By on July 3, 2018

Image: GM

No, that image you saw floating around on Twitter wasn’t some prankster’s idea of a joke. Buyers will be able to purchase a Buick LaCrosse bearing the ST trim designation. For 2019, Buick’s adding a new level to its LaCrosse lineup, but it won’t go as far as offering a GS version. That’s the Regal’s responsibility.

So, what does the ST (Sport Touring) trim bring to this traditional, full-size, V6-powered family sedan?

Not a hell of a lot, upon first glance. Appearance is the big news here, with the ST variant distinguishable from its LaCrosse stablemates by the presence of a subtle lip spoiler, 19-inch “midnight silver” wheels, ST trunklid badging, and body-color fender vents and grille surround. That grille now sports fine black mesh, not unlike, say, a Jag.

No one’s going to mistake the LaCrosse ST for an XF S, nor would any would-be buyers be under the impression that the performance specs of the latter vehicle mirrors the former. At least, we hope not.

Image: GM

Motivating this large, but not especially heavy sedan is a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6, good for 310 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque. If this mill sounds familiar, that’s probably because it also resided under the hood of the Buick Enclave Avenir I tested not long ago, as well as the non-ST LaCrosse I spent time in last year. A GNX it ain’t. That said, the V6 does provide smooth, robust power, and returns pretty decent fuel economy (31 mpg highway).

A nine-speed automatic handles this rig’s shifting duties, but the presence of flappy paddles in even the Enclave Avenir means you’ll surely see them here.

Interestingly, Buick’s media release failed to mention the vehicle’s suspension, leading me to believe that the stock setup carries over. Sure enough, after checking the brand’s retail site, I stand corrected. This is a bad thing if you’re planning on wringing out this ST like the ones in that *other* automaker’s stable.

Image: GM

My 2017 LaCrosse tester revealed legs that were clearly tuned for highway comfort, thus dampening, so to speak, the driving quality bestowed by the vehicle’s precise steering and tame rear end. Buick’s optional Dynamic Drive Package adds real-time damping, 20-inch wheels, and sport mode to the mix, but isn’t available on the ST. You can, however, find it on the Premium trim, which stickers for $700 less than the Sport Touring. You’ll also find available all-wheel drive on the Premium model, as you will with the top-flight Avenir. This model, positioned between the two, is front-drive only.

Frankly, these omissions seem odd, especially for a vehicle with “sport” in its name.

Regardless, if looks are everything and you really dig big, comfy American cars, the LaCrosse ST will set you back $40,295 after delivery. That places it some $5,500 below the top-tier Avenir. With this latest addition, the LaCrosse family grows to six members, the least expensive of which stickers for $30,495 after delivery.

[Images: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

84 Comments on “Focus on Sport: New ST Trim Gives Buick LaCrosse an Edge...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Make active safety system standard equipment. GM lags Honda, Toyota, Subaru in this area.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      My Regal’s got Brembo Breaks. Meaning it could stop much faster than your Toyondaru.
      I suggest you try keeping your eyes on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Toyota PCS on the Corolla does not work. There is another video of a highlander crashing into an obstacle too.

      https://youtu.be/6mzRiWO-ktU

      The Forbes article does not factor in the 20-30% discount off of MSRP or depreciation free for almost two years.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Given how Buick lives on the dying embers of fleeting memories and nostalgia, it’s odd they use a designation that – if the first page of DuckDuckGo results is an indicator – is firmly identified with Ford. Buick has performance badges. I suppose to bring back “Super” would have promised too much than Buick could ever hope to deliver, like a 400HP/400lb-ft V6.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Lets compare Buick to a few other entry level luxury brands.
      Brand(# of models)-YTD sales
      Lexus(10)-135,000
      Buick(6)-109,695
      Audi(11)-107,942
      Chrysler(2)~90,000
      Acura(6)-72,653
      Infiniti(8)-72,170
      Lincoln(6)-50,269
      Genesis(2)-7,262

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

        Hard to consider Buick even an “entry level luxury brand” when close to half those 109,000 sales were for a rebadged Daewoo cute-ute.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          I thought Mazda wemt bankrupt during the great recession. Closing down their only U.S. plant in Flat Rock Michigan.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            No, Mazda did not go bankrupt.
            No, Flat Rock did not close.
            No, it was not a Mazda plant.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            You thought wrong. They did not go bankrupt, but did sell Ford their half of the Flat Rock plant most likely because the paltry number of 6 sedans they sell here wasn’t worth operating a factory here to produce them. So, when the all-new model was ready for production, retooling the plant to build it was wisely seen as a huge waste of resources.

