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GREEN | 6 out of 10
25 mpg city, 36 highway (four-cyl); 17/27 (V-6); 16/26 (V-6 AWD)
an AWD CXL averaged 17.0 mpg in mostly city driving.
With the available V-6, the 2012 Buick LaCrosse gets pretty typical mileage for this class—either 16 or 17 mpg in the city, and 26 or 27 on the highway.
But it's the base LaCrosse eAssist versions, incorporating a new version of GM's mild-hybrid belt-alternator-starter system that are the standouts. The EPA rates the four-cylinder 2012 Lacrosse at 25 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, for a combined gas mileage figure of 29 mpg.
That's remarkable for such a large near-luxury sedan, and it's far better than the 19 city, 30 highway, and 23 combined of the 2011 model using the same engine, but without the eAssist system.
Though hybrid near-luxury sedans are hardly their own category, likely competition for the 2012 Lacrosse hybrid includes the slow-selling Lexus HS 250h (35 mpg combined) and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (39 mpg combined).
In real-world driving, we've seen about 30 mpg in 270 miles of mixed driving with one editor, and about 23 mpg in 160 miles of mixed driving with another editor (somewhat less highway driving). A cautionary note for those with urban commutes: Though we've been able to come close to replicating the LaCrosse's 36-mpg highway rating, we've found it challenging—virtually impossible—to see the EPA test's 25 mpg in city driving; the trip computer's figures in typical city driving have been more in the 19 to 21 mpg range.
Among big, roomy sedans, the 2012 Buick LaCrosse is one of the greenest picks—especially for those who log lots of highway miles.