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2010 Buick LaCrosse CXL AWD Review

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2010 Buick LaCrosse CXL

SEE ALSO: Buick Specs, Prices and Comparisons - Buick Buyers Guide



Model: 2010 Buick LaCrosse AWD CXL
Engine: 3.6-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 280 hp @ 6,300 rpm/259 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 111.7 in.
Length/Width/Height: 197.0 x 73.1 x 59.2 in.
Tires: P45/45R18
Cargo volume: 13.3 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/27 mpg highway/11.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 19.5 mpg
Sticker: $31,820

The Bottom Line: It’s the styling that will initially get you with the LaCrosse, but it’s the Buick ride quality that will keep you. Check any Buick Park Avenue on the road and probably the driver has silver hair, and LaCrosse, like all good Buicks, could be strictly a grey hair car but with it’s super styling, great performance and comfort it won’t turn away the grey hairs and should attract lots of buyers with darker hair as well.

Buicks have a well-earned reputation for appealing to older drivers. That’s not a bad thing. I’m older (well, more mature), drive my wife’s Buick Park Avenue when she lets me, and we both enjoy what the PA has to offer.

I recall when I drove the PA years ago that I called it the American Jaguar. In a sense it is, because the styling is similar to the XJ sedan and the performance, while not quite in the Jaguar league, ain’t bad.

The LaCrosse is designed to replace the Park Avenue, and, oddly, the one we had for a test was silver, had a waterfall grille and had Park Avenue-like styling. The only major difference was that the LaCrosse has bucket seats while our Park Avenue has a bench with a fold-down armrest that converts it to two separate seats.

The other major difference is that the Park Avenue has a 3.8-liter V6 while the LaCrosse has a 3.6-liter V6. Power is up in the smaller engine to 280 horsepower and 259 lb.-ft. of torque. Power reaches the wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission, better than the four in the PA.

I was also disappointed in our tester’s test fuel economy, which is half of what we achieve in the Park Avenue. My guess is that there was a glitch in the onboard computer somewhere, but I don’t make this stuff up, I just report it.

The LaCrosse is an absolutely sweet car to drive. It’s sweet to look at, sweet to ride in and sweet to sit behind the wheel of. Buick has done it right. The power is there for very good performance, while the ride quality is excellent.

Critical to older drivers is ride quality, and the front seats are comfortable. The only quirk is the front-leaning headrests that can’t be adjusted to a more vertical attitude. After a week I learned to live with them, but I would have been happier if they were more comfortable.

Rear seats have good legroom and kneeroom. There are indents at the backs of the front seats to improve kneeroom. There’s also good rear seat visibility, so that claustrophobic people sitting back there won’t feel confined.

Instrumentation is fairly standard with a speedometer, tachometer, water temperature and fuel, with a digital speedometer (or other information readout) between the tach and speedo.

I liked the interior design. There’s a tasteful use of wood trim and, like the Chevrolet Camaro, there’s a thin blue slash that runs from one front door armrest to the other. This is only visible at night and doesn’t intrude on the driver’s vision.

The smart steering wheel has cruise, audio and Bluetooth switches.

For storage there are small consoles in the doors and a two-level console between the front seats. There’s also a small cell phone holder by the driver’s left knee in the dash. Two center cup holders are concealed by a sliding door.

The LaCrosse has a good-size trunk, but it has a small opening. When I had to take a bag of leaves to our local compost center I had to squeeze the bag into the small opening.

It’s the styling that will initially get you with the LaCrosse, but it’s the Buick ride quality that will keep you. 2009 The Auto Page Syndicate