(Editor’s Note: This is the first contribution to our site from Jesus R. Garcia. He’ll be contributing reviews and other content. Be sure to check out his own site on the internet at Jesus Behind The Wheel. Welcome aboard!)
Full Size Grandeur
I remember my father had an early 90’s Buick Regal when I was a kid. This must have been in 1999 or 2000, but he acquired the car to make a quick flip.
That car was maroon with a red interior. It felt like you were sitting inside a slice of red velvet cake. My father let my brother and I eat our happy meals in the back seat. My father wasn’t worried about us dropping food or spilling our drinks because the car would float over all the bumps.
When I found out I was going to road test the new 2017 Buick LaCrosse, I was ecstatic. The idea of test driving a full-size Buick took me back to that maroon Regal. I flashed back to watching my dad drive using one finger while I sucked soda through a bendy straw in the backseat.
Certain luxury cars used to be built for comfort with style. Zero-to-sixty times were an afterthought. When did people decide that all luxury vehicles need to be sporty as well.
I get nostalgic thinking about cars that had so much power steering that you could make a 3-point turn using an index finger. I miss the boulevard cruisers of the last century.
Now, anything with leather seats has a sport button. They have enough power to impress even the heaviest of lead foots.
My week with the 2017 Buick LaCrosse showed me a happy median between floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.
The LaCrosse is all-new for 2017. It shed 300 pounds without sacrificing any comfort or space for its passengers. Photos don’t quite capture the size of the LaCrosse.
Inspired by the Buick Avenir concept, the design of the LaCrosse mimics much of that car. The Lacrosse’s design is the new face of Buick.
The tri-shield insignia looks identical to the Avenir concept. Its traditional red, silver, and blue colors is set center fold on a black opening grille. Buick’s new image promotes a modern sophistication of confidence with purpose.
The quicksilver metallic paint gives the Lacrosse a space-age look. It makes a parking lot of 2016 vehicles feel outdated.
Buick made the LaCrosse longer, wider, and lowered the roofline. These new measurements give the LaCrosse a sleek and dynamic presence as it sits low to the ground. It’s like a CEO resting in a desk chair after brokering a huge deal.
I found myself looking back at the Buick LaCrosse whenever I walked away from it. I enjoyed admiring its handsome design. Its sculpted body lines are crisp and sharp without coming across as aggressive or intimidating. The 20-inch painted aluminum wheels complete the image for this eye catching design.
I’m not a tall fellow, standing at 5’ 7’’, so I’ve never had trouble getting in and out of vehicles. I can still say that even with the LaCrosse’s low roofline the car is still tall people friendly.
The wide body allows for vast amounts of space inside for all passengers.
According to Buick, this is their first car to have a single cockpit design. The dashboard wraps around the entire width of the car giving it a spaceship vibe when you sit behind the wheel.
A friend of mine referred to this car as the “Shaq Space Cruiser.” He was referencing the time Shaquille O’Neal did a commercial for the Buick LaCrosse a few years back. We always wondered how he was able to get in and out of the LaCrosse, now I see he didn’t struggle at all.
This model had the optional Driver Confidence package. It included features like adaptive cruise control and automatic braking. It also had parking assist and front pedestrian detection.
Even without this package you still get forward collision and blind spot alerts. A backup camera, lane keep assist and 10 airbags are standard.
Standard luxuries include memory electric seats and an 8 inch display on the dash.
Trunk space is abundant with the Buick Lacrosse as you could image with a car of this size.
The weather started to get cold (Ed.– What exactly IS cold in Texas?) during my week with the Buick Lacrosse. I was able to enjoy, the Lacrosse’s heated leather seats and steering wheel.
The interior of this car is a nice place to be. Modern luxury giving you quality over quantity with a minimalist dashboard. The LaCrosse features a floating center console. It puts the gear shifter high and close to the driver. It creates a storage space underneath for iPads and handbags.
Getting used to driving a full-size Buick around town was a delight. Its size was never an issue in parking lots thanks to its backup camera and warning sensors. They guided me through the tightest of spaces without having to strain my neck.
A 3.6 liter DOHC V6 that puts out 305 horsepower, and 268 lb-ft of torque powers the LaCrosse. Power goes to the front wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Lacrosse is no land yacht on the highway. More than enough power is on hand if the driver needs to make a sudden overtake.
You can use the sport button to pull away from anything or anyone in your rear-view mirror.
Also available is an all new twin-clutch AWD system new to Buick. The new AWD system provides the best grip and handling Buick has to offer. It splits the torque between the front and rear wheels. The twin-clutch design controls the amount of torque given to each wheel. The system controls power to each individual wheel.
Even without AWD the Lacrosse did not feel clumsy or out of its element when I took it through corners at high speed. The chassis stuck to the road and I never felt the body wanting to roll or understeer.
I had to look down at the speedometer to make sure I was actually going fast. The Lacrosse took every corner with total control; making it look easy. It’s a full size Buick that handles with the grace of a dancer.
I experienced the four wheel disc brakes during a panic stop in rush hour traffic. I can tell you that the LaCrosse can stop on a dime.
The Buick Lacrosse gets an average 25 MPG with 21 in the city and 31 on highway. It’s equipped with Active Fuel Management that shuts down two cylinders on highway. Stop/start technology helps conserve fuel.
Pricing for the 2017 Buick Lacrosse ranges from $33,000 to $49,000 depending on options. The model I drove was $48.395.
LaCrosse Final Thoughts
No complaints with the 2017 Buick Lacrosse. I had a moment of realization during the road test. It happened when I stopped to pick up dry cleaning while dressed in my usual shirt and tie that I wear to work.
I was walking back to the Lacrosse holding my pressed dress shirts. I looked up at the confident full-size luxury sedan and thought, “I’m I an adult?”
I’m still young and people in their early 20’s are kids in adult clothes. I’d like to think I’d impress the 19-year old version of me. I’d like him to approve of me climbing into a luxury car while sporting a nice watch and neck tie. It paints a nice image of meeting goals while foreshadowing more to come.
The 2017 Buick LaCrosse is a car designed to appeal to wisdom and maturity. It’s a vehicle for the person who has achieved something in their life. Now they want a car that represents it without shoving it in the face of others.
It’s to reward the confident individual who understands the value of hard work. I would recommend a test drive if you are the type of person who knows exactly what they want in this world.