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2010 Buick LaCrosse

Jeff Glucker May 26, 2010 Buick Reviews, Road Test Reviews 17 Comments

The 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS is one good looking luxury sedan.

It represents the mid-way point for the brands Benjamin Button-esque transformation from “vehicles fit for my grandmothers driveay” to “vehicles I would happily take on a Vegas road trip”. The first stage in this process was the Buick Enclave and the last stage will be the Regal, but for now we’ll focus on the LaCrosse.

The 2010 Buick LaCrosse has been redesigned inside and out and it looks excellent. The soft sculpted exterior lines represent the perfect yin to the much more aggressive yang of the Cadillac CTS. The lines on the shoulder, coming off the hood, move stylishly rearward with a soft dip placed in the aft doors. From grille to tail, the LaCrosse flows elegantly with the very minor exception of the chrome tail light trim. Someone got a little shine-happy in that area, but it doesn’t serve to destroy the overall wonderful appeal found outside the LaCrosse.

The interior of the 2010 Buick LaCrosse provides the right blend of comfort and modern technology. The perforated leather seats are heated and ventilated up front, which works in concert with the dual-zone climate control system. I prefer my side set to permafrost while my wife is able to enjoy the tropics from shotgun.

When my wife was out of the car, I could turn my attention away from the comfort and back toward the tech. The LaCrosse features an 11-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system which was loud and crisp. I think people were genuinely surprised to hear a mix of Death Metal and Hip-Hop coming from a new Buick. I think they should get used to it though because the demographic stereotype is dropping like a Wall Street trader accidentally hitting B instead of the M key. The B isn’t for Billion in this case…it’s for Buick.

Since this is the CXS version of the LaCrosse, we have a 3.6L direct-injection V6 engine under the hood which produces 280 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a smooth six-speed transmission, the LaCrosse can get up and go with ease. If you can keep your foot out of the throttle, the LaCrosse is rated at nearly 30 mpg on the highway….this is Hooniverse.com though, so I couldn’t. I averaged about 18 mph in mixed city/highway driving but it was much more “city” (or town, since Southern California doesn’t have many real cities) which is in line with the 17 mpg city rating.

The LaCrosse CXS weighs in at 4065 lbs, so this is no luxury sports sedan. It is a wonderful cruiser though with a comfortable place to sit for driver and passengers alike. It is full of all the tech goodies you would expect in a modern luxury sedan, and it is wrapped in a very attractive package inside and out.

With every car or truck that arrives in my driveway, I play a quick game with my wife. I ask her “how much?” and she is usually close, which is surprising for someone who cares more about reality TV than MSRP. When the 2010 Buick LaCrosee showed up, we again played the game and she said $42,000. I thought this was an excellent guess until I saw the monroney. The Buick LaCrosse CXS starts at $33,015 and the one you see here runs just shy of $37,000. The CXS is the top-tier trim for the LaCrosse and I was honestly surprised that you could get this much car for under $40,000. It looks and feels like it should cost closer to $45,000. The Buick model lineup has become an enticing place for new car shoppers, young and old, to find their next vehicle (just ignore that Lucerne in the corner for now). I enjoyed the Enclave and I think the LaCrosse is a great car…I now have high expectations for the Regal to kick my ass with awesome. Benjamin Buick is getting better with each new/refreshed model and it is great to see them return to glory.

  • I was in Birmingham, MI two weeks ago at an Art Fair (the wife is an artist) and Buick had a display set up directly behind my wife's. I spent some time chatting with the booth professionals and reviewing the cars. The LaCrosse is an excellent car, but a bit large for my tastes. I absolutely fell in love with the new Regal. That is one sexy sedan. I wholeheartedly agree with your conclusion Jeff.

  • Josh

    I asked my grandmother the other day when I was visiting when this car came on a comercial "mammaw what you think about the new buicks?" she replied "I think they are ugly and they ruined em". She has never owned another car other than a buick her entire life. She currently owns a 03 Century with 3500 miles on it. Mission Accomplished I would say buick.

  • I demand a LaCrosse/scooter/moped/biped/whatev comparo! Now Jeff! I need to be an informed consumer!

    • Actually… I AM going to write about the Golf Carts, plus the random cars I saw on the island.

  • It's a very nice car but these 4000lb FWD sedans are freaking me out. Weird how humankind and their manufactured goods emulate the universe and continue expanding at an incredible rate of speed.

