By on March 24, 2015

2015 Buick LaCrosseFull disclosure: this is not my kind of car.

Buick sold 51,468 LaCrosses last year, a 10,000-unit decline compared with 2010, even though the overall car market was 33% stronger last year than it was in 2010. Reach a whole decade back to discover that Buick sold 170,213 LaCrosses, LeSabres, and Park Avenues in 2005.


• USD Price As Tested: ≈ $48,485

• Horsepower: 304 @ 6800 rpm

• Torque: 264 lb-ft @ 5300 rpm

• Observed Fuel Economy: 18 mpg


It’s not just a Buick thing. U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Lexus ES, Nissan Maxima, and Toyota Avalon combined to slide 9% in 2014, year-over-year. LaCrosse sales actually increased slightly in 2014, but 2015 is off to a rough start with sales down 17% through two months.

More disclosure: big Buick sedans are increasingly not your kind of car, either. And by “your”, I’m referring to the market as a whole.

That doesn’t mean I can’t be converted. Despite its terribly light steering, one week with the 2014 Chevrolet Impala LTZ led me to tell my wife that we should pick up a used one in a couple years. She laughed at me. “We’re not your grandparents,” she said. I hope she felt really guilty about reminding me that all my grandparents are, you know, dead.

2015 Buick LaCrosse AWD in snowI enjoyed a week last summer with the latest all-wheel-drive Hyundai Genesis, as well. Granted, its rear-wheel-drive-based architecture does offer a different vibe. The Ford Taurus is too small inside, but the Chrysler 300? Ever more cool to my eyes. The Dodge Charger is available with more than 700 horsepower, and that Hellcat rubs off nicely on all the lesser Chargers.

But the 2015 LaCrosse, a Lexus ES-fighting, 3.6L V6-powered, all-wheel-drive big car with a surprisingly tight 13.3-cubic-foot trunk and an as-tested Canadian price of nearly $52,000, is not my kind of car. True, it’s a nicely executed version of what it’s supposed to be. Alas, what it’s supposed to be is not for me, and the figures suggest, it’s not for you, either.

2015 Buick LaCrosse AWD PremiumLoaned to us for the week by GM Canada, the LaCrosse is supremely quiet, albeit let down by a set of noisy Hancook winter tires on our tester. The rear seat is expansive with plenty of width for three if need be. Buick’s Intellilink infotainment unit is sufficiently straightforward and simple, not the best but certainly not the worst interface in the automobile world. From most angles, the LaCrosse looks quite nice, as well, and certainly more premium than it did when this second-generation debuted half a decade ago. Interior material quality is quite posh, even on the rear doors.

Unfortunately, there’s more than a hint of old Americana in the way the LaCrosse makes its way down the road. The engine’s bounty is noticeable, but so is the car’s 4140-pound curb weight. While the LaCrosse is surprisingly composed when driven with a moderate level of increased urge down a twisty road, the level of surprise arrives in large part due to your own expectations. And the fact that the LaCrosse feels better at six-tenths than three-tenths is troublesome. Sure, it always manages to mask pavement imperfections, but it’s working so hard to do so that there’s a faint but constant sensation of up-and-down-side-to-side of body movement, like a waiter who consistently provides refills but always seems to be hovering over your table.

2015 Buick LaCrosse AWD Premium InteriorThe LaCrosse’s steering is sharper than the Impala’s, but its overall ride and handling balance lags behind the Chevy, which feels much smaller to drive than it actually is. All-wheel-drive availability is one key differentiating factor; a buyer’s locale determines the degree to which four driven wheels are essential.

Refreshed for MY2014, the second-gen LaCrosse is now in its sixth model year. Even in old age, it proves Buick can do luxury well. Combine that premium quotient with the Verano Turbo’s Euro-like balance, the Regal’s snappier exterior styling, and the Impala’s vast cargo area and perhaps the LaCrosse is transformed into my kind of car.

It’d help if they got rid of the capacitive touch climate controls, too. My grandparents wouldn’t have a clue what to do with those.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

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111 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2015 Buick LaCrosse AWD...”


  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Dead Weight, you can chime in anytime now.

  • avatar
    tuffjuff

    I wonder what this as-tested would ring in for after incentives? As recently as a few months back I had seen commercials and online ads for $8,000 off MSRP on the base LaCrosse. The new Impala can be had in LTZ trim for under $35k on the lot after incentives, and is arguably a more fresh take on this platform.

    As a side note: the new Impala is *so* damn good. I am elated that GM is still making this type of vehicle, and that they’re so good at it.

