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#7

in Affordable Large Cars

MSRP: $33,635 - $40,500
Invoice: $32,290 - $38,880
MPG: 25 City / 36 Hwy
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Buick LaCrosse Performance

The 2015 Buick LaCrosse eAssist offers excellent fuel economy for the class, but critics say it accelerates slowly. As a result, some reviewers recommend the V6 model for its additional power. While test drivers report that the 2015 LaCrosse lacks the agility of sport sedans, they say it still offers controlled handling and a comfortable ride. 

  • "The key point about the 2013 Buick LaCrosse driving experience is how transparent its eAssist system is on the road." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "It's still no sport sedan, but it won't make you fearful of short freeway on-ramps. The auto start/stop feature works pretty well, starting almost imperceptibly except in very quick transitions from brake to throttle." -- Motor Trend (2012 LaCrosse eAssist)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Buick LaCrosse eAssist is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make a combined 182 horsepower. A 304-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine is also available. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the LaCrosse eAssist gets 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. V6 models get up to 18/28 mpg city/highway, which is slightly low for a V6-powered affordable large car.

Test drivers are pleased with the excellent fuel economy numbers earned by LaCrosse eAssist models. They are also impressed with its seamless start-stop system, which shuts the engine off when the car is stopped to conserve fuel. Still, reviewers say if you want power and quick acceleration, you’ll have to opt for the available V6 engine.

  • "The standard eAssist system teams a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a 15-kilowatt electric motor for a total output of 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. The system's upside is 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, while drawbacks include leisurely acceleration. …" -- Left Lane News
  • "The 15-hp electric motor helps the 182-hp 4-cylinder gasoline engine during acceleration, and when slowing, the motor becomes a generator to recharge the lithium-ion battery pack. The gasoline engine also shuts down at stop signs, but restarts are devoid of the shudder found in many stop-start systems in non-hybrid cars." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Although it understandably returns lower fuel economy, the strong V6 is better suited to the LaCrosse's personality. Shifts from its automatic transmission are smooth but not particularly quick." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • "Despite a boot from its electric motor, 4-cylinder LaCrosse models are still far from quick. ... The transmission shifts smoothly, but downshifts occasionally suffer from a noticeable delay from the time you press the gas pedal to when you speed ahead." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 LaCrosse comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available. Reviewers say that while the LaCrosse isn’t a sport sedan, its handling is well-controlled. They also think it offers a refined, smooth ride that remains comfortable on long trips. Still, a few test drivers complain that the steering lacks feedback, and that all-wheel drive models feel unwieldy.

  • "Whether you choose the eAssist or V6, the LaCrosse boasts competent handling, a smooth ride and strong brakes. It's no sports sedan - the steering is particularly numb, for example - but for long distance cruising, the quiet cabin, excellent audio and comfortable highway ride are ideal." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Buyers in the large, plush premium car segment probably aren't looking for a sport sedan, and they won't find one in the LaCrosse. However, it does provide faithful steering and composed handling without a tradeoff in ride quality, which is decidedly cushy. Suspension revisions for the latest model year help give the LaCrosse a slightly more agile feel." -- Left Lane News
  • "With either engine, the LaCrosse's driving dynamics are perfect for the car's mission of being a refined cruiser. It's easy to steer and has an impressively comfortable and quiet ride." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • "The AWD model lacks the best suspension bits and the smooth ride of its counterpart. And it just feels heavy. We'd recommend it only for those in regions with the worst winter weather, and even then we'd advise shopping AWD alternatives." -- Popular Mechanics (2014)
Review Last Updated: 9/26/14

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