2019 Buick LaCrosse Reviews

2019 LaCrosse New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The 2019 Buick LaCrosse represents the end of an era. Quiet and comfortable, the 2019 LaCrosse will be the last of Buick's big sedans, at least for now, as the brand turns its focus to crossover SUVs.

Following a 2017 redesign, the LaCrosse was updated a year later, introducing a mild hybrid powertrain. A new Sport Touring model joins the lineup for the 2019 model year, wearing a black mesh grille, subtle rear spoiler, and 19-inch Midnight Silver wheels. A new air ionizer is standard in the Avenir edition.

Of the six trim levels, four (base 1SV, Preferred, Essence, Premium) are equipped with a mild-hybrid powertrain, which pairs a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor to boost fuel economy, though it cannot be driven on battery power alone. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the system is rated at 194 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque.

Sport Touring and opulent Avenir versions have a conventional powertrain. The 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 310 horsepower, mating with a 9-speed automatic. Essence and Premium models can get the V-6 engine as an alternative to the eAssist mild-hybrid system.

Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available for several trim levels.

Although official crash-test data is impressive, Buick makes most active-safety features options. The NHTSA gave the 2019 LaCrosse a five-star overall score, including five stars for frontal and side impacts, as well as for rollover prevention (a calculated figure). Not many vehicles manage five stars in every category.

The IIHS gave the LaCrosse mostly “Good” crash-test scores, except for the more stringent small-overlap test on the passenger side (which has not been rated). The LaCrosse also earned a “Superior” rating, providing the available automatic emergency braking system is installed. Headlights rated “Poor” keep the LaCrosse from earning an IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

Adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking are limited to the top Avenir edition, as part of a $1,690 Driver Confidence II option package. Blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts are standard on Premium and Avenir levels.

Despite the restrictions on active-safety technology, Buick's biggest sedan offers sufficient style, refinement, and compelling options to compete against more-costly luxury automobiles.

Lineup

Prices do not include $925 destination charge.

Base 1SV ($29,570) holds the 2.5-liter eAssist engine with front-wheel drive. Standard equipment includes synthetic leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels, power front seats, HID headlights, eight-speaker audio, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Black and white are the only colors available.

Preferred ($33,670) adds a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel and a cargo net.

Essence ($36,370) gets leather-appointed seat trim.

Essence V6 AWD ($41,070) substitutes a V-6 engine and all-wheel drive. Heated front seats and a driver-seat memory are included.

Premium ($38,670) has front-drive with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Included are a heated steering wheel, cooled front seats with lumbar adjustment and massaging, head-up display, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts.

Premium V6 AWD ($43,470) substitutes the 3.6-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive.

Sport Touring V6 FWD ($39,370) comes with a black mesh grille, rear spoiler, and 19-inch wheels.

Avenir V6 ($44,870 with front-drive, $47,070 with all-wheel drive) includes a unique mesh grille, panoramic moonroof, navigation, and wireless smartphone charging.

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