 30mpg highway.

    The Acura TSX gets 21/30 EPA, this seems quite competitive.
    If (when) gas prices spike again, Buick has a higher mileage engine to offer. It sounds like good planning to me.

  • avatar
    NickR

    It’s from GM’s Ecotec family and makes 182 hp and 172 lb·ft of torque.

    That’s pretty stout for a 4-banger. Maybe not the best choice for this car, but more than adequate for a lot of daily drivers.

  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    I currently dive a four Cy vehicle, a Toyota RAV4, if I keep the speed under 80kms, I get (old measure) 42 miles per gallon. It works for me and much better than my GMC Van which has a V8 in it, times change don’t they?

  • avatar
    bryanska

    I was about to respond with “Buick should be sensuous and coddling, and Cadillac should be edgy and performance-based”…

    But then I realized that Cadillac could have all these.

  • avatar
    Jimmy7

    I’m getting 22 mpg commuting in a 2008 LaCrosse with a 5.3. Add the 6 speed transmission, tweek the Displacement-on-Demand software, I think it’d see 27 or 28. And it’d still be a Buick.

    But what do I know? I’m just a guy that likes cars and actually bought one.

  • avatar
    George B

    What is a Buick?

    A Buick is a Chevrolet with more chrome and a higher price. It’s paired with GMC, Chevrolet trucks without the horizontal bar/bowtie front facia. I guess GMC style Chevrolet trucks must contribute significant revenue to justify the redundant Chevrolet by another name sales channel.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Eh… I don’t know if there is really room for Buick unless Cadillac goes much further up market.

    Could you imagine if Toyota announced that it was launching “Celsior”, similar to Scion but between Lexus and Toyota? We would all laugh at the ridiculousness of the idea. Lexus isn’t high enough up market to warrant a Celsior brand.

    In 1959 the Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, at $13,000, cost more than a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. If in 2009, the top of the range Caddy cost more than a Phantom, there would be room for Buick. As it stands now… not so much.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Interesting that I was driving home today behind someone in a late model S65 AMG – MSRP $198,950.

    I’m curious as to what the thought process was behind Cadillac abandoning its offering of a true top of the range car. In the 50’s a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham was it, no Mercedes or Rolls was more expensive. By 1964 the Mercedes 600 was $22,000 while a Cadillac Fleetwood 75 was only $10,000.

  • avatar
    meefer

    What’s so bad about a 4 banger? Acura has one in the TSX, it’s actually pretty good in there.

    Not saying that the engines are the same, but as gas prices go up, what else are you going to do? If gas prices are low, point people at an Enclave or something.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    A lot of people showing their age here…and worse.

  • avatar
    kaleun

    I don’t get TTAC… now GM offers a better mileage motor and it still is wrong. I had a 98 Century with 3.1 l 6-cylinder that only delivered 150 hp at terrible mileage. Now this car has more hp and better mileage. Probably not perfect, but progress.

    If GM would bring new inefficient 6 cylinders TTAC would cry that they don’t prepare for high gas prices at tax payer’s expense?

    And I don’t think a company that can’t even really build 2-valve pushrod engines should bring a (more complicated) turbo. they have to learn to produce 4-valve motors for some decades, then variable valve timing, then maybe they can be trusted with a turbo. Trust me, for a GM vehicle it is better if it is not too modern. turbos need cooling, lubrication.. all things that GM has failed in very often. didn’t they once build a diesel with the gasoline engine parts where the pistons melted and they kept building it for years? So, better no turbo with high compression etc.

    I really love TTAC for the most part, but sometimes the complaining is for the complaining sake. What is GM supposed to do to make it right? (besides giving me my money back). I’m really against GM and want them to die, BTW.

    For the typical Buick driver a 50 hp motor would provide sufficient acceleration and top speed. As long as the tape player doesn’t get stuck.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Nothing wrong with a 4 cylinder entry in that segment, though I doubt the 4 cylinder plus AWD combination will be popular. The Acura TSX is a nice entry luxury 4 pot, though Acura gets over 200 hp out of a naturally aspirated, port-injected 4. But then again, the Buick weighs 500 lbs. or so more than a TSX.

    Buick does have a horrible identity crisis though. I sounds like Susan is reprising the Think Different campaign from her Saturn days. Ugh. Has everyone forgotten that the “Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile” campaign was a dismal failure?

  • avatar
    dgduris

    “Get off my lawn, you damn kids!”

    Why the hell need it go faster than what 180 hp can take it – given Buick’s positioning in the automotive world.