    *EDIT*

    Cars.com shows a 2015 LaCrosse Premium II (likely not with all the options here) for just under $35k, after incentives, with an MSRP of around $45k. That’s here in the mid-west, so I can’t speak to other parts of the US or Canada, but that’s a hell of a deal.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      I was going to comment that I though these things cost about $35k, not $10k+ more than that, so $35k seems about right. Small bits of wood (or “wood”?) aside, that interior doesn’t look any nicer than the last Malibu I rented, which was a perfectly fine car….at $25k or so.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Leather trimmed LaCrosses with solid mid-equipped spec sheets can be had for 33k, and base cloth version can be had for 27k.

        Still too much considering that a new 300 in base trim has leather & a great V6 and 8 speed transmission standard – and more other equipment – and is a much better car….

        …IMHO

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Leather trimmed LaCrosses with solid mid-equipped spec sheets can be had for 33k, and base cloth version can be had for 27k.

        Still too much considering that a new 300 in base trim has leather & a great V6 and 8 speed transmission standard – and more other equipment – for 27k to 28k – and is a much better car….

        …IMHO

      • 0 avatar
        TCowner

        “I was going to comment that I though these things cost about $35k, not $10k+ more than that, so $35k seems about right. Small bits of wood (or “wood”?) aside, that interior doesn’t look any nicer than the last Malibu I rented, which was a perfectly fine car….at $25k or so.”

        You can’t really go by pictures, the interiors on the Lacrosses are much nicer than any Chevy product, both in content and quality of materials. Their aim was Lexus, and most auto reviews report, and I agree, they hit their mark.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        In person I find the interior to be VERY nice, and appropriate to the $40K price range. Shame you can’t SEE out of the damned thing. Scares the crap out of me that tiny old people drive them, no way they can see anything.

        As a wafty barge I prefer these to the 300, or the Taurus, but I would never buy anything like this, not my cup of tea at all.

        And what idiot thought those ridiculous touch “buttons” were a good idea in anything? Almost all the big barges seem to have them now.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          “In person I find the interior to be VERY nice, and appropriate to the $40K price range.”

          Maybe that’s true. It would be nice if the review said something, anything, about the interior quality, and the standard and available features….

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        I think I’ll just hang onto my “perfectly fine ’09 DTS Premium bought for over 50% off MSRP in 2011. It’s my road car and has everything I could every desire in a road car. Has been trouble free except for a power seat motor. I can eke out 28-29mpg on the open road. Like the understated styling as well. Most newer models ’14-’15 don’t float my boat.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The president of my company leased one in 2011, blk/blk with the gold package and vogue tires. When it came time to turn it in, he bought out the lease. He is a wise old man much like yourself I imagine. I personally don’t like what they did to Deville after 2005 but you’ve got the newest thing to a Cadillac, Cadillac has available.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I don’t think it’ll ever be included in a “Greatest Hits” list and I still don’t trust even the later N* at over 200K but I’ve really warmed up to the DTS in the past few years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I harbor similar mistrust but I imagine low mile’d examples can still be had (at least for awhile). Buy at low miles sell cheap at 150, repeat.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      $50K will get you a nicely loaded Enclave, too much for a LaCrosse

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I nominate the current LaCrosse as the vehicle which loses the most interior space due to door panel shape, as consequence of exterior design. These things push the limits of what a sedan can look like – they ride so tall it’s almost like a CUV going down the road, like an X6 or CrossTour.

    The leather on the driver’s seat looks very poor already. All those ripples, wrinkles and creases on a brand new car?

    It’s a big (overpriced) sedan, show us more photos!

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I found the leather in these pictures very interesting, because GM’s new corporate upholstery option on entry level vehicles is pretty fantastic.

      I test drove a 2014 Impala LT that had I believe the lowest seat option available – it was leatherette on the whole seat, with a cloth portion in the spot where the passenger would sit. Same with the Buick Encore. It looks fantastic, and the leatherette looks much nicer in grain than this LaCrosse’s leather(ette?).

      • 0 avatar
        r129

        I thought that the cloth upholstery that was originally standard on this LaCrosse was fantastic. You can’t tell from photos, but in person, it was magnificent. I mourn the death of high quality cloth interiors.

        • 0 avatar
          cpthaddock

          At least it’s not the Pleather-ette that the German’s seem so enamored of these days.

        • 0 avatar
          slance66

          I’ll +1 this with a “but”, that being power seats. I sat in a Cherokee Trailhawk with a mix of nice cloth, leather and pleather, very comfortable. More breathable in the summer. But not power. I’m not giving up power seats.

