KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
The LaCrosse finds itself surrounded by an ever-increasing field of sporty and capable competitors. It has not been the smash success for which Buick was hoping, and the division has had to reconfigure its midsize sedan by offering a wider range of features, as well as more competitive pricing. On paper, the LaCrosse appears equal to such market heavyweights as the Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord, matching them in power, features and interior volume. Unfortunately, the LaCrosse's conservative styling hampers its ability to lure foreign car converts and younger buyers, a situation likely to become even more dire with the arrival of the very attractive new Chrysler Sebring.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a comfortable family sedan with good power, subtle style and a clean interior, the LaCrosse should be at the top of your list. The performance-oriented CXS is a fairly plush four-door with a Cadillac-derived V6 featuring variable valve timing for improved fuel economy and power.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Though handsome, the LaCrosse breaks no new ground in the area of styling or interior advancement. Rear-seat headroom is still a bit tight for taller passengers, and driving enthusiasts will probably not find much to like outside of the stable ride and adequate cornering ability.
What's Significant About This Car?
A tire pressure monitoring system becomes standard on all models, as does a revised instrument cluster with red pointer gauges. New features available for 2007 include the OnStar Directions and Connections system, heated cloth front seats, 17-inch, 12-spoke wheels (CXS) and four new exterior colors.
The LaCrosse benefits greatly from a stiffer chassis and a driver-friendly suspension setup. The 3.8-liter V6 in the CX and CXL is a strong performer, but under hard acceleration sounds awfully rowdy. The 3.6-liter is a much better fit. It has terrific low-end power reserves, is smooth, quiet and responsive and is altogether an example of what a modern engine should be. The LaCrosse feels confident at all speeds, and though it won't appeal to driving enthusiasts, the every-day driver will find the car's precise steering and firm suspension quite satisfying. From the driver's seat, you'll find the gauges and audio controls to be intelligently arranged and well marked for both day and night driving.
The optional factory-installed remote starter lets you start the car from as far away as 500 feet.
Optional heated seats are a welcome feature for those who live in colder climates.
The LaCrosse's interior shows a clear change of direction for Buick, with an emphasis on quality, design and comfort. The dash and instrument cluster are leaps and bounds above the hard, bland plastics found in previous Buick sedans, and the control knobs show an attention to detail worthy of the Buick name. Firm foam seats are covered in tasteful cloth or optional leather. The LaCrosse is available in six- or five-passenger versionsthe former has a column shifter, the latter a console-mounted shifter. It's a shame Buick limits the interior color choices to beige, black and gray; this is one sedan that could really shine with a few bold interior color schemes.
The LaCrosse's sheetmetal is clean and streamlined and in no way offensive. With a rear end bearing a striking resemblance to the former Ford Taurus and a front fascia appearing more Lexus than Buick, it's difficult to pinpoint the LaCrosse's intended audience. Despite its deja-vu styling, the LaCrosse should still be able to satisfy most Buick loyalists.
Notable Standard Equipment
The LaCrosse CX trim includes a four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), air conditioning, OnStar, side-curtain airbags, power locks, power windows, tire pressure monitoring system, rear defroster, keyless entry, power trunk release, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD, cruise control, six-way power driver's seat, tilt wheel and full wheel covers. The CXL adds dual-zone automatic climate control, Driver Information Center, power driver's lumbar support, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats and alloy wheels. The CXS has a 240-horsepower 3.6-liter engine, 17-inch alloy wheels and a stiffer suspension.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options include a power moonroof, six-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, MP3 audio, XM Satellite Radio, rear spoiler, remote start and StabiliTrak stability control (CXS).
Under the Hood
As the LaCrosse is not intended to be sports car, most drivers will find the base engine more than adequate for daily commutes. The 240-horsepower V6 in the CXS delivers more power, smoother operation and superior performance with only a minimal penalty in fuel economy, but costs quite a bit more.
200 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
230 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30
240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
225 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27
The base CX has a Manufacturers' Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $22,915, while the CXL is $25,330 and the sporty CXS is $27,545. A fully loaded CXS can easily top the $30,000 mark. In order to ensure you get a good deal on your new LaCrosse, be sure to arm yourself with the Fair Purchase Price, which will show the typical transaction price being paid for the LaCrosse in your area, before you set out to purchase. Kelley Blue Book expects the LaCrosse to maintain an average five-year residual value, slightly below those of the Hyundai Sonata V6 and Chrysler 300, and far below those of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima.