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Buick LaCrosse

Buick’s largest, most traditional sedan.

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The LaCrosse was redesigned for 2010, but it has gotten more interesting since then. The car’s styling is aimed at the Chinese and U.S. markets, as Buick now sells more cars in China than it does here. Because a car like this is often chauffeur driven in China, the LaCrosse has generous rear-seat legroom, and Buick even offers a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. Up front, the driver faces a dash that is highly styled, with plenty of chrome, intricate gauges, and a configurable screen. Buick’s standard IntelliLink makes for enhanced interaction with a smart phone. More significant changes are found under the hood. Whereas the previous base engine was an underwhelming V-6, the new one is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder supplemented by a battery-powered electric motor. This so-called mild hybrid (the motor can’t power the car on its own) delivers fuel economy of 25/36 mpg, which is better than many compacts’. At the same time, the eAssist system makes the four-cylinder surprisingly responsive and has impressive refinement. The V-6 now makes 303 hp and is your only choice if you want all-wheel drive, and, in fact, we recommend AWD with the bigger engine because the softly sprung LaCrosse can easily unload its front wheels during acceleration. Higher-trim V-6 models use GM’s HiPer Strut front suspension to minimize torque steer.

COMPETITORS

Acura TL

Lexus ES350

Lincoln MKS

Volvo S60

new for 2013

Not a whole lot has changed for the LaCrosse this year. Buick’s IntelliLink system is now standard. Buyers who subscribe to SiriusXM satellite radio now get Travel Link, which includes weather info, gas station locations and pricing, and movie theater locations. A blue ring now outlines the available LED headlights. And there are new colors.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; a tire-pressure monitor; and stability and traction control are standard. Rear-seat side air bags; a backup camera; and a blind-spot warning system are optional. OnStar includes crash response and emergency assistance.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 17–25

HWY 27–36

PRO

Fuel economy with eAssist

Rear-seat legroom

Nearly silent cruising

CON

Rearward visibility

Rear-seat access

Trunk space with eAssist

Base Price Range: $32,535–$40,115

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Base, Convenience, Leather, Premium I, Premium II, Premium III, Touring

BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger

ENGINES: 2.4L I-4 with electric motor, 182 hp, 172 lb-ft

3.6L V-6, 303 hp, 264 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 99.0 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: 11.4–13.3 cu ft

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