Buick Lacrosse CXS Test Drive

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I think the new Lacrosse looks great.
Sure, it does have a kind of old fashion American car look to it. Unlike the new Taurus, which does look more European to me.
But I do like the Buick design, not trying to be anything it’s not.

Seems like Buick is going after Lexus, more than BMW or Mercedes (which would be a Job for Cadillac).
And the Lacrosse does remind you a bit of the Lexus GS. But with more personality.

The interior of the Lacrosse also looks great.
It has a luxurious and modern feel to it.
Not as modern as the console and dashboard of the new Taurus, but much more luxurious.
The whole interior has a more upscale feel than the Ford.

My test car was pretty much loaded, except for a sunroof.
The seats were very comfortable, but somehow, I couldn’t get the lumbar support to work.

The doors felt much more solid than the ones in the Taurus. It had that super solid sound usually associated with expensive European cars.

The back seat was very roomy. And the fit and finish of everything was great.

The 11 speaker stereo sounded great, of course. But it did have problems recognizing my iPod a couple of times.
It would just disconnect, sometime in the middle of a song.
It could have been a bad wire…

As you can see on the picture above, it does also have the cool blue light on the doors at night.
Something that looks great in the Camaro as well.
A small thing, but It makes the whole interior a little bit more special and interesting in the dark.



The ride is more like a smooth European car. It is always smooth and luxurious, but never too soft.
I would say it is perfect for this kind of car.
Plus, the Lacrosse handles great in curves. Something that was kind of a surprise, considering how smooth the ride is.

It is really a pleasure to drive, even fast.


The steering was very accurate and just firm enough, again, more like a luxurious European car than a Lexus.


The 3.6 V6 used in many other GM cars is always smooth, quiet and powerful.
In the Lacrosse as well. There is always plenty of power all the time.

The car is rated at 17 city and 27 HWY.
I matched the numbers in strictly city driving, but did get almost 32 HWY. Which, I think, is as good as it gets for a powerful V6.


I would not hesitate to recommend the Buick Lacrosse.
Finally, an American car that beats Lexus at its own game.
It is more fun to drive than the Lexus ES, yet rides at least as well and in almost total silence.

It does feel more European than most US cars I have driven. Which is great.

The CSX starts at about $33 000. My car was $36 700. Quite a bit of change.
But it is still almost $4000 less than a similar Lexus ES.

I personally would pick the Buick over the Lexus any day .

Conversation 15 comments

  1. I have to say that I love this car. I'm probably 25 years below the average age of a Buick customer, but I actually see myself in one. A Lexus ES, not a chance. I'd still probably go for an Audi, but at least Buick is in the game now. A couple major problems remain… the use of shiny plastichrome and the use of fake wood. Both deal killers for me. Is it so difficult to use a matte finish for the metallic finishes, and to chop down some real trees for the veneer? Regardless, this is one of the best looking sedans on the market today.

  2. Great review Vince

    I love this car as well as the new Taurus; however I would consider this one a bit more upscale then the Taurus considering it is a Buick…'am I wrong and these are the same category?

  3. I, like most, loved the Buick — the design, the features, everything really. But now I regret ever buying one over an Avalon or even a Taurus. The cluster of buttons is a bit difficult to live with and it is a bit of an ergonomic mess.
    And then there is the problem with materials quality…
    It's too bad… I love the car's exterior design, I really do.

  4. Good review.

    This car looks awesome! I think the Taurus looks good too but I think the LaCrosse looks like a more cohesive and clean design. The Taurus, to me, looks like a mish-mosh of design elements that were kinda thrown together into one car. Not a clean design at all to me. And, imo, the LaCrosse blows away any Lexus. To me, Lexus' are kinda boring in styling (except the IS). I'm sure they're built very well and are very comfortable but they are very…bllaaaaahhhhhhh!

    Vince, how was the trunk space in the LaCrosse. I heard it was a bit on the small side. Is Buick still using those stupid goose neck hinges or did they finally use those folding strut hinges? I heard the Regal has more trunk space.

  5. still too much hard plastic and fake wood on the dash for me, although lightyears better than the old Buicks.

    Consider the Lincoln MKZ- similar price point, but much better interior with REAL wood and aluminum trim.

  6. Well, after 6 months with a Lexus I'm done with Toyota for good! What quality??? Sick of the user-UNfriendly layout, sick going back all the time for recalls, sick of the loose door handle! I drove the Tarus; and intend to look at this Buick & the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid & MXS-V6. Are any of them reliable? Or will they start to be a pain after 6 months like my Lexus?? And what's with the crappy resale value on the Lexus? I thought ALL Japanese cars were supposed to get such great resale value?? Is it true that now Buick & Cadillac are the new leaders for resale value? From what you said about the Buick; $36k seems like a bargin! I'll drive one next week and see if I like it as much as you did.

  7. I like the new Taurus, and I like the LaCrosse too. Both good options. And I'd take either over a Genesis, Lexus ES or any Lexus for that matter. Still, as long as we hear the word "fake" when referring to the various finishes, these cars will never be serious competition against the Germans.

    But I will give Ford and GM credit, these cars are unquestionably better than their immediate competition, I have renewed confidence that the domestics know what they're doing.

  8. The "wood" in a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus that's under 50k is ALSO "Fake". You want REAL GENUINE WOOD on a car under 50k here are your choices: 2010-11 Lincoln MKZ (V6 or Hybrid); 2011Grand Cherokee Overland; 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix; 1966-67 Chrysler New Yorker. And most (not all) Imperials ever built. And some versions of current Cadillacs and Chrysler 300's come with REAL WOOD. This silly debate reminds me of a Consumer Reports article I read years ago complaining of the "cheap fake imitation wood" in a Cadillac they tested. The Cadillac was actually the ONLY one in the comparison that had REAL WOOD. BOTTOM LINE: If it looks good–and in the Buick LaCrosse it definitely does–who cares if its real??? Do people complain that their 40k BMW or Mercedes has "Leatherette" (code for cheap plastic vinyl seats made to LOOK like REAL Leather)??? Not generally. These overpriced Germans still sell just fine with fake wood & fake Leather. So quit pretending that you can tell when the wood in your Buick, Cad, Merc, BMW or Chrysler; is "REAL" or "Fake". Stick with the truth–some facades you like and some you don't. Period. Don't be the fool who trys to substantiate pure irrational opinion with "politically-correct" but technically invalid; prejudices & assumptions.

  9. Vince, did you find the interior of the car a little claustrophobic seeing the car is pretty big on the outside? I sat in one at the auto show and found the interior to be nice but a little cramped.

  10. "If it looks good–and in the Buick LaCrosse it definitely does–who cares if its real??? Do people complain that their 40k BMW or Mercedes has "Leatherette" (code for cheap plastic vinyl seats made to LOOK like REAL Leather)???"

    To answer your question, I do and yes. BMW and MB are on a different level than Buick. Once Buick is competitive with these brands, then maybe they can offer "leatherette." But I wouldn't recommend that they ever do. For people under 50 to ever consider a Buick, they need to be better than the competition. Not just on par.

  11. The Buick Lacrosse wood looks very fake, as fake as the fake wood in the Ford Flex.

    The wood in Infinity cars looks particularly exceptional, followed by Lincoln.

  12. I give Lexus credit. If it wasnt for Lexus bringing out decent competition in the first place, Ford and GM products would have still been 1980s based in design. (including running gear).

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