The recently redesigned Buick LaCrosse has impressed customer and critic alike. That hasn’t kept Buick from injecting another round of major enhancements for 2012, however. More power, significantly higher fuel efficiency and new infotainment technology combine to keep the LaCrosse at the top of its segment.
As Buick made clear when introduced the LaCrosse, you don’t need to pay a high price to get the room and amenities of a luxury sedan. Now, for 2012, the LaCrosse outclasses more expensive competitors with high-tech new powertrains and new, easy-to-use infotainment and connectivity technology that some of those models don’t offer. That’s not even mentioning the outstanding roominess and quietness, and the responsive driving feel that have made the LaCrosse successful.
Perhaps the biggest headline grabber for the 2012 Buick LaCrosse (MSRP $29,960) is the all-new 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine with eAssist™ technology. This “light electrification” system delivers a whopping 25 percent jump in fuel economy over last year’s 2.4-liter engine, along with better acceleration performance. This new standard powertrain, which is teamed with a redesigned, more efficient six-speed automatic transmission, provides a mild electric boost during acceleration. The eAssist system also integrates regenerative braking. This feature captures the kinetic energy of the wheels as the car slows during braking and transfers it to the lithium-ion battery pack.
The resulting EPA fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway might look like they’re from a compact car, but they belong to the roomy LaCrosse. “Roomy” is no mere claim; the sleekly styled LaCrosse sedan’s well appointed interior features 40.5 inches of rear-seat legroom, which is more generous than the 35.9 inches in the Lexus ES 350, and better even than the 38.9 inches in the $71,000 BMW 740i luxury sedan.
Drivers wanting even more performance in the 2012 Buick LaCrosse can choose, at no extra cost, a revised 3.6-liter V6 with direct fuel injection. With 303 hp, the LaCrosse V6 offers 23 more hp than the 2011 model. It also out-powers the 268-hp Lexus ES 350 while matching its 27 mpg EPA-rated highway fuel economy. Choose the V6, and you can also equip your LaCrosse with an available intelligent all-wheel drive system, something not offered on the Lexus ES 350 at any price.
As a bonus, the LaCrosse V6 offers E85 ethanol FlexFuel capability, letting drivers choose that fuel where it’s available. LaCrosse V6 models also get sporty-looking dual exhaust tailpipe tips.
The LaCrosse had already established itself as a better value than luxury sedans in the segment, and now the 2012 model raises the ante. Buick has added additional standard amenities and technology including a new, color, high-resolution driver information center; Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and a USB port for iPod® music players and other portable devices.
Making infotainment and connectivity even more effective and convenient, Buick will offer the new IntelliLink system for the 2012 LaCrosse. Using wireless Bluetooth or the USB port, IntelliLink connects your smartphone to a new seven- or eight-inch, high-resolution, full-color touchscreen display radio. You can then control your smartphone with voice commands or the car’s steering wheel-mounted controls. IntelliLink also lets you stream audio from your phone through services like PANDORA® Internet Radio and Stitcher SmartRadio®.
Most important, Buick IntelliLink enables you to use the car’s infotainment features and smartphone functions without taking your hands off the steering wheel or averting your eyes from the road.
The 2012 LaCrosse dispenses with model trim lines for 2012 and instead offers a series of option packages. You can easily equip and customize your LaCrosse in terms of vehicle handling and comfort. For example, three levels of the Premium Package offer groups of features such as a rear vision camera, ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, a power rear sunshade and a premium harman/kardon® 11-speaker surround-sound audio system.
At the same time, the 2012 LaCrosse still offers the flexibility of ordering some options separately including a sunroof, the premium audio system, navigation, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and Side Blind Zone Alert technology.
You could compare the 2012 Buick LaCrosse to the Lexus ES 350 and other sedans in the segment, but when you come in and see it, sit in it and test-drive it, you’ll find the 2012 LaCrosse simply offers more.