Buick’s resurgence in popularity as of late all started with the Enclave, Buick’s three-row crossover, with its stylish looks setting it apart from its Theta-platform brethren (Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia). This momentum snowballed with the reintroduction of the Regal, Verano, and insanely popular Buick Encore.
The last three were built with the express purpose of bringing younger buyers into the brand, something they’ve been quite successful at doing. However, you can’t just transform your brand overnight and ostracize your long-time loyal customers. You know: old people.
That’s where the LaCrosse comes in…
What is the Buick LaCrosse?
Misplaced euphemisms aside, the LaCrosse is Buick’s Epsilon-platform full-size sedan, sharing many components with the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS. Unlike the Impala, the Buick offers all-wheel drive and a traditional entry-luxury interior environment.
On the outside, the LaCrosse doesn’t call attention to itself -- likely done by design considering who’s likely to buy such a car. But, once you sit your rump in the driver’s seat, it’s easy to see why someone might trade in his or her Lexus for a Buick.
2015 Buick LaCrosse Price and Specs
Powering Buick’s full-size sedan are two engines. A 2.4L DOHC direct-injected 4-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque comes standard. Our tester was equipped with a larger 3.6L DOHC direct-injected V6 with 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque.
Front-wheel drive models start at $35,945 for the base model and reach to $42,795 for the Premium II trim. Unlike the Impala, the Buick is available with optional all-wheel drive starting at $41,895 on the Leather trim going up to $43,295 for the Premium I model.
Front- and all-wheel drive models send power to the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Driving the 2015 Buick LaCrosse
It’s important that Buick get the LaCrosse right. Within its lineup, only two vehicles fit the bill for the more traditional customer, and the LaCrosse is one of them.
Power delivery from the 3.6L V6 is incredibly smooth and relaxed. Even though the LaCrosse has over 300 horsepower, it doesn’t deliver them all at the same time unless you really, really egg it on. That’s not a bad thing either. The accelerator is very linear and pulling away from a stop is nary to make your heart skip a beat. No surprises are a good thing.
The transmission is equally proficient in swapping cogs without any sense of jerking or awkwardly held gears. It’s likely one of the best automatics you can buy right now. GM really knows what they’re doing.
When it comes to ride and handling, the LaCrosse delivers a refined, soft-ish ride and forgiving driving dynamics. Push it too hard and you’ll be notified with understeer. I do wish the ride was a little softer, however, as it can be the slightest bit jarring over some of the more broken-up roads.
Inside and Out of the 2015 Buick LaCrosse
The theme of traditional luxury continues inside. Light colours, wood accents, and aluminum trim give the LaCrosse a laid-back ambiance. Add the optional oversized sunroof and the interior is quite airy, giving passengers a sense of wide-open spaces.
However, the luxurious simplicity is ruined by one feature: infotainment. Buick IntelliLink in the LaCrosse is dreadful. Slow, confusing, and ugly, this is something GM desperately needs to tackle on the next generation car, especially if they want to keep their core customers.
Outside is a bit more understated. The only flourishes you’ll find are the lamented VentiPorts mounted to the LaCrosse’s hood. Our tester’s 19” machined wheels are probably some of the nicest wheels we’ve seen in years with their simple execution. Overall, the LaCrosse goes about its business without calling attention, a trait going back to the years doctors would make house calls with Buicks instead of Cadillacs.
Comparing the 2015 Buick LaCrosse
While the big sedan market has taken punches over the years thanks to the rise of SUVs and crossovers, the segment still offers lots of choice. From General Motors, there is the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS. There’s also the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, Lincoln MKS, Acura RLX, Kia Cadenza, Lexus ES, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, and Volvo S80.