This week I am behind the wheel of Buick’s flagship sedan, the 2017 LaCrosse. 2017 brought a complete redesign of the car. It is longer, lower, wider, and more powerful than the 2016 LaCrosse it replaced. It is a heck of a lot better looking, too.
Buick also made some nice improvements to the drivetrain of the car, using the tried-and-true 3.6-liter V6 that is putting out 309-horses. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic, and get this…a Buick with paddle shifters! My tester is front-wheel drive, but LaCrosse does come with an option for all-wheel drive.
In the redesign, Buick also shaved 300 pounds off the car, and it added start/stop technology, which cannot be disabled and I will say, it is extremely seamless. It also has cylinder displacement to improve fuel economy when on the highway.
LaCrosse comes in 4 trim levels, the Base, Preferred, Essence, and the top-of-the-line Premium, which is what I am reviewing.
A Buick with paddle shifters!
As mentioned, LaCrosse is much improved in appearance. Gone is the Buick waterfall grill it used for many years, it has a wider stance, new body lines, and new 18” wheels. Chrome surrounds the side windows and a chrome strip runs low on the sides between the wheel wells. The windshield is longer and more swooped back than last year, which gives the car a sportier look and better aerodynamics.
When you open the door to get in the car, the two-tone interior really jumps out at you. It is almost like a cockpit for the driver and passenger.
As you sit behind the power tilt steering wheel with controls, you notice a colorful and easy to read gauge cluster with a programmable driver information center. As you look through the windshield, there is a vibrant heads-up display that shows you your speed and other info.
When you open the door to get in the car, the two-tone interior really jumps out at you.
In the center console, you’ll find two cup holders and a rubberized slide-in cell phone charger. You also find the electronic shifter, which is a little weird for me. You hit a button on the side and pull straight back for drive, but to get to reverse, you go forward then to the left. You push a button for park. I suppose you’d get used to it, I just don’t see the point.
In the center above the air conditioning controls is your 8” color screen which houses the rearview camera, which is terrific by the way. You operate the audio, Bluetooth, project your phone on the screen, operate the navigation system, change the car’s settings, operate your climate controls, get real-time weather, and you can text by voice.
The next page gives you access to OnStar, real-time traffic, and when you hit the shop app, you can add all your favorite applications. The entire car can be turned into a Wi-Fi hotspot, and this car has Teen Driver, which monitors and controls anyone else driving your car and even gives you a report card. It also has the wonderful back seat reminder that activates after you turn the car off, if either of the back doors has been opened.
The infotainment system is compatible with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
I love the wood and stitching on the entire interior, and I love the pass through the center console. Overall, GM did a wonderful job with this interior and the seats are as comfortable as I have ever been in.
If you are looking for headroom and legroom in a sedan, the LaCrosse has it for sure. The back seat is huge with a pull-down console. Trunk space is very large and can be accessed by pushing the Buick emblem on the trunk, with the keyless remote, or a button inside the car. While in the trunk, you can lower the back seats for additional storage.
Overall, GM did a wonderful job with this interior and the seats are as comfortable as I have ever been in.
The Premium comes completely loaded with notable features like parking sensors, forward collision alert, lane change alert, blind spot monitoring, power heated and air conditioned seats, and a heated steering wheel.
My tester has $4780 in options, including the Driver Confidence package #2 which is adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, front automatic braking, and front pedestrian detection that will completely stop the car at lower speeds.
It also has the Sun and Shade package, which gives you a terrific dual-pane moonroof with power cover, and a power rear sunshade. Finally, it has the Sights and Sounds package which is the navigation system and an 11-speaker Bose stereo.
Buick went to great lengths to make the LaCrosse amazingly quiet inside. It is heavily insulated and has an active noise cancellation system that really works. The car drives really well and actually handles well, which is a bit of a surprise for a Buick, usually they are pretty soft.
If you are a person concerned with visibility, the LaCrosse is one of the very best, especially for a large car. Just FYI, the LaCrosse is extremely popular in China, especially with people who have drivers.
Gas mileage is good for a car its size and is rated at 21 in town, 31 on the highway, and 25 combined. It is actually doing better than that on the highway. The LaCrosse does come with a compact spare.
Total MSRP as equipped is $46,770 and I’ve got to say, I’ve reviewed cars that were $20,000 more that didn’t offer as much.
This is a great car, but most of all a great value, so if you are looking at large sedans, be sure this one is on the list.