Title:2017 Buick LaCrosse Full-Size Luxury Sedan - OVERVIEW
Published:23 november 2016
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General Motors claims to have put the LaCrosse through the same type of weight-loss regimen as the Cadillac CTS and the Chevrolet Camaro, 10Best Cars awardees that are spectacular to drive. Another new GM product that recently lost a lot of weight is the new Chevy Malibu; the LaCrosse uses a longer-wheelbase version of the Malibu’s Epsilon II platform. The engineering team claims that this LaCrosse is nearly 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing car; fully half of that weight drop comes from a lighter steel structure.

Just as encouragingly, the LaCrosse uses GM’s new 3649-cc V-6, which also appears in the CTS and the Camaro, among other applications. For LaCrosse duty, the engine will produce about 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque (final numbers aren’t yet blessed by the SAE). That’s just barely more than what the old 3.6-liter V-6 in the previous LaCrosse mustered, but this V-6 will have less weight to contend with. It also pairs with a new eight-speed automatic (controlled by a funky new by-wire setup called Electronic Precision Shift) and comes standard with auto stop-start. All of that should aid the cause of fuel economy, although EPA figures are not yet available.

Buick probably could’ve gotten away with a more half-hearted redesign. Despite receiving few significant updates, the LaCrosse has moved 600,000 copies in the U.S. over the past decade—and more than 900,000 worldwide since 2009 (thanks, China!). So for the LaCrosse’s 2017 redo, Buick decided to keep the exterior recognizable as both a Buick and a LaCrosse, even though the model is all-new. Behold the new face of Buick, heavily influenced by the widely admired Avenir concept. The conservatively attractive 2017 LaCrosse, although certainly not the looker that the Avenir is, signifies a nice, if subtle, shift in the brand’s design direction. The grille has less chrome than current Buicks, but fans of shiny objects needn’t worry because there are still plenty of mirrorlike surfaces dressing up this car’s exterior. The tri-shield badges on the grille and the decklid have been colorized with the red, white, and blue shading of yore. Fortunately, Buick has downplayed some of its more questionable trademark styling cues: the fender VentiPorts are much less prominent, while the body-side sweep-spear is more cohesive.

Buick engineers acknowledge that their “customers are biased toward ride quality,” but they’ve made efforts to produce a car that has decent handling characteristics, too. To that end, the front-wheel-drive LaCrosse with 20-inch wheels (18s are standard) has GM’s HiPer Strut front suspension with Continuous Damping Control that can adjust the dampers every two milliseconds. All-wheel-drive models don’t get the HiPer Strut setup or the big wheels, but they do get the same twin-clutch AWD system that’s installed in the supersporty Ford Focus RS. Obviously the Buick won’t be tuned to behave like that rally rocket, but it should be quite capable in nasty weather. (Other vehicles that use the same GKN-supplied AWD hardware, which Yanssens describes as “anticipatory not reactionary,” include the Range Rover Evoque, the Lincoln MKZ, and the Cadillac XT5.)

High technology appears in other places, as well. The new LaCrosse will be available with all the au courant driver-assistance features, such as automatic park assist (for parallel and perpendicular spots), adaptive cruise control, forward-collision alert with pedestrian detection, as well as lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. In addition to 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability, Buick’s IntelliLink system will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-mirroring.

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