- New LaCrosse rides on new, improved architecture
- Roomy new interior with floating center console and more storage
- The car is much quieter than before
- Standard engine stop-start cannot be turned off (but is a fairly seamless system)
- Have to get a higher trim to get heated front seats
- No power-folding side-view mirrors or full power-opening trunk
Buick LaCrosse Expert Review
New for 2017
The 2017 Buick LaCrosse four-door sedan is the brand's flagship and a market favorite in China. The full-size four-door shares a new platform with other GM sedans and crossovers -- the fresh start allowed the car to be stronger, stiffer, quieter, and lighter than its predecessor..
The LaCrosse is a large, premium sedan, slotted above the Buick Regal as the brand's flagship. For 2017 it is longer, wider, sleeker, and drops about 300 pounds. It shares its new underpinnings with the Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Impala, and Cadillac XT5.
A longer wheelbase improves the look inside and out of the 2017 Buick LaCrosse, a front-engine, front- and all-wheel drive five-passenger sedan. The Buick has a roomy new interior and new by-wire shifter that enables a floating center console with storage underneath that can be accessed from both sides. There is also more cargo space. Up front is an 8-inch Apple CarPlay/Android Auto-ready touchscreen with a fingerprint-resistant surface with a second screen in the instrument cluster as well as a head-up display. Power is from GM's second-gen 3.6-liter V-6 with cylinder deactivation and auto engine stop-start. It generates 310 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifters are standard on all trims, as are HID headlights, a rearview camera with rear parking sensors, 8-inch touchscreen, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Emphasis on noise reduction means little compromise going up to the optional 20-inch wheels.
Higher trim levels offer rear cross-traffic alert to avoid hitting a car in a parking lot as well as active safety features such as lane-keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. The outgoing 2016 model did will in IIHS testing and we expect the new car to perform even better in crash testing.
What We Think
The car drops about 300 pounds and rides on a new platform, which contributes to a better driving experience and a much quieter ride. Buick also separates the LaCrosse from most competitors by offering all-wheel drive on the highest trim level. There is value in the LaCrosse lineup but the price jumps quickly if you want amenities including heated front seats. Chinese customers can get heated, ventilated, and massaging rear seats too. The overall look is more sleek and sculpted as Buick continues to work to attract younger buyers and shed its old man's car image.
Go for the optional 20-inch wheels if your budget allows, as the steering feel is improved, and the larger-wheel models get an updated suspension.
Slim windshield wipers slow down at the end of the cycle to reduce the thud sound.