2016 LaCrosse New Car Test Drive
The Buick LaCrosse is a large midsize sedan with a comfortable ride, nicely appointed interior, and traditional premium touches. Last redesigned for model-year 2014, LaCrosse carries over to model year 2016 largely unchanged.
Rather than a true luxury sedan, the LaCrosse is best described as a premium model, offered in a broad range of trim levels. The most costly versions can be fitted out like Cadillacs, with Bose audio and an upgraded instrument panel.
Buick's Quiet Tuning measures result in a tight, near-silent interior.
Two distinct engines are offered, both with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available.
The practical choice is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with GM's eAssist mild-hybrid system. Performance is lackluster, but the eAssist gets an EPA fuel-economy estimate of 36 mpg Highway.
The 3.6-liter V6 engine delivers stronger responses and brisk performance.
For 2016, three new color choices are available, plus optional 20-inch wheels for the all-wheel-drive Premium sedan. A new low-end trim level has been added, with fewer features and a lower price than the regular base LaCrosse. Echoing other Buick models, a Sport Touring version joins the lineup during the 2016 model year. Buick's IntelliLink radio gets an updated eight-inch screen, and Buick claims it's more intuitive than before.
All models have a rearview camera. Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system can give directions to your iPhone through Siri Eyes Free. OnStar 4G LTE has a provision for WiFi within the vehicle.
Premium models are equipped almost like Cadillacs. Options include a sunroof, head-up display, Bose audio system, and DVD rear entertainment.
Safety scores have been good. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave LaCrosse a five-star overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety deemed it Good for each category tested, and Advanced for frontal crash prevention.
The 2016 Buick LaCrosse comes in six trim levels. LaCrosse 1SV ($31,065) amounts to a sub-base model, lacking such features as a cargo net. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
LaCrosse ($33,810) comes amply equipped, including power locks, windows, and mirrors; cloth upholstery; eight-way power driver's seat; dual-zone automatic climate control; rearview camera; IntelliLink radio with eight-inch screen, CD player, and seven-speaker audio; satellite radio; Bluetooth with audio streaming; remote start; cargo net; and 17-inch aluminum wheels. OnStar 4G LTE telematics has provision for in-car WiFi.
Sport Touring upgrades with leather-appointed seating, E-Z key passive entry, pushbutton start, heated power front seats, and 18-inch wheels. Leather ($35,900) includes leather upholstery, heated power front seats, rear parking sensor, passive keyless entry, auto-dimming outside mirrors with driver's memory, and easy-entry system, and 17-inch wheels (19-inch with AWD).
Premium I ($38,200) comes standard with the V6 engine, Bose 11-speaker surround sound, heated/ventilated power front seats, heated steering wheel, power rear sunshade, perforated leather-appointed seats, driver's memory; and 18- or 19-inch aluminum wheels. Premium II ($40,145) adds navigation, real-time damping suspension, Sport transmission mode, and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels.
Safety starts with eight standard airbags. Rear side airbags are available. A Driver Confidence Package includes blind-zone monitoring, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert. Also optional are collision preparation braking, adaptive cruise control, and a seat vibrator that can nudge an inattentive driver.