• Mar 25, 2011
Buick LaCrosse – Click above for high-res image gallery

In addition to having eAssist added to its four-cylinder powertrain, the 2012 Buick LaCrosse is undergoing a few other changes. We aren't talking about styling or content tweaks – instead, General Motors is revising its packaging strategy for the LaCrosse. Buick will be ditching the CX, CXL and CXS trim level designations and simply offer large option packages that encompass all of the available amenities.

For 2012, the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine with eAssist technology will be offered as the "standard" powertrain. We recently had some very limited drive time with an eAssist-equipped LaCrosse (stay tuned for our full impressions), and found the four-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque to be pleasantly adequate and its highway rating of 37 miles per gallon downright remarkable. eAssist-equipped cars will look no different than other LaCrosses, save the addition of model-specific 17-inch wheels on efficiency-optimized tires and other fuel-saving upgrades not visible from outside the car.

The General's 280-horsepower direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 will still be made available, complete with the new HiPer Strut front suspension that helps keep torque steer to a minimum, but buyers can now select it as a no-cost option, and also opt for all-wheel drive.

Final pricing information has not been released, but Buick tells us that the entry level LaCrosse will start around $30,000. Currently, the LaCrosse has a base MSRP of $26,995, which suggests the addition of eAssist and its associated fuel-saving parts isn't cheap. What Buick has effectively done is ditched the "base" LaCrosse model and left two identically priced models for buyers to choose from: one focused on exceptional fuel economy and the other on power.

Production on the 2012 LaCrosse will start this summer with the first round of cars hitting dealerships this Fall.



Photos copyright ©2011 Drew Phillips / AOL


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  • 25 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ten years ago I would have laughed if someone said Buick would be a true contender in the entry level premium class. This auto line has made a remarkable turn around.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I test drove a CXL late last week. Such a nice car.

        Darn you Buick! Why must you do this after I decided on a loaded Equinox?! WHY?!?!
        • 3 Years Ago
        20 to 50 years ago it was a contender. Buick is back.
        • 3 Years Ago
        50 years ago, Buick was the benchmark for what we now call "entry luxury".
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the LaCrosse is a very sharp looking car and interested in reading more about the 37 MPG that you guys got, but I think ditching the trim levels makes it more confusing for prospective buyers, not less.

      Maybe pare it down to just two levels and leave it at that, but what they are doing now seems complicated for no good reason.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's not the Regal they're needing to position over, it's the Malibu. eAssist or V6 standard makes a price jump for features the Malibu can't match.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, that's competitive. Pick between 37mpg or a V6? Sounds good.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I can't wait for a review of eAssist. If they implement it right, if it's smooth and seamless - which GM oughta know how to do, having built the Volt - and makes a 4 feel like a 6, while getting outstanding mileage, they're going to have a runaway hit on their hands.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Interesting... a fuel saver or more of a dynamic driver for the same cost. It'll be nice to see how this plays out. I have a feeling more will go for the power over the saver.
        • 3 Years Ago
        wienekec: Got to agree with you there, especially since the eAssist adds another 79 lbs. ft of torque to the 172 produced by the ICE for a total of 251lbs. Ft of torque. I'd be curious to see the 0 - 60 times on both models, also curious about eAssist in an overtaking/on-ramp merging situation.
        • 3 Years Ago
        With gas now over $4/gal, GM will probably sell more eAssist I4s than V6s. 37 mpg is a big jump up from the typical 30ish that people get.

        Change the badging to Chevy, and I agree that the V6 would be more popular.

        Buick isn't a performance brand, it's a traditional luxury brand. eAssist means they keep the size of a larger car, but gain the economy of a much smaller car.

        The nice thing is that taking money out of the equation means that GM can track preferences more clearly in the market to see just how popular eAssist really will be.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @wienekec

        I hope that's the case, because it's certainly a nice (and large) car to return such good highway mpgs with half decent power. But people in the northeast just seem to love their AWD cars. Either way, I'm sure their new deal will do great.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had a 2007 Saturn Aura XR which had the 3.6. Great engine and then down went Saturn and Buick picked up the 11 model as the Century. I was going to purchase one but with only the 2.4 4cyl ecotech available I passed. I don't care for 4 cyl American cars. Purchased a Lincoln MKZ with a 3.5 V6 263 HP and love it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like it. This leaves room for a standalone high performance model with a new name. GSX? GNX? The possibilities are endless.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Smart moves, but the Taurus is still a better car, imo.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I prefer the LaCrosse but I don't think the Taurus is ugly at all.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Taurus is butt-ugly and a Ford is just a Ford.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I read it as they needed some room for the Verano. The Verano will start at around 20-22k and go up to about 30k. It would have been strange seeing a small Verano more expensive than a large LaCrosse on the same lot.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Everything I've read and heard has the Verano starting at 21-22K and should top out at 26-27K.
      • 3 Years Ago
      a beautiful car..., well executed, interior design and finishes impeccable. Anybody considering a lexus or infiniti, especially taking into consideration the value factor, has not done their homework and therfore should flunk!!!
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