2011 Buick Lacrosse Performance

7.0
Performance
With the discontinuation of the 3.0-liter V-6 versions, the 2011 Buick LaCrosse is offered in two very different flavors, set by which powertrain is underhood. The base CX and CXL models come with a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while standard on the CXS and CXL AWD (and available on the CXL front-wheel drive) is a 280-hp, 3.6-liter V-6. All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission, which really does its best to help the four-cylinder feel sprightly; but it's hard to mask the laws of physics here, and the four-cylinder model can feel quite wheezy with a full load or on long grades. The V-6 is essentially the same engine featured in the Buick Enclave crossover, tuned here to 280 horsepower; it can make the dash to 60 mph in under seven seconds, and here especially the automatic is very smooth and responsive.

Overall, it's probably appropriate not to approach the 2011 LaCrosse with high performance expectations—as it's no sports sedan—but it can hold its own as a daily driver and highway cruiser. And in CXS form, the LaCrosse does add a host of hardware that really does lead to a sportier, more buttoned-down feel. A front HiPer strut suspension gives the LaCrosse more body control and finesse, while it also gets upgraded V-rated tires and an improved magnetic, variable-effort power steering system. 

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