Buick has rebuilt its full-size LaCrosse sedan from the wheels up, installing a new, more powerful drivetrain, new suspension and upgraded interior. Even the grille is all new. Here’s what reviewers are saying:
2017 Buick LaCrosse: Stylish, spacious, but with full-on luxury pricing at the high end
“Buick has nixed the old LaCrosse’s eAssist mild-hybrid option, so the only engine choice for the 2017 model is GM’s latest “high-feature” 3.6-liter V-6 mated to an eight-speed automatic. It’s a strong powertrain, able to accelerate this 3730-pound sedan from rest to 60 mph in a swift 5.9 seconds. Although it’s quiet and demure in normal driving circumstances, the engine is happy to rev past its 6800-rpm power peak when asked; the transmission downshifts quickly when you jab the throttle, and the V-6 simply sounds good-if not quite as sweet as it does when exhaling through the active exhaust system available on the Chevrolet Camaro. Engine stop/start technology is standard, and GM’s system is one of the best of its kind. The V-6 shuts off imperceptibly when you come to a halt, and it transmits only a minor, barely noticeable vibration to the cabin upon restart. And yet, even though its operation is smooth and unobtrusive most of the time, we’d appreciate having the option to turn it off, which can’t be done in the LaCrosse (or in many other GM models). The stop/start system in combination with the V-6’s cylinder deactivation helps the Buick achieve EPA ratings of 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway (we matched that 31-mpg rating during our 200-mile, 75-mph highway-fuel-economy test), which are strong results for such a big, powerful car.” -- Car And Driver
“Yet, during that pleasant drive, road dips and mid-corner undulations don't make the comfort-tuned suspension bob and bound like its competitors might. Its body control and generally planted nature encourage speeds and confidence to creep ever so higher through successive sweeping corners on Oregon's densely forested Mist-Clatskanie Highway. Even that low-effort steering demonstrates precision, linearity, and just enough feedback to further spur on such a pace. This unexpected capability is best observed on cars equipped with the optional 20-inch wheels, which supplant the standard 18s and, more importantly, bring with them Continuous Damping Control (CDC) and GM's HiPer Strut front suspension, which is designed to quell torque steer and further improve cornering grip. You don't even have to engage CDC's firmer Sport mode to appreciate the LaCrosse's surprisingly sharp road manners.” -- AutoBlog
“The real surprise of the show is the LaCrosse's optional 20-inch package ($1,300), which is much more than simply a tire and wheel combo because it pairs with Buick's Continuous Damping Control adaptive suspension. Available on Essence and Premium trims, drivers can choose between a comfortable, soft suspension (Touring mode) or stiffer, performance-tuned damping in Sport mode that heightens handling and backroad fun. The ES 350, Acura TLX and Nissan Maxima can't match that kind of ride quality customization because they lack adjustable suspension firmness. Lincoln's MKZ has it, however, and it's standard on that model.
"LaCrosses with the 20-inch wheels unleash their most proficient handling in Sport mode, where increased suspension firmness flattens out handling and increases turn-in responsiveness to where it's actually entertaining to drive the car spiritedly, even if it's not something that will come natural to most owners. Sport mode also firms up the steering wheel, holds transmission gears longer and transfers more torque to the rear wheels in all-wheel-drive models.” -- Cars.com
“After opening the large but lithe doors, getting into or out of the LaCrosse is easy. Once inside, perforated leather seats hug your frame as might your favorite old couch. Yet unlike that furnishing’s familiar mold of your favorite Netflix binge-watching position, the LaCrosse adds the benefit of support and cushioning in all the right places. Nearly every interior surface is covered in satisfyingly soft materials. And with trim colors named Brandy, Shale and Dark Atmosphere surrounding ebony accents, you might as well sink in.
"Clean design is the name of the interior’s game as the instrument panel features only a handful of familiar knobs for operating the audio and dual-zone climate control systems. Knob-turners can also go new-school via the 8-inch full-color touchscreen display, or employ voice commands to access additional features such as standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot integration. The touchscreen remains accessible when the vehicle is in motion, which is helpful for front-seat passengers who are assisting the driver in figuring out prompts and accessing information.” -- New York Daily News
“At our midway stop, we had a chance to walk around and take in 2017 LaCrosse’s new suit. It’s a significant step forward from the previous car. The roofline is 1.6-inches lower and it is 0.4-inches wider. The wheels have been pushed out 1.3-inches in front, 1.1 at the rear for the vaunted wheels-at-the-corner effect. And while the wheelbase is stretched 2.7-inches, it’s just 0.6-inches longer overall.
"Out front, a version of Buick’s harplike grille is punctuated by a winged element with the proud red, white and blue Buick badge affixed in the center—all of it framed by attractive, sweptback LED light banks. The side mirrors have been moved to the door and optimized to lower sound issues, and the flanks are dominated by a version of Buick’s swoopy ‘sweepspear’ design theme.
"The rear is attractive enough, with rectangular chrome exhaust ports and more LED lighting that integrates neatly into the trunk. We could do without the really tired faux portholes and the chrome trim piece on the lower profile, but other than that, it’s a good looking package and certainly every bit the match for the Lexus ES, which Buick has called out as the LaCrosse’s primary competitor.” -- Automobile magazine
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