MPG-o-Matic Buick LaCrosse Review Summary:
The 2010 Buick LaCrosse seeks to shake up the four-door sedan market as it goes head-to-head with competition ranging from the Lexus ES350 and Acura TL, through the Lincoln MKZ and Chrysler 300C. Luxury, comfort, and convenience abound in a sedan that’s bound to stretch buyers’ expectations.
The 2010 Buick LaCrosse is available in both front-wheel (FWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations. We tested a mid-level AWD LaCrosse CXL, equipped with the 3.0-liter V6 engine. Although there are three model-specific engines, a six-speed automatic transmission is used exclusively. AWD is only available in the CXL.
The base LaCrosse CX is fitted with a 2.4-liter inline four, while the top-of-the-line CXS is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6.
The LaCrosse CXL’s 3.0-liter V6 delivers 252 horsepower (HP) and 215 foot pounds of torque in AWD trim, while the FWD model produces 255 HP and 217 foot pounds of torque.
The LaCrosse CX’s four cylinder engine produces 182 HP and 172 foot pounds of torque, and the CXS’s 3.6-liter V6 puts out 280 HP and 259 foot pounds of torque.
The EPA’s fuel economy estimates for the 3.0-liter AWD Buick LaCrosse CXL are 16 city / 25 highway miles per gallon (MPG). The FWD CXL is rated at 17 city / 26 highway.
The 2.4-liter CX is rated at 20 city / 30 highway, while the CXS’s 3.6-liter V6 is rated at 17 city / 27 highway (slightly higher than the smaller V6).
We rolled up over 500 miles on the odometer of our Red Jewel Tintcoat AWD LaCrosse CXL review unit and our results fell in line with the official mileage estimates with an average of 27.9 MPG on the Interstate highway and 20.1 MPG combined.
Overall test period temperatures ranged from thirty degrees through the sixties. Interstate highway testing temperatures were in the high thirty degree range. Climate control and seat heaters were used extensively throughout the testing period. The test vehicle was delivered with just under 3000 miles on the odometer.
Interstate Mileage Testing:
Cruise control set to 68 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 27.8 MPG
Cruise control off, target speed 60-72 MPH, A/C off, windows up: 28.1 MPG
The AWD LaCrosse CXL’s 3.0-liter V6 delivers adequate performance off the line.
While the Driver’s Information Center provides two trip meters, a fuel remaining display, and an average fuel economy display, it does not provide instantaneous fuel economy data.
An informed driver can actively increase gas mileage through conscientious effort. The LaCrosse would benefit from a real time MPG display in next year’s model.
The LaCrosse is equipped with an 18.4 gallon gas tank and is designed to run on regular unleaded fuel.
Buick is targeting a host of worthy competitors with the 2010 LaCrosse, in the hope of wooing customers away from imported competition like the Acura TL and Lexus ES350, as well as the domestic Lincoln MKZ and Chrysler 300C.
Quiet and comfort take center stage. This is one plush cruiser.
The LaCrosse’s interior might just be the nicest to ever grace a Buick sedan and it’s certainly the most feature-packed.
Leather appointed seats with heated front buckets and an 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support are standard in the LaCrosse CXL.
Our test unit was fitted with the luxury package, which includes a leather and wood heated steering wheel and perforated leather seats with ventilation (one of our favorite features), a power rear sunshade, E-Zkey passive entry, and keyless start.
While rearward visibility can be tough on base models, those worries are vanquished when the LaCrosse is properly equipped.
The optional Audio System with Navigation includes a handy Audi-like rear camera display that activates when the transmission is shifted into reverse. Our test unit was also equipped with the Comfort & Convenience Package #2, which includes ultrasonic rear parking assist, and auto dimming mirrors, along with memory seats and mirrors.
The optional Harmon/Kardon audio system earns high marks. Gramp’s Buick never rocked like this.
The optional eleven-speaker XM Satellite-equipped 384-watt system includes both auxiliary and USB inputs. iPod support provides access to playlists from the dash and steering wheel controls. Bluetooth is standard and a year of On-Star service is included, along with 90 days of XM Satellite radio.
A 40 gigabyte hard drive (HDD) is included with the Navigation system, giving LaCrosse owners the ability to rip and store music on the fly. Localized weather reports are provided, as well.
The LaCrosse has power outlets inside the center console and at the back of the console, where you’ll also find a 110 volt outlet.
The rear seat will please passengers with plenty of rear seat leg (40.5 inches) and headroom (37.3 inches). There’s 13.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the CXL’s trunk.
Folding the 60/40 split rear seat forward provides additional room for hauling over-sized cargo. The center pass-through can accommodate skis, but not snowboards.
All-in-all, the slickly designed five-passenger 2010 Buick LaCrosse moves the bar for the classic brand. Shave the emblems and folks will be hard pressed to know you’re driving a Buick.
CX – 3948 pounds
CXL – 4018 pounds (FWD) / 4199 pounds (AWD)
CXS – 4065 pounds
– by Daniel Gray
December 16th, 2009
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