2011 Buick LaCrosse CX
Although Buick officials won't say so explicitly, another factor that likely played into the decision to offer the 2.4-liter EcoTec four-cylinder engine was the underwhelming response to the new 3.0-liter direct injected V6. While the new smaller V6 is a smooth runner and produces similar power to the company's earlier 3.6-liter port injected V6, it was lacking in torque compared to its larger counterpart and actually got slightly inferior fuel economy. We recently had the chance to sample the new four-cylinder-powered LaCrosse CX in rural Virginia. Read on to find out if less is indeed more when it comes to Buick's handsome sedan.
To address this, Meagher explained that the direct injected EcoTec block is instead produced with a precision sand-casting process. The resulting part is more rigid and transmits less of the injector and combustion noise, allowing it to run quieter. On the outside of the engine, the engineers have also covered the high pressure fuel pump and injector rail with a high density foam as a noise abatement measure. Along with the variable valve timing, the 2.4 produces the same 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque as it does in the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain.
During wide open throttle acceleration, volume levels rise as expected, but the resulting noise doesn't seem any louder than the available V6 alternatives, it just lasts a bit longer since you don't get up to speed quite as quickly. While the LaCrosse has ride and handling characteristics that reflect its German engineering heritage, no one could reasonably describe the four-cylinder as a sports sedan. Thankfully, the throttle response is smooth and easily modulated – it never feels like the car is about to jump off the line, but neither does it feel like you are waiting for something to happen.