Friday, June 4, 2010

Gorgeous, Great to Drive and Good on Fuel- Buick LaCrosse

A gorgeous design and outstanding driving dynamics are enough to make you sit up and take notice of a car. But when you add really good fuel economy to the mix, it's enough to do flips about.
If that's the case, the Buick LaCrosse powered by a four-cylinder engine will turn you into an acrobat.
This car does a great job of putting to rest the old notion that Buick is a brand for those age 65 and over.
The LaCrosse has sharp styling with wonderful on-road performance, presenting a compelling value to consumers.
The LaCrosse also can garner some positive attention from its sticker price.
With the four-banger, LaCrosse starts at around $26,245.
At around $27,900 you get a CX model with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine.
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, rated at 182 horsepower, gets around 23 mpg - very nice for a car this size.
The six-banger gets around 19-20, which still isn't bad. It makes 255 horsepower.
Will you notice the missing ponies with the four-banger?
But not to the point at which you would call the car woefully underpowered.
So saving some money on the sticker price and at the pump is worth it.

The LaCrosse offers optional all-wheel drive and a number of new technological options.

There is also a rear-seat entertainment system and remote starting.

CX models feature premium cloth seats and 17-inch wheels.

The CXL is LaCrosse's midlevel version, with either front- or all-wheel drive.
The front-drive version starts at around $30,400 and has a 3.0-liter V-6, heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, outside mirrors with LED turn signals and puddle lamps, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The all-wheel-drive model CXL is $33,765.

The CXS is the highest trim LaCrosse, and, as tested, was priced at $33,765. It comes with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine making 280 horsepower and 259 pounds-feet of torque, and 18-inch chrome wheels.

The CXS also has heated-and-cooled perforated leather seats; 19-inch wheels are optional.

The V-6 models also come with a six-speed automatic transmission; no manual is offered.

The LaCrosse has dramatic exterior lines that maintain some of the Buick heritage, but greatly update it.
The familiar waterfall grille and faux portholes are still present, but the portholes move to the hood now, rather than the sides of the front fenders as was previously the case.

We loved the ice blue ambient lighting found throughout the cabin and extending to the door panels.

GM says the car has a European-designed chassis and suspension system with real-time damping, high-intensity-discharge adaptive headlights that turn slightly in the same direction the car is turning, a side blind-zone-alert system and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

GM also says the LaCrosse's QuietTuning feature, is designed to block and absorb noise before it enters the passenger cabin.
We'll buy that, because the interior was silent as a church mouse.

The new LaCrosse gets a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducts its own crash tests independent of the federal government's testing program.Other LaCrosse safety features include four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist; traction control; front seat-mounted side air bags; and roof-mounted side-curtain air bags for both rows.

GM builds the LaCrosse at its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kan.

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