            The plant hasn’t been shut down, not in the least, its just owned and operated by Ford alone. It currently builds Mustang and Continental.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            @JohnTaurus

            That makes no sense. This was during the great recession. Auto plants were shutting down right & left. Why would Ford pay Mazda for an underused plant.

            More likely Mazda walked away and left Ford holding the bag.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Not a bad looking car but $40K seems a little steep for FWD when you can grab an AWD Charger or Challenger with a V6 for less than that.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      My father went in and looked at one of these recently. The dealer quoted him a “special price” of $49,000. Unimpressed, my father decided to leave and that’s when the manager came out and asked why we weren’t impressed with the “special price.”

      The car was nice, but the dealer ruined the sale.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Lots of NEW 2017 Lacrosse at my local dealer but advertised price is $4K off of MSRP.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Shouldn’t they have done something to move those cars along last October?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            This dealer (who could sell GMC vehicles in their sleep) just sold their last 2017 Regal in May 2018.

            In January 2018 they had 8 2017 Lacrosse in stock. I just checked their website and they are now down to 6.

        • 0 avatar
          tily

          I bought a new 2017 Buick Regal turbo in sport touring trim in February. 2018. It had $7000 cash back at the time and I got an additional corporate discount of $1200. The sticker price with all the options was over $31,000. The resale value is horrible but I dont plan on selling the car in the next 6-7 years, so I wasnt too concerned.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      You can option up a Lexus ES350 to $50K no problem. South of Kansas or so AWD is unnecessary.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The difference is if you look at sales numbers people actually want to buy an ES350.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          The point is AWD is not a barrier to sales. There are plenty of ESs in the snow belt.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Correct. Here in the upper mid-west I have not a single AWD vehicle*. Even the truck is 2wd. A good set of winter tires is all you need and those 3 times in 5 years where the weather is too bad for winter tires, you shouldn’t be out with AWD and all seasons either.

            *2 rwd and 2 fwd and one that is one wheel drive.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      SUB

      Spot on once again.
      (i would prefer a 300 or the challenger)

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    Seriously, does GM even do market research, or alternatively, who the hell do they do market research with?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yes can we please get a comprehensive article on the elephant in the room?!?!?

      Buick builds its best big sedan since at least the Park Ave Ultra and has NO IDEA HOW TO SELL IT!

      I was messing around looking at used Lacrosses last weekend and found a CarMax selling a 2017 Lacrosse Premium with low miles and almost every option except AWD for $24K. Heck I know CarMax prices are inflated but in a year the vehicle got hit with almost 50% depreciation.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Dan, a 2017 Premium is almost 1/3rd off MSRP if you don’t mind a one year old.

        https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/741400392/overview/

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Norm does this seem like a sustainable business model to you? (Drastic depreciation and fire sale prices on new.)

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            When GM can discount $12,000-17,000 on a full size truck or SUV and still almost double profits, they could almost give Buick’s away and still pay their shareholders. Ford does the similar if you look at prices on autotrader or cars.com

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Remember, Mary Barra axed the corporate CMO shortly after ascension to the top….and never replaced him.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Say what you will about “Old GM” but back in the day if you opted for the “F41/Touring/Autobahn”-type package or trim level GM would at least toss in a revised suspension, different steering, and more aggressive gearing. And sometimes you’d get different brakes and more power too.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Any color as long as its black.

