Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: 2010 Buick LaCrosse

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,772

    2010 Buick LaCrosse

    American car companies used to do one thing better than almost anyone else - and that one thing was building comfortable large sedans priced for the average middle class buyer.

    Today, large cars are almost all luxury cars - and come with a luxury car price. The least expensive Lexus (ES350) BMW (1-Series) Mercedes-Benz (C-Class) and Cadillac (CTS) models, for example, all have base prices that start over $30,000.

    And these models are barely mid-sized, if that.

    This gives the 2010 Buick LaCrosse a couple of very strong cards to play. For one, it's a physically bigger, roomier on the inside car than most if not all the "entry luxury" models. It's also surprisingly competitive with them on features and (yes) build quality. And it has a base price ($27,085) that is on the order of six grand less - minimum! - than the opening bid on cars like the Lexus ES350 ($34,800), Benz C300 ($33,600) or Caddy CTS ($36,730).

    Even the otherwise very impressive Hyundai Genesis starts out at $32,250 - a solid five grand higher than the cost of a new LaCrosse CX.

    WHAT IT IS

    The LaCrosse is Buick's entry-level sedan, but it's bigger (close to full-size) than most competitor's entry-level models - and priced significantly below them, too. It starts at $27,085 for a CX with front-wheel-drive and tops out at $33,015 for a CXS. All-wheel-drive is available and buyers can choose from two available V-6 engines and (later in '10) a high-economy four-cylinder engine.

    WHAT'S NEW

    The 2010 LaCrosse is essentially an all-new model, though the name isn't. The '10 LaCrosse has a brand-new body, revised interior and updated powertrains - plus newly available all-wheel-drive.

    WHAT'S GOOD

    Roomy and comfortable, bigger than the same money would come close to buying you at a Lexus, Cadillac, BMW or just about any other luxury brand store. As nice or even nicer to drive than those brands' entry-luxury models. More engine choices - including the new-for-2010 four-cylinder, which should deliver close to 30 mpg on the highway.

    WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD

    Buick still has an image issue. Many buyers think of Buicks as cars for old people - and airport rental car fleets. That's no longer accurate or fair - but it is a reality.

    Not the speediest thing on the road.

    ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

    The LaCrosse can be equipped with one of three engines. Early 2010 models will be available with either a standard 3.0 liter, 255 hp V-6 or (optionally) a larger 3.6 liter, 280 hp V-6. As calendar year 2010 gets rolling, a 2.4 liter, 182 hp four-cylinder will be added to the lineup. This engine is being introduced to bump up the fuel efficiency potential of the LaCrosse. At the time of this writing, mileage figures were not available but the highway number ought to be close to 30 mpg - which would be excellent economy for a car that is about the same size as a Mercedes E-Class.

    No matter which engine you choose, the standard transmission is a six speed automatic - another plus given that several competitors still use five-speeds, or give you a lesser transmission with the base/standard engine.

    There's a little weirdness about the availability of the Buick's optional all-wheel-drive system. It's not offered with the four-cylinder engine in the base model CX - which makes sense because of the four's lower power output and the added weight/drivetrain load of AWD. But it's also not offered with the top-of-the-line 3.6 liter V-6 engine in the CXS, either. That version of the LaCrosse is front-wheel-drive only, too - despite having the strongest available engine.

    If you want AWD, you have to choose the mid-pack 3.0 liter V-6 powered CXL.

    Probably the reason for not offering AWD in the top-of-the-line CXS is to make sure it gets to 60 mph in 8 seconds or less - which it does, right on the money. With AWD - and an extra 200 pounds of weight plus the added drivetrain load, the 0-60 time would rise to solidly over 8 seconds and that would not be acceptable for many potential buyers cross-shopping the Buick against noticeably quicker competitors.

    The AWD-equipped CXL with the 3.0 liter engine is not slow; 0-60 in about 8.5 seconds is adequate for everyday driving.

    But on a purely perceptual/PR level, it's a notch down from the typical 7.5 second times posted by other cars the LaCrosse wants to compete with for buyers - including, for example, the 290 hp Hyundai Genesis (which also offers an even more powerful V-8).

