- Competes with: Acura TSX, Lincoln MKZ, Lexus ES
- Looks like: Buick might have hope yet
- Drivetrain: 255-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 or 280-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 with six-speed transmission; front or all-wheel drive
- Hits dealerships: Late summer 2009
Buick is hoping its complete redesign of the LaCrosse sedan will be as successful at bringing in new buyers as its Enclave crossover was last year. After perusing the specs and these eye-catching pics, we’d have to say it’s got a shot, especially compared to the model’s sedate predecessor.
The new LaCrosse may look more compact than the 2009, but it’s only 1.1 inches shorter. It’s nearly 500 pounds heavier, however, and that’s without the optional all-wheel drive. Not to worry: The 2010 offers a pair of more powerful direct-injected V-6s that should return mileage similar to the outgoing model’s 17/28 mpg. Both are based on Cadillac’s new V-6.
In the base LaCrosse CX and midlevel CXL, drivers get the 255-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 that was introduced in the 2010 SRX a few days ago. The old LaCrosse had 200 hp. The CXL will also have optional all-wheel drive. The top-of-the-line CXS will have the same 3.6-liter V-6 as Cadillac’s CTS, but with less horsepower, at 280. Both engines are teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. Mileage numbers have not been released, but we’d expect the CXS to do slightly better than the CTS’ 17/26 mpg.
The LaCrosse is based on GM’s new global midsize sedans, but is slightly larger. GM has not revealed interior specifications, so we don’t how headroom, legroom and the size of the trunk measure up. Because it’s based on the global sedans, we expect/hope that the new LaCrosse will handle better than the old one; perhaps the characteristic floaty driving feel of big Buicks is at an end. The company promises “quiet tuning” to keep the cabin isolated from road and wind noise.
Oh, and did we mention the gadgets? Standard features weren’t broken down, but offered in the car will be navigation, Bluetooth, a USB port, a backseat DVD system with dual screens, and more. Buyers will be lucky if the USB input comes standard. And yes, it has a Heads Up Display too.
Pricing for the 2009 LaCrosse starts at $25,640, and we’d hope the 2010 stays near that mark. Because of the advanced engines, though, it’s more likely to start around the $28,000 range to be competitive with the Acura TSX, which starts at $29,000. More photos below.