Buick’s rewritten 2017 LaCrosse spans a large bandwidth of designs, from the base $32,990 front-wheel-drive model with slow roadway demeanors to more upmarket deviations with high-tech underpinnings and loads of supports. But opt for a well-supplied, chauffeur-oriented equipment and its MSRP will move well above $40,000, at which component the Buick’s near-indulgence brightness begins to weaken as aureate, back-drive sedan alternatives come into orientation. The increased outgo of the Buick’s elective all-wheel-drive system, which offers small benefit on the roadway and is accessible only on the LaCrosse’s top Premium trim stage, accentuates the inequality. We’ve already try-out our desirable front-drive LaCrosse equipment, which adds 20-inch wheels (18s are regular on all models), adaptive plates, and General Motors’ HiPer gait front mixture, a collection that is supplied only on the top content and premium trim stages. All-wheel drive adds $2200 to the latter and features the twin-clutch back differential that has spread to an amount of GM automobiles, including models of the Cadillac XT5, the GMC Acadia, and the brand-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, as well as Buick’s own Envision crossover. The system adds about 150 pounds to the LaCrosse’s restrain weight and works with the vehicle’s grade front-gait and back-multilink mixtures.
But unlike the brand’s encase on the Envision, Buick does not offer the HiPer gait front extremity with all-wheel drive in the LaCrosse. With the LaCrosse put on the brushed, more relaxed side of the sedan arrangement, there was small drama to bending our 3888-pound experiment vehicle into an area.
First turn-in is exact if slightly more dazed than our preceding front-drive experiment vehicle’s, and the LaCrosse neatly implements to a formation as you get back onto the valve, the trickery back shaft subtly assigning energy from side to side to keep the Buick’s tail in stride with its nose. But there are no pronounced times of motion under energy, and any awareness of upgraded gracefulness over the front-chauffeur was broad only when we beaten the LaCrosse solid than we expect the normal Buick customer will do. This is still a huge, slow vehicle that botanists on the appeal of peaceful disposition. We also didn’t notice much change in controlling cognition from our vehicle’s elective adaptive plates, which for $1300 are packed with 20-inch wheels booted with Bridgestone Potenza RE97AS all-season tires (P245/40R-20), as well as a chauffeur-selectable Touring and Sport methods initiated via a button on the console.
Supplying the latter sharpens consequences from the valve and the eight-speed automatic transmission, along with significantly compacting up the effort of the electrically assisted steering without any attain in feel. Body motions are well oversaw in either method. That expressed, we discerned borderline change in drive standard. This vehicle entangled excessively unpleasant as the huge wheels walked over roadway states, attacking the peaceful of the Buick’s otherwise soft indoor. We’ve yet to instance a brand-new LaCrosse on the regular 18-inch wheels with taller-profile tires, but this all-wheel-drive instance seemed to be much more allergic to contact roughness than a similarly supplied front-drive model.
GM’s 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque is the unshared motor option in the LaCrosse, and all models feature the same electronic lever stagehand that manages to be even clumsier than the ones we’ve hated in BMWs for years. With acceptable friction off the formation, our all-wheel-drive experiment vehicle had a 0.1-second benefit over the front-chauffeur both to 60 mph and through the quarter-mile (5.8 and 14.4 seconds), although its 98-mph device speed was 2 mph sedate. While those phenomenons put the Buick near the distinct extremity of its agonistic set, a 2017 Lincoln MKZ with a 400-hp twin-turbo V-6 is about an second fast in both maneuvers.
Each of our Buick experiment automobiles rotated on same wheels and tires and returned the same 0.83 g of grasping around the skidpad, with the all-wheel-drive model stopping slightly abbreviated from 70 mph (168 feet) and with a satisfyingly tight restraint ride. Fuel economy between the two drivetrains, however, was not as close. All-wheel drive cuts 2 mpg from the grade LaCrosse’s EPA combined calculation (23 mpg versus the front-chauffeur’s 25), and we could oversee just 20 mpg in driving contexts akin to those in which the front-drive model returned 24 mpg. Small else was disparate between our two Premium-stage experiment automobiles, with the all-wheel-drive model encase the same grade 10 grade airbags, arrangement of active-safety assistants and multitude of connectivity options through the Buick’s 8.0-inch touchscreen. The LaCrosse’s styling remains stylish yet withheld and the large compartment is cozy and peaceful, despite the large area console and the foolish stagehand. The design and worldly standard, however, are merely adequate at this stage and are no acceptable than the execution in, say, the notably bargain-priced Kia Cadenza.
But in increasing all-wheel drive and the adaptive-damper collection as well as Buick’s $1690 Driver Confidence collection (adaptive cruise command, automatic parking aid and forward crisis braking with pedestrian detection), the $1550 Sun and Shade collection (energy roof with an second-row skylight and an energy back sunshade), the $1145 Sights and Sounds collection (Bose audio with 11 articulators and navigation), and $395 for Dark Sapphire Blue all-metal colorant, our experiment vehicle sounded in at a powerful $50,270.
That illustration may not make this the most exorbitant Buick we’ve driven (the three-row Enclave SUV can be expensive still), but it puts the all-wheel-drive LaCrosse in the company of more bountied huge sedans such as a heavily optioned Genesis G80 V-6 and an entry-stage Cadillac CTS. While the Buick LaCrosse is a satisfactory upmarket vehicle in its lesser words, it simply fails to sounding the bell like those $50K indulgence automobiles do. And thinking the borderline change in driving behavior and the LaCrosse’s model series, increasing all-wheel drive is a decadent additional that inflates the huge Buick’s value more than it improves the vehicle.