      • 0 avatar
        amadorcarguy

        I have a 2014 FWD LaCrosse with this same color interior as in the test car, and I have no wrinkles after just one year. And it is real leather, not leatherette.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      “The Ford Taurus is too small inside”
      Oh. no…not again!!!

      I don’t get it…and reading it over and over from the experts like Tim is starting to get at me.
      Once again the never ending bash at the Ford Taurus interior size.
      Oh, ya? Well look at this interior? You think this is better?
      Look, I have sat in these cars and cannot get the constant mass thinking going on over at Expert Review Land. You guys are getting like CNN, Reuters and USAToday. The stories all have the exact same words and lines. I think they all go to the same party the night before and discuss how to give the news to us.
      The Taurus is NOT small inside.
      And get over the large body. If you really look at it…it has a monster rear end and a gigantic trunk with 19 CuFt.
      If YOUR car has this…then we can speak.
      And somebody tell me the difference between this car and all the other GM big mamas. This is the Impala is the XTS is the Buick.
      They are all the same car.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        When I drive a current Taurus the center console is touching my hip, my thigh, my knee, and my calf the entire time I am driving. I greatly dislike this feeling and the only way to avoid it is to twist my lower body away from the middle of the car or just give up and rest my leg against the console.

        This problem has not occurred when I’ve driven an Impala or Lacrosse (although the Buick does restrict my knee sometimes and I honestly don’t consider it very comfortable in general) or just about any other vehicle. My Charger, Electra, and Seville are all larger cars and they don’t do this.

        Maybe you have a different driving position than me or you have a different body type or you don’t mind the interior rubbing against you, but I don’t know what else to tell you.

      • 0 avatar
        baggins

        I sat in Taurus when it came out, Very tight feel. Center console huge, my knee hit when reaching for gas.

        Your opinion is not widely held

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The Impala and XTS have a roomier front seat area. The Taurus is a space robbing disaster with it’s lowered roof line and that stupid asinine massive landing strip center console that has my right leg smashed up against it ever second I’m in that car! These are facts that everybody who drives a Taurus has complained about. Get over it!

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    The interior now looks pretty goofy, and the instrument binnacle sits oddly atop of the dash as if they tried to melt it down into it but the plastics cooled too quickly or something.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    So, what you’re saying is that the old bag in the commercials wouldn’t have any problem finding this Buick.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    $48,485?

    And those are real dollars, not maple syrup dollars?

    The idea that you can spend A6 money on a Buick honestly shocks me.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      This car was $51,825 in Canada. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2015/03/2015-buick-lacrosse-awd-premium-review-canada-winter-test.html

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      In Canada the A6 starts at $64,000.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        And the A6 likely doesn’t come with $10,000 on the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        In the U.S. the A6 (quattro) starts at $48,400, and at this stage in its life cycle most assuredly comes with thousands on the hood.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Yes, but the “USD price” here is the Canadian one converted with exchange rates.

          People *in Canada* pay in CAD, not USD, and they compete against the Canadian competition, not the US competition.

          We can only compare US:US or CA:CA prices, not cross-border.

          (Because they’ll tax the living hell out of you if you try to do a cross-border import of a new car.)

          • 0 avatar
            Timothy Cain

            No, the USD price is the LaCrosse’s U.S. market price equipped as identically as possible to the test car, as is always my practice when reviewing cars on TTAC.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Alas, what it’s supposed to be is not for me, and the figures suggest, it’s not for you, either.”

    People are too foolish to know what they really “need”.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      They really “need” a $50k Buick? The fact that things like Accords and CRVs outsell this thing wildly tells me people know EXACTLY what they need.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m referring more to the vehicle class than the model or the price.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          So they need a gigantic, heavy sedans?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            These are not gigantic, the odd bulbous styling is playing tricks with your eyes. All three cars have similar exterior dimensions.

