Let’s be honest, Buick is not the first manufacturer that would come to mind when deciding to set foot in a dealership as a twenty-something-year-old buyer. In our generation, Buick hasn’t always held up to the cool factor, with the idea of a Buick being associated with the first car your parents bought you, golf tournament prizes and members of the AARP. Which translates with no easy way to tell all of your friends, "Dude, I bought a Buick." Let’s be real though, the 2010 LaCrosse is not your granny’s Buick.
Buick made recent progress with the launch of the Enclave, but the redesigning of the LaCrosse was shifted to the fast lane with a reported sales increase of 100 percent compared to the same month last year. GM has taken a prime opportunity to relaunch Buick to a different crowd of buyersâ€”a younger crowd. In what seems to be a continuous positive movement forward, Buick really is proving that an old dog can be taught new tricks.
The LaCrosse is available in three trims, CX, CXL and the CXS with a starting MSRP of $27,085. Currently the LaCrosse is being offered with an option of two V6 engines but a 2.4L four-cylinder engine will be available with the CX model sometime this spring along with optional AWD, the only car in this class to do so. Each LaCrosse comes with standard security and safety features such as ONSTAR free for the first year, keyless start and dual front airbags, driver/passenger front side airbags, and head side curtains on all rows, with NTSHA consistently giving five stars for safety in front and side collisions. Each Buick comes with a four year/50,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty, five year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty that not only meets but exceeds other manufacturers current offerings.
Our CXS with a MSRP of $33,015.00 was equipped with:
-3.6L V6 offering 280-hp
-Upgraded perforated leather
-Heated and cooled front seats
-Ultrasonic rear park assist
-Eight-way driver and passenger front seats
-Memory seats and mirrors
-A wood grain-trimmed leather heated steering wheel with audio controls (Yes, I said a heated steering wheel for when your digits just happen to be a wee bit frosty.)
-384-watt Harman/Kardon FM/AM/XM/CD 11-Speaker audio system
-USB connection, Bluetooth, Universal Home Remote and ambient blue interior lighting
The Touring Package ($800) includes 19-inch, 9-spoke wheels; ALL-SEASON tires; and a chassis selectivity that translates into a “sportier” suspension. The touch screen audio system with navigation and backup camera ($1,995) and the power oversized sunroof ($995) topped the Buick out at $37,555 including that ever annoying destination charge.
The exterior of the LaCrosse is just stunning. It’s sleek, sexy and sophisticated. Try as I may, I cannot find one flaw to this asthetically appeally automobile. From the chrome grill with the massive Buick emblem, to the large hood that gracefully fills out the front, to the slightly flared fenders and delightfully packaged rear with a seamless finish; the LaCrosse does not disappoint in the looks department. I found random passersby swooning over this beauty as she was perched in her spot downtown. The LaCrosse was sometimes confused with a Lexus; people couldn’t help but say “wow” when told otherwise. “Wow”–not word normally associated with Buick. Clearly, we all have it in us to be surprised at some point.
Buick was once considered a “boat of the road,” comfortable to ride in but not exactly what you would consider one that took curves well. Though not classified as a sports sedan or notoriously known for gripping curves and out handling others in this class, I found the LaCrosse did a damn good job. The 3.6L V6 was abundant with power and had no problems getting this sedan down the road. Zero to 60 in 6.4 seconds puts the LaCrosse right along side the ES350. Accelerating from a dead stop to a steady pace along the road was effortless. I am consistently surprised with a V6 engine that is not only good on gas for an engine and car of this size but able to smoke the tires off the line.
LaCrosse’s interior dishes out what we should expect for American luxury regardless of our age. I was immediately impressed with the overall quality of the interior. If a car interior could have a style this might fall into the “Hollywood Regency” era, with wood, leather and metal touches. I was spoiled with all the creature comforts found while behind the wheel. From the curvatures in the door that raised the switches to just in finger reach while my arm rested comfortably along the door control panel, to the center console that just seemed to be at the perfect height. It all seemed as if years of well-executed planning went into the design of this thought out interior. The somewhat vintage instrument cluster provided clear and crisp information. The blue lighting that followed its way around the car’s interior to the dash and door handle areas and the ultramodern 8-inch wide touchscreen audio/navigation screen brought the car into today.
In the past, touchscreen audio systems have not been a favorite of mine, but I was able to easily navigate my way through the menu without a single snafu. I had not only programmed everything to my liking, adjusted the mirrors and seat, and activated the Bluetooth, but I did it all within my first 20 minutes of first being in the car. If the touchscreen isn’t for you (though if you can work a touchscreen phone this will be cake), every button and knob known to man is right under the screen. I found myself not even needing to touch anything except the heated seat and steering wheel button, as the steering wheel once again provides those audio controls we don’t seem to realize how often we use until they are no longer there. An oversized sunroof that stretched its way into the backseat viewing pleasure zone was enjoyable at all speeds. The option to open the roof while leaving the “sun shade” closed was a neat feature for fresh air but not blinding sunshine.
The leather seats were supple and both front and rear seating provided the level of comfort associated with a higher priced automobile. More than ample leg room for both front and rear made any road trip truly enjoyable. LaCrosse provides a tomb-like ride thanks to quality touches such as acoustic laminate glass in the front doors, 5mm thick glass in the rear doors, triple door seals, sound deadening, and acoustic damping. Whether you are sitting at a stoplight or with the car set on cruise, sounds from outside were minimal, needless to say. If you’re one who likes to take a drive to clear your head, this is the car to do it in.
In one week, I went from questioning how great a Buick could actually be to raving about how great of a car the LaCrosse was. In fact, a month later, I still can’t stop talking about the car. I find myself getting that warm and fuzzy feeling inside when I see one on the road because I know whoever bought it knows about the unbeatable value, stellar good looks, impressive interior, and the shear enjoyment felt from not only driving the LaCrosse but by being seen in the car. The LaCrosse convinced me that I don’t need to purchase an import in order to be completely engulfed in 35k lux nor at twenty-seven or any age would I be embarrassed to own this car. I determined this all while blaring Marilyn Manson at a red light, in a Buick, of course.
Photos courtesy of Joanna Cifrian