    I hope it comes with a tweed hat!

    And that tagline is still the funniest damn thing ever written on TTAC!

  • avatar
    V6

    hopefully it’s nothing like the 4 cylinder in the Camry i recently rented. reminded me why i hate 4 cylinder engines so much. my 20 year old Maxima has a far smoother engine, better sounding and gets the same mileage

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    4WD? Seriously? Why because the engineers couldn’t find a way to channel all 182 hp through two wheels? I know what Buick is. It’s a joke.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i think people are deluded if they think dropping a four cylinder motor into a 4,000lb car is going to instantly drop fuel consumption

    past experience has show this patently does not work

    the motor is higher stressed so doesn’t last as long

    the driving experience is massively diminished because it’s just not fun and often bordering on unsafe to drive a car desperately underpowered especially when loaded

    resale is rubbish

    remember how the Camaro was supposed to get a direct injection turbo four cylinder as an economy option. What happened?

    They probably worked out that even with a turbo, the powerplant is just not suitable for a 3,800lb frame.

  • avatar
    capdeblu

    The new La Crosse suspiciously looks like a stretch Malibu. And now it has the same engine.

  • avatar
    hans007

    a 4 cylinder natural aspirated engine is probably ok in a premium ish car.

    Some people honestly don’t care about the engine THAT much.

    The new GM 4 cylinder is direct injection, and very fuel efficient for a 2.4L (a 2.7L 4 cylinder in say the rav4 toyota gets about the same power, but its not direct injection). It is actaully supposed to be a very good engine. I think the commenters above comparing it to diesels and turbo VW engines are… um idiots. Why dont you just compare it to a v6 then? It DOESNT have a turbo.

    Considering this engine doesn’t have to rev to say 7000rpm to get its power I think it will be fine for most people.

    Granted I can only think of 2 other cars that have engines this small that are non turbo in an entry level premium brand (volvo S40… which is 5 cylinders and the TSX).

    I am not sure what GM is doing weight wise, maybe they just aren’t using light weight materials? The v6 lacross weighs as much as a 2010 FWD v6 taurus but is 10″ shorter. Its about the size of a toyota avalon v6 , but 300 pounds heavier in v6 version (so probably still heavier even with the i-4). Maybe they are betting people wont care as much about speed. A comparable car power and weight wise is a toyota highlander 2.7L i-4. And I am guessing people buy the 4 cylinder version and are “ok” with it. I’m sure most older people don’t even care as long as its quiet inside and the seats are comfortable but buick is still taking a real risk here branding wise (then again no one understands their branding strategy since they seem to just be completely retarded)

    Oh well just another case of GM putting a good engine in a terribly overweight car. I actaully think its a pretty nice looking car, but the fact it weighs so much probably says something about how it was designed.

  • avatar
    Matt51

    V6 engines are smoother than 4 cylinder engines. Even if the 4 cyl has the same mileage, hp, torque as the V6, a Buick needs to have a V6 or a V8. The displacement and mileage can be the same as a 4, but this reeks of cheapness. Like GM offering a 5 cylinder engine in the Colorado instead of a V6. If people want a 4 cylinder, they can buy the value leader Accord for a lot less money.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Why don’t any of the Atlas engines find their way into cars? The inline-6 might not fit, but one would think the inline-5 would. It has 242hp and 242lb-ft torque, which would be more than adequate. And inline-5s aren’t exactly an oddity in the near luxury segment.

  • avatar
    akear

    Knowing GM’s recent luck this Lacrosse probably won’t outsell the current model. GM will have another vastly improved car that won’t find buyers.

    Game

    Set

    Match

    Buick is done.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I remember back in the 50’s and 60’s when Popular Mechanics magazine would run “owners’ reports” on cars. The thing I remember the most about those was that for cars and pickups that offered a 6 and a V8, the reported mileage never varied more than about 2 mpg between the two engines.

    Of course it’s cheaper to put a smaller engine in a car than to totally rethink the engineering of it to cut weight or to make it smoother to push through the atmosphere; and you have all the reasons to add weight: reduce nvh, make the roof and pillars stronger, add twenty or thirty little electric motors; and a 6- or 7-speed automatic tranny must weigh more than a 4-speed, right?

  • avatar
    nevets248

    Susan Docherty = Lynn Meyers, another bimbo in charge of what was once Pontiac.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    akear :
    June 25th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Knowing GM’s recent luck this Lacrosse probably won’t outsell the current model. GM will have another vastly improved car that won’t find buyers.

    Luck has nothing to do with it.

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