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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.

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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2012 Buick LaCrosse Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 183 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

STEERING WHEEL, ANGLE, AND THE UP & DOWN RANGE

By on Friday, November 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "HANDLES NICE, GOOD MILEAGE,"

Cons: "RESTING PLACE OF STEERING WHEEL-NO SPARE TIRE"

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

"THE OUTWARD POINT ON THE DOORS-TOO EASY TO DENT WHEN VEHICLE SETTING NEXT TO MY CAR SWING THEIR DOOR OPEN. THAT IS THE ONLY DING ON THIS VEHICLE"

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

I love this car.

By on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything !"

Cons: "NONE."

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

"I love this car! It rides smooth and looks great. Beautiful leather interior and very pretty dark blue exterior. It makes driving enjoyable and handles great. I get complements on it ALL the time. I hope to have this car for many years to come. I am a mom with grown sons and they always say ..... That IS my mama's Buick!!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Just purchased a month ago

By on Sunday, October 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great looks, V6 is powerful, pretty good on gas"

Cons: "Vision, small trunk, low front end"

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

"I like the look of the car. I have always been a Buick fan. I have the Convenience package with the 3.6 liter engine. Just a few minor issues for me. The trunk could be bigger. That will encourage my wife to pack on less though. The front end is low so watch the parking bumpers. The visability is not the best but just takes some getting used to. The interior is roomy and comfortable."

18 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have owned over past 20 years

By on Sunday, September 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great MPG and confort"

Cons: "None"

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

"This vehicle has a MPG rating of 18/city and 28/highway. I have found that it get closer to 31 highway and in city closer to 24 MPG, this is with the 3.6-304HP V6"

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Would buy again

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

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: "Great drive with classy looks, great handling"

Cons: "Rough edge to side of console"

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

"Only design problem it on console - driver's side with sharp edge midway down. If you drive relaxed in cruise....ie: right leg leaning against side of console - right leg gets scratched and irritated by sharp edge every time you move. Recommend Buick bevel that edge going forward. Otherwise exactly what I was looking for. Touring edition drives like a dream with great power especially in wet weather. Shopped all comparable luxury cars in size class both foreign and domestic. Best buy and best handling and just plain looks great."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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."

17 people out of 28 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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