By BOB GRITZINGER, Contributor | @bobgritzinger For the 2013 model…
Over the decades, the Buick brand has weathered the transition from making a desirable luxury car to selling the boat-like sedan preferred most by your grandfather. If that’s still your impression of Buick, then clearly you haven’t been in one for awhile. Today’s Buick is thoroughly modern, elegant, and designed to appeal to discerning customers.
As we turn the corner toward 2017, Buick has several irons in the fire, including the new LaCrosse full-size sedan that debuted at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Sedans aren’t as popular as they once were — compact crossovers and SUVs have become everyone’s “it” vehicles — but Buick is not abandoning its passenger car lineup. Instead, the company has updated its LaCrosse sedan to create a car that today’s buyer should love.
How is the 2017 LaCrosse different?
Updates to Buick’s flagship sedan begin with an all-new front end focused on an overhauled grille design, featuring a full-color Buick Tri-Shield badge and minimized vertical grille posts to support the badge. A horizontal line alluding to airplane wings brings the elements together inside the car’s hexagonal nose.
Connectivity and technology abound in the LaCrosse, including implementations of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as an in-car 4G LTE Wi-Fi. Drivers can find key information on the head-up display (HUD) and Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system for playing music, accessing phone contacts, and getting directions via voice command.
Inside the LaCrosse, drivers will feel absolutely coddled behind the wheel. This vehicle is all about luxury, featuring rich materials throughout the cabin, plush leather seats, and available features such as ventilated and massaging front seats.
Too often, a car this easy-going winds up being a bore to drive for people who prefer a more engaging driving experience. Not so with the Buick LaCrosse; whipping it around corners in rural Massachusetts proved that this big sedan is still light on its feet. The LaCrosse displays a smoothness for its drivers without leaving them feeling dead and disconnected from the road.
Power comes from a 3.6-liter V6 engine paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Shifts are well-timed to make use of the LaCrosse’s 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. There are even paddle shifters so you can take control of that transmission and have a little fun.
Brand plans extend to new SUV and a convertible
Part of Buick’s continuing efforts to appeal to today’s buyer includes crossovers and SUVs. New to the Buick stable is the Envision, joining the Enclave and Encore. (Yes, three different vehicles that aren’t sedans and are all a key part of the Buick strategy.) There’s also the Cascada convertible, which is the only convertible on the market to receive a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Buick’s focus on approachable luxury vehicles that appeal to a whole new customer base is leading to increased sales and conquest customers who appreciate the design, quality, and value of their vehicles.
The 2017 LaCrosse Premium with AWD we had the chance to drive rang in at $49,125. It included features like ultrasonic rear park assist, forward collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and 10 airbags. There were also heated and ventilated seats, beautiful 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, and a heated steering wheel. And don’t forget the security that comes from OnStar, which includes a 5-year basic plan plus 3-month complimentary subscription.
Buick’s latest advertising slogan, “That’s a Buick?” isn’t just a gimmick. The brand has evolved into something you might not immediately recognize, but it’s definitely something you’ll immediately appreciate when you take a seat behind the wheel.
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