Buick Test Drive Reviews 

2017 Buick LaCrosse Test Drive Review

When you look at the 2017 Buick LaCrosse, you get a glimpse into the future. You don’t need a crystal ball or a time machine. Just gaze at Buick’s totally redesigned full-size sedan to get an idea of where the brand is heading.

According to the automaker’s media site, the 2017 LaCrosse “introduces the new face of Buick, which is influenced by the dramatic cues of the award-winning Avenir concept. Notably, it features a new grille design with a large opening distinguished by the return of a three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements set against darkened waterfall grille bars.”

The 2017 LaCrosse also features new hardware under its eye-catching sheet metal. Through the use of high-strength steels, engineers were able to make it longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing LaCrosse while cutting weight by about 300 pounds. Lighter sound-absorbing materials contributed to that weight loss while taking Buick’s signature QuietTuning to a new level of near-silence. The combination of a new V6 and eight-speed automatic round out the most significant changes to the LaCrosse for the 2017 model year.

Several weeks ago, we got a glimpse at our own futures when we booked ourselves a week with the 2017 Buick LaCrosse. We knew it was an attractive car already, but over the course of those seven days, we discovered other things we liked about it. You don’t have to wait a day or a week to find out what those were. As they say, there’s no time like the present. Read our review right now.

2017 Buick LaCrosse Exterior

The first hint of Buick’s new visual direction came in January of 2015. That’s when Buick brought its Avenir concept – which was named after the French word for “future” – to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The company showed the world a large, stately sedan with undeniable presence, an automotive sculpture with lines that gracefully flowed toward the muscular and curvaceous rear.

The 2017 LaCrosse isn’t an exact copy of the Avenir, but that one-off’s influence on the production Buick’s style is evident. Both cars wear their tri-shield emblem high in their waterfall grille and a broad strip of brightwork in their lower fascia. The most obvious similarity between the Avenir and the LaCrosse is in their profiles, particularly toward the back. There’s a tastefully pronounced upward curve that starts above the door handles and connects with the rear. That’s where the resemblance ends. With its full – and fully expressed – trunk, the LaCrosse looks more production sedan than concept, although the chrome-accented taillights certainly catch the eye like something on the floor of an auto show. There were several times we found ourselves walking away from the LaCrosse and simultaneously turning our heads just to get another glance at those and the rest of the car around them. We could literally see why the 2017 LaCrosse’s exterior design is the top reason people buy it.

2017 Buick LaCrosse Interior

Buick offers the 2017 LaCrosse in five forms: base, Preferred, Essence, Premium FWD, and Premium AWD. We were fortunate enough for Buick to loan us a Premium FWD. That meant the beige and brown cabin was filled with an impressive amount of standard equipment. Both front seats were power adjustable eight ways with memory. They were heated and ventilated, too. They even had a massage function. We made sure to test out the back seat area and found that it offers a comfortable amount of leg- and headroom for someone who’s 5’10”.

The optional Sun and Shade Package added a power sunroof with a second row skylight and a power rear sunshade – perfect for hot days in Texas. If you’ve never been there, trust us – there are plenty of scorching days in the Lone Star State.
We wish we’d had an excuse to drive the big Buick across the country because it was such a comfortable car to be in. Wind and road noise was minimal. The ride quality was always composed and never harsh. If we weren’t using the navigation system or listening to the SiriusXM satellite radio, we were listening to audio from YouTube on our phone, thanks to Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in WiFi hotspot. The journeys we did take in the LaCrosse were pleasant and relaxing, even if they were to familiar, nearby stores and restaurants.

2017 Buick LaCrosse Performance

All 2017 LaCrosses are powered by a new direct-injected V6. The 3.6-liter unit generates 310 horsepower and 282 lbft of torque – increases of six horsepower and 18 lbft compared to the V6 available in the 2016 LaCrosse. The EPA states it’s capable of getting 21 city, 31 highway, and 25 combined mpg.**

Buick engineers connected that power plant to a new eight-speed automatic. Most of the time, we let it do the shifting itself. However, when we did decide to use the paddle shifters, we were pleased by how quickly they responded. The amount of grunt from the V6 up front was equally satisfying. Cutting and thrusting from a jammed lane into an empty one and getting up to speed was something we were able to do quickly and confidently.

2017 Buick LaCrosse Safety

The LaCrosse Premium comes standard with a substantial list of potentially lifesaving features. Those include a rear park assist, a rear cross traffic alert system, a backup camera, and an array of 10 airbags. Lane Keep Assist and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert were in place to keep us from swapping paint with other vehicles out on the road. We didn’t have to take our eyes off of the road to check our speed because we could see it in the head-up display on the windshield.

An optional Driver Confidence Package included adaptive cruise control, front automatic braking, and front pedestrian detection. We were thankful for that – for our sake and everyone else’s sake, too.

2017 Buick LaCrosse Overall

Prices for the 2017 LaCrosse start at $32,065.* The 2017 Buick LaCrosse Premium we tested was beautifully styled, comfortable, and well equipped at $48,495. If that sounds like the kind of car you’re looking for, we can tell you your future right now: You’re going to get it at an AutoNation Buick dealer.

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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