For us, the biggest treat of this car is inside. It seems GM has finally started figuring out how to make a world-class interior, and we hope this will quickly carry over to the Corvette. One of the most pleasing aspects inside the LaCrosse is the lighting. Every gauge and dial is backlight with a tasteful turquoise LED, and at night, the light is simply stunning. We found ourselves just sitting in the driveway after a night out, basking in the physical and visual comfort of the LaCrosse.
The dash wraps around both front doors as if they are one piece, bringing design flow and unity to an interior not often seen in American cars. And at night, a backlight LED runs along the entire upper line of the dashboard, adding to its eye-pleasing nature. Although the LaCrosse has numerous eye-pleasing features inside the cabin, looking out from inside could be better described as eye-splitting. The interior visibility, particularly out the back, is among the worst we’ve ever experienced. The shoulders are so high and the C-pillars so thick that the rear window is no bigger in size than a sunroof.
A word of advice – if you get a LaCrosse, get the optional navigation system with the backup camera. It might tack an additional 2 grand onto the total bill, but trust us, you and everyone behind you will be hating life if you don’t get it. Besides, the standard audio system without navigation has the graphics quality of a Texas Instruments calculator.
The back seat of the LaCrosse features legroom so generous that even the worst case of elephantiasis could be easily accommodated. But just be careful entering and exiting, because the low roofline of the LaCrosse is a head trauma case just waiting to happen. Once inside, the headroom improves, but it’s the ingress and egress which could potentially coldcock you.
On the features front, the LaCrosse doesn’t disappoint. From heated and ventilated front power seats to a keyless start system to Bluetooth integration to a power rear sunshade to an 11-speaker, 384-watt Harmon Kardon stereo system featuring XM Satellite Radio and navigation, about the only feature it doesn’t have is a bidet. But we prefer to wipe anyway, so no harm, no foul. All bidets aside, we were a bit unimpressed with the navigation system, not only for its outdated graphical interface, but also for the fact it couldn’t find our address – something we’ve never experienced with any other nav system.
On the safety front, the LaCrosse lives up to the rumors of its build quality. It earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick for both 2009 and 2010; a title which not all competitors can claim, and it also received a 5-star Frontal and Side Crash rating as well as a 4-star Rollover rating.
Base MSRP for the LaCrosse CXS is just a shade over $33,000. Our tester came in at $36,000. So how does that stack up value-wise against its main competitors like the Acura TL, Lincoln MKS, Lexus ES 350 and Toyota Avalon? Quite well, we think, because the Buick really seems to cut a niche from each one of these cars. It has some of the whiz-bang tech features of the TL, the freeway silence of the Lexus, the rear legroom of the Toyota and the edgy styling of the MKS. For $36,000, you’re getting a lot of car. And a lot of good, quality car at that. If this were the previous generation LaCrosse, we’d laugh ’till we choked. No way Jose. But this car? Like we said, its time to change your expectations of Buick.
Who Should Buy It?
As has always been the case with the Buick brand, it’s a car for those who want something more than a Chevy but aren’t quite ready for the Cadillac. But what hasn’t always been the case, Buick is not for old folk any more. This car should have as much appeal to thirtysomethings as it does to octogenarians. But GM has to be very careful here with price points. Because a base Cadillac CTS is only $2,000 more than a LaCrosse CXS. And we all know a Caddy has far more street cred in the U.S. than a Buick. At least for now anyway.
It’s going to take some time for people to realize that Buick is no longer a stodgy old brand. We think this will really start changing once the new Regal comes out, but in the meantime, all those millions of thirtysomethings across the Pacific are having an enormous positive effect on the Buick brand. If it weren’t for this youthful Chinese demographic, this LaCrosse wouldn’t exist, and quite honestly, neither would the entire Buick brand.
The Chinese have helped resurrect a long neglected and ridiculed American automotive brand, and we’re only at the very beginning of this resurrection. Years from now when we’re all driving Cherys and Geelys, we’ll look back and reminisce on the days when Buick was a uniquely American brand reserved for those with an AARP membership; well before it became the status symbol car for every up-and-coming Chinese professional. But until that time, we can all benefit from the changes this brand is undergoing, and have confidence in the fact that America is once again making some of the finest automotive products on the road today.
|2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS Review – A Brand Resurrected
By Kurt Gensheimer
“The LaCrosse handles like no other Buick sedan in memory. Smooth, controlled and tight in the corners, the LaCrosse has no problems aggressively tackling interstate cloverleaf onramps, and it gives you plenty of notice when it’s running out of talent.”
|First Impressions: 2010 Buick LaCrosse
By Edsel Rollin
“Loaded with high-tech enhancements throughout, the LaCrosse hopes Buick will attract a younger, hipper demographic. This is not the LaCrosse your dad or uncle drove back in the day. It’s still all-Buick, but with a new approach and fresher attitude.”
|Official Buick luxury cars and SUVs website – www.buick.com|
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