At some point over the last 20 years, Buick garnered a reputation as a car brand for old people. While some of the blame falls on the brand itself, it would also be bad business to turn away customers of any age. With standout sedans like the 2019 Buick LaCrosse, Buick has remolded itself as the home of moderately-priced American luxury.
The Buicks of yesteryear perhaps sold so well to septuagenarians and octogenarians because they fit what they wanted: an American cruiser with a cushy ride, wood trim and gigantic leather seats. While that model of car might have worked well for a while, it was unprepared for the shift towards sportiness and easily-accessible SUVs in the American market.
Perception of Buick began to shift with the debut of the Enclave as a 2008 model. Since then, Buick has successfully used a combination of (former GM owned German manufacturer) Opel, Shanghai GM, and GM North America vehicles to re-imagine itself as a luxury brand that can slide between Chevrolet and Cadillac.
The range-topping LaCrosse has been a large part of Buicks rebirth, especially in its current iteration that debuted in 2017. The car has been a critical success able to compete in multiple market segments and against the likes of Chrysler, Kia, Nissan, and Lexus. Unfortunately, the US version of the Lacrosse was not immune to GM’s current restructuring. In November 2018, the company announced that the sedan would cease production on March 1, 2019. Don’t miss your chance to check out this remarkable sedan!
It’s clear that the LaCrosse is a thoroughly modern luxury sedan from the moment you lay eyes on it. It’s athletic stance and sleek contemporary lines are more ‘European sports sedan’ than ‘American cruiser.’ The angular front grill and LED-accented lights set a sporty tone that continues all the way to the swooped taillights. The LaCrosse successfully creates a design that competes with European rivals while appearing unique.
Inside, the LaCrosse is all business. Sumptuous leather and wood combine with chrome accents to give the cabin a modern, airy feel. An integrated 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system tops the beautiful center stack. The silence you hear inside the car is the result of Buick’s QuietTuning system, which uses triple insulated door seals and acoustic laminated glass in the windshield and front-windows to create a tranquil driving experience. Turn on the standard 8-speaker sound system and all road noise becomes a distant memory.
Sit down in the standard leather front seats and become enveloped in an experience built for all seasons. In addition to standard heating, you can opt for ventilating and massaging functions in the front seats to make any stress melt away. When the temperature gets frigid, the available heated steering wheel will keep your hands as warm as your back. Up top, you’ll notice the panoramic moon roof that gives front and back seat passengers the sensation of driving under the stars. The previously mentioned center stack eschews bulk with a unique pass-through below the cup holders that offers a little bit of extra storage.
No top-of-the-line sedan would be complete without a luxury trim, and the LaCrosse Avenir fits the bill. The Avenir lines combine all optional features into an enticingly luxurious package. An exclusive black mesh grill, aluminum alloy wheels, exclusive interior colors and tasteful Avenir badges on the front doors and interior differentiate this vehicle from the rest of the pack.
A flagship sedan should contain a slew of modern technology, and the Lacrosse delivers this in spades. It all starts with the infotainment system, which offers real-time maps and navigation, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and up-to-date weather information. Those who prefer a smartphone-like feel from their infotainment system will appreciate the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A little bit farther down the center stack is the wireless charging station, which eliminates the need for a bulky car charger. The LaCrosse’s optional 4G LTE wi-fi hot spot makes connectivity for both the drivers and passengers a breeze. With the myBuick app, owners can lock/unlock, remotely start, alarm, and diagnose vehicle issues all from their smartphone.
The most forward-looking technology of the LaCrosse literally helps keeps drivers looking forward. Much like in a video game, the optional HUD (head-up display) projects information normally found in the dashboard onto the windshield in front of the driver. Buick’s full-color HUD includes four views featuring speed, audio/phone, navigation, and performance. You can also configure the display to show a tachometer, collision alert information, cruise control status, lane departure warnings, and low fuel information. HUDs have been shown to decrease the time drivers spend looking away from the road, making every journey just a little bit safer.
Driver and passenger safety is a clear priority in the 2019 Buick LaCrosse. It all starts with GM OnStar. Although OnStar has been around for years, it remains a helpful tool in the event of an accident or mechanical issue. Whether it’s using crash data to assist emergency workers or dispatching roadside service to help with a flat tire, OnStar is a valuable asset for any LaCrosse owner.
Out on the road, nervous parkers and those with driveways on busy streets should be sure to check the option box for available rear-cross traffic alert, which combines well with the rear-view camera to make sure you’re full-aware of what’s behind you. Lane change alert with blind zone alert helps make sure you purposefully change lanes safely, while lane keep assist with lane departure warning provides gentle wheel turns and alerts to correct unintentional lane drifting. The safety alert seat, which offers haptic seat-bottom vibration pulses instead of audible alerts, provides warnings to the driver without the potentially annoying sounds of many modern safety systems.
Whether you opt for the 2.5L 4 cylinder engine, which uses light electrification to boost acceleration and passing, or the 310 hp 3.6L V6, you’ll be getting a rewarding combination of power and efficiency. The 4 cylinder achieves 25 mpg city and 35 mpg highway while the V6 hits the 20/30 marks. Both deliver the performance you’d expect from a flagship sedan. Unlike many in its class, the Lacrosse offers intelligent all-wheel drive, great for those who often drive in rain or snow. The car’s five-link rear suspension balances handling and ride smoothness to ensure a refined ride.
While GM can’t be faulted for looking towards the future in its decision to cut the LaCrosse, it’s sad to see the car go. The LaCrosse is emblematic of Buick’s return to relevancy and the brand’s ability to still produce a great full-size sedan. One final thing to remember about the car is its price. With a base price of just over $29,000, the Lacrosse provides a cheaper path to luxury than its Japanese and German competitors. The full-loaded Avenir remains below $45,000 and comes with technology found in $60,000+ sedans. As the LaCrosse takes its final bow in spring 2019, you might be able to find some incredible deals on this sophisticated sedan. Visit your local Buick dealer today to see if this stylish car is for you. It’s not too late to get your hands on one!