            MY06 Grand Prix (W-body)

            WIDTH 5 ft. 11.6 in. (71.6 in.)
            HEIGHT 4 ft. 7.9 in. (55.9 in.)
            LENGTH 16 ft. 6.3 in. (198.3 in.)
            WHEEL BASE 9 ft. 2.5 in. (110.5 in.)

            http://www.edmunds.com/pontiac/grand-prix/2006/features-specs/

            MY15 Lacrosse (Epsilon II)

            WIDTH 6 ft. 1.1 in. (73.1 in.)
            HEIGHT 4 ft. 11.2 in. (59.2 in.)
            LENGTH 16 ft. 4.9 in. (196.9 in.)
            WHEEL BASE 9 ft. 3.7 in. (111.7 in.)

            http://www.edmunds.com/buick/lacrosse/2015/?tab-id=reviews-tab

            MY15 Accord

            WIDTH 6 ft. 0.8 in. (72.8 in.)
            HEIGHT 4 ft. 9.7 in. (57.7 in.)
            LENGTH 15 ft. 11.4 in. (191.4 in.)
            WHEEL BASE 9 ft. 1.3 in. (109.3 in.)

            http://www.edmunds.com/honda/accord/2015/?tab-id=reviews-tab

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            That just means the ’06 Grand Prix is gigantic too :-)

            The ’15 Challenger is 198″ x 76″; a bit wider, but same ballpark. I don’t think anyone denies that the Challenger is huge. But at least it gets a usable trunk out of the deal.

            Admittedly, I think most sedans these days are gigantic. Even the Accord is bigger than I would like at 191″ x 73″, so there’s that.

            I think TTAC has managed to brainwash me into seeing the benefit of CUVs (or seeing the light, depending on how you look at it). I haven’t reached the point of needing one yet, but if you routinely need to carry people and luggage, I think a CUV is a more efficient design than a sedan. A ’15 CR-V is 179″ x 72″, and I’ll bet it is much more useful than the LaCrosse. Most large sedans are nothing special to drive anyway, so I’ll take the more efficient packaging.

            Even wagons are shorter than this thing. A ’15 XC70 is 191″ x 74″. I would take that over a large sedan too.

            Recent and current mid-size and larger sedans have huge footprints and can’t hang with CUVs and wagons when it comes to carrying people and stuff. There is no way around it.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            The Challenger is only huge by the measuring stick of expecting it to be a Mustang. In absolute terms it’s middling sized just like everything else they sell now that isn’t body on frame.

            Full size to me means three across.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            If a best seller such as Accord weren’t in the same footprint I’d be inclined to agree, but these dimensions are just what a whole bunch of buyers are purchasing – but certainly not all.

            Many of these sedans and CUVs are in this rough footprint or slightly smaller, but yet so many of them struggle to carry three full size adults in the passenger area (which I view as a fail). If the buyer’s needs are to not haul regular passengers then the smaller models should be available in coupe/hatchback form without the extra doors. This is just how my sick mind operates. I’m tired of the same two flavors being available from fifteen vendors.

            “A ’15 CR-V is 179″ x 72″, and I’ll bet it is much more useful than the LaCrosse.”

            This is what I simply never understand, why is a FWD Civic derived extended hatchback more “useful” than say an Accord sedan? They both can’t tow, they both can’t truly go off-road, they both have a similar transverse drivetrain layout, the CR-V has a locking rear hatch area vs a trunk but I’m not seeing this as a huge advantage personally, and although the Accord is longer by about a foot I don’t see how saving a foot of room is any great victory for CR-V. They are both made to haul people/light cargo and have many more similarities than differences from what I’m seeing.

            BTW Some of the Volvo faithful may argue XC70 is closer to the dreaded CUV than a wagon since it went to EUCD in 2007, so that might be why you find them acceptable. Check out a P2 V70 or earlier 850 wagon to see if you might approve.

            “Most large sedans are nothing special to drive anyway”

            Generic FWD automatic anything isn’t so special to drive, its all really the same thing over and over. Things don’t get really interesting from the driving perspective unless you switch up the transmission or the drivetrain layout, IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            burgersandbeer

            I consider a CR-V more useful mainly because of the hatch. It’s more flexible with the shape of the stuff it can accommodate. And having always lived in crowded metro areas, being a full foot shorter than an Accord is definitely a victory to me.

            I picked the XC70 to make my argument more favorable, since I knew the V60 comes up a little short in space. As noted in one of Derek’s recent postings, whether the XC70 is more wagon or CUV is debatable. I am familiar with the old 850 (in this case, ’96 850 turbo wagon). I would take that as well. And at 185.4″ by 69.3″, I think it fits my argument rather well.

            “Generic FWD automatic anything isn’t so special to drive, its all really the same thing over and over. Things don’t get really interesting from the driving perspective unless you switch up the transmission or the drivetrain layout, IMO.”

            Agreed.

          • 0 avatar
            GS 455

            A 76 Buick Electra (233 in. x 80 in.) is gigantic. A 77 Electra (222 in. x 77 in.) is very large. A 91 Buick Park Anenue (205 in. x 75 in.) is large. The Lacrosse is midsize and everything else is a penalty box.

