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2011 Buick LaCrosse

Overview
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2011 Buick LaCrosse Review

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As the first masterpiece ushered in by Buick's renaissance, the 2011 Buick LaCrosse has proven itself more than just another pretty face; it is a bona fide driver's car, solidly built and with a style all its own. The new look of Buick actually began with the Enclave CUV, and while the LaCrosse is the first car to wear Buick's new duds, it's certainly not the last. The new Regal looks like the LaCrosse's miniature clone, and soon the 2012 Verano will arrive sporting similar, if not smaller, proportions. From its distinctive grille to the elongated "V" shaped crease running along the car's sides (an homage to the great Buick cars of the '50s, '60s and '70s), the 2011 LaCrosse truly impresses, especially when compared to other premium-leaning sedans such as the Lincoln MKZ, Hyundai Genesis and Lexus ES 350. And, while it may take the Buick brand a few more years to recapture the hearts of younger Americans, the company now has the tools in its toolbox to pull it off.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a premium mid-size sedan with a unique look and a great American name, the Buick LaCrosse has all the right ingredients for just such a car.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the LaCrosse is certainly attractive, the Buick name is not as well received by younger audiences who still seem to gravitate toward Lexus, BMW and now even Hyundai. The LaCrosse's lack of a V8 engine option might dissuade some buyers.

What's Significant About This Car?

A 2.4-liter Ecotec engine is now standard on front-drive CX and CXL trims, and includes a new variable-ratio electric power steering unit.

Driving the LaCrosse

Driving Impressions Those seeking a comfortable turnpike cruiser that can also serve as a daily driver will find much to like in the 2011 Buick LaCrosse. As expected of any car...

bearing the Buick nameplate, the LaCrosse is exceptionally smooth riding and has a whisper-quiet interior. Yet, this is no Electra, displaying surprisingly eager driving dynamics that makes cars such as the Lexus ES 350 feel a bit old fashioned. Unlike some of its competitors, those wanting added all-weather on-road security can opt for all-wheel drive on the mid-level CXL trim with the 3.6-liter engine. While the 2.4-liter engine performs quietly and without fuss, it really is underpowered in this segment. The engine of choice is the lovely 3.6-liter V6 which pumps out 280 horsepower, yet, thanks in part to the six-speed automatic transmission, returns impressively good highway fuel economy.

Spacious Interior
Even with the front seats moved as far back as possible, rear-seat passengers still have enough legroom to sit comfortably, no matter the length of the trip.

CXS Ice-Blue Interior Lighting
When the sun goes down, the interior of the LaCrosse is bathed in a soft blue light, emanating subtly from multiple points inside the vehicle. This "mood lighting" is a nice touch that adds to the sedan's premium feel.

2011 Buick LaCrosse Details
Interior

Very few cars marry their interior and exterior styling into a single theme, but the 2011 Buick LaCrosse could be the poster child for just such an exercise. Flowing lines seem to pour from the dash, door panels and center console, all converging seamlessly to form an almost organic interior. Soft touch surface abound and the LaCrosse's button and switches operate with a substantial, weighted feel that reinforces the impression of solidity and craftsmanship. The seating provides ample room front and rear, and the seats themselves are nicely padded with good support for the lower back and thighs. If there is one area that could use improvement, it's in the LaCrosse's cargo hold. Although the LaCrosse's trunk itself is generous, the trunk lid supports located on either side eat up considerable real estate.

Exterior

In the tradition of great Buicks before it, the 2011 Buick LaCrosse displays an iconic waterfall grille and signature portholes (again, a design element that dates back decades), only this time the little circles are placed on top of the hood, not on the side fenders. The LaCrosse's high beltine features a dramatic styling element – known as "sweep spear" in Buick parlance - that extends from the front of the vehicle to the rear. In keeping with the LaCrosse's smooth, unbroken lines, Buick runs the exhaust tips through the rear fascia instead of under it. Available 19-inch alloy wheels enhance the LaCrosse's aggressive good looks.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A 2011 Buick LaCrosse CX comes equipped with a 2.4-liter in-line four cylinder Ecotec engine, six-speed automatic transmission, eight-way adjustable power driver's seat, OnStar, automatic air conditioning and 17-inch alloy wheels. Moving up to CXL territory adds halogen fog lamps, 18-inch wheels, dual zone automatic air conditioning, auto-dimming rear mirror, universal home remote and leather seating. The top-of-the-line CXS is additionally outfitted with a 3.6-liter V6, 18-inch chrome wheels, heated and cooled front seats and a harmon/kardon 11-speaker sound system with USB port.

