New Lacrosse Keeps Buick on the Path to Relevance

Posted by: Matt Iasenzaniro onNovember 20th, 2015


Buick’s presentation was basically buddy reading off a bloody spec sheet.

Yes, I remember the Avenir concept. No, I don’t think the new LaCrosse looks like it.
Yes, I like the tri-colour logo. No, I don’t think you should call it “new”.
Yes, I appreciate you telling me about the all-new chassis with five-link rear suspension. No, I don’t think you should have ended the press release there.

Anyway, once the presentation was done I went back and wrote “This is what Lincoln should be doing”, and by that I mean that they’re copying Cadillac. Or maybe going for a slightly more usable, less performance-oriented Cadillac. Which is still way better than whatever Lincoln is thinking. Seriously though. They took a good car in the LaCrosse and made literally everything better.

The new LaCrosse is lower, wider, stiffer, and 300lb lighter than the outgoing model. It’s got available active suspension, active grill shutters and, notably, dual-clutch AWD providing legitimate torque vectoring, which is something rarely seen in luxury sedans. In terms of performance, the new LaCrosse is leagues ahead of the old one. In fact the only problem with it is the lack of a more powerful engine. It looks like the LaCrosse is stuck with the 305 hp V6, and although it’s paired with a nice 8 speed automatic, it seems like this car is begging for the extra 100 hp of the turbo variant that their sister Cadillacs get.

Almost as dramatic as the performance improvements are the new looks. Buick made a big deal of bringing back the tri-colour logo, but the rest of the design is what deserves the attention. The new front end is a nice blend of Mercedes and Chrysler. That maybe doesn’t sound like a compliment, but it works. The rear looks modern and the wheel suit the car. I’m not big on the silhouette but, like the rest of the car, it’s a big step forward. Of course the interior is well appointed. It’s plush and soft but without making you feel old. Wireless charging, lumbar massage, collision avoidance, park assist, and CarPlay/Android Auto are just some of the cool tech that the new model receives. It’s still what you’d expect from a Buick, so there’s not much to say.

Honestly, if you’re looking at a mid-size sedan these days, you’re spoiled for choice. Is this going to compete with a C-class for luxury, or a 3-series for sportiness? No, definitely not, but it can definitely hold its own against Lexus, Lincoln and even Audi right now.

When he’s not busy writing about cars or travelling the auto show circuit, he’s reviewing apps and video games related to the automotive world. In his spare time, Matt is a motorcycle enthusiast, trying not to kill himself riding along with the crazy local drivers. He is also a weekly contributor in the Motor Mondays segment on News Talk 770.

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