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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)

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2011 Buick LaCrosse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 204 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Love my 2015 LaCrosse BUT

By on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good gas milage, Quiet interior, Great looks."

Cons: "Rough ride, poor resale value, Some blind-spots."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Been a Buick owner for years, and was hoping this Lacrosse would be the Park Avenue, or Riviera replacement I've been looking for. BUT, this Buick does not ride as smooth as my old Parkie or Rivie. On a rough road, you can feel most every bump. Thinking about lowering the tire air pressure a little to see if that helps. On a positive note, this Lacrosse has plenty of power, gas mpg avg around town is 25, looks great, very quiet interior, has all the bells & whistles that my wife & I enjoy. Besides the above ride complaint, another down side is: per KBB, the trade value is only $27k, and sticker was $41k 4-months ago when I bought it... How in the world can a car depreciate that much, that soon?"

12 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Electrical issues

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Cheaper than a Caddy, but more reliable."

Cons: "No cup holders or storage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Three separate times over a couple of years, the remote entry and start system went completely dead. Although you can gain entry with a key, you cannot start the vehicle manually. During these events. the car was completely dead electrically. The interior lacks space to store anything. There are two cupholders in the center console, and that's it. Center console also has a storage box, but it's so small, I couldn't even put my sunglasses in it. While travelling, it was very inconvenient. It is difficult to see out of and has many blind spots. Once you get used to them, you know where they are, but it is annoying. Otherwise, it was a pleasure to drive with sufficient power and comfort."

11 people out of 12 found this review helpful

good quality car

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "possibility of recommending car, but with vision c"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"good car overall, but poor visibility, particularly front posts, creates problems..side post looking to driver's right is nearly as bad..driving experience borders on the numb.."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Luxurious, draws compliments

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fast, agile, comfortable"

Cons: "Visibility"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"One of the fastest cars I've ever owned. Very comfortable but the downside of the car is the visibility. Large supports in the middle of the car limits vision. When turning to the left, the vision is hampered by the left mirror. It's a shame because it's the only thing that makes me say I will not buy another LaCrosse."

14 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Very comfortable and reliable

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling and comfort"

Cons: "Odd blind spots"

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

"I've really enjoyed this car. It handles great and is very comfortable to drive. Passengers have decent leg room and rear ac vents. I like the roomy trunk. I really like the looks of the car inside and out. I think Buick really hit it out of the park with this design. I've drove my car on several long distance trips and arrive at my destination without a sore back and other random aches and pains. With other cars I've owned after driving all day I feel wiped out and when I went to bed I still felt like I was driving. Not with my Buick, It's so smooth and quiet and the driver's seat has an awesome adjustable lumbar support. The engine is fast. Great acceleration."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

The most beautiful car I ever owned.

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,150

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Pride of ownership."

Cons: "A few tall people complained of lack of head room."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I had the protective coat put on the car before I picked it up new and it cleans up nicely. It is nice to handle and is just a lovely car. I will probably trade it in on a newer model, if I like it at least as well."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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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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