2010 Buick LaCrosse Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2009
FAST FACTS
  • Completely redesigned for 2010
  • Sculpted styling defines Buick's modern global design theme
  • Interior "cool blue" ambient lighting
  • Available all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • "Intelligent" personal technologies including in-dash navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary audio and USB ports
  • Choice of two direct-injected, V-6 engines
  • Six-speed automatic transmission with tap-up/tap-down manual shift control
  • Production begins in the summer of 2009

Introduction

The 2010 Buick LaCrosse is a midsize sedan, joining the Lucerne full-size sedan and Enclave crossover utility in the brand's three-model lineup. The LaCrosse was first introduced for the 2005 model year, when it replaced both the Century and Regal in Buick's lineup. It was refreshed for 2008, when a LaCrosse Super model, featuring a 300-hp V-8 engine and unique exterior styling, joined the lineup.

For 2010, the redesigned second-generation Buick LaCrosse features a new look (modeled after Buick's modern global design theme), updated powertrains, available all-wheel drive (AWD), and new technology features in an attempt to appeal to a younger, more tech-savvy audience. The redesigned 2010 Buick LaCrosse will be built at GM's Fairfax Assembly facility in Kansas City, Kan., beginning in the summer of 2009.

Model Lineup

The new 2010 Buick LaCrosse will be offered in three trim levels: CX, CXL and CXS. Base CX models come equipped with a new 3.0-liter, direct-injection V-6 engine, premium cloth seats and 17-inch wheels. Mid-grade CXL trim adds leather-appointed heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps, side-view mirrors with LED turn indicators and puddle lamps, and 18-inch wheels. All-wheel drive is available on the LaCrosse CXL. Top-line LaCrosse CXS models come with a more powerful 3.6-liter, direct-injection V-6 engine; real-time active dampening suspension; perforated, leather-appointed, heated and cooled seats; and chrome-plated 18-inch wheels (19-inch wheels are optional).

Design

Created in collaboration with GM design houses in both the U.S. and China, and employing chassis and body engineering assistance from Europe, the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse is the first General Motors vehicle to be created on three continents, according to the company. The redesigned 2010 Buick LaCrosse features a sculpted new look, one that is "intended to represent modern elegance," according to Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. Welburn adds that the new LaCrosse is "instantly recognizable as a Buick, with its signature �sweep spear' body-side styling, portholes inside the character line on the hood, and waterfall grille." The exterior of the new LaCrosse "balances taut, sculpted lines with sensuous accents and surfaces," according to Welburn, while the interior features smoked chrome accents, wood trim, premium leather and "materials that combine with cool blue ambient lighting to create an inviting environment."

One of the design goals for the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse was to make the vehicle "library quiet." Using the company's QuietTuning engineering process, which involves installing extra sound-deadening materials as well as laminated window glass, interior noise is significantly reduced, blocked and absorbed, Buick says.

Hardware

Two new engines are offered on the redesigned 2010 Buick LaCrosse sedan, both featuring fuel- and emissions-reducing direct-injection (DI) technology, dual overhead cams (DOHC) and variable valve timing (VVT). Buick claims the new engines create more power with less fuel and reduce vehicle emissions through greater combustion control-particularly cold-start emissions that are reduced by up to 25 percent.

LaCrosse CX and CXL models are equipped with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine, producing an estimated 255 hp at 6950 rpm and 211 lb.-ft. of torque at 5600 rpm. The engine is mated to a new, 6-speed automatic transmission with tap-up/tap-down manual shift control. EPA fuel economy is estimated at 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway. Standard on LaCrosse CXS models is a larger, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. This engine generates an estimated 280 hp at 6400 rpm and 261 lb.-ft. of torque at 5200 rpm. It is paired to the same 6-speed automatic transmission found in CX and CXL models.

The standard drive system on the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse is front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive (AWD) is available on LaCrosse CXL and CXS models. The standard front suspension on all 2010 Buick LaCrosse models is a MacPherson strut design. The rear suspension on CX models is multi-link, while the CXL and CXS feature an "H"-arm setup. LaCrosse CX models come with 17-inch wheels, while CXL and CXS models come with 18-inchers (chrome-plated on the CXS). Nineteen-inch wheels are available on CXS models. LaCrosse CXS also features a real-time active-dampening suspension.

Safety

The new 2010 Buick LaCrosse will offer a comprehensive list of standard safety features. Among those, a side blind-zone alert system that notifies the driver if a vehicle in adjacent lanes is traveling in the driver's blind spot. Also available is a rear camera system with the display integrated into the navigation system screen, to assist drivers in avoiding objects behind the vehicle when backing.

According to Buick, the technology available on the new 2010 LaCrosse enhances a suite of standard safety features that is designed to meet the criteria for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 20-Star Safety rating. Equipment highlights include front-, side- and side curtain air bags, and a stability and traction control system. Also standard on the new LaCrosse is GM's OnStar communications system, offering automatic crash response, automatic air bag deployment response, and Crisis Assist, which provides drivers with a central point of contact to help them reach loved ones, obtain food, water and medical supplies, and find the closest evacuation route during severe weather, natural disaster or other crisis.

Technology

For the last decade or so, one of Buick's goals has been to appeal to a younger audience. As the brand saw its customer base literally dying off, capturing new, younger customers became essential to its survival. With that goal in mind, the new 2010 LaCrosse offers what Buick calls "intelligent personal technologies"-features that it hopes will appeal to a new generation of buyers. Technology features including in-dash navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and a USB port are standard on the new LaCrosse. For rear-seat passengers, a power rear-window sunshade and a DVD entertainment system-with two display screens integrated into the seatbacks-are available.

The new 2010 Buick LaCrosse also features an available adaptive lighting package. At night, the high-intensity discharge headlight beams can be directed up to 15 degrees for enhanced illumination of the road and its curves.
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