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- Elegant styling inside and out
- Good infotainment system
- Silent cruiser
- New mild-hybrid is relatively thrifty
- Advanced safety tech is pricey
- Odd trim level walk
- Not as roomy inside as its size would suggest
- Expensive when fully loaded
The 2018 Buick LaCrosse is a proper flagship, a refined and comfortable sedan with only a few quirks.
A sedate, polished sedan, the 2018 Buick LaCrosse offers full-size room without the yacht-like driving experience of yore. It offers plenty of compelling reasons to skip far pricier luxury cars thanks to its refined personality, attractive style, and a new mild-hybrid powertrain.
In our eyes, the 2018 LaCrosse earns a 7.0 out of 10, a solid score based on its comfortable interior, attractive style, and wide range of features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The LaCrosse, available in base, Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir trim levels, sees a host of changes for 2018 after being redesigned last year. A new hybrid powertrain is now fitted as standard. It pairs a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder to an electric motor charged by a small lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike a full hybrid—say, the Toyota Avalon Hybrid—the LaCrosse cannot drive on electric power alone. Instead, the system provides a fuel-saving boost. A 3.6-liter V-6 engine, carried over from last year, is now optional, but it’s now mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission instead of last year’s 8-speed.
Topping the lineup is a new Avenir trim level, which is more about an upmarket appearance than actually piling on additional luxuries.
Additionally for 2018, Buick has made all-wheel drive available on more trim levels.
Though there’s a lot new this year, the LaCrosse’s fundamentals are unchanged. It’s Buick’s flagship sedan, a big four-door with room for five full-size adults and their gear—at least for short stints, since the back seat isn’t quite as good as it could be. But don’t think of the LaCrosse as a spiritual successor to the boat-like Roadmasters of yesteryear. It’s light on its feet for a big car and it offers a terrific driving experience, plus it’s loaded with high-tech features like an advanced infotainment system and a wide array of active-safety tech.