Optional Equipment

Looking to outfit your 2011 LaCrosse in every techie extra it offers? Then opt for Bluetooth, the harmon/kardon sound system, rear park assist, navigation, head-up display and the rear seat entertainment system with noise-cancelling headphones. If comfort is more important to you, add the heated and ventilated front seats, four-way driver's lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, heated and power-folding side mirrors and keyless start. And if you want the LaCrosse to look and behave a bit sportier on the road, add the xenon headlights, rear h-arm suspension, 19-inch all-season tires and chassis with continuously variable real time damping and sport mode selectivity. The 3.6-liter V6 is available on both the CX and CXL trims.

Under the Hood

Motivation for the 2011 Buick LaCrosse comes from a 2.4-liter in-line four- cylinder engine which comes standard on the CX and CXL trim. If a low purchase price and good fuel economy are your primary concern, this is the best powerplant for the LaCrosse. However, if superior passing power or all-wheel drive traction are what you seek, then the 3.6-liter V6 is the only way to go. Both engines employ direct injection and are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions to help maximize fuel economy.

2.4-liter in-line four
182 horsepower @ 6700 rpm
172 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/30

3.6-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
259 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 (FWD), 16/26 (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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2011 Buick LaCrosse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 178 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Best vehicle I have ever owned

By on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "Cant think of anything cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 2011 Buick Lacrosse and it is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I have not had a single issue with this car. Living in the Chicago area, we have the misfortune of having a lot of snow, however, I have never felt saver on the road than I do in this car, I also have the e-assist feature on my car. I highly recommend this vehicle and WILL buy another."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

It looks better than it actually is.

By on Monday, September 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Ok ride. Looks so-so."

Cons: "Massive depreciation."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"We got this car when it was a year old, clean title and service records looked good. Except the owner didn't share that it had been to the dealer for numerous electrical glitches. The ride is good, but a little mushy. The handling is predictable for what it is, but Buick is basically aimed at the elderly market for trips to church and to the diner for the early-bird special so it's not something you can sling around curves with confidence. The center console is way too tall and intrudes on cabin room. It's like the driver and passenger are in separate "pods". The front end styling is homely, with a "face" only a mother could love, the "ports" on the fenders are ridiculous. The "A" pillar is way too thick and blocks your vision. Road noise is higher than expected from a pseudo-luxury car, a tire change to premium Michelins helped a little. The 6-cylinder is noisy under even moderate acceleration. It does shift smoothly. The amenities such as heated seats, steering wheel etc. are nice but pretty much standard industry-wide at this market level so they don't stand out; they're expected. Depreciation is horrible, at the 4 year mark resale was about 1/3 of dealer-invoice price. We paid slightly below Kelley Blue Book price in early 2012 and the book value is down almost $9000 since then. I don't think we've got the value I was expecting. I know cars are a losing proposition any way you look at it, but this one in particular has been a financial drain. Of course, your mileage may vary, as they say. Just my opinion based on ownership."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Lots of room yet sporty looking

By on Thursday, September 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great price for all you get in a luxury car."

Cons: "Quality of interior material"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Very comfortable and quiet ride. Picks up speed very quickly. Great road handling at high speed. Love the ride."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

This car is one of the best I have ever owned.

By on Thursday, August 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything about the car."

Cons: "No cons."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Buick Lacrosse is an excellent car. Its performance is top of the line. Design of interior is beautiful. I love this car!!!!!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Nice Car. Rides goodand is very quiet inside.

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Very qiuet ride."

Cons: "Poor view out the rear window for backing up"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The only problem is backing up. It is very difficult to see out the rear window, but it does have a back up alert system."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I enjoyed the hwy driving

By on Saturday, August 16, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: windows/poor visibility

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "beautiful styling, good ride"

Cons: "poor visibility and not enough storage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Such a beautiful car but because of the poor overall visibility of small and blocked windows I felt the need to sell my Buick LaCross. For me it was dangerous to back out of a parking spot and my son who also drove this Buick on occasion also agreed."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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