2010 LaCrosse New Car Test Drive
The all-new 2010 Buick LaCrosse is an appealing luxury sedan that manages to combine efficiency, comfort and style with a responsive driving experience. The LaCrosse is has been completely redesigned for 2010 and is distinguished by its fresh styling. Also new: The 2010 LaCrosse is available with all-wheel drive.
The LaCrosse comes standard with a new direct-injection 3.0-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission that makes the most of the engine's performance and mileage potential. All LaCrosse models with front-wheel drive get an EPA-rated 17/27 mpg City/Highway. LaCrosse AWD gets 16/26.
The sporty LaCrosse CXS exclusively has a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 along with a host of features and options designed to enhance its sporty character, yet it retains comfortable driving characteristics and the same fuel economy rating.
Positioned in a higher price range than before, the all-new 2010 LaCrosse should be considered a refreshing example of what GM can do when the need for excellent product takes top priority. It's a world-class car in every sense of the term, and predictably, that advancement brings with it a higher price. Even in base trim, the new LaCrosse is not a cheap car, but then, there is nothing cheap about it.
The new exterior is contemporary, elegant and refined, with an eye toward style and individual expression. It's conservative, but not conventional. There's an edge to it. This fresh take on traditional design includes Buick heritage cues, such as the waterfall front grille and portholes, which are integrated into a sweeping, fluid exterior design that flows uninterrupted around the vehicle, with no disconnected lines. The signature portholes, while present, have been moved to the hood so as not to disturb the fluid body lines.
The interior has an uncommonly finely detailed, high-quality character. The more you look, the more you see. There are few straight lines and 90-degree joints, if any, throughout the cabin. Instead, surfaces and controls are rounded, coved, or arched. Real stitching is used to join seams of the seats, shifter boot and soft material used on the door panels and around the instruments. Chrome and wood trim are used judiciously, tastefully, and the materials in the headliner and upper parts of the cabin look and feel like premium material. Features like remote starting, rear-seat DVD and ice-blue LED interior lighting accents are available, along with in-dash navigation, heads-up display, Bluetooth, and auxiliary audio input with USB port.
Equipped with active safety and intelligent personal technologies, the LaCrosse cabin is comfy, rich in convenience features, and as safe as the most modern active safety equipment can make a car. That includes brake-based electronics like StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control, four-channel ABS; Electronic Brake force Distribution and Brake Assist, which promote controlled stopping and enhanced stability. There are air bags for driver and passenger at front, side, and thorax, plus head-level side curtain air bags for all rows. This is all standard equipment on all models, as are pedestrian protective features. OnStar, with automatic crash response, comes free for a year.
We found the quiet cabin and smooth ride made the LaCrosse a relaxing car to drive, yet it will respond to sporting driver input with quick downshifts and ready power. Buick engineers working in Germany made the body structure stiffer than the previous model, resulting in noticeably better suspension performance, with less body roll in the corners and less float on lumpy surfaces. And the LaCrosse now offers continuously variable smart shocks, which adjust themselves in real time. Steering has been quickened a bit to complement the new chassis, so it steers more precisely, but without inducing noticeable torque steer under hard throttle. Adding to the feeling of security are four-wheel disc brakes that seem better proportioned, with better feel at the top of the pedal, than any GM brake system we can recall.
The LaCrosse can be configured for a wide range of customer priorities. Each model is specifically developed and tuned to emphasize qualities such as sport driving, road isolation, high mileage, or enhanced luxury. Even so, all models have a high level of standard equipment, and all safety equipment is standard on all models.
The 2010 Buick LaCrosse comes in three grades: CX ($27,085), CXL ($29,645), CXL AWD ($31,820), and CXS ($33,015). The CX and CXL come with a 3.0-liter V6. CXS comes with a 3.6-liter V6. LaCrosse CX is also available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine ($26,245).
LaCrosse CX comes standard with premium cloth upholstery, automatic air conditioning, AM/FM/XM/CD, OnStar Safe & Sound, remote keyless entry with extended range, programmable power door locks, power windows, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, heated outside mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, and 17-inch steel wheels.
LaCrosse CXL upgrades with leather heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps, outside rearview mirrors with puddle lamps, and 18-inch alloy wheels. An intelligent all-wheel-drive system is available for the CXL, paired with a more sophisticated H-arm rear suspension.
LaCrosse CXS features the 3.6-liter V6. Chrome plated 18-inch wheels are standard; 19-inch wheels are optional. Includes leather heated and cooled seats. An optional H-arm suspension touring package is available on CXS and CXL, which includes real-time damping and sport mode selectivity; 19-inch wheels, and lower-profile, higher grip tires.