By on October 21, 2017

2017 Buick LaCrosse rear - Image: Buick

As part of a larger group of automotive publications, TTAC has access to a variety of content. We wanted to bring you some of the unique content we think lives up to TTAC’s standards and offers legitimate insight or a properly critical viewpoint to car evaluation. This story, by GM Inside News editor Michael Accardi, showcases Buick’s latest attempt to boost flagging LaCrosse sales.

NHTSA documents discovered by GM Inside News reveal Buick will expand its Avenir sub-brand in 2018 with the addition of the LaCrosse.

As the full-size sedan market continues to crumble, and the LaCrosse carries a production-crippling 204-day supply of inventory, Buick will push its flagship sedan further into the premium sphere as it attempts to chase unsatisfied luxury shoppers with its new top-shelf Avenir line.

The information comes from GM’s 2018 Vehicle Identification Number Decoder, which the company revised and submitted to the NHTSA late last month. As denoted by the VIN’s fifth position, Buick plans to offer the LaCrosse Avenir in both front and all-wheel-drive configurations, likely paired exclusively with the existing 3.6-liter V6 and GM’s nine-speed automatic transmission.

lacrosse-avenir NHTSA

Expect the LaCrosse to gain visual cues similar to the recently launched Enclave Avenir: Buick’s new Evonik Acrylite LED lighting system will don the front and rear fascias, along with a new three-dimensional grille flanked with Avista-style chrome wings, along with Avenir-exclusive wheels.

Inside, the LaCrosse Avenir should get new color choices, accent piping, contrast stitching, embroidered front headrests, a wood-trimmed steering wheel and Avenir branded door sills.

Like the Enclave, expect Buick’s full suite of safety and tech features: adaptive cruise control, forward automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian baking, lane keep and departure, a vibrating safety seat, and 360-degree surround vision. Tech wise, look for an 8-inch infotainment screen with nav, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and probably another application of GM’s rear camera mirror technology. Oh, and there might even be an air ionizer.

Using the $5,400 price difference between Avenir and Premium trim Enclaves, it’s likely pricing for the LaCrosse Avenir will start north of $45,000.

[Image: General Motors]

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45 Comments on “Wake the Kids: Buick LaCrosse Avenir Is Coming in 2018...”


  • avatar
    honda1

    Hahahaha now that’s funny, dead in the water.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Oh sure, that’s what everyone has been clamoring for, waiting with excess cash in hand to pay for. Like the buyers demand levels that helped create a 204 day inventory supply…….

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Right, it reminds me of the same mentality behind online car ads where they say something like “this price only this week, then its going up!” lol has that ever worked? “Um yes, I saw that your 2000 Malibu Ultimate POS edition (excuse me, its a Special ADDition) was $1500 last week, so I’ll just pay you $2200 this week.”

      Because if people won’t pay $35k for a Lacrosse now, surely they’ll pay $45k for it later! I wonder how many people are sitting on the fence about buying this car, saying to themselves “if only it was more expensive…”.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Just yesterday there was a link to Consumer Reports’ reliability survey. I clicked the link and noticed that CR listed the most and least reliable vehicle for each maker. For Buick, the least reliable model was the LaCrosse.

    The Avenir features – LEDs on the outside, contrast stitching, etc. – aren’t likely to make a dent in that backlog of unsold LaCrosses on the lots. GM should try addressing the reliability issues first. After all, this is not a new model – those issues should have been worked out by now.

  • avatar
    RangerM

    Looks like an Azera to me.

  • avatar
    honda1

    It amazes me people will pay extra plastic chrome and more blingy leds.
    But I guess that is what GM has become. If you don’t want the over priced
    regular model only to be marked down 30% we have this, the blingerino model.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Eventually that will be marked down 30% too. Just look at GM’s MSRP prices listed – pie in the sky. I wonder how many potential customers look at the sheet in the window and walk away.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Typical GM “let’s push a FWD V6 up market, who cares that it looks awful and cannot compete with any RWD premium car at the same General price on the market”

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The only way this has a prayer is if GM bombards current DTS and XTS owners who live in towns that lost their Cadillac franchises.

    Yes I am deadly serious.

  • avatar
    eyeofthetiger

    I don’t know what an Avenir is or how to pronounce it. The best LaCrosse model is the base trim with the 2.5L I-4 + eAssist. We’re talking about 29 MPG combined EPA rating in a plush 3500# sedan. Most drivers of this car will never push that throttle pedal down more than a quarter of the way, even when merging on a 70 MPH highway. The 3.6L V6 is a pointless gas guzzler when all you do is drive to the grocery store and church once a week. Grandma is on a fixed income, and I want her to save money at the pump.

    • 0 avatar
      mmreeses

      Avenir is French for “future.” Rhymes with wood veneer. Shares a root with “venir” = “to come” as in arrive. Like avenue.

