2017 Buick LaCrosse Review

Starting MSRP: $$32,065 - $43,265

Estimated MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy

2017 Buick LaCrosse Overview

With elegant styling, a luxurious interior and capable performance, the redesigned 2017 Buick LaCrosse redefines expectations for the long-running premium General Motors brand. The 2017 LaCrosse pampers occupants in a spacious, well-appointed interior while delivering inspiring acceleration and noteworthy fuel economy.

By Chris Brewer
Last Updated 06/05/2017

The 2017 Buick LaCrosse is a five-passenger full-size sedan available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Powered by a fuel-efficient 3.6-liter V6 engine with start/stop technology and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the LaCrosse is an excellent choice for owners desiring an all-weather-friendly family sedan with attractive styling and excellent utility.

The 2017 Buick LaCrosse is available in four trim levels: base, Preferred, Essence and Premium.

Exterior

Exterior
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The new LaCrosse boasts an exterior that is both modern and classic. In many ways, it's a culmination of the last decade or so of Buick’s best designs.

The front fascia is a blend of elegant lines and aerodynamic design. An oversized Buick emblem sets off the winged grille, flanked on either side by standard HID headlamps with LED accents. The upscale sedan rides on standard 18-inch alloy wheels, and all models feature body-colored side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Standard LED accent lights provide a touch of technology to balance the classic lines of the rear bumper area.

Options include a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and custom-molded splash guards.

Interior

Interior
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The new LaCrosse’s luxury persona is reflected in its cabin. Soft-touch surfaces abound, and the standard leatherette seating is comfortable and attractive. Both of the front seats are eight-way power adjustable, and finding a comfortable driving position is simple. The rear seats are equally comfortable and provide ample legroom.

The LaCrosse’s center console uses a raised, floating-style platform. The storage area under the center console is perfect for smartphones and stashing your wallet. The large windshield and windows provide excellent visibility.

The LaCrosse's shifter requires the driver to push the mechanism up and over to the left for reverse. While not a major problem, the movement is somewhat clunky and takes a little while to get used to. There was more than one occasion in which we thought we had selected Reverse only to realize we were still in Park, Neutral, or worse, Drive.

The LaCrosse has a nicely shaped trunk that allows for easy loading and unloading. The 15 cubic feet of rear cargo space can be expanded by folding the standard 60/40-split rear seatbacks. This enhances the sedan’s utility, allowing longer items to be easily stored.

Options include a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats with a massage feature.

Buick’s full-size sedan is a perfect vacation-mobile for families, with a spacious cargo area and generous cabin space that includes ample rear legroom.

Performance

Performance
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The 2017 LaCrosse is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine providing 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. Buick’s power plant uses start/stop technology to help optimize fuel economy.

The front-wheel-drive LaCrosse uses an eight-speed automatic transmission. Gear changes are instantaneous and inspiring. All-wheel-drive is available as an option in the top-trim LaCrosse Premium.

The LaCrosse provides a smooth, compliant ride. Thanks to the McPherson front suspension and rear five-link setup, the LaCrosse is forgiving on rough roads and sporty enough to provide a little excitement when you want it. The standard electronic variable-effort steering means that less effort is required to move the wheel at lower speeds. At higher speeds, the system adds steering effort to enhance the LaCrosse’s driving dynamics.

Premium models with all-wheel drive use an active twin clutch system that continually monitors all four wheels and makes adjustments for optimal performance and traction. The all-wheel drive system alleviates some of the torque steer that is felt in the front-wheel drive model under heavy acceleration.

Fuel economy is excellent. Front-wheel drive models achieve 21/31 mpg city/highway, and all-wheel drive models are rated at 20/29 mpg.

Technology

Technology
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The 2017 LaCrosse includes a high level of standard technology. The standard Buick IntelliLink infotainment system features a high-quality 8-inch color touch-screen display. All models come with USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is included. Moving up to the Preferred trim adds satellite radio. The Essence model has a built-in wireless charging station, and Premium models get a head-up display. Options include a premium Bose sound system and a navigation system.

The standard audio system sounds excellent, and the eight strategically placed speakers envelop the driver and passengers with crisp audio. The system also incorporates active noise cancellation that helps keep the cabin quiet.

GM’s OnStar telematics system with a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot is also included. This system is among the best in the business. It’s easy to use and download/upload speeds are fantastic. Those who haven’t experienced the in-car Wi-Fi may question its relevance in a smartphone-dominated world, but the ability to connect multiple devices help this feature to truly shine.

The LaCrosse also allows the driver to personalize various features. Its adjustable parameters include automatic door lock settings, perimeter lighting preferences and audio system settings.

Safety

Safety
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The 2017 Buick LaCrosse includes 10 air bags, antilock brakes, stability control, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines as standard equipment.

All models come with the OnStar telematics system, which provides features such as automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance. There's also a standard Teen Driver feature, which helps parents encourage safe driving habits by sending them “report card.” It also issues warnings when teen drivers exceed certain speeds.

Optional driver-assistance equipment includes forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The 2017 Buick LaCrosse starts at $32,990, including a $925 destination charge. The base model arrives with the 3.6-liter V6, 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera and a feature-rich infotainment system.

The top-trim LaCrosse Premium with all-wheel drive model starts at $44,190 including destination. This model includes a high level of standard features, but it does not include a premium audio system or navigation. Adding said features and niceties like the panoramic sunroof and adaptive cruise control pushes the price tag up to $48,575.

We're completely sold on the base LaCrosse with the eight-inch infotainment system, leatherette seating and front-wheel drive. Priced right around $33,000, this trim represents excellent value as a powerful full-size sedan that is comfortable and fun to drive. We're less excited about the costlier top-trim models, especially considering they don’t arrive with navigation.

Overall

Overall
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The Buick LaCrosse melds handsome sheet metal with an engaging driving experience. The powerful V6 yields good acceleration, making the LaCrosse a competent achiever on the road. While we found top-trim models a little pricey, the base and Essence trims represent excellent value for buyers who want an affordably priced, full-size luxury car that also provides excellent fuel economy.