2010 has certainly been a banner year for the GM by way of luxuriously and sleekly redesigned vehicles. We had the opportunity to test out the 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS, and we must say – there was little left to be desired. The ’10 LaCrosse breaks Buick’s mark as the automobile for grandparents with its sleek design, premium interior, and superior handling. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also named the sedan a 2009 Top Safety Pick.
The Enclave SUV proved that if Buick creates a well-designed and well-executed vehicle, new car shoppers will give it a chance. Will the LaCrosse sedan be a similar success? Let’s find out.
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Review: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS:
2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS Specifications:
Base Price: $33,015.
Price as Tested: $33,960.
Engine: 3.6L V6 VVT Direct Injection ““ 280-hp/259 lb-ft of torque.
Transmission: 6-Speed Hydra-Matic 6T40.
Curb Weight: 3,948 lbs.
0 to 60 mph: 7.0 seconds.
Fuel-Economy: 17/27 mpg (city/highway).
The exterior has a very elegant yet fairly sporty look with its sculpted design scheme of what could best be described as ‘angular curves,’ and with its high rear-end and aggressive front-grille design, the car comes off as almost bullet-like. According to the exterior design team, the front headlamps and grille were all designed to look as if they were three individual pieces of art fused into one. To them we say; well done. The front halogen fog lamps and chrome-tip dual exhaust embedded into the rear-bumber serve as bookends to one of the most attractive exteriors when it comes to the mid-size sedan market. Our 2010 LaCrosse CXS came with 18″ chrome-plated wheels finish of the exterior with a dynamic flair, and the power heated outside rear view mirrors with driver auto-dimming bring the interior’s luxury amenities to the outside. (The fog lamps and 18″ chrome-plated wheels are not available on the CX model, and optional on the CXL)
The ‘sculpture’ that is the 2010 LaCrosse stands at 59.2 inches in height, 73.1 inches in width, and 197 inches in length. All of this sits on a 111.7 inch wheelbase and carries an estimated curb weight of 3,948 pounds on the CX model, 4,018 pounds on the CXL with front-wheel drive, and 4,065 pounds on the CXS model.
How does the exterior of the LaCrosse compare to its rivals? Well, while Acura still thinks its milk-mustache grille on the TL is something positive and while Lexus’ ES still remains mundane and dull, the Buick LaCrosse (we feel) eats its competitors for lunch when it comes to styling. Who would have thought that someone would ever say that about a Buick.
The interior of the 2010 LaCrosse is without question one of the most luxurious interiors on the market today in terms of build quality and design. The swooping dash and interior door panels flow seamlessly so that as a passenger or driver, you will feel nestled in a pod of comfort and luxury; quiet luxury and comfort as the 2010 LaCrosse also offers one of the quietest rides on the market today. The center console sweeps up from the shift-knob and meets the dash to create a hub that houses AM/FM/CD/XM stereo (or a navigation system if you opt for one), automatic climate control knobs, and power-lock buttons. The dash cascades out in dramatic fashion from the center stereo and connects to the beautiful, leather-upholstered interior door panels that sweep back and disappear behind the front seats.
The front bucket seats on our $33,105 LaCrosse CXS (that’s the starting price) were adorned in plush and supple leather, and offered 8-way power adjustability for the driver. Other cool standard features on our CXS test-model included a Harman/kardon 11-speaker, 5.1 Matrix sound system with USB port. Is that it? Apparently so. One (or a couple) bone we had to pick with the $33,105 LaCrosse CXS was that it didn’t have a sunroof, which is a $995 option; nor did have Xenon headlamps, a $695 option. We’d rather have those two options over 18-inch chrome wheels – the 18-inch aluminum wheels would’ve done just fine.
Buyers going for the base $27,835 2010 LaCrosse CX, will get a bunch of standard features including OnStar, cruise-control, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, single-zone climate control.
Those that go for the 2010 LaCrosse CXL, which starts at $30,395 for the FWD model, will enjoy extras such as:
- Automatic Dual-Zone Air Conditioning
- Auto-Dimming Inside Rearview Mirror
- Bluetooth Connectivity
- Heated Leather-Appointed Seats
- Power Driver Lumbar Support
- Remote Start
Those that want a little more can go for the $33,765 LaCrosse CXS which has everything from the CXL but adds:
- Harman/kardon 11-speaker, 5.1 Matrix sound system with USB port
- USB Stereo Connectivity
- 110 V Power Outlet
- Heated and Ventilated, Perforated Leather-Appointed Seats
Besides the sunroof and the xenon headlamps, buyers can also choose the $1,995 navigation and audio system option (AM/FM/XM stereo, single CD/DVD player, 40GB Hard Drive Device, MP3 playback, HDD-based navigation and rearview camera system) or the $1,295 rear seat entertainment system.
When compared to the interiors of its Japanese rivals, the Acura TL and the Lexus ES, the Buick LaCrosse definitely stands up strong – if not pulls out ahead in some cases.
No matter how discriminating the buyer, no one in their right mind purchases a Buick with the expectation of a sporty, performance oriented ride. If you are, then there is a BMW 5-Series for that. That being said; for what the 2010 Buick LaCrosse actually is, we thought it rode and handled exceptionally well.
All models come standard with a MacPherson strut front suspension, power brakes, and StabiliTrak stability control system that includes traction control and brake assist.
The basic model, the LaCrosse CX, is powered by a 3.0L V6 that makes 255-hp and a peak torque of 217 lb-ft. Buick will later add a 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder Direct Injection engine mated to a 6-speed Hydra-Matic 6T40 transmission. The result is a machine that will put out 182 horses and 172 lb.-ft. of torque. All of this is supported by the front end MacPherson struts and 4-link rear suspension, and controlled by a power rack-and-pinion steering system.
The CXL derives its power from a more powerful 3.0L V6 VVT Direct Injection engine that comes mated to the same 6-speed Hydra-Matic 6T40 transmission. The more powerful engine on the CXL is realized with the output of 45 extra horses for a total of 255-hp on the FWD model and 252-hp on the AWD model. The FWD model achieves 217 lb.-ft. of torque while the AWD gets 215 lb.-ft. Both models are supported by the front end MacPherson struts and H-arm rear suspension, and have the same power variable effort magnetic rack-and-pinion steering system found on the CXS. Rear Park Assist is also available on both CXL models, and standard on the CXS.
Our test 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS was powered by a 3.6L V6 VVT Direct Injection engine and the same transmission as its two baby siblings. The 2010 LaCrosse CXS produces a total of 280-hp and a maximum torque of 259 lb.-ft. 0-60 mph comes in at 7.0 seconds. EPA estimated fuel-economy comes in at 17/25 mpg and we managed a total of 18.4 mpg over the full week.
As compared to its key competition as identified by GM; the Acura TL, Toyota Avalon, Lincoln MKZ, and Lexus ES350, the 2010 Buick LaCrosse arrives as best in class. The phenomenal price tag on this superior product is enough to entice one alone; the CX carries a starting MSRP of $27,835, the MSRP on the CXL is $30,395/$32,570(AWD), and the CXS carries a starting MSRP of $33,765. The ride, amenities, comfort, and styling offered by the LaCrosse give even the finest interiors a run for their money, though none that rival the LaCrosse come as modestly priced.
Review: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXS:
– By: Stephen Calogera
All Photos Copyright ©2009 Omar Rana ““ egmCarTech.