• Sep 25th 2009 at 2:27PM
  • 14
2010 Buick LaCrosse - Click above for high-res image gallery

There was a time when the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety was the ball buster of safety standards, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Association gave out Five Star ratings like glitter at a gentleman's club. Times have changed and automakers have evidently picked up on what IIHS is looking for, and more and more new vehicles are receiving the top designation of "Good." To get the top score, stability control is the price of entry, and features like side curtain airbags can really help the cause. And unlike NHTSA's 35 mph impact speeds, the IIHS smacks concrete at a more impressive 40 mph.

The two newest members of the "Good" club cater to very different customers, but both have great safety chops. The 2010 Lacrosse is all-new for 2010, and the IIHS found the newest Buick very worthy in front, side and rear impact collisions. As you might expect, the Lacrosse comes standard with stability control and side curtain airbags.

The Nissan Versa has been on the market for a while now, and the 2010 subcompact has once again earned the top designation from the IIHS. The Versa scored well in front, side and rear collisions, and with optional stability control, it was able to fetch a top score.

[Source: IIHS]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The number of "Top Safety Picks" is about to collapse when roof strength becomes a factor in November. Of the cars they've tested so far, only a handful have been rated "Good."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Saw one as a rental this week. Kinda higher beltline than I thought from photos.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Common thread among domestics. Have you seen the MKS in person?! It needs a running board to get in.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What did you think of the overall height, especially the hood and trunk? First one I saw somewhat reminded me of an AMC (Concord) Eagle it was so high.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I worked for an AMC Dealer when the Eagles were out. And the thought of the Eagle never crossed my mind when I saw the LaCrosse.

        Overall, I liked what I saw. But was unable to stop and stare, as I had an appointment.

        I always like to reserve final judgment until I can drive a/any/the car(s). I like the way many cars look, but NOT drive.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd have liked the Lacrosse if it had a steering wheel that offered as much telescope and as much tilt as older cars.

        Lack of driver's space was the deal breaker for me.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its nice, but its nothing new for GM. Another really good car - that nobody cares about. Those are the facts. Obama pumped 68 billion into a business that is failing.

      Its a really good car. Lots of companies build really good cars. And most of them weren't taken over by Obama, didn't steal in excess of 50 billion, and aren't GM - meaning they are much more stable and won't leave a bad taste in your mouth.

      GM is like the abusive husband who has had second chance after second chance. They just don't get it! America is the battered wife in this case and she should have walked away.

      Sure it looks good, sure its safe, sure all kinds of things. Am I stopping by the buick dealer and cross shopping them with audi, lexus, honda, toyota, or even cadillac? No.

      If that's not bad enough, the ads on TV for this thing say it competes with lexus, audi, infiniti and BMW. Ok, what is cadillac's job exactly?

      Same ol' GM. Lost, confused, out of touch. Only now they have billions of YOUR money. It still amazes me they kept buick! Unbelievable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM you should have re-done the G8. A buick with a soul! Now that would have been exciting!

      This is a really nice malibu - I am not impressed. Another boring, soul-less 4 door.

      Dump buick - its going to happen sooner or later. The ONLY reason they kept it is the Chinese own us and in a few more years will literally OWN us. They like'em and as the center of the new world government - what china wants, china gets.

      It looks good, but it takes more than looks to get my 30 grand. I can do everything this does AND get 50mpg in a prius. I hate the prius, but at least it gives you something in return.

      Where is the soul, where is the passion? This thing could be badged a maytag. Its an appliance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice to see an American Car company earning high marks for safety. Its been a long time coming. Maybe a crisis in the industry brings positive changes. Buick still has a long way to go to earn back consumer confidence in a lackluster brand.