  • avatar
    r129

    A $35k LaCrosse with incentives lowering the price to below $30k makes perfect sense to me as an alternative to the Impala and non-premium competition, or even as an alternative to a higher-end mid-size sedan. The ones that are loaded up near $50k, regardless of the extra equipment, not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @r129

      Your point is amplified by the fact that you can pretty regularly find an LTZ Impala for $33-34k after incentives, and the Impala feels smaller on the outside while feeling much bigger on the inside. It also looks excellent, inside and out.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    I personally am a huge fan of this car. I see far more elderly people in Honda Civics anyway…

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Well since they sold 7 or 8 times as many Civics as these, that would make sense.

      • 0 avatar
        chiefmonkey

        Somebody knows his cars!!! Yeah that goes without saying but when I do see a Lacrosse on the road it’s usually not an elderly person at the wheel. I myself am in my twenties.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Ha, never say “I myself.” Totally redundant.

        • 0 avatar
          tuffjuff

          @chiefmonkey

          I think a lot of folks still have a terrible (and ignorant!) perception of Buick and GM as a whole. My FIL has remarked on several occasions how “terrible” a vehicle Buick makes, and gives me crap about my Chevy Equinox for “being a Chevy.”

          There are few truly terrible cars in 2015, thankfully, and GM’s newer stuff is pretty good and often competitive.

          The Hyundai Azera or even Chevy’s own Impala eat’s the LaCrosse’s lunch.

          • 0 avatar
            chiefmonkey

            I never liked the Azera and I think Hyundai itself had very low expectations for the car when it was redesigned in 2012. The side profile was OK but the front grille was hideous. And the interior was just a larger version of the Sonata’s and not at all befitting a car with luxury aspirations. I see fewer Azeras than Lacrosses. As for the new Impala,I would love to drive one, but I seriously prefer the Lacrosse’s design.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “I see far more elderly people in Honda Civics anyway…”

      Yep. I remember 15 years ago when Civic meant driving inconsiderately quickly with a fartcan. Now it means driving inconsiderately slowly with a diaper.

      • 0 avatar
        chiefmonkey

        I thought the Azera was discontinued in 2014. Turns out there is a 2015 model. Had I known I would have used the present tense and not the past tense in my earlier comment about the Azera.

  • avatar
    ajla

    This “big” Buick has an interior that is 15cu ft less than a Roadmaster, 7cu ft less than an H-body Lesabre, and 2cu ft less than a W-body Regal.

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    A friend of mine recently traded an ’11 Regal Turbo for a loaded ’14 Lacrosse. What an upgrade on the comfort & refreshment scale! He’s a 37 year old school principal and he’s NOT stodgy or unfit. The Buick dealer’s service & reputation and the car’s anticipated low maintenance costs were considerations in his purchase. The Lacrosse feels solid, and has a dramatic “big car” presence which is increasingly rare nowadays. His purchase influenced my own recent acquisition of a ’15 Impala LTZ. Again, another non-fatiguing car which coddles occupants but can hustle when you want it. When I want to slice through rush-hour traffic while hearing a lot of road noise and exhaust hum, I’ll take the X1.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      Did he get the excellent and capable 3.6, or the eAssist model? I know when Chevy’s new Malibu came out a few years back, they pushed the mild hybrid hard and it crashed and burned, but I was always under the impression it did much better in the Impala.

      • 0 avatar
        JLGOLDEN

        He got the 3.6L V6. His previous 2011 Regal Turbo felt “quick” but 4-cyl harmonics / resonances / exhaust rumble were out of step with his idea of luxury. I have to agree.

    • 0 avatar
      TCowner

      “A friend of mine recently traded an ’11 Regal Turbo for a loaded ’14 Lacrosse. What an upgrade on the comfort & refreshment scale! He’s a 37 year old school principal and he’s NOT stodgy or unfit. The Buick dealer’s service & reputation and the car’s anticipated low maintenance costs were considerations in his purchase. The Lacrosse feels solid, and has a dramatic “big car” presence which is increasingly rare nowadays. His purchase influenced my own recent acquisition of a ’15 Impala LTZ.”