  • avatar
    mikestuff

    I work part time at a parking booth for a local hotel here and see LOTS of rental cars come thru the drive. Mostly metallic gray Nissan Rogues and metallic gray Nissan Sentras.
    But last week I did see a Buick LaCrosse in black (thank god not metallic gray) and even though most of the customers have no clue about their rental, this guy made a special call to the Hertz( IIRC) to have them reserve one for him. He really was impressed with the car. I like talking cars to customers. As long as what they drive isn’t metallic gray.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Ain’t nothing sporty about those plump sidewalls. The moment you attack your favorite onramp you’re curbing your rims on asphalt.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      The profile on those is pretty low. Once you get to a point, a lower profile will start to hurt handling. Ever wonder why F1 cars have huge sidewalls.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Tall side walls mean the shock, spring, stabilizer bar, and bushing are engineered to do the work. GM chassis engineers have brought some handling creed down through most of the line up.

  • avatar
    honda1

    When does ST avenir come out, hahahaha, c’mon gm, nobody will buy this, give it up! There is absolutely no reason for buick to sell cars in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      klossfam

      It is Buick Deathwatch officially…I saw the article where 50% of their sales are Encore ‘Gumballs’ at a loss…Won’t be long now…they have some nice vehicles but even with the heavily discounted Envision (a nice CUV): Why buy one when you could have an Acura RDX for more or less the same price?

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      @honda1

      11,119 Lacrosses sold in the U.S. so far this year. People are buying them!

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      China is the reason Buick sells cars in the US. If they stopped selling cars here, they wouldn’t have the same American panache.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    About as underwhelming as the Traverse RS. An appearance package pretending to be more.

    I’m guessing the stock suspension is in place? I’m only guessing because Steph says he believes it does, but then “sure enough”, he “stands corrected” after reading online specs, without any further info indicating any changes. So yes, no, yes?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I wasn’t expecting an SRT competitor or anything, but I thought they’d at least make the Dynamic Drive standard on this trim.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Yeah I read that part twice and I still have no clue if it’s the stock set up or not.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      JohnTarus, the Traverse RS is almost a complete second faster in Motor Trend figure eight test, brakes shorter from 60 mph to a stop, and gets better real world highway fuel economy. All the while smoking the Mazda in cargo carrying capacity.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    But…but…all that subtle lip spoiler, 19-inch “midnight silver” wheels, ST trunk lid badging, and body-color fender welts and grille surround really makes it …er…FASTER and more FUN to drive, doesn’t it ? Huh ?
    WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP ! should be “SH” pkg…
    and I haqve owned at least 10 Buicks…

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Grasping at STraws.

    Come on, GM, you could do better than this. You won’t, apparently, but you could.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Yeah that’s what has been holding back Buick sales. There hasn’t been a Sports Buick.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    I’m sure there are tens of people thrilled at this announcement.

    And if you added up their ages you’d reach triple digits very quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      TheJohnnycanuck

      Yes, every Buick buyer is over 10 years old. So adding up the ages of 10 buyers would get you to 100 quickly.

      Maybe you could teach TTAC writer Mark Baruth how to do 1st grade math.

      • 0 avatar
        "scarey"

        Rose-colored contacts. GM employee much ?

      • 0 avatar
        Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

        For his next trick, Petey will expound the suspiciously “creative” benefits of Trifecta tuning.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          Good day fishing caught myself a couple of trolls.

          “Scarey” – Happy Independence Day. GM gives its employees off for the holiday. Which means I’m not getting paid. Just a proud American, trying to rid our highways of the crap the Asians pass off as cars.

          Middle-Aged(Ex-Miata)Man – It will never happen. I’m too old for you and live not far from a school.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “Just a proud American, trying to rid our highways of the crap the Asians pass off as cars.”

            An interesting statement. The Envision is Chinese and the Encore is Korean/Chinese. Kind of interesting that someone on the inside admits they are crap. Exactly what are you doing to get them off the highways?

          • 0 avatar
            "scarey"

            Your talent simply AMAZES us all, Pete. Is there some way you can MONETIZE your fantastic gift ? No ? Well, it IS a VERY small gift. Sorry. Sarcasm is not your field.

