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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 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
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 216 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

Amazing value for a nicely equipped premium sedan

By on Monday, February 08, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Refined V6, gobs of technology, quiet and safe"

Cons: "Large A and C pillars, Fuel Economy of the V6"

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

"I upgraded from a 2.5L 2014 Chevrolet Impala to the LaCrosse (I loved the size and relatively good handling of this GM platform). The 3.6 V6 is refined and powerful while typically making itself unheard in the background. Fuel economy is just so-so, but I did manage a respectable 28 MPG on a long trip recently - which for a 2 ton vehicle isn't too shabby. I did find the interior lacking a little storage space as compared to the Impala (the display screen rising up making a cubby area is missed), but the plushness of the interior and all the tech features makes up for it. The Heads-Up Display is fantastic and certainly helps keeping eyes on the road. Posting your current speed along with the speed limit is brilliant. The Bose Centerpoint audio with Apple CarPlay and Siri integration is fantastic and makes driving and listening to your favorite tunes a snap. I have the optional GM Navigation but find CarPlay generally superior unless cell reception is poor. I have only one gripe with regards to safety which other reviewers have touched on. The A pillars are enormous and hinder visibility somewhat. Likewise, the rear visibility is poor (as it was in the Impala) - but the safety technology certainly helps in this regard. I'm sure the next LaCrosse will address those issues but it wasn't a deal-breaker for me. Overall, I couldn't be happier with my first premium sedan purchase and feel pampered every time I drive this car. It's amazingly quiet on the inside and it soaks up interstate roads with ease - but you don't feel tired after hours behind the wheel. Buick really did an exceptional job on this vehicle."

Excellent Car but....

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "beautiful drive, fun, sexy, sleek, AC OUTLET!"

Cons: "Radio system, air vents blow into mic for phone"

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

"love love love this car! Owner of a new 2014 Buick la Crosse. For the life of me i cannot understand how they designed the air vents on the dash to be positioned directly under the mic for the On Star Phone system. Whenever i have my cellphone connected via Bluetooth to my car, people always say it sounds like I am in a wind tunnel; especially if the air or heat is on! I have to cover my air vents with my coat or paper in order for them to hear me clear.... The audio system is definitely low ranking for the price of the car. However, the luxury and drive and outside design makes up for that. AND AC OUTLET IN CAR!"

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Love my LaCrosse

By on Friday, November 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Beautiful and fast car."

Cons: "A bit pricey"

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

"Love everything about the car but was very disappointed when cleaning the interior of the car and noticed the chrome trimming around the center console is more like foil."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

dependable, smooth ride

By on Friday, October 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "long life dependability"

Cons: "blindspot windshield/driver window -few power port"

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

"engineering could do better job design regarding blind spot on drivers side, limited leg room for taller people's comfort, overall love my buick"

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

One of a special quality

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"This is a Chauffeurs style quality. Performance doesn't take away form ride quality. Response is excellent and interior sound is peaceful. The braking tends to pulse even after change of pads and rotors. I've felt this in other GM vehicles. The angle of the arm to the brake pedal is cumbersome. The lack of a trunk release inside the car is the most disappointing thing I've ever encountered in a car. Fuel mileage is poor even on the highway it is just fair."

14 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Very comfortable car with lively performance

By on Friday, August 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Sporty luxury experience."

Cons: "You get what you pay for, but the car is expensive"

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

"When I arrive at a distant destination I am comfortable and relaxed. Quiet cabin with effortless driving. More than enough power with the V6 option for easy passing and attaining freeway entrance speeds. Considering the amount of power the engine generates, the car gets very good gas mileage, usually exceeding the 28 mpg highway expectations on the sticker by 1 to 5 mpg. Braking is sure and smooth and steering is responsive. Steering probably could provide a little more road feel. I enjoy the sport mode option on the two lane highways, and the normal option is just fine for long rides on the interstate. The car is stylish enough to make me proud to drive it."

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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