      In our town, we are fortuante to have an actual test track facility behind a cluster of all of the dealerships, and when you take a test drive (at any of the dealers), you get to take the car through a variety of situations on the track/surfaces/hills. We were looking at a bunch of different options, and started with a Regal. Quite a difference between that and the Lacrosse. The Lacrosse really won us over on the handling and interior. Quietest and most comfortable car by far, of everything we tried.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, as stated, a test on a vehicle that nobody is interested in. The only time I ever see one is in TV ads where some clueless parking lot attendant can’t find the thing for its owner.

    About sums the thing up. Even Buick knows it’s invisible.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    “that Hellcat rubs off nicely on all the lesser Chargers” yeah right like someone will mistake your Charger SE for a Hellcat. Why are you even mentioning a 700HP specialty vehicle in a Buick Lacrosse review.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The tiny trunk is the most unforgivable part of this. I miss the days of 20 cubic foot trunks on real honest to god sedans. Heck my 1982 Celebrity had a 15 cubic foot trunk.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      That trunk would be OK in a car about a foot shorter. It’s ridiculous in a car 196″ long. Of course, the length of the car might have nothing to do with it. Most of the trunk space was probably lost to the rear suspension. Either way, it is a packaging problem.

      I don’t know why anyone would tolerate a car this size that gives up so much in interior and/or cargo space.

  • avatar

    Of course, the major difference is that you *can’t* get all-wheel-drive on the Impala. But I couldn’t imagine paying $52,000 for this Buick. I’m not sure how much a V6 Genesis (which comes standard with AWD in Canada, IIRC) costs, but it’s a much better vehicle at that price point…or even at lower price-points…

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I’d argue with the Genesis being nicer. It feels MUCH cheaper than the American entrants in this class – I would say this, the Taurus and the 300 are all “nicer” than the big Hyundai. I think the Buick is pretty much perfectly aimed at what it is, a big Buick.

      Everything today is smaller on the inside than the outside would make you believe, since we seem hellbent on safety (or at least a feeling of safety) at all costs. None of them have much appeal to me at any price, but my dear Grandmother would love any of them.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “Everything today is smaller on the inside than the outside would make you believe, since we seem hellbent on safety (or at least a feeling of safety) at all costs”

        Nah, cars like CRVs and RAV4s and Fits and Civics and all have become awesome at packaging efficiency, where the space inside is seemingly at odds with the space outside. It’s only in large cars, generally American, that are crap at packaging. It’s a throwback to the “beloved” Panter platform, 20′ long, tiny back seat, terrible trunk space (sure it’s a mile deep, want to grab anything heavy off the trunk floor?)

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I just can’t believe anyone would compare a Taurus or 300 to a new Genesis. There’s really no comparison. Maybe compared to the old Genesis, but not the new one. I checked out both the new 300 and the new Genesis at the DC auto show in January. Couldn’t wait to get out of the 300. The Genesis is the car I kept coming back to. I couldn’t believe Hyundai will sell you something that nice on the inside at that price point.

        • 0 avatar
          JLGOLDEN

          I too LOVED the new Genesis sedan when I was at the Houston Auto Show this year. I kept coming back to it. The lack of a split folding rear seat finally caught my attention and I walked away. With my Impala’s split fold rear seatback and enormous trunk, I almost don’t miss my previous fave, a 2014 Sorento.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I had one as a rental for four days, I was underwhelmed to say the least. But to each his own, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      The 2015 Genesis starts at $43,000 CDN but to add all the options that the tested Lacrosse has it would be $49,000 CDN. I havn’t driven a Lacrosse but I test drove a 15 XTS AWD, a 15 Genesis and 2014 Chrysler 300C 5.7 AWD back to back on the same roads. The Genesis had a much better ride than the XTS with better isolation from bumps, heaves, potholes and expansion joints. It was steadier than the Cadillac and it’s engine was smoother, more refined and more responsive. The XTS was jittery even on smooth roads and harsher riding on bad roads. Road impacts were quite loud and would reverberate through the suspension and structure. The engine was shockingly coarse in sound and feel. There was a big delay in downshifts. I know I sound like DW here but I really wanted to like the XTS but I was disappointed (I drive a Deville). I liked the ride quality of the 300C the most of these three. It had the best bump absorbtion and the calmest steadiest ride ( but not as good as my 04 Deville). Unfortunately the lower seatback on the 300 was hard and uncomfortable and a deal breaker for me. I found the Genesis seats to be quite firm but better shaped for me.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Timothy, of course this isn’t a car for you – you’re a kid, or a relatively young person, and for the most part, young people don’t buy cars like this.

    This car is right up my driveway, and Wifey and I seriously looked at one in 2012, but for the options we wanted – the list and trim levels were bewildering – the price was through the roof. That’s why we bought our 2012 Impala LTZ. It has everything I want except for a touch screen and Bluetooth interface for music, just phone.

