I'm sitting down to write after a weekend of highway driving in what is an excellent open road cruiser. The LaCrosse must be specifically made for taking on the daily commute, long trips and bussing people to and fro in comfort. It might not be a Lexus in looks or fit and finish but the ride, to borrow from Saturday Night Live, is like butta'.

Cars need more than just a pleasant ride but for a lot of buyers out there this is the number one requirement. I?d also guess this is higher up on the list for Buick buyers. I?ve read in a number of publications how great the handling is but to me it still has the slight floaty feeling of a big American sedan. You can?t really fault Buick for it and at high speeds the tracking is spot on. Driving around mall parking lots for two days trying to get all the holiday shopping done was surprisingly uneventful and getting this big boy between the yellow lines proved easy enough. The back-up sensor features the right amount of alarm for the distance and isn?t so sensitive that parking become annoying.

LaCrosse Trunk 250The trunk is appropriately big and can fit anything I?d ever fathom putting in it and the back seats will provide comfort for most passengers. On long road trips the leg room might not be as comfortable for full grown folks but kids will have plenty of room to themselves.

At this time I?m still not in love with the interior. I?ve said before while reviewing other cars something like ?Why don?t companies just make the center stacks flat black plastic instead of crappy fake metallic plastic.? I?m paraphrasing myself here but after being sick and tired of so much faux metal I was surprised to see an all black plastic center stack in the LaCrosse. Could Buick, of all companies, be taking my advice? Should they have? The console seems mighty wide to me but otherwise looks good even if it doesn?t fit perfectly with the interior design. I like the feel of it to the touch and it certainly is a step up from the door panels? shoddy treatment. Remember last week how I raved about the Suzuki? I?m sure some out there thought I was nuts but the little Reno had higher quality materials on the doors than this much pricier sedan.

LaCrosse Stack 200 This is another time I swear there should be a plastic consultant out there spreading the wisdom of how you turn plastic into appealing looking shapes and colors. The Ford Freestyle (and I?d guess Five Hundred) suffer the same fate as the LaCrosse so it?s not just a GM problem. And even some of the Dodge Magnum seems a bit too plastic heavy. Somehow the Japanese have figured out how to make it work and the Americans are still playing catch up.

Check out Day 1 in the Buick LaCrosse CXS.

As always click on the images for larger versions.

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