    • Good point of course, the LaCrosse has gained 500 lbs in 5 years.

      So has everything else though, and engine power has thankfully continued to climb while at the same time becoming more efficient (thank you direct-injection)

  • Hey, I kinda like the Lucerne. It's like a Deville without that troublesome Northstar engine.

    • B72

      Sorry about the Trailblazer thing. It was meant to be funny, but didn't exactly stick the landing…

      • Aww, hell, that doesn't bother me. The media's been bashing the TrailBlazer since 2002, why the hell would I let it bother me now? It works for me, that's all that matters. I can take a good ribbing here and there.

        • B72

          I'll bet that truck works better than my joke did!

  • B72

    It's nice to see Detroit making something that doesn't scream "we're aiming for the bottom end of the market". If it ages well, there's hope yet!

  • Number_Six

    Sexy little details like that are part of what drove people to buy imports. Nice to see Ford getting the message.

    • Strangely enough, the Camry / Corolla and Civic / Accord have the same style trunk lids that crush objects when the lid is closed, but Focus, Mustang, Fusion, Taurus have the better design.

  • I wish we could get the Buick lineup here in Brasil (I mean, with backing from GM, not only specialized importers) as well as Caddys and Corvettes. This car seems to be very good at its mission of being luxurious. I sure prefer RWD and sporting character but in general a cushy ride back from work with comfortable seats for the inevitable traffic jam really have their place.

  • Great review! The Buick LaCrosse it shaping up to be quiet the car! It looks stunning in person and is nicely equipped in the top model. It really is an amazing car. I can't wait to see the new Regal in person.

  • P. Allen

    The really funny thing that very few realize is that most Buick design work takes place in China, for Buick’s biggest market, China:

    “… the largest automaker in the world, General Motors, at its outpost in Shanghai’s Pudong suburb. Two years ago, he was part of a team that radically overhauled the Buick LaCrosse for the Chinese market. The original LaCrosse had a soft, rounded exterior and a plain-vanilla interior, meant to appeal to the brand’s aging U.S. consumers. But Qiu and his boss James Shyr, an intense, fast-talking Chinese-American who learned his trade at Nissan and Toyota, knew Chinese consumers would sneer at such frumpy wheels. “Our buyers are 36 and 37, half the age of buyers in the U.S. and much more discerning,” Shyr says.

    So Qiu and a team of Chinese designers rethought and reshaped every piece of sheet metal, turning the LaCrosse into a glamorous, elegant sedan that turns heads even in fashion-conscious Shanghai. Their car features an oversized, chrome-laden front grill and large jewel-like, clear taillights to sate the bling-bling urges of China’s status-conscious young buyers.

    The Chinese redesign was pitch perfect, so well targeted that the LaCrosse is on track to sell nearly 110,000 units in its second year in production.

    Qiu was in charge of the interior. He patterned the soft buttery-colored ambient lighting, which glows from the instrument panel and from lights hidden in the rear, after the subdued world of Shanghai’s trendy clubs. “I looked at where people lived, where they hung out, and then I tried to create that same feeling inside the car,” he says. The result feels like a beautifully designed living room, a sharp contrast to the hard, blocky plastic interiors so common in other Buicks. He paid close attention to the backseats, adding padding and features such as front and rear power-massaging seats.

    The redesign was pitch perfect, so well targeted that the Chinese LaCrosse is on track to sell nearly 110,000 units in its second year in production. (In the United States, the LaCrosse isn’t expected to approach the 100,000-unit mark, ever.) Now, with that success still fresh, Qiu and the China design team face a critical test. They will design the next Buick LaCrosse, due out at the end of the decade, for the entire world.

    It’s a mind-bending phenomenon. After an intense internal competition that pitted Shyr and his team against their U.S. counterparts, they will have complete authority over the interior design–driven by Qiu’s insights. The exterior is being handled in the United States, but with a great deal of input from China. And China will control much of the overall logistics.

    There’s a carload of irony here. It used to be that GM would send American versions of cars around the globe–sometimes even selling left-hand drive cars in right-hand countries like Japan. What worked in America, it thought, would work globally. Now the automaker, with 50% of its sales coming from outside the United States and the Chinese market growing fastest of all, is betting that a Chinese sensibility will best inform a car for Americans, and everyone else….” the whole article can be read here http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/114/open_feat