2015 Buick LaCrosse

Starting MSRP: $33,635 - $38,025

Estimated MPG: 25 city / 36 hwy

2015 Buick LaCrosse Review

Buick calls its LaCrosse a midsize sedan, but it is nearly as large as some full-size models. The LaCrosse is Buick’s flagship vehicle, a premium front-wheel drive sedan with available all-wheel drive. This sedan just may be the ideal steppingstone between ordinary and luxury models.

By Matt Keegan
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The LaCrosse represents the current face for the Buick brand, replacing previous Lucerne and Century sedans with a contemporary and stylish look. The current version is its most beautiful one yet, powered by a standard V-6 engine or an available part-time hybrid system with a fuel efficient four-cylinder engine.

Exterior

Exterior
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Buick’s instantly recognizable waterfall grille marks this handsome sedan. The brand’s tri-shield logo sits in the middle of the grille and serves as a reminder of Buick’s heritage, a company founded in 1903. Each LaCrosse is outfitted with LED headlamps housed within an assembly that also includes the brand’s signature LED daytime running lights. Bi-Xenon headlamps, with an articulating feature, are also available.

The Buick LaCrosse presents an imposing look with its sweeping body lines, elegant shoulders and chrome wheels. 

To the rear, this model has LED tail lamps, an integrated rear spoiler, a full-length chrome accent and dual chrome exhaust finishers.

Interior

Interior
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Inside, the Buick LaCrosse offers a roomy cabin, with seating for five. It is an upscale interior with soft touch materials, available leather seating, bright work accents and available wood trim. The instrument panel is elegant, with wood trim separating

Driver controls are easy to access and are found on the center console, on either side of the steering wheel and on the steering wheel itself. Buick provides a large, colorful display that enables access to Buick Intellilink, its infotainment system.

That system can be controlled by switches and knobs, touchscreen or by voice command. Additional switches below the display operate climate control, seat heating and cooling. A 12-volt outlet, a USB port and an auxiliary input jack are located at the base of the console in front of the transmission shifter and two cup holders. A deep, tiered storage compartment serves as an arm rest when closed.

The front bucket seats are plush, comfortable and supportive. New for 2015 are four-way adjustable headrests up front, especially beneficial for taller drivers. The steering wheel comes wrapped in leather and provides a heating element in select models.

The rear seat is comfortable and provides very good room for three passengers. Alternatively, you can fold down the center arm rest to gain access to a pair of cup holders and an eyeglass holder. The rear doors offer very small storage compartments, but were not designed to hold drinks.

Every 2015 Buick LaCrosse comes equipped with keyless entry, remote start, power heated side mirrors, an electronic parking brake, an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support and a rear view camera. You can also choose push button start, a power adjustable front passenger seat, a 120-volt outlet, heated and ventilated front seats, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, a power sunshade and a moonroof.

Performance

Performance
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The 2015 Buick LaCrosse offers buyers two engine choices: a 3.6-liter V-6 engine making 304 horsepower and 264 foot-pounds of torque or a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 182 horsepower and 172 foot-pounds of torque. Both engines are paired with a

The smaller engine is part of a “mild hybrid” system, known as eAssist. This system replaces the alternator with an electric generator. It also includes a small lithium-ion battery pack located behind the rear seat. Braking power feeds the battery. In turn, the battery sends power to the generator to provide electric power under certain driving conditions.

There is a big difference in power ratings between the two powertrain sources. The V-6 is wholly suited for the sedan, delivering very good power off the line and sufficient boost on the open road. With the smaller engine you trade power for fuel economy, but you also give up precious cargo space inside the trunk.

The Buick LaCrosse with the V-6 engine is rated 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for front-wheel drive and 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway for all-wheel drive. The smaller engine is sold in front-wheel drive only and is rated at 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Both models take regular grade gasoline.

For best handling, choose the all-wheel drive LaCrosse for superior control. It provides the best handling, especially noticeable on twisty mountain roads.

 

Technology

Technology
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Beyond the available Buick Intellink infotainment system that is fairly easy to use this sedan comes with an OnStar subscription, what provides emergency assistance and roadside assistance as needed. OnStar has been used in GM vehicles for nearly 20 years

New for 2015 is a 4G LTE system with built-in Wi-Fi, creating a rolling Internet hotspot for the LaCrosse. It is one of the first systems of its kind deployed by an automaker. The system allows multiple users to access the Internet at once with their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

The Buick LaCrosse also makes use of Quiet Tuning engineering to provide a very quiet interior. Buick places acoustical laminate on the windshield and the front side glass, expands the roof pillar baffles and uses sound-deadening materials in the lower body and sound-absorbing materials in the passenger, engine and cargo compartments. 

Safety

Safety
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In two different safety tests conducted for the 2014 Buick LaCrosse, this model received high marks.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the LaCrosse its highest score of “good” in four categories: moderate overlap front, side impact, roof strength and head restraints & seats. The Institute also lauded LaCrosse models with the available forward collision warning system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also tested the LaCrosse and assigned it a 5-Star rating, its highest possible grade.

Buick equips the LaCrosse with anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, as well as front, front side and side curtain airbags. The forward collision warning system is available as part of an optional diver confidence package.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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Buick prices the base model from $33,635 and it comes with the smaller engine. However, Buick allows buyers to choose the larger engine for a no extra cost upgrade.

Instead of trim levels, every 2015 Buick LaCrosse offers equipment packages. Its Premium I FWD model is priced from $37,810, a Leather AWD package comes in at $38,515, a Premium II FWD model retails from $39,755 and its Premium I AWD model costs from $40,285.

A Driver Confidence Package #1 adds $2,125 to the sticker price and brings in various safety features including forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a head-up display. For another $1,245 customers can choose a Driver Confidence Package #2, what brings in adaptive cruise control, front automatic braking and a safety alert seat. A $2,495 Ultra Luxury Package enhances the interior with real wood trim and upgraded leather seating.

Overall

Overall
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There is hardly any reason to consider the hybrid LaCrosse unless fuel economy is the most important attribute you seek. The V-6 delivers generous amounts of power, befitting a car of its size. Fully optioned, a Buick LaCrosse will cost about $45,000. If you prefer front-wheel drive and a more modest equipment level, you can buy a LaCrosse for under $40,000 or about what a Lexus ES 350 will cost you.