Buick LaCrosse Front

Buick LaCrosse – Review

Before I even begin to talk about the specifics, let’s address the elephant in the room. The Buick LaCrosse, in Premium trim, costs $50,270. In Ireland Buick is, essentially, an Opel. So that’s spending roughly €42,000 (excluding VRT) on a German-origin saloon. Similarly, when I test Skoda models people make remarks at the sheer cost of the car. For example, the Skoda Superb Sportline that I tested recently came to a shade over €50,000 and my followers were up in arms about the cost. But the quality is there so what’s the problem? If a car is worth it’s price tag then that’s that. But, is the Buick LaCrosse worth the same price as a top-of-the-range Audi A4?

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Is This American Opel an Opel?

On the outside, the Opel isn’t exactly a game changer. Painted in Quicksilver Metallic, the LaCrosse has similar lines to the likes of the Lincoln MKZ and Acura TLX. Up front, the unmistakable face of an Opel product, the new face of the LaCrosse is related to that of the new Opel Insignia. The long rear doors translate to extra leg room for rear passengers and easy access to the rear compartment. However as nit-picky as it may be, when looking at the panel gap between the front wing and bumper and it’s position on the car, it seems as if the designer didn’t care too much for the finish of the LaCrosse. The gap is half way up the front wing, above the wheel arch, rather than in a more conspicuous place like near the headlights. Just an odd observation.

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Stepping inside is somewhat of a relief and pleasant surprise. This is down to the fact that the LaCrosse’s interior isn’t just the product of a rapid raid of the GM’s parts bin. No, it is a well thought out cabin with a premium feel to the materials used. Of course this car being a press car, Buick didn’t skip over the options list. Ebony leather covers the seats with contrasting material used on the upper parts of the dash. Wooden trim lines the centre console including the soft close door hiding the cup holders. A large centre cubby is enough to hold basic bits like a phone, charger and a water bottle. This car had OnStar specced which allowed passengers to connect to WiFi. This came just at the right time as we had just lost our WiFi in our apartment that week. Numerous episodes of Rick and Morty were watched from the rear seats.

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Please May We Have This V6 in Ireland? 

Push the start button and the distant drone of a V6 bursts into life. Standard with the Buick LaCrosse is a 4-cylinder 2.5 petrol with this 3.6 V6 GM unit being optional. The engine produces 310hp and 363Nm of torque. On paper, this sounds better than it is. The premium saloon is sufficient which is what it’s buyers want. But, it is nothing of a sleeper, unlike the Skoda Superb Sportline. The optional All-Wheel-Drive helps the 8-speed automatic put down the power to the road. It suffers the same “small tank syndrome” as many Opel models where almost immediately the fuel gauge begins to drop from full giving the impression that the car uses more fuel than it actually is. I managed to get an average of 22mpg out of the thirsty V6. The ride quality is one of the best I have experienced from a car in its class. Both on the motorway and on badly paved roads, the ride is smooth and serine. Much like the whole cabin atmosphere at high speeds on the motorway; wind noise is kept to a minimum.

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Would I Buy? 

Getting your head around the pricing issue, the Buick comes as a good buy. On the top of the range model, there is tons of tech like OnStar, reversing camera and WiFi. The ride quality is unrivaled and the V6 experience is soothing, if a bit thirsty.

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