      Cuz nothing says American luxury from a car company named after a Scotsman like Frenchy words. Like Lucerne, LeSabre, or Lacrosse.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        I don’t really mind the weird French names since Cadillac is also named after a Frenchman, so GM’s long running love for French words is true to what it is.

        But honestly, why is their large car the same name as a sports game…it’s like a car company wanting to use an English name for their car and choosing to call it the Basketball.

        I actually rather like the Avenir name, it’s way better than LaCrosse.

        • 0 avatar
          I_like_stuff

          “I don’t really mind the weird French names since Cadillac is also named after a Frenchman,”

          As is Chevrolet. Well Swiss technically, but from the French side of Switzerland, so close enough to be called a Frenchman.

          • 0 avatar
            Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

            And many a mechanic has had to say “Pardon my French!” when working on some half-baked GM product.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Well, some Buick names were all-American. Jusging by the traffic around me, “Roadmaster” fits, though I tend to call them “roadhogs” instead. And who can forget (no matter how hard you try) the Buick Special and Buick Regal? Of course that’s more a description of some of the drivers and not America.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      To me, Avenir is a brand name for some mass-market but very good cycling (as in bicycle) accessories.

      That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the headline.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Off topic, but wanted to note that your RSS feed is messed up a little. I clicked on the headline and was taken to the same article over at gminsidenews.com but the link below that took me here. This has happened a few times over the last few months.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Hey, it’s worth a shot. I’d rather see them offer the Regal Sportback in the Avenir trim with the V6 and AWD, or better yet, a Regal GS wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      eyeofthetiger

      Yes, a wagon! Buick needs to compete with the Volvo Cross Country. A Regal GS waggin with a Buick ripoff of SH-AWD would do well. By do well, I mean nobody would buy it, but it would be good.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Last January, I was helping my mother shop for a new car and stopped in a local Buick dealer. There was a white Lacrosse sitting in the show room with a $49K sticker on it. While it’s not a bad car, I think the dealer had a greater change of a meteor striking him down in the showroom than ever selling that car for $49K.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “I think the dealer had a greater change of a meteor striking him down in the showroom than ever selling that car for $49K.”

      And the dealer knows it, too.

      A couple of months ago I spent the day at the local Buick dealer. I was enamored by the Envision. In the end, when it came to his trying to sell me one, he refused to give me pricing on the Premium II model I drove. It had a sticker of $49K on it.

      And I mean, he REFUSED. He wanted to show me pricing on a significantly cheaper model that also had cash on the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Shop on cats dot com as Envision Premium ll are still mid-$30’s with less than 10,000 miles on it. Maybe you’ll be lucky like me and find one with panoramic roof and Driver Confidence pacakge.

  • avatar
    ehaase

    Buick should give up on the upscale sedan market in North America. Buyers have no interest in LaCrosse or Regal. Even Cadillac needs to cut back to one or two sedans at most. I suggest bringing back the Century as a rebadged Malibu so Buick-GMC dealers have a sedan. It wouldn’t sell any worse than LaCrosse or Regal and might sell substantially better with lower prices.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    We had a 2017 LaCrosse Premium FWD as a rental back in August, put 1517 miles on it. We were very impressed. 310 HP under the right foot and still got 30.2 MPG average in mixed driving. The start/stop system is virtually invisible as is the AFM system. Seats were very comfortable. Buicks are crazy quiet inside. Biggest complaints were TINY gas tank, wickedly over-boosted numb steering, some weird ergonomics, and a rather cheap looking dashboard. For $41K it seemed like a reasonably priced car to us. Wish we had figured out it had massaging seats before we dropped it off.

    On the steering, when I got home the steering in my 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche felt like the weight of a rock in comparison, and I didn’t think it was possible to over-boost steering feel more than a GMT900 vehicle.

    I’ll remind the B&B the dire predictions made that the Encore would never sell. Not only does it sell, it created the most hated category of vehicles money can buy today for the B&B. Will it sell – no – but the fault of the LaCrosse does not lie in the vehicle or the pricing, it lies in the entire category dropping like a rock.

    BUT THE AVALON SELLS! Yes, and look at how many Avalons are going to fleets – it is a rental car queen. Buick’s rental percentage is very low, and the LaCrosse in percentage doesn’t come remotely close. You can goose total distribution numbers when you dump production to National.

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      As I have stated here before, I own a 2017 Laceosse Premium. I now have 4500 miles on it. I agree with everything you described about the car. I really like every aspect of it. But unfortunately there aren’t many takers.

      My wife and I are in Colorado on vacation this week. We flew into Denver and rented a vehicle ( a 4 dr Jeep Wrangler oddly enough). We have driven to the RM National Park, Vail, Colorado Springs and back to Denver. At no time have I spotted a 2017 Lacrosse on the road or parked anywhere. Not even at the rental lots.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “Biggest complaints were TINY gas tank”

      GM has been doing this to many of their vehicles, they knock off another gallon or three with each refresh and a couple of iterations in it’s really adding up. Two tons and 310 hp of Lacrosse only holds 15 gallons. The new Malibu, 13 gallons. The bus sized new Traverse, 19 gallons.

