Blame the Ford Explorer
We Like: The spacious back seat and trunk, highway manners, and 31 highway mpg.
We Don’t Like: The new eight-speed automatic.
There was a time when large three-box American sedans with trunks the size of 24-hour gyms were as ubiquitous as half-caf skinny macchiatos are today. That’s history, yet Buick soldiers on with the 2017 LaCrosse.
The most powerful LaCrosse engine to date, a 310-hp V-6, accelerates the FWD Buick (available with AWD) with authority, front HiPer struts handily quelling the expected torque-steer effect. But the new transmission “shunts on occasion,” Angus MacKenzie said. Of the electronic shift knob, he observed that it’s “counterintuitive to use at first, especially when trying to engage reverse,” which is a questionable choice considering Buick’s aged demographic.
“If you don’t look close, the interior makes a great first impression with its chocolate-and-saddle palette and wood-grain trim,” Chris Theodore said. “Unfortunately, on closer inspection, the leather has dents in the surface, there are unfinished and misaligned sew lines, the faux wood grain is far from believable, and it has an undesirable smell.”
Ride and handling drew mixed reviews from our judges, from MacKenzie’s jarring, “Whatever happened to Buick’s QuietTuning?” to Ed Loh’s kudos to the ride and handling team “for programing such invisible stability control; its intervention was seamless.”
In the end, Theodore put a fine point on the demise of the Buick. “The LaCrosse is a big improvement over the prior model,” he said. “However, this is just a competitive car in a dying segment. And at more than $40,000, it doesn’t seem to be a good value, either.”
|2017 Buick LaCrosse (Premium)|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$48,495|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||3.6L/310-hp/282-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,732 lb (59/41%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||197.5 x 73.5 x 57.5 in|
|0-60 MPH||6.1 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||14.6 sec @ 97.9 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||123 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.84 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||26.8 sec @ 0.66 g (avg)|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||18.7/30.7/22.7 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||21/31/25 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||160/109 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.79 lb/mile|