    A friend bought a used 2011 last year and he loves it, I had a couple of chances to ride along on business trips and it sure is nice way to eat up freeway miles.

    Aside from the cost of the car, a very big reason why we chose an Impala was that I can see out of the Impala where the Lacrosse could be a real hazard for me with my vision impairment. That – and the fact I’m a Chevy guy at heart.

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      Count me as one of the younger people who buy cars like this, albeit not new ones. I’m 32, and my most recent car purchase came down to either a 2010 LaCrosse or 2012 Impala. I actually “bought” the LaCrosse before backing out at the last minute when my dream Impala hit the market. Victory red LT with a bench seat, one private owner, and only 14,000 miles. How could I resist? One of the things I really enjoy about my Impala, aside from the engine, is the old-fashioned visibility and wide-open interior that you just don’t get in today’s cars. I’m an Oldsmobile guy at heart, which is probably why I was stuck between these two cars.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    Half of what is wrong with this car is that it is a Buick, which is a brand name associated with old age and death (“The last car you will ever own”). If this same car was an Acura or an Infiniti you wouldn’t think that is was overpriced or that you wouldn’t be caught dead driving in it. Which is not to say that it is a great car, it’s just that other brands are allowed to get away with similar levels of mediocrity. This is not like a malaise car where the Detroit iron was MARKEDLY inferior to what others were doing. This car is at least in the ballpark, but when Americans hear “Buick” they think malaise. In China, Buick is a valued brand.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “If this same car was an Acura or an Infiniti you wouldn’t think that is was overpriced or that you wouldn’t be caught dead driving in it. Which is not to say that it is a great car, it’s just that other brands are allowed to get away with similar levels of mediocrity”

      Well, let’s unpack that. This is priced basically on top of the Acura TLX SH-AWD that was recently driven. The Acura has stuff like ventilated seats, radar cruise control, lane assist, collision mitigation, brake assist (you can push a button at a stop light and it holds the car in place vice requiring you to hold the brake down), a high-end Dolby stereo, a 9-speed transmission, and a highly advanced torque-vectoring AWD system.

      This review basically tells us nothing about the Buick, what equipment it comes with, etc. Is any of the above included? Any other differentiating features? Because from the article, all I can tell is that it’s a rebadged Impala or Malibu with some different styling and it costs $50k. So based on that, yes, it IS wildly overpriced.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I don’t think the people who buy this sort of car are all that interested in a lot of high-tech crap. Heck *I* don’t want any of that other than vented seats. They just want a big, imposing and expensive looking wafty lump of a car. If they can’t afford the Buick, they buy the Chevy or Ford version.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          That could be the case, but that “high tech crap” is what you’re paying for in an Infiniti or Acura. The so-called B&B here might pretend the TLX is just an Accord with a beak, but there really is thousands of dollars of high-zoot electronics the Acura comes with that isn’t on the Accord. If you aren’t getting anything other than different styling and slightly better interior materials with the Buick over its Chevy counterpart, well, isn’t that basically what flushed Badge Engineering GM back in the 90s? That’s why we say it can’t justify a $45-50k pricetag.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            More like dozens of dollars of electronics that they charge you thousands for. Which still makes an Acura an Accord with a beak (and a bunch of extra crap). If you want the extra crap, then the extra price is maybe worthwhile. I don’t so I don’t think the extra price is worth it – I’d rather spend it on something fundamentally different than an Accord. Infinitis are for wannabe BMW drivers who can’t afford the real thing, but I would still rather have one than an Accord with a beak.

            Ultimately I don’t disagree about the fact that the Buick is a nicer Chevy, since that is, in fact, what it is. In the abstract, as someone who would never buy either one, I do think it is worth the price premium, the real world prices are nowhere near MSRP on either the Chevy or the Buick. The difference between now and the olden days is that GM does actually manage to make the cars distinguishable, as opposed to just slapping different badges and grilles on them.

      • 0 avatar
        MLS

        Yes, a loaded LaCrosse includes features comparable to the Acura’s: heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind zone monitoring, forward collision alert with auto braking, rear cross-traffic alert, head-up display, articulating HID headlamps, 11-speaker Bose premium sound, Semi-Aniline perforated leather seating, suede headliner, genuine wood trim (is this available in any Acura, at any price?), etc.

        So no, the Buick’s not wildly overpriced.

