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With the introduction of the current LaCrosse several years ago, GM set in motion a transformation for Buick that elevated it well above the old stodgy, geriatric image and onto a different kind of world standard. As a premium large sedan--and one that even feels downright luxurious in its upper trims--the LaCrosse is sophisticated and engaging. And while it's not quite Cadillac, it's more worldly than the Buick of just a few years ago.
The 2013 LaCrosse looks smooth and graceful on the outside, with a soft shoulder line, enough chrome to gently punctuate, and above all, a pleasing roofline and proportions that are better than typical for a primarily front-wheel-drive sedan. Meanwhile its cabin design feels traditional and luxurious, and if you let any lingering GM biases shake off before stepping in, it's really everything that a Lexus shopper might expect in an ES. The modern, curvy dash design fits the premium feel, and it has a nice two-tone look, with an upper dash tier that swoops around and over the dash in a continuous arc, flowing nearly into the door trim to form an interior beltline. Warm interior hues and premium-feel materials complete a welcoming look and feel.
The 2013 Buick LaCrosse takes advantage of GM's eAssist mild-hybrid technology, and in base form it returns respectable, refined performance while achieving an EPA highway number of 36 mpg. And for those seeking a more traditional luxury-car experience, the step-up V-6 engine fits the bill. The LaCrosse is no performance car, but it does handle the curves better than its predecessors. And in Touring guise, with the optional magnetic adjustable suspension (and included V-rated performance tires and variable-effort power steering), the LaCrosse gains a more responsive feel that doesn't come at the expense of ride quality.
With space for five, as well as a back seat that's good enough for three, the LaCrosse has a level of seating comfort that's a step above compared to mid-size sedans. Interior appointments and standards of refinement in the LaCrosse's cabin are truly luxury-car caliber. Upper models also get upgraded perforated leather and ventilated heating and cooling features, along with more adjustability and memory settings; and across the lineup, Buick's 'Quiet Tuning' philosophy reflects in a tight, near-silent interior.
The LaCrosse is a safety champ, with top safety ratings from both U.S. agencies. But it goes beyond that. Check some option boxes and you can get a number of safety-tech features that until recently have been limited to top European sport sedans, mostly. Blind-spot warning system, adaptive cornering headlamps, and rear side thorax bags are all available, as is a head-up display (HUD)Top-of-the-line LaCrosses can feel like entry-level Cadillacs, with an upgraded instrument panel, hard-drive navigation, and Harman Kardon sound.
For 2013, Buick has added the IntelliLink touch-screen interface as a standard feature for all LaCross models. IntelliLink allows connectivity with smartphones for hands-free or streaming audio functions, as well as access to apps for Pandora or Stitcher audio. An available Heads-up Display (HUD), and a 40-gigabyte hard-drive-based navigation are among the LaCrosse's many other upgrades, as are a DVD rear entertainment system and a power sunroof. And for 2013 you can get both IntelliLink and the full-featured navigation system together. .
- eAssist powertrain's 36 mpg
- Roomy, luxurious interior
- Comfortable ride
- Excellent safety
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- A luxury-brand price when loaded
- Base model materials aren't so premium
- eAssist has some rough edges