2017 LaCrosse New Car Test Drive
The Buick LaCrosse sedan gets a total redesign for 2017. The full-size front-wheel-drive sedan was a surprise hit when it was introduced two generations ago due to its handling and refinement. For 2017, Buick LaCrosse gets made even better, with a new platform, new engine, new transmission, more technology and refinement, and less weight. It's not a luxury car, but it's good enough to make you wonder if a luxury car is worth the extra money.
LaCrosse represents the new face of Buick. Competitors that now seem faceless include the Lexus ES 350, Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Acura TLX, Hyundai Azera, and Chrysler 300. Well, the Chrysler 300 has a face.
The new LaCrosse is only a fraction of an inch longer and wider, but the wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer, giving it the stance of a rear-wheel-drive car. It's 300 pounds lighter for 2017 thanks to more high-strength steel in the chassis and its new V6 engine; the combination of lightness, stance, and rigidity improve the handling.
Its standard 18-inch wheels (two designs), HID headlamps, LED taillamps, and 10 airbags add to its appeal.
The LaCrosse is powered by the latest version of GM's fine 3.6-liter V6, now making an impressive 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a new eight-speed automatic. The engine was designed with start/stop technology, as opposed to that capability being added, and it shows, as it's nearly invisible.
However, start/stop doesn't increase fuel mileage all that much. The LaCrosse gets an EPA-estimated 21/31 mpg City/Highway, or 25 mpg Combined with front wheel-drive. All-wheel drive cuts it by about two miles per gallon. The all-wheel drive comes from the Cadillac XT5 crossover, and is only available on the LaCrosse Premium model.
The 2017 Buick LaCrosse comes in four models: base, Preferred, Essence, and Premium. (The eAssist hybrid has been discontinued.) The base comes in at just under $33,000, but it looks and feels as rich as the Premium.