    All LaCrosse engines are regular unleaded engines - including the top-of-the-line 3.8 liter V-6.

    A weak point is trailer towing capacity - just 1,000 lbs.

    DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

    The LaCrosse is a marvelous touring car - the kind of ride you want for serious all-day highway runs. It eats up the miles like a Pullman sleeper car - but won't put you to sleep with an over-soft ride or disconnected/vague steering. It's not going to out-autocross a BMW 3 Series but it's definitely more alive-feeling than the current Lexus ES350, which is the best Buick (old school) ever built by a Japanese automaker.

    I'm not sure about the wisdom of the new four-cylinder engine - its mileage potential (on paper) notwithstanding. In the real world - where there are hills and highways with traffic doing 70-plus and cars that carry 2-3 passengers - four cylinders and 182 hp is probably not the hot ticket in a car with an empty curb weight of nearly 4,000 pounds. It's not just that acceleration with this engine is apt to be anemic. It's that this poor little engine may have to work so hard to keep up that actual gas mileage may not be much better than you'd get with the less-stressed 3.0 liter (or even 3.8 liter) V-6. It'll almost certainly be noisy - or, noisier. And it's likely wear and tear (as a result of having to work harder) will be faster and greater, too.

    The truth is GM likely put the little four into the lineup to bump its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) numbers up, so as to avoid government fines for building too many "gas guzzlers." But building and buying are two different things - and odds are few people will actually buy the four-cylinder LaCrosse. Instead, these will be farmed out to fleet buyers.

    But so long as the government gets off Buick's back, who cares, right?

    STYLING & UTILITY

    A couple of things you notice right off are the relatively high doors (this improves impact protection in a side-impact crash) and low, swept back roofline and almost fastback-style rear glass. It's stylish but does take its toll on rearward visibility. On the other hand, front and rear seat (especially) headroom is better than you'd expect looking at that low-cut roofline. In fact, the LaCrosse has more front and rear seat headroom than the Lexus ES350 (38 inches up front and 37.3 in back vs. 37.4 inches and 36.8 inches for the Lexus) and massively more rear seat legroom - 40.5 inches vs. 35.9 for the ES350.

    The downside is that to achieve that capacious rear seating, Buick sacrificed trunk space. The LaCrosse has only a 13 cubic foot trunk - vs. 15 cubic feet for the ES350 (and 16 cubic feet for the Hyundai Genesis).

    On the other hand the LaCrosse has a graceful, even beautiful interior - especially the instrument cluster and center console. In fact, a Buick hasn't had as graceful-looking an interior since the uber-stylish classic Buicks of the mid-late 1960s, like the Riviera and Electra 225. It's warm and cozy and sporty all at once and absolutely not old lady-ish.

    On a purely functional level, the instrument cluster fonts are large and highly legible, with appealing glacier blue backlighting. The controls for the power windows and locks are on door panel consoles that cant toward the driver, making them more tactile and user-friendly. The center console slides and opens deep, with multiple storage options. You can even order a heads-up display (HUD) that projects information such as the speed you're traveling into a display that seems to float magically in space right in the driver's line of sight.

    Also, the availability of AWD gives the LaCrosse another card to play against FWD-only competitors like the Lexus ES350.

    QUALITY & SAFETY

    Every indication suggests GM has achieved build quality comparable to - or even better than - the mainline Japanese/imported competition. The problem is that public perception hasn't yet caught up, which continues to hurt GM not just one the new cars sales front but also on the down-the-road depreciation front. Otherwise equivalent Toyotas and Hondas, etc., continue to hold their value better, even though both brands have had several quality control issues in recent years.

    The upside to this is you're almost certainly going to be able to negotiate a better deal on a new LaCrosse than you might on, say, a new Lexus ES350.

    You'll also get a better warranty: four years/50,000 miles bumper to bumper and five years/100,000 miles on the drivetrain. That is significantly better than the typical three year/36,000 mile deal you get with a Toyota or Honda.

