What's Wrong With This Picture: Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
what s wrong with this picture six of one half dozen of the other edition

Buick’s LaCrosse is dropping its little-loved 3.0 V6 base engine in favor GM’s direct-injected 2.4 liter four-banger, probably so it can use the magic term “3o MPG highway” in forthcoming marketing. The downsides? You mean, besides having to move over 4,000 lbs with a 182 hp, 172 lb-ft engine (compared to the 3.0’s 255 hp, 217 lb-ft)? How about the fact that it brings the LaCrosse even closer to the forthcoming Regal? Buicks have long suffered from the fact that consumers see them as “Buicks,” rather than distinctive models, and cramped positioning like this is the reason why. But hey, someone’s got to make up for lost Pontiac volume at the Buick-GMC dealerships, so why not sell two cars on the same platform, starting at the same price point? Meanwhile, the Regal Turbo will not be available until the fourth quarter, and Regals with navigation won’t start to be built until the end of April. Buick’s sales are improving, but it’s still suffering from a number of very familiar Old GM symptoms.

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4 of 32 comments
  • Wsn Wsn on Mar 29, 2010

    th009 "The LaCrosse is almost 10 inches longer than the Sonata, and is aimed at the premium (or near-premium) segment. I really don’t think the two cars are direct competitors." 1) Oh, I didn't realize GM's packaging ability is that poor. 2) You are right in that they are not direct competitors. GM would lose face in a direct comparison and thus it chose to give the Buick a higher MSRP and dump them to fleets.

  • GarbageMotorsCo. GarbageMotorsCo. on Mar 29, 2010

    We also have to remember Buicks target market here. Older folks don;t care how quick their cars are. They care if the seats are cushy, the ride is pillow soft and the trunk holds a foursomes worth of golf clubs. The Rendezvous had a very problematic 5 speed btw.

  • GarbageMotorsCo. GarbageMotorsCo. on Mar 29, 2010

    Buick sales are a fraction of what they were just a decade ago (just like Government Motors market share, but I digress) so the only direction they can go is up. I suspect Government Motors sales of Buicks to go up a bit whether it be by doubling the model lineup and sending more to rental fleets.

  • Srogers Srogers on Mar 29, 2010

    Isn't the LaCrosse a more spacious, luxurious (American style) car than the Regal? I think that Buick's buyers will have no trouble making a distinction between the tight Euro-style Regal and the bloated cruiser LaCrosse. And I'm sure that the 4 cylinder has enough power for buyers of either one, but if they have any doubts, the LaCrosse has the option 3.6 "Cadillac" engine - which should be good for bragging rights.