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2012 Buick LaCrosse

Overview
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2012 Buick LaCrosse Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

When Buick's all-new LaCrosse debuted for 2010, it was praised for exterior and interior
design and refinement and has sold well as a result. Now, for the 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist, comes the first application of GM's energy-efficient eAssist "mild hybrid" technology as the standard LaCrosse powertrain. Essentially a major upgrade to the system offered in some 2007-09 GM vehicles, eAssist couples a small motor-generator to a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to provide power assist for launch and acceleration, along with regenerative braking, which morphs the motor into a generator during deceleration to replenish the battery.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a fairly affordable entry-luxury sedan that can hold its own against much pricier imports is what you might like, this stylish and refined American Buick may be the answer.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If GM's once-moribund but fast-rising Buick brand does not ring your chimes, you might prefer a comparably-priced domestic Lincoln or Chrysler, or a Japanese Lexus, Infiniti or Acura.

What's New for 2012

The biggest change in the 2012 LaCrosse is standard eAssist, which marries an 11 Kw (15-hp) electric motor to a 182-hp 2.4-liter Ecotec four driving a six-speed automatic transmission. It's good for a 20-percent improvement in EPA highway fuel economy and an impressive 32-percent boost in city economy over the 2011 four-cylinder LaCrosse. If you prefer horsepower to hybrid power, a lighter and more powerful (than last year) 303-hp 3.6-liter V6 is a no-cost option.

Driving the LaCrosse

Driving Impressions The 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist driving experience is essentially transparent. With the addition of electric boost, the LaCrosse accelerates more briskly than the 2011 four-cylinder version, though not as strongly...

as the 303-hp V6 alternative, and it drives absolutely normally. We found the steering precise, the brakes strong, the handling surprisingly agile, and eAssist acceleration more than adequate, even in hard driving, though the engine can get a bit (Buick atypically) raucous at high loads and wide-open throttle. You barely notice the engine shutting down during stops (the tachometer needle drops to an "auto stop" position) or restarting – without the shudder typical of some hybrids – when the brake is released. A hill-assist feature retains brake pressure to prevent rollback during uphill launches with the engine shut down, an ECO gauge helps optimize efficiency, and a central instrument panel graphic shows electric power flow from battery to front wheels during boost and back during deceleration.
Favorite Features

eAssist
What's not to like about a mild-hybrid powertrain that dramatically increases fuel efficiency while enhancing performance and pleasability without adding much to the price?

Head-up Display
It displays speed, navigation instructions, audio status (including song names as they begin playing) and other key information out there over the hood in your line of sight, and its brightness and vertical position are easily adjusted. The best we've seen.

2012 Buick LaCrosse Details
Interior

Inside the nicely-crafted cabin, warm wood, smoked chrome accents and ice-blue ambient lighting in the instrument panel, console and door-handle pockets create a comfortable, upscale environment. Complimenting the exterior, the flowing design theme wraps around the instrument panel into the doors, and the high-grade leather has handsome contrasting stitching. All major buttons and controls – including those on the leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel – are conveniently large, well-marked and intuitive to use. Most notable is the LaCrosse interior's almost eerie quiet thanks to Buick's "QuietTuning" process of systematically reducing, blocking and absorbing interior noise.

Exterior

GM previewed its future passenger-car-styling on the 2009 Buick Enclave, a Buick look that continues through the midsize 2011 Regal and the upcoming 2012 Verano compact. On the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, that look features a big, bold waterfall grille, a sculpted side "spear" sweeping from the wraparound headlamp to taillamp design and a roofline that curves gracefully into a short rear deck. Thanks to electronically-controlled lower grille shutters that close at higher speeds to push air over and under the car and strategically-placed underbody aero panels, the eAssist LaCrosse is slightly more aerodynamic over the standard car.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

To keep the starting price down while replacing the previous base four-cylinder with the costlier eAssist propulsion system, a few items that should be standard – remote start, a set of universal home remote buttons – turn up on the options list. That said, a full-color driver information center, OnStar (with a one-year subscription), XM Radio, a manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels and both Bluetooth and USB connectivity are standard, plus such important safety features as traction and stability control, brake assist and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse's extensive options list includes high-intensity-discharge headlamps, "Side Blind Zone Alert" to help spot vehicles hiding in your blind spots, a (terrific) head-up display, heated and ventilated perforated leather-covered seats, power-adjustable lumbar support for the driver (but not the primary passenger), a heated steering wheel, premium audio, GPS navigation, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a power rear sunshade and even a 110-volt power outlet for charging your phone or computer. All are available either stand-alone or in packages.