    As far as safety stuff, GM vehicles all come with real-time OnStar emergency assistance as part of the deal. If you wreck, the car will call for help (police and EMS) automatically. And if you just need assistance with directions or whatever, the system lets you talk live with an operator to get it. You do eventually have to buy a subscription after the initial complimentary "sample" period runs out to get all the Onstar features (though the call for help in a wreck part still works even if you decide not to subscribe). But it's a nice feature nonetheless.

    ABS, stability/tractioncontrol and front seat side-impact air bags are also standard. Rear seat side-impact bags are the only major safety-related option (other than AWD).

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    Buick could make a comeback and if it does, it will be on the strength of models like the LaCrosse. I'd buy one over a Lexus ES350, Hyundai Genesis or even a Benz C300.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840



    Last edited by Mase; 10-07-2009 at 06:52 PM.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,772
    Great pics!

    The car looks nice, doesn't it?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Great pics!

    The car looks nice, doesn't it?

    Everyone has different tastes in cars, but to me it looks great.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,772
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    Everyone has different tastes in cars, but to me it looks great.
    That's my opinion, also.

    Compare it to the current Lexus ES350...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    1,429
    Looks really nice - especially the interior. Never thought Detriot had it in 'em.

    They should forget about the 182 hp 4 cylinder - it will just give the car a bad name.

  7. #7
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408
    That's a nice looking interior.

    I hope the high sills don't make an average-sized driver feel "buried" in the car.

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,772
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    That's a nice looking interior.

    I hope the high sills don't make an average-sized driver feel "buried" in the car.
    They may. I'm pretty tall so the effect is less noticeable to me. However, when I get in an older car with lower sills, the difference between it and a modern car (almost all modern cars have much higher doors than the cars of the past) is immediately obvious.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    That's a nice looking interior.

    I hope the high sills don't make an average-sized driver feel "buried" in the car.

    My 2005 DTS has a high belt line. I like it. One advantage is that the back windows can be rolled all the way down.

  10. #10
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,772
    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    Looks really nice - especially the interior. Never thought Detriot had it in 'em.

    They should forget about the 182 hp 4 cylinder - it will just give the car a bad name.
    I think the four is there purely to help GM's CAFE numbers. If it does that, and lets them build more V-6s (and V-8s!) then I'm all for it!

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Edentulites
    Posts
    22,772
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    My 2005 DTS has a high belt line. I like it. One advantage is that the back windows can be rolled all the way down.
    I can almost rest my elbows on the door edges of my '76 Trans Am... which are probably 3-6 inches lower than they are on the LaCrosse (and many other new cars).

  12. #12
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Mase View Post
    One advantage is that the back windows can be rolled all the way down.
    How often is that an issue?

    My dad had a DTS, whatever the first year was when they changed from Deville to DTS. I remember getting out of my Honda CRX and into the Cadillac, and suddenly feeling claustrophobic.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    840
    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel View Post
    How often is that an issue?
    It's an issue every time my driver takes me to the ATM to check my 401K, which, due to me guessing correctly 18 months ago, is up rather than down. I can reach the ATM buttons a lot easier with the window all the way down.

    I traded a 1989 Fleetwood for this DTS. I don't feel claustrophobic.

  14. #14
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Posts
    3,408
    Well if you have a driver you wouldn't notice the cramped driving position, and the excess of padding everywhere, and the proximity of the dash to your knees and legs.

Similar Threads

  1. 2011 Buick LaCrosse
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-16-2010, 12:05 PM
  2. 2010 Buick LaCrosse
    By Eric in forum New Car/Truck Reviews
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-18-2010, 02:58 PM
  3. 1970 Buick GS 455 Stage 1 - Buick's Short Reign (updated edition)
    By Disco Man in forum Performance/Muscle Cars
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-10-2007, 07:19 AM
  4. 1987 Buick Grand National - Buick's Last Muscle Car
    By Disco Man in forum Performance/Muscle Cars
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 09-22-2007, 02:11 AM
  5. 1970 Buick GS 455 Stage 1 - Buick's Short Reign
    By Disco Man in forum Performance/Muscle Cars
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-23-2007, 04:40 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •