Zoomer Consumer: Not your dad’s Buick: 2010 LaCrosse CXS
Recently, GM Canada arranged a trip whereon a few lifestyle writers briefly got behind the wheel of the Buick Lacrosse CXS. It was gobsmacking. Recalling bumpy childhood family trips on sticker upholstery to the Big Boy restaurant in suburban Buffalo, I really wasn’t expecting such a finely engineered sedan. Sadly, there was just this one opportunity to test it, so I greedily requested another. This is the fallout.
Handsome looks and gentle demeanor
With its chiseled profile and substantial, aristocratic nose, the LaCrosse is reminiscent of the Chrysler 300 but less aggressive looking. The gentle slope down the rear window is so gradual it almost calls out for its own wiper. Without being flashy, the it displays as much outward flair as a Mercedes C-class.
Pampers the passenger
Inside it’s a bit like a cruise ship. Not huge and slow, just elegant and designed to put passengers at ease. It’s a smooth and quiet drive – deceptively quiet given the virility of the engine. Consequently the Harman Kardon surround sound stereo doesn’t require cranking to envelope you in sound.
Heated leather seats and dual climate control further promote the passenger’s enjoyment. A thin pink runner light crosses the entire dash at night, providing a calming feeling.
Fortunately, there’s plenty to keep the driver awake.
Indulges the driver
For such a smooth ride, the LaCrosse has a surprisingly tightly tuned suspension, making corners at speed irresistible.
A 3.6 litre V6 engine with direct injection releases 290 horses at 6,300 rpm. An easy-to-use sport transmission lets you paddle every spare ounce of sweat from each precision gear. Translation?
The Lacrosse provides a goodly thrust of power when you need it but with little pressure necessary on the accelerator. Using the foot lightly in town, it’s easy to get a feel for it. But the speed can creep up on you after about 40km. The speedometer, reflected in the windshield and always in your line of sight (eyes on the road, please!) keeps you honest.
Rather than a rearview camera for reversing, you see three tiny points of light above the back windshield in your mirror. They fire up in succession as you draw closer your neighbour’s fence. When all three are lit, stop. Now!
From the control panel you can raise and lower a shade guard to keep the sun off the two DVD screens. Thankfully, these are in the back and not visible by the driver.
“Your hands need never touch the keys.” If you have the remote on your person, you can open the doors and start the car: not an essential for survival but you’d be surprised how quickly you become accustomed to it. Careful! The push-button start/stop will surprise you because it’s so quiet. Early in our relationship, I left the car unwittingly with it still running.
–– Steven Bochenek