      • 6 Years Ago
      i believe the frontal offset and side crashes are with deformable barriers, which reduce force. The 40mph offset should be equiv to a 20mph offset with a hard barrier
      • 6 Years Ago
      This new Lacrosse is a good looking car, but one problem. Take the grill off, and see if anyone recognizes it as a Buick. Even car buffs would have a hard time. Thanks to GM's persistent re-badging, this vehicle has ZERO typical Buick styling cues aside from the waterfall grill. For that matter, Buick in general doesn't have much in the way of a brand identity any more. At least the last-gen Lacrosse and Lucerne bore a familial resemblence to each other (and previous Buicks).

      I also like the comment about GM hyping Buick to compete with Lexus and BMW - a valid point that also shows how Buick doesn't really fit in with they typical manufacturers' product hierarchies. I'd say GM should try to target Volkswagen first, before jumping in with the big dogs. Especially if this (admittedly good-looking) car is all they have so far. This could probably compete with a Lexus ES, but then again, the ES is just an up-optioned Camry - far from Lexus' cream of the crop. They could potentially compete with Acura too, but they'd have to really step up their game to pull it off IMO. Plus, Acura still carries a far sportier image that I think Buick would have a really hard time getting back - the last truly sporty Buick I can recall was the Grand National; and maybe the last gen Riviera, but that's a stretch.

      Unless GM dumps some serious time and money into Buick, I see it (Buick) failing within 5-10 years. One or two mediocre new cars don't cut it; the Lacrosse and Lucerne proved that. Give the brand a true halo car to help establish the "new" Buick too. But see, that would cut into Caddy sales... Not sure what I'd do with Buick; it's stuck between a rock (Chevy) and a hard place (Caddy).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey CJV998 -

        I am the exterior designer of the 2010 LaCrosse, and I thought I'd reply to your comment. I'm glad to hear that you think the car is good-looking, but I'd disagree with your assertion that it doesn't have any Buick "cues."

        Besides the waterfall grille that you mention, it has portholes on the hood, but more important than any specific detail is the overall gesture. The sweep spear bodyside line is a distinctive Buick feature that has been used on many Buick over the years, such as the original Skylark and the Riviera. The long upper, with the rear window stretched rearward and the short decklid, was meant to recall the great looking fastback Buicks of the late 40's.

        Buick has a history of producing elegant, sculpted cars, and that was the goal for us with this car. There wasn't any re-badging involved, as the exterior and interior of this car is completely unique.

        By the way, the VW Passat was a competitor we looked at during the development of this car, but the Lexus ES was definitely our primary target. Before you say that this car isn't a worthy competitor to the Acura TL, I'd encourage you to go drive them back-to-back. I've spent a lot of time in the LaCrosse, and it is a wonderful, quiet and responsive car to drive. (and I'm a 34 years old driving enthusiast, too.)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Okay, one idea: what about making Buick a trim level for top of the line Chevy products, like Brougham was for Cadillac back in the 80's? I know it's off the wall, but it seems like there's simply too much overlap between high-end Chevy / low-end Buick, and high-end Buick / low-end Cadillac. And this would alleviate that problem while still keeping Buick around, albeit superficially; in name only. Except then we run the risk of China getting better Buicks than us... :) I give up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks for the comment Richard. To be honest, I overlooked the portholes when looking at the pictures. I guess the biggest thing that's throwing me off is the car has much sharper lines than I'm used to seeing on a Buick. Not that it's a bad thing, I'm glad you guys are breathing some new life into the brand - it needed it.

        Maybe I didn't make my thoughts clear on the Buick/Acura issue. I just feel that the two companies are going for different market segments - Acura leaning toward the sporty side of the market, like BMW, while Buick leans more toward the luxury side, a la Lexus. Therefore, it'd be hard for them to compete with one another unless we have some radically different products in development from one or the other.

        My mistake - I thought this was a rebadged Opel, must have been thinking of another vehicle. Didn't mean to disregard all your hard work. :)

        Personally, I don't expect the Lacrosse to be sporty enough for my liking, but hey, maybe it's worth a test drive at least, if it's as good as you say.
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