2017 Buick LaCrosse Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, November 18, 2015
- Redesigned full-size family sedan
- Evolutionary styling sets tone for future Buick models
- Lighter and stronger vehicle architecture
- Quieter and more comfortable interior
- Larger trunk holds four golf bags
- Same drivetrain as Cadillac CT6 and XT5
- New safety and infotainment technologies
- On sale in early summer 2016
With the redesigned 2017 LaCrosse, Buick takes direct aim at the Toyota Avalon and the Lexus ES 350 (which is based on the Avalon). The new LaCrosse is positioned as a premium offering in the full-size family sedan segment, competing with those two models as well as the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Genesis, Kia Cadenza, Lincoln MKS, and Volvo S80.
Based on the award-winning Buick Avenir Concept, the 2017 LaCrosse’s styling sets the tone for future Buick models.
The new LaCrosse is a genuinely appealing car, especially when equipped with its optional 20-in. aluminum wheels, proudly wearing a new grille design with a red, white, and blue Buick tri-shield emblem. Buick says that the 1954 Wildcat II concept vehicle inspired the new grille, which will appear on future models.
Equipped with a lighter and stronger vehicle architecture, the LaCrosse sits on a wheelbase that is stretched 2.7 in. in order to push the wheels out closer to the car’s corners. Overall, the new LaCrosse is just half an inch longer than the outgoing model, but is also lower and wider to achieve a more “confident and purposeful” appearance.
Standard equipment includes HID headlights with LED running lights, LED taillights, active grille shutters, and 18-in. aluminum wheels. Capless refueling makes it easier to re-fill the car’s tank at the gas station.
Buick says the new LaCrosse is the first of its models to employ the company’s new “single cockpit design aesthetic.” The dashboard sweeps across the cabin from door to door, while a two-level center console with additional storage space sweeps down from the controls and continues between the front seats.
“Quietness, comfort, and connectivity” are the hallmarks of the LaCrosse’s stylish new interior, according to Buick. Furthermore, Liz Wetzel, interior design director, said: “There is a handcrafted essence that is inviting and rewarding. It is a clean environment that is designed to refresh and inspire.”
According to Buick, larger rear doors that open wider result in easier rear-seat entry and exit. Buick also says that the new LaCrosse features a larger trunk that is designed to hold four golf bags (some stereotypes just never die, eh?).
The 2017 LaCrosse’s interior will be available in three color schemes: Jet Black, Dark Atmosphere and Shale, and Jet Black and Brandy. Moon White ambient cabin lighting is standard for all versions of the new LaCrosse.
Among the numerous options to be offered for the 2017 Buick LaCrosse, the company highlighted several comfort-related upgrades. They include premium perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with quicker response and more effective operation, heated power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and massaging front seats.
Additionally, the new LaCrosse will be available with a power rear-window sunshade, premium Bose surround-sound audio system, and a set of 20-in. aluminum wheels.
Under the Hood
Mechanically, the new Buick LaCrosse shares plenty with more expensive Cadillac models.
The new direct-injection, 3.6-liter V-6 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission are shared with Cadillac, and in this Buick the engine develops 305 horsepower and 268 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard automatic engine start/stop technology and a cylinder-deactivation system are designed to improve fuel economy.
Like the new Cadillac XT5, the LaCrosse features an electronic shifter, which helps to save space on the center console. The LaCrosse’s optional dual-clutch all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is the same as the one offered in the XT5, complete with rear-wheel torque-vectoring capability for improved handling when the car is driven with gusto.
For a more entertaining version of the LaCrosse, you’ll want the optional HiPer Strut front suspension option, which is designed to give the car a more athletic driving character. The available adaptive damping suspension supplies Touring and Sport settings, and the LaCrosse employs rack-mounted electric steering for improved feel and response, Buick says. These features, combined with the car’s more robust structure, should make the LaCrosse more enjoyable to drive than the previous version of the car.
The steering is equipped with what Buick calls “lead/pull compensation,” which means it automatically adjusts for the effects of crosswinds and crowned roads. The new LaCrosse also includes DuraLife brake rotors that are designed to deliver twice the life of traditional components. Hill-start assist and Automatic Vehicle Hold are also standard for the new LaCrosse.
In addition to its stronger architecture, the 2017 LaCrosse comes standard with 10 air bags and OnStar subscription services with automatic crash response. As long as your OnStar subscription is active, this feature automatically calls 9-1-1 following a collision in which the air bags have deployed, helping to speed rescuers to the scene of the accident.
If you’ve got young drivers in the household, a new Teen Driver feature can mute the stereo until everyone is properly buckled up, issue speed warnings while the car is driven, and then provide parents with a driving report card after the LaCrosse is returned to the driveway.
New front-pedestrian braking capability is available for the redesigned LaCrosse. It joins a long list of safety technologies including adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change alert, and a safety-alert seat that vibrates when a driving threat exists.
Buick installs a next-generation version of its IntelliLink infotainment system in the 2017 LaCrosse. Equipped with a frameless, 8-in. color touch-screen display, IntelliLink supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone-integration platforms. OnStar subscription services provides the car with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection, as long as you’re willing to pay for it.
Wireless smartphone charging is available for the new LaCrosse, along with a configurable 8-in. LED driver-information display and a head-up display with four different page-view offerings. Also, an optional automatic park-assist system can steer the LaCrosse into a parallel or perpendicular parking space while the driver operates the transmission and the pedals.