BUICK’S NEW BALLGAME
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, Mar 14, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
By Reed “The Traffic Guy” Berry Close your eyes and think about Buick automobiles. Now, forget everything you’re thinking, open your eyes and take a look at Buick for the next generation. Sleek, sporty curves, impressive performance and high-tech gadgetry have been thrown in the automotive blender and out comes the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS. Designed, according to General Motors, to be America’s Lexus-fighter, the new LaCrosse certainly commands attention. It is definitely not the Buick your father (or grandfather) once drove to lodge meetings and doctor appointments. This car is practical enough for a family trip, yet stylish and elegant enough to drive up to the valet stand at the Four Seasons. Interestingly, in Canada LaCrosse is known as the Allure. The car was given a different name because, in Quebecois slang, la crosse translates to ‘self love’ (yes, masturbation.) Now, GM has taken the situation firmly in hand as they have decided that, from the 2010 model year forward, the vehicle will be known as LaCrosse in Canada, as well.
The exterior of LaCrosse has a bold, contemporary look. The classic Buick logo is centered in an attractive waterfall grill. A wrap-around lighting cluster further enhances the car’s appearance. Walk around back, and the crisp, chiseled body design is accented by chromed dual exhaust. This is not some generic GM design with a slight facelift – this is a striking new body style exclusive to Buick. A bit futuristic in appearance, the interior was clearly designed with comfort and functionality in mind. The instrument panel flows smoothly into a center console that appears to wrap around me. Controls are within easy reach on the console and, as with many new vehicles, some of the more frequently used controls (audio controls, ability to answer or end Bluetooth phone calls) are conveniently located on the steering wheel. The interior of LaCrosse blends sportiness with luxury. The leather steering wheel has an attractive woodgrain trim, as does the instrument panel. Perforated leather seats are adjustable in eight ways for both driver and front passenger. Dual zone climate control should keep everyone happy and on colder days, the steering wheel and front seating is heated for comfort. Ice blue ambient lighting throughout the cabin not only looks great, but seems to have a soothing effect, as well.
LaCrosse CXS is powered by a 3.6-liter, V6 paired with an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission. Impressive performance to say the least - it feels almost as though I’m driving a V8. There’s plenty of power when needed, and certainly no hesitation when necessary to pass a slower moving driver talking on his cell phone. The transmission can be shifted manually, but unlike some vehicles in which I find myself wanting to shift on my terms, the efficiency of the automatic transmission in this vehicle certainly satisfies. The car handles quite well overall, although from time to time the nimble, sporty feel is replaced a definite reminder that I am driving a large sedan. The LaCrosse CXS has four-wheel independent suspension and front MacPherson struts. The vehicle corners confidently and provides a good feel of the road. For safety, antilock brakes are standard. If you’re in need of some entertainment, LaCrosse will not disappoint. Sure, you have your basic AM/FM radio bands plus a CD player, but that’s so yesterday. Enjoy XM Satellite Radio free for 90 days (you’ll have to subscribe after that) or plug your iPod into the audio jack or USB port, both hidden in the center console storage. Whatever you decide to listen to, it will sound amazing through a 384-watt Harman/Kardon sound system with 11 speakers.
You may assume a high-quality sound system would be a pricey add-on, but it’s standard on LaCrosse CXS.In fact, one of the things that impresses me about this particular model is the long list of standard features, ranging from big 18-inch chrome plated wheels and keyless start to a handy power rear sunshade. The only item specified as an option on my well equipped test vehicle is a nominal $195 for a special paint color. If you really want to pimp your new ride, take advantage of some of the available options such as a power oversized sunroof, or consider the Touring Package which includes 19-inch 9-spoke painted machined alloy wheels and sport mode selectivity. Another available package includes a cool heads-up display that projects your speed on the windshield in front of you so you don’t have to glance down at the instrument panel. If fuel efficiency is your primary concern, this may not be the vehicle for you. Fuel economy estimates of 17 in the city and 27 on the highway are less than impressive in my opinion, but the CXS is what it is – a large, fairly heavy sedan loaded with comfort and performance features. While the 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS may be a bit too big to appeal to those in search of a smaller, more practical sport sedan, GM appears to be on the right track with a great looking, feature-packed vehicle that will undoubtedly attract families and young professionals to the Buick brand.
For information on Buick automobiles: buick.com SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS Price: $33,015 ($33,210, as tested) EPA Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Highway): 17 / 27 Engine type: 3.6-liter V6 VVT direct injection Horsepower: 280 @ 6,300 rpm Torque (pound-feet): 259 @ 4,800 rpm Transmission type: 6-speed Hydra-Matic 6T40 electronically controlled with overdrive Steering: Magnetic variable effort rack-and-pinion power steering Suspension: Four-wheel independent suspension Front: MacPherson strut Rear: H-arm Brakes: Four-wheel disc with intelligent assist, ABS Wheels: 18” chrome-plated wheels Wheelbase: 111.7 inches Overall length: 197 inches Overall width: 73.1 inches Overall height: 59.2 inches Curb weight: 4,045 pounds