Under the Hood

Standard eAssist (also on the 2012 Buick Regal and coming soon on the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu and other models), provides a 15-hp on-demand boost to the 182-horsepower four and shuts off its fuel during off-throttle coasting and deceleration, yet both engine and motor/generator keep spinning, ready to provide smooth, immediate power when needed. The motor-generator helps bring the engine to a smooth stop when the car stops, then smoothly restarts it when you lift off the brake. When you're off the throttle, regenerative braking charges the 115-volt lithium-ion battery to power the car's electrical systems with recaptured energy instead of fuel. The 303-horsepower direct-injected, DOHC 24-valve 3.6-liter V6 is flex-fuel capable and pleasingly muscular with front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. Both drive through GM's latest six-speed automatic transmissions.

2.4-liter four-cylinder (with eAssist)
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/37

3.6-liter V6 (Flex-fuel E85 capable)
303 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
264 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27

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Buying this car?

2012 Buick LaCrosse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 159 Ratings for the 2010 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

First lease, first luxury, first Buick, nice car,

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

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
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Good looking, good economy, comfortable ride."

Cons: "Ecoboost battery uses up a lot of trunk space"

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

"Went to a dealer, wife wandered away and salesman offered her a test drive in a Buick. She wouldn't even consider anything else after that. We get 33-35 mpg on trips. Overall, at 19,000, it's at 28.5. It's very comfortable. We will consider another Buick. Lots of people have told us they think it's a sharp car; we do, too."

Best, most enjoyable car I've ever owned.

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

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: "Very comfortable and economical."

Cons: "None"

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

"When I pay this one off, I plan to trade it for another one. It gets 29.2 mpg overall. Since day one."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

HIGHLY LUXURY AUTOMOBILE

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10

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: "Navigation, headlights, onstar, safety, quiet"

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

"Bought two hours ago I love this car after trading a 2002 BMW its a car worth everything. I looked at this vehicle Friday salesman said the paperwork wasn't ready at the time. After get off work stopped by dealership just bought my Lacrosse has so much in class."

HIGHLY LUXURY AUTOMOBILE

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10

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: "Navigation, headlights, onstar, safety, quiet"

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

"Bought two hours ago I love this car after trading a 2002 BMW its a car worth everything. I looked at this vehicle Friday salesman said the paperwork wasn't ready at the time. After get off work stopped by dealership just bought my Lacrosse has so much in class."

LUXURY AUTOMOBILE

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10

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: "Nav, ride, lights, comfortable, quiet"

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

"Bought my Lacrosse two hours ago have enjoyed just those few hours. Traded a 2002 BMW on this Buick Lacrosse its the best vehicle. Has all the options available it drives and rides smooth. The Lacrosse handles better than my BMW on having a navigation, Pandora radio, ventilated seats and more. Love the LED lights on the sportier exterior have its got remote start and moon roof so much of a car I highly recommend it."

LUXURY AUTOMOBILE

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10

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: "Nav, ride, lights, comfortable, quiet"

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

"Bought my Lacrosse two hours ago have enjoyed just those few hours. Traded a 2002 BMW on this Buick Lacrosse its the best vehicle. Has all the options available it drives and rides smooth. The Lacrosse handles better than my BMW on having a navigation, Pandora radio, ventilated seats and more. Love the LED lights on the sportier exterior have its got remote start and moon roof so much of a car I highly recommend it."

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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

Buying this car?