Redesigned for the 2017 model year with a new platform and V6 engine, Buick’s biggest sedan has lost some 300 pounds. Built on a wheelbase 2.7 inches longer than before, LaCrosse has grown only slightly in other dimensions, but gained substantially in refinement. The eAssist mild hybrid version is gone.

Pricing and Equipment

Starting at $32,990 (destination charge included), LaCrosse comes in four trim levels: base, Preferred, Essence, and Premium. GM’s latest 3.6-liter V6 engine develops 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque (a mild increase), coupled with a new eight-speed automatic transmission and an electronic shifter (there's no mechanical connection between the shifter and transmission). Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive available – but only for the top Premium edition.

The base LaCrosse includes:

  • HID headlights
  • LED taillights
  • Power front seats
  • Eight-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • A rearview camera
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wireless phone charging capability
  • 18-inch alloy wheels

Performance Pros

Buick LaCrosse
  • Significantly nimbler than its predecessor, courtesy of an improved chassis with a stiffer structure. Light but accurate steering helps keep this Buick nicely poised.
  • Luxury-level ride comfort, balanced with good handling, makes LaCrosse surprisingly refined for a big sedan. A new rear suspension helps improve the ride on harsh pavement, boosting driver confidence.
  • Strong V6 engine provides lusty acceleration. In addition, the gas pedal is particularly easy to modulate.
  • Standard start/stop feature cuts the engine silently at stoplights.

Performance Cons

  • Ride quality diminishes a bit with the 20-inch wheels standard on Essence and Premium models.
  • Electronic gearshift lever feels a bit cantankerous at first, but most drivers should get used to it quickly enough.

Interior Pros

  • Spacious, pleasant cabin features comfortable front seats.
  • LaCrosse is even quieter than in the past, courtesy of an acoustic-laminated windshield and front windows, triple door seals, and active noise cancellation.
  • Even the base model is nicely equipped, including attractive leatherette trim on seats, console, doors, and dashboard. Leather is standard in upper trim levels.

Interior Cons

  • The LaCrosse's cabin isn’t quite as spacious as its exterior size might indicate. Two adults should be comfortable enough in the back seat, but not three.
  • With the available panoramic moonroof, headroom might be limited for taller front occupants.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

An eight-inch touchscreen in the dashboard center is coated with a new film to minimize the lasting impact of fingerprints. This seems like a small matter compared to LaCrosse’s excellent ride/handling balance, but little issues can annoy.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Some folks doubtless like them, but simulated portholes in front fenders seem like a relic of the distant past. On another level, safety features such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are available, but only for the top trim level. Essence models can get blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, but only as part of an optional Driver Confidence Package.

The Bottom Line

Buick’s base model stands out for value, while the top-end Premium trim could qualify as a budget-priced luxury sedan. Handsome and sleek in its latest form, the LaCrosse fits neatly between mainstream sedans and posh models.