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2013 Buick LaCrosse

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2013 Buick LaCrosse Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Buick's 2013 LaCrosse is intended to bring younger buyers to what has traditionally been seen as a nameplate for more senior folks. Conservatively handsome, well equipped, capable and polished, the car boasts eAssist, an impressive assortment of efficiency-enhancing technologies developed from GM's mild- hybrid system. A more powerful V6 engine is available, but we actually prefer the progressive spirit of the eAssist powertrain, with its 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, small electric "boost" motor and regenerative braking. In a rare win-win, the system improves both fuel economy and performance, and combines with the car's solid look and feel to create a thoroughly credible alternative to the established imports. After getting its eAssist system last year, the LaCrosse rolls into 2013 with only minor changes to trim and option packages.

You'll Like This Car If...

There are plenty of modestly upscale sedans that offer decent performance with impressive efficiency at a competitive price, but if you are pleasantly surprised to find those qualities from a traditional American brand, the Buick LaCrosse belongs on your short list.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For many up-and-coming car shoppers, the Buick brand, though clearly on the move, is still not an aspirational target, and you might feel more naturally drawn to similar offerings from Lexus, Audi or Acura.

What's New for 2013

After eAssist's debut last year, 2013 is quiet for the LaCrosse. Option groups are arrayed in five packages now (previously seven), ranging from the base LaCrosse to the Touring package, with Leather, Premium I and Premium II levels filling in. All-wheel drive (AWD) is available on Leather and Premium I trim levels.

Driving the LaCrosse
Driving Impressions

The key point about the 2013 Buick LaCrosse driving experience is how transparent its eAssist system is on the road. A 15-hp electric motor helps the 182-hp 4-cylinder engine during...

... acceleration. When slowing, the motor flips its function to act as a generator, and it recaptures some of the car's kinetic energy, recharging a lithium-ion battery. The gas engine also shuts down but restarts quickly without the shudder typical of some hybrids. In short, the LaCrosse with eAssist drives absolutely normally. We found the steering precise, the brakes strong, the handling surprisingly agile and eAssist acceleration more than adequate though the engine can get a bit raucous at higher revs. A hill-assist feature prevents rollback during uphill launches with the engine stopped. An entertaining instrument-panel graphic shows electric power flow from the battery to the front wheels when it's being used and back to the battery during deceleration.

EASSIST
A clever and largely transparent marriage of a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, a small electric motor and regenerative braking, the eAssist evolved-mild-hybrid system significantly improves both fuel efficiency and performance without adding a lot of weight or cost.

HEAD-UP DISPLAY
It shows speed, navigation instructions, audio status (including song titles) and other key information in your line of sight, seemingly out there over the hood, and its brightness and vertical position are easily adjusted. It's one of the best we've seen.

2013 Buick LaCrosse Details
Interior

Inside the nicely-crafted cabin warm wood, smoked chrome accents and ice-blue ambient lighting create a comfortable, upscale environment. Complementing the exterior, a smooth-flowing design theme has the instrument panel wrapping into the doors and the high-grade leather has handsome contrasting stitching. All major buttons and controls – including those on the leather-wrapped 3-spoke steering wheel – are conveniently large, well-marked and intuitive to use. Noise levels inside are commendably low and rear-seat space is notably generous.

Exterior
2013 Buick LaCrosse photo

Buick's now firmly-established family look gives the 2013 LaCrosse a big waterfall grille, a sculpted side "spear" sweeping from the headlamps to the tail lamps and a roofline that blends gracefully into a short rear deck. Thanks to underbody aero panels and electronically-controlled lower-grille shutters that close at higher speeds, an eAssist LaCrosse has slightly better aerodynamic efficiency than one with the V6 engine.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The LaCrosse's list of standard features is long and comprehensive, including a full-color driver information center, OnStar (with a 6-month subscription), SiriusXM Radio (3-month trial), a manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels and both Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Standard safety features include traction and stability control, brake assist and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

The 2013 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 front-seat passenger), a heated steering wheel, 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

The eAssist powertrain - a 4-cylinder engine plus a small electric motor/generator to provide both a power boost and regenerative braking - is standard on base LaCrosse and Leather versions. A 303-hp 3.6-liter Flex-Fuel-capable V6 is a no-cost option on those two lower-level packages, and the sole offering on Premium I, Premium II and Touring versions. All-wheel drive is available on Leather and Premium I packages, with the V6 only. All combinations use GM's latest 6-speed automatic transmissions. Though the V6 is stronger, eAssist is frankly more interesting and appealing. It provides a 15-hp on-demand boost to the 182-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. When you're off the throttle, regenerative braking charges the 115-volt lithium-ion battery.

2.4-liter 4-cylinder (with eAssist)
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg

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 mpg, 13/19 mpg (E85)

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2013 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

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."

2 people out of 3 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

Amazing value for a nicely equipped premium sedan

By on Monday, February 8, 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."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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