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

            If you’re implying what I think you are, Petey, I respectfully request that the mods hit you with the banhammer.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            Middle-Aged(Ex-Miata)Man

            In my experience only 3 groups of people use cute little nicknames:
            1. Lovers
            2. Middle schoolers
            3. Sex Offenders

            It’s highly unlikely that you fall into the first category.

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

            Act like an adult and I’ll treat you as one, Petey. Your persona here is one of an insolent little sh!t that contributes nothing of value to the discourse on TTAC.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Most Buick dealers are Caddy/GMC dealers and have zero interest in selling a Buick. I can get everything I want in a Mazda 6 at 32k yet I’d have to spend 38k for a regal sportback. All the driver nannies and led headlights add 3k to the vehicle, which come standard on the Mazda 6 in higher trims.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I was watching the Stinger GT review on “Alex on Autos” and he specifically called out the Regal GS as being inferior to the Stinger. Given their very similar price points (except the loaded GT2 Stinger) – that’s another “stick a fork in Buick they’re done” moment.

      The Baruth boys are trying to do a “Buick Deathwatch” – I don’t think it will be an active aggressive killing. This seems to be the dealers quietly strangling Buick while the folks in the RenCen sit idly by.

      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Saw a 2 year old KIA Stinger on the road the other day, or at least a KIA Stinger that looked like it was 2 years old.
        Now I have no idea how many miles were on the car, or what kind of hell the driver put it through, but it did make my 2 year old Regal GS w/43,000 miles look really good.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I see lots of beat to [email protected] Veranos on a daily basis but I don’t hold that against Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            @PrincipalDan

            1 car has been on the market for 6 1/2 years. The other for 6 1/2 months

            A base model Verano started at $24K up to $33K for a fully loaded Performance Turbo Two.

            How is this a good comparison?

        • 0 avatar
          "scarey"

          YOU, Pete, are the TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC for the new LaCrosse ST model.
          You are our resident expert on the 2016 Buick Regal GS- all in for Buick, you have many stories to share, you have a raper-like (!) wit and an acid tongue, and you can teach us First grade math ! What more could we ask for ?
          Quite a high honor to have you here with us.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        Yeah, but all the stingers on sale around here are 48k plus. I have yet to see any cheaper in a 150 mile radius of me.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I won’t argue. The Stinger is a great product that might be sabotaged by a dealer network. An informal check of my local dealers shows the want to keep only AWD models and only 4 cyl Premium trim or V6 GT2. If you are a casual shopper who drops by their lot it looks like there are two Stinger models. One at $38K and one at $52K. Not a great way to move the metal.

  • avatar
    ronald

    I wanted to like this car, but the interior was a real let-down.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I’m surprised no one has brought up the issue of “ST” being Ford’s go-to designation for their hotter sedan variants.

    I really don’t care for manufacturers turning vehicles with the last vestiges of smooth comfy rides into “sporty” versions with stiff suspensions that I can almost guarantee the vast majority of Buick buyers won’t care for.

    How about going the opposite way with a “Classic Comfort” trim with smaller rims with fatter sidewalls and an even cushier ride?

  • avatar
    NOSLucasWiringSmoke

    Does it mean that of all the Lacrosses, it’s the Lacrossest?

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    The “sportiest” Hyundai Azera ever made.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    At least they’re not badging it “Lacrosse Wildcat” or something.


Recent Comments

  • DenverMike: It makes no sense otherwise. Having no fallback, I had to sink or swim, delay gratification, and never...
  • EBFlex: You think any of this will actually fix the issue? You think Ford has any clue as to what they are doing?...
  • Michael S6: Changing engine oil every 5000 miles is a waste of money, oil and time and would not have prevented this...
  • EBFlex: That’s a bit short sighted. Dealers only get paid by the manufacturer if the issue falls within a certain...
  • EBFlex: Is Getrag Chinese? Story is Getrag did not have enough time to engineer this properly. Ford, in a surprising...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States