2006 LaCrosse New Car Test Drive
Buick LaCrosse is a premium midsize sedan. It's quiet and pleasant-mannered as we'd expect of a Buick, yet its steering is more precise than owners of previous Buicks might expect, and it turns into corners crisply, with little body lean. Its V6 engines offer good power, growling under acceleration, but motoring along smoothly and quietly on the freeway, and the transmission works flawlessly.
Inside is a rich, high-quality cabin with attractive woodgrain trim, nicely presented instruments and controls, and available leather seats with nice-looking gathered stitching.
Electronic features make the well-equipped LaCrosse a safe, all-weather family car with nice conveniences. Among them: a remote starting system that will work from up to 500 feet away, great on cold winter mornings; OnStar, which will dispatch emergency crews to your precise location if you have a wreck and don't respond to operators' calls; XM Satellite Radio to pick up Fox News, CNN, ESPN, or your favorite music; and StabiliTrak, which can help keep you from skidding off a slippery road.
LaCrosse was introduced as a 2005 model, replacing both the Century and Regal. For 2006, ABS and side-curtain airbags have been made standard on all models.
The Buick LaCrosse comes in three models. The CX and the more luxurious CXL come with a 3.8-liter overhead-valve V6 rated at 200 horsepower. The performance-oriented CXS comes with 3.6-liter V6 with modern double overhead cams and variable valve timing that develops 240 horsepower.
The CX ($22,935) comes with cloth upholstery and manually operated air conditioning. Standard features for all models include tilt wheel, six-way power driver's seat, programmable power locks with remote keyless entry, power windows and mirrors, leather-wrapped shift knob, and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system. All models also come standard with OnStar and a one-year subscription. A Comfort and Convenience Package for the 2006 LaCrosse CX ($1,190) includes a remote vehicle starter, programmable driver information center, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescope steering wheel with redundant audio and climate controls, cargo convenience net, security systems, and illuminated vanity mirrors.
The CXL ($25,435), features leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, power lumbar adjustment for the driver's seat, a split-folding rear bench seat, driver information center, and content theft alarm.
The CXS ($28,435) comes with thicker anti-roll bars front and rear, and 17-inch wheels and tires to go with the more powerful V6. CXS also boasts additional touches like driving lights under the front bumper.
LaCrosse CX and CXL are available with five- or six-passenger seating. Front bucket seats with a center console and leather-wrapped floor shifter come standard, but a six-passenger option moves the shifter to the steering column and substitutes a 40/20/40-split bench seat whose center cushion flips over to become a mini-console.
Options include nine-speaker stereo with MP3 capability ($545) or six-disc CD changer ($695), digital audio with XM Satellite Radio ($325) that includes a one-year subscription, power sunroof ($900), heated front seats ($295), power adjustable passenger's seat ($350), 16- or 17-inch chrome wheels ($650), remote starting ($150), engine block heater ($35), and an exterior chrome decor package ($295). The Driver Confidence Package for the CXL ($1,250) and CXS ($1,150) adds redundant audio and climate controls on the steering wheel, a universal remote transmitter, electrochromic inside rearview mirror, heated outside mirrors, power-adjustable front passenger's seat, ultrasonic rear park assist, and rear-seat reading lamps.
Safety features on all 2006 Buick LaCrosse models include anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control along with the required front airbags. Optional safety features include side-curtain airbags for head and torso protection, electronic stability control, rear park assist, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control.