        • 0 avatar
          Kevin Jaeger

          Yes, I rented a Lacrosse last year and it had all that stuff the Acura has except for the SH-AWD system.

          The Lacrosse was quite nice, if that is the sort of thing you like. The trunk wasn’t as big as I expected, and the interior didn’t seem any larger than my old Passat, even though the Lacrosse was a much larger car.

          The rear visibility was poor, and the giant A-pillars restricted even forward visibility on narrow, twisty roads.

          But it was a perfectly pleasant and comfortable highway cruiser. I wouldn’t buy one myself, but I don’t think it’s bad choice if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      +1

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Like the Taurus, this really isn’t a bad car. It rides well, has a nice interior, decent space, but its competitors are just better.

    For an FWD version, you don’t loose to much by getting a loaded Accord (EX-L or whatever) and saving $18k.

    With enough cash on the hood though, a Lacrosse isn’t a bad ride.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “It rides well, has a nice interior, decent space, but its competitors are just better.”

      BINGO.

      Someone wrote on here a few weeks ago that the Asian OEMs seem to have a better feel for what makes a good car, and I hate to admit that, but it appears to be true.

      For the most part, the Asian brands are leaner and more agronomical overall as to interior room, design and trunk space.

      Quality is better among Asian brands? Hmmm… no longer sure about that, but it appears so.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I saw a new Impala the other day in dark metallic green. Beautiful in the sun. There’s also a brightish red. Last year they had a very Ford-like electric blue.

    How is this supposed to be the more and better edition when the only one they sell that isn’t greyscale is greyish red?

  • avatar
    amadorcarguy

    I sold my 2009 Lucerne last February and looked at the 14 Impala, Chrysler 300, and Buick LaCrosse. I purchased a FWD LaCrosse Premium 1 (V6), fully loaded. I love the car. My only beef with it, is the small trunk. My 1997 Grand Prix had a bigger trunk. The LaCrosse rides good, handles well, has plenty of power and gets almost 30 mpg on the highway. I get many compliments on the looks of the car (it reminds me of a Lexus GS 350). Our family car is a 2010 Buick Enclave AWD (wife drives that and loves it to this very day). We bought the Lucerne and Enclave in 2009 when we were in our mid-forties, so we are in the demographic that GM has been trying to get to buy a Buick. If you would have told me 10 years ago I would own any Buick, I would have laughed in your face.

  • avatar

    What turns me off from the impala is the odd looking grove over the rear tire well. It looks as if a kid just drew there with a crayon. The worse part is that it straightens out as it goes down. It ruins an otherwise nice design. Car and driver also has mentioned the overworked rear of the Impala.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Son-of-a-Fedora canajun loonie = 4/5 greenback.

    I’d harp for all-wheel Golf R at $45K. Bigger trunk less Archie spread. Gee our ol’ LaSalle ran great, them were the days…

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    I gave up on anyone (except for FCA of all companies) building a proper and truly full sized car that I can actually afford, and just bought a crew cab pickup. It was a lovely spring day here, and my wife and I drove across town for dinner with my window down and the rear glass open, enjoying the sound and sensation of a smooth American V8 as I toed it gently across town on a wave of low-end torque. Just for fun, and to hear it rumble, I got on it at a 4-way stop. That’s living.

    And I can see out of the damn thing, and sit up straight like an actual human being.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The comical thing is that everybody who does a write up of these types of cars always has to make comment about the blue haired set. Yet in the real world I see far far far more elderly folks driving Toyota Camry’s, Avalon’s and Corolla’s than the current crop of Buick sedans so that is quite telling.

    The Buick LaCrosse is a product of the Millennial set. Overly gimmicky infotainment- check. Squinty hard to see out of windows- check. Useless trunk for that obsessed over stubby rear end look because god forbid there is any over hang -check. Massive back seat legroom because China does it that way- check, bloated slug like exterior styling- check, weights far more than it should- check and last massive 19 and 20″ slammin wheels- check.
    The sooner this car gets a redesign the better. It’s no wonder many of today’s full size sedan shoppers are avoiding these types of cars now!

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Chiming in on an old story, so I don’t know if I’ll get any response, but can anyone elaborate on the AWD system on this car? Is it any good in the snow or is it a cheap add-on like the Chrysler 200? These can be bought lightly used for reasonable money and are pretty intriguing at under $20k with 25k miles. However, other than saying it has AWD I can’t seem to get any more details about the system.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I think all of GMs passenger car/CUV systems are “slip and grip” – computer detects slippage on the front and sends some power to the rear to help out.

      Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.

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