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2011 Buick LaCrosse

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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 New for 2011

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
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 223 Ratings for the 2010 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Best buy far in it's class

By on Saturday, July 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

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: "Beautful car outside and in"

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

"After many long drives with Avalons,. ES350,Acura ,Accord,Chrysler300,these were rentals that I had driven sevral hundred miles each.I had a Buick Lacrosse on few occasions,but I kept coming back to the Lacrosse.It is just smoother,quieter and looks so much better.This is a beautiflul car inside and outside.I own the Premium 2,the way car is eqipped,it is a very good price for what you get.As for blind spots,most every new car I have driven has them.This seems no worse than others"

A Car For The Senses!

By on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,255

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, Fun to Drive, Great Sound System, Looks Gre"

Cons: "Grill Looks Weird"

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

"This car seems to have everything a car lover needs... and then some! Every time I get in it and play around with the buttons and switches, I discover a new feature that blows me away. The performance and handling are superior - it is clear GM took it's time engineering and building a true road car with this model. The ride is smooth, the braking is responsive, it's fast (we have the CXS model), and for the icing on the cake, the 11-speaker Harmon Kardon speaker system sounds phenomenal! Watching a DVD in the built-in DVD player is like being in the movie theater, except the sound is MUCH better. I can't think of anything that's not to like about this car yet."

Great Ride with comfort and performance!

By on Saturday, June 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good pricing, handling and luxe interior."

Cons: "The center console is hard to access due to lid."

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

"I've had my '14 Leather AWD for 20 months and remain impressed with the ride, performance and technology. Being 68, I've had my share of autos, a mix of luxury and performance nameplates. This car is solidly in my Top 10."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

My Dream Car

By on Sunday, April 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Sporty and Luxurious"

Cons: "Chrome wheels not avail"

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

"The LaCrosse my perfect car in this price range. I also looked at Lincoln, Toyota, Lexus, Infinity, but I was smitten as soon as I saw the LaCrosse. I do have the top of the line Touring model, so I cannot think of any options I wish I had. The car drives like a dream, minimal road noise after 30K miles, no maintenance or repairs needed except oil changes. I would recommend the Buick LaCrosse to anyone looking for comfortable,and luxurious 4 door sedan. The back seat is very roomy, fits 3 avg size adults very comfortably. My car is red and I have never had more compliments on a car. I am over 60, so I have owned a few in my day. I have the "Heads Up"Display and Blind Spot warning, now I can't lie without these two features. LOVE!!"

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

looks impressive both inside and out.

By on Monday, April 4, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "surprized with the comfort, quality and room"

Cons: "needs a passenger lumbar standard equipment!"

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

"I can't honestly give it any reviews at this time since I only bought it 4 days ago. everything I saw on the premium 3 model is super except there is no lumbar on the passenger seat!!!! what's with that GM? do you think only driver's have back issues? other than the lumbar issue, it appears to me that I'll be keeping this vehicle a long time."

One Drawback: User Unfriendly Navigation System

By on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 550

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Pleasant interior. Adjustable front passenger seat"

Cons: "Navigation system design failure noted"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"The instructions for personalizing the navigation system do not fully explain how to initialize or amend the "Contacts" listing, to enable a spoken instruction to direct the driver to a previously entered location. While the GM tech support investigated the new system's operation, and informed me of the way to enter contacts, it proved impossible to use any one word identification. Thus, for example, "Costco" has to become "Costco Warehouse." But it must be entered as "Warehouse" (first name) "Costco" (last name), or else the alphabetical listing would place the listing in the W section. This is because the designers of the system assumed that every entry would have a first and last name, and that every user would think along those lines. It's impossible to list, "Market" "Doctor" "Hospital" "Mother" or any other one word entry as a contact. That design anomaly ought to be considered, if you plan to use the navigation feature. Otherwise, it has proven itself a very nice auto."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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