Over the past couple years, the Buick brand has undergone a complete makeover, focusing on delivering an outstanding balance of modern style, sportiness, luxury and value while taking on the competitors in the luxury car game. How does the Buick LaCrosse stack up against the Infiniti G25 sedan?
The Buick LaCrosse was completely redesigned to fit the new direction of this iconic American brand in 2010. For 2011, it comes in CX, CXL and CXS models, starts at a lower MSRP ($27,130) than the G25 ($32,000), and now offers a 182-hp Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine along with its 280-hp 3.6-liter V6. The G25 sedan, in G25, G25 Journey and G25x AWD models, offers a single engine, a smaller, 218-hp 2.5-liter V6. But which of these new sedans performs the best?
At first glance, the LaCrosse gets the nod for exterior appearance. The redesigned Lacrosse not only looks far more modern and sophisticated than the previous generation, but it looks more modern and sophisticated than most of its competitors, Japanese or European. Get used to this more modern look, because it’s the design strategy going forward for the Buick brand.
The Infiniti is also easy on the eyes, but its appearance is a known quantity; people are familiar with the G-series sedan because styling really hasn’t changed much. Parked next to the LaCrosse, the G25 is less eye-catching as well as appearing less elegant and refined. The G25 also lacks the tasteful exterior chrome trim accents that really spruce up the appearance of the LaCrosse.
The LaCrosse also has the G25 beat under the hood, as the Buick in CXL and CXS trim comes to battle with a 3.6-liter Spark Ingnition Direct Injection V6 with Variable Valve Timing that cranks out 280 hp and 259 lb/ft of torque. By comparison, the G25 is way down on power, only extracting 218 hp and 187 lb/ft of torque from its compact 2.5-liter V6.
Another crucial difference between these two machines is that the all-wheel-drive LaCrosse CXL starts at $29,690, while the G25 with all-wheel-drive costs considerably more, with an MSRP of $35,000. Although both vehicles tackle corners with different driving dynamics, both machines handle exceptionally well. However, on the freeway, the LaCrosse is noticeably more composed even over the bumpiest stretches of asphalt thanks to its larger size and more forgiving suspension. The reason? Buick’s HiPer Strut suspension, which is new to the North American market. HiPer Strut is a premium, technologically advanced suspension design that improves ride and handling characteristics and offers more precise steering. The LaCrosse offers it, and the G25 doesn’t.
Inside, the Lacrosse is silent as a monastery thanks to its front window acoustic glass and five-millimeter-thick glass in the rear. A silent cabin is one of the first elements buyers associate with quality and luxury, and in this arena the Infiniti simply can’t compete.
Inside the LaCrosse, you’ll be comforted by perforated leather seats and high quality materials throughout. The LaCrosse has one of the finest interiors of any car in its class, and exudes a level of quality and luxury higher than the G25 can offer. If you spend any time in the backseat of the LaCrosse, you’ll be doing it with 40.5 inches of legroom, nearly six full inches more than the G25.
On the features front, the Lacrosse has a long list of all the must-haves in a luxury sedan. Heated and ventilated front power seats, a keyless start system, rear parking sensors, blind-spot warning, Bluetooth integration, a power rear sunshade and an 11-speaker, 384-watt harman/kardon stereo system featuring XM Satellite Radio and navigation all help boost the value of the Lacrosse to segment-leading heights.
The LaCrosse returned a perfect five out of five stars in all 2010 National Highway Traffic Safety frontal and side-impact tests, whereas the Infiniti only received four stars for frontal-impact protection for the front passenger. The LaCrosse also earned a 2010 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, an award the G25 cannot claim.
As the icing on the cake, MSRP for the mid-range V6 Lacrosse CXL is nearly $1,000 less than the base $32,000 G25, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Consumer’s Digest rated the 2011 Lacrosse a "Best Buy."
When you’re really looking for the most bang for your luxury buck with a perfect amount of sportiness sprinkled in, the LaCrosse is a sure-fire winner. Come in for a test drive today and discover the new Buick for yourself.