I remember driving a fully loaded 2005 Buick LaCrosse from Toronto to Ottawa in cloud like comfort. I also swear I aged 10 years by the time I got there. It was with without a doubt the dullest, blandest car I had ever started! For many years Canadians associated a Buick in the driveway with visiting grandparents. Just like the now defunct Oldsmobile brand, GM has tried to shed that image from the Buick nameplate. They have by and large done thanks to some nice facelifts over the years including the latest offering – the 2017 Buick Lacrosse Premium AWD.
This car is considered a go to premium luxury car in many global markets and this reputation helped save Buick when GM eliminated the unprofitable Pontiac division in its post bailout restructuring in 2009. Not that this Buick is completely reinvented. It is what it is. A full size all wheel drive sedan offering the same thing as all the others. The choices are many from Lexus, Lincoln and even Chevrolet among others, all with their own makeovers. The makeover this Lacrosse receives still offers some accouterments from Buick’s long history including the fender portholes and a return to the original coloured Buick logo. Is it the most attractive Buick? Well no, and there is plenty of opinion on what was through the decades. My fave is actually the 95 Riviera but this 2017 Lacrosse is still a beauty. Its sculpted side profile grew on me the more I looked at it.
If you want comfy and quiet this car does it exceedingly well with surprisingly excellent handling given its soft ride. It feels like a luxury car. My test unit came with the standard 18 inch aluminum wheels but the ride and cornering ability can be enhanced further yet with optional 20 inch wheels that include high performance suspension and damping control. There is no other one engine choice, only the 3.6 litre V6 with 310 horsepower and 282 lb.ft torque but it does the job well. An eight speed transmission is standard but the all wheel drive version comes only with the Premium package. The V6 seamlessly switches to V4 mode to maximize efficiency with cylinder deactivation. You only note when it lights up in the instrument panel. Also seamless is the ubiquitous automatic stop system. The start up when the pedal is applied is smooth and gentle and except for the quiet you could forget the feature is there. So smooth that GM has dropped the disable option. All these energy saving features notwithstanding, mileage for the Lacrosse is average. Of course the all wheel drive adds a small penalty as well. It’s rated at 10.0 litres per 100 kilometers combined city/highway. Real world I got 11.7 combined. Pretty close to as advertised.
Beauty in the Beast
While it’s clear it’s not from the Cadillac division the Lacrosse interior is as attractive as it is comfortable. The Premium package offers leather heated and ventilated front seats with massage control and 4 way power lumbar. There is plenty of legroom as expected front and rear thanks to a slightly longer wheelbase this year. (114.4 inches) There is more trunk space for the current Lacrosse as well going from 13.5 cubic feet to 15 for all the golf clubs. Back up front there is a nice smaller pass through storage area under the centre console for the small stuff. The cabin has beautiful moon white ambient trim lighting which at night that looks far more sophisticated than offered in a Lincoln for example. I remember driving a new Buick Regal in the mid eighties with an earlier but still very pleasing version of this. Buick it seems was a little ahead of the curve in this small touch which is de rigueur in luxury brands now. The sweeping lines of the console and dash in this Lacrosse also beautifully frame the gearshift, climate controls and touchscreen interface.
Lots of Tech
The interface is an 8 inch Intellilink touchscreen that is one of the better ones out there. Easy to read, navigate and very responsive unlike some others that require an extra annoying push with your finger..The Lacrosse comes with Apple Car Play and its Android Auto equivalent plus 4G LTE on board WiFi and wireless charging. There is an abundance of tech on board for a standard price just over 47 K including many safety features.
Among them is rear cross, forward collision, lane change and side blind spot alerts. The rear camera has park assist visual aids but there is also an optional automatic parallel park assist in a $495.00 package that adds adaptive cruise control. The Lacrosse Premium has a very nice heads up display (see photo gallery) to keep you looking at the road. GM was first to bring HUD to market and still offer the best from what I have seen.
This Lacrosse certainly graduates from average full size sedan to near luxury car and has a design that will hang on to its looks if not its resale value. The current sibling Buick Regal has shown up in some highest depreciating new car lists along with the Lacrosse direct competitor Lincoln MKZ. While the Lacrosse dodge the list it is a consideration to weigh into your purchase. Often cars like this are a greater value one year later. Having said that, the Lacrosse offers a lot of near luxury car and is very well priced for what you get.
2017 Buick Lacrosse Premium AWD
As tested $53,640.00
Mileage 10.0 L/100 km