      I believe that the reasoning going on here is a long game move against EV range anxiety by training their customers that gas cars are a pain in the rear to keep charged too..

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Note that the 2018 Malibu now uses the 2.0T 15.8 gallon gas tank across the entire range instead of the 13 gallon of the 2016/17 1.5T models. GM states it was done to save weight which makes sense to there EPA geared minds but makes the consumer suffer with lower ranges.

        Note that the new gen LaCrosse also lost around 300 LBS of weight and it’s FWD mileage figures went from 18/28 for 2016 to 21/31 for 2017 which was supposed to keep the est range similar to the old model. I wonder if they will increase this car’s tank size like they did the base Malibu 1.5T cars.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I have a 14′ AWD Premium 1 and love it. I really don’t notice the over boosted steering too much, but I do notice how quiet it is.

      Drove to Cheyenne WY from south Denver yesterday for a soccer game, 25 mpg in the 30 mph + cross wind in as quiet bliss as you can get cruising in that kind of wind. I have the 20 gallon tank, so I can’t complain in that regard.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        2014 is previous gen, 2017 is an update. Last one I had was a 2012 (same gen as yours). It was a 3.6 powered loaded out version and I was very impressed. Had similar complaints to others on the 2012, A LOT of buttons, small trunk and low backseat roofline. Steering definitely offered more feedback on the last generation, and I believe the gas tank was larger.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    I look forward to renting one from Avis in the next 6 months.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    For the fifth time now, this is Buick’s chance to use the WILDCAT name!
    Is anybody at GM listening?
    No, of course not; that’s how they let Oldsmobile die…

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Pedestrian baking? I think the radar is dialed up a bit too high.

  • avatar
    markf

    I guess Buick is counting on Octogenarians not noticing they paid 50K for a tarted up Chevy…..

  • avatar
    Prove Your Humanity 2+9=?

    It looks like a Fusion, a Hyundai Elantra, an Audi A7, a 2017 Camry and lots of other 4-door sedans that for some reason have to copy each other.

  • avatar
    Weskyvet

    Until you can get GM to realize that if they let Buick and Cadillac develop their own unique cars you will continue to see GM side project companies (Olds, Pontiac, Buick, Cadillac, Isuzu, etc.) die slow agonizing deaths. Until GM finally realizes that those other companies having a better selling car than a Chevy in the same segment still means they’re making money this will continue until Chevy itself starts to fail again. Then there are the questionable decisions on interior materials…. $50,000+ cars with interiors that look like they were stripped off Playskool toys and painted black, beige, or grey. Seriously you put that crap in your top of the line luxury and sports cars!? I could understand it if it was in a base model Cruze, a fleet Silverado, or a work van but in a Corvette, Camaro, Buick, Cadillac, Olds, or anything with a price starting north of 25k!?!? Unacceptable.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Two thoughts: 1. “GM Insider News”? do they hang out/share office space with the same people who bring us those wretched Chevy ads? 2. Where, oh where, is Norm to tell us that this a far superior car to ANY Lexus and that we should compare this car to a Mercedes S-Class for power, handling, ride comfort, and overall value. Disreputable source from a disreputable brand about a disreputable car. Nice try.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Even better, “lacrosse” is Quebecois slang for masturbate, which is why GM Canada used the Allure moniker for this car previously. I guess they realized the miniscule amount of big Buicks they sold in Quebec really didn’t warrant a separate nameplate.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Simply put, no car company in the world believes it’s own crap more than GM. Yet, somehow they make a damn good truck and a damn good Corvette.

  • avatar

    Isn’t Buick out of business yet.

    GM – what a disgrace!

  • avatar
    threeer

    I *think* Buick largely exists now to sell Chinese-made “American” cars to the Chinese…and Chinese-made “American” cars to Americans.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    As if 49-51K AWD LaCrosse Premiums weren’t overpriced by about 5K to start with they go and add an even more expensive model in the works. I’m going to guess 52-55 range. The comical thing is they must actually think these will sell for close to sticker as there is barely anything being offered as far as rebates go. And sales go accordingly. My 3 Buick dealers have had the same 5-8 2017 model cars sitting on the lot the entire Summer and here it is nearly November.

    Expect nothing to change for 2018 with a powertrain combo that nobody asked for (the eAssist) and a V6 model that now starts at 37090 at entry point compared to 32990 for the 2017’s. Note too that the 3.6 loses 14 LBS FT of torque for 2018 (WTF) and one highway and combined MPG despite being attached to the supposedly more efficient 9 speed. New MPG ratings are 21/30/24 but the AWD version seems to somehow stay the same.

  • avatar

    Waaaayyyy too much cash for a FWD V6 that does not have four interlocking rings on it’s grill.


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