Buick's full-size LaCrosse gives buyers a lot to like in terms of interior appointments and running smoothness. It's conservative by nature, delivering exactly what most buyers want in a premium American sedan.
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2016 Buick LaCrosse Overview
What's New for 2016
The IntelliLink infotainment system gains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Entry-level models now come with a power driver seat. A new Sport Touring edition serves as the mid-range trim. The previously standard eAssist mild hybrid engine has been demoted to a no-cost option.
Choosing Your Buick LaCrosse
Every LaCrosse now comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces a robust 303 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting. All-wheel drive is available in place of the standard front-drive setup. The optional (at no cost) 2.4-liter four-cylinder features eAssist technology, which means a small electric motor provides additional power, but does not operate independently of the gas engine. Peak output is a modest 182 horsepower, but fuel economy is outstanding for this class.
The LaCrosse lineup contains six models:
The eAssist engine (available on Base and Premium I trims only) delivers an excellent 29 mpg in combined driving. However, the performance penalty is significant, and it costs the same as the strong V6, so it's hard to justify in a car of this caliber.
2016 Buick LaCrosse Review
Buick has spent the last decade trying to shed its image as a retiree's brand and reposition itself as a premium automaker. It's finding some success in this quest, and one model that's helping is the 2016 Buick LaCrosse.
Pricing and Equipment
With a starting price of $31,065, the LaCrosse is one of the least pricey sedans in its class. However, once you move into the Premium trims, the price quickly nears and eventually exceeds the $40,000 range. In fact, the Premium I trim with all-wheel drive creeps all the way up to $40,675.
The LaCrosse comes with some great standard features like:
- Buick IntelliLink
- Remote start
- Power front seats
The LaCrosse is a proper grand tourer when equipped with GM’s 3.6-liter V6 and 304 horsepower under the hood. What’s more, optional all-wheel drive makes slippery roads just another stroll down the interstate.
- We like the LaCrosse's smooth power delivery
- Optional all-wheel drive makes it great for snowy climates
- Responsive handling with optional magnetic adjustable suspension
It’s still a Buick, which means it won’t be winning any autocross events any time soon:
- You'll feel a pretty heavy body roll
- The base 2.4-liter eAssist engine runs a bit rough
- Fuel economy from the V6 leaves us wishing for a turbo four-cylinder
When we got into the 2016 Buick LaCrosse, we found its infotainment system is very easy to work. What's more, Buick's "Quiet Tuning" keeps cabin noise to a whisper.
- Plenty of soft-touch materials
- Higher trim levels deliver outstanding luxury
- Large back seat with loads of headroom
We find the base LaCrosse a little bland in terms of equipment and comfort bits. Some of the styling pieces just seem out of place in this car.
- Standard features aren't anything great at this price point
- Plastic panels are too abundant on the base model
- Wood trim seems forced
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The extreme hush of the LaCrosse is a pleasant surprise for us. Sure, serene cabins have been a Buick trademark for years, but we find the LaCrosse to be exceptionally quiet.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
A quick glance at the EPA estimates shows 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with the V6 and front-wheel drive. With the eAssist, things get a little better at 36 mpg highway, but you have to sacrifice a lot of performance to get good fuel economy.
The Bottom Line
For buyers trying to stretch their dollar, the entire Buick lineup is a great alternative to BMW, Mercedes-Benz or even Buick's cousin Cadillac. You lose a little brand cachet, but the LaCrosse delivers good value with its premium experience.