The 2017 Buick LaCrosse is an exercise in understated beauty, with attractive, sculpted lines from every angle. The car is stiffer than the outgoing model but, impressively, it is also nearly 300 pounds lighter. Crisp handling is achieved thanks to a new five-link rear suspension, while an optional "HiPer Strut" front suspension is available, as is an electronically controlled continuously damped active suspension with both Touring and Sport modes. Meanwhile, turn-in is nimble with a new variable-ratio electric power steering system.
The LaCrosse is available in four trims: base, Preferred, Essence, and Premium. All are powered by a direct-injection 3.6L V6 with variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation. The unit makes 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque and benefits from stop/start technology for improved fuel economy. It is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission with driver-selectable shift control, and power is sent to the front wheels. The top trim -- LaCrosse Premium -- comes with Buick's all-wheel-drive system, with power sent to all four wheels thanks to a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system, which constantly monitors traction and makes adjustments to traction as necessary.
Being the luxury brand that it is, even the base LaCrosse is well equipped. Standard exterior features include 18-inch alloy wheels, active front lower grille shutters to aid aerodynamics, automatic xenon HID headlights with LED accents, and heated power mirrors with LED turn indicators. Inside, the LaCrosse benefits from Buick's QuietTuning, which helps reduce and absorb noise and vibration thanks to advanced acoustic materials. Coupled with active noise cancellation, the LaCrosse makes for a pleasantly quiet ride. Interior amenities include keyless entry and push-button start, auto up/down windows, automatic dual-zone climate control, leatherette seating with eight-way powered front seats, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, and Buick IntelliLink, which includes an eight-inch touchscreen control, Apple Car Play and Android Auto smartphone integration, dual USB ports, , and Bluetooth streaming audio. Cruise control and OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in WiFi hotspot are also standard.
The LaCrosse Preferred adds different 18-inch wheels, power tilt/telescopic steering and SiriusXM satellite radio to the mix. With the LaCrosse Essence, you get leather seating with heated front seats and driver's side memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and articulating headlights. Finally, the LaCrosse Premium brings a heated steering wheel, four-way lumbar massaging front seats, and head-up display, and advanced safety features bundled in the Driver Confidence Package, like forward collision alert, lane-keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Standalone options on the Essence and Premium trims include a Bose premium sound system, continuously variable damping, rear power sunshade, navigation, and a panoramic moonroof.
Bundled in the Driver Confidence Package #2 is automatic park assist, front pedestrian detection, automatic braking and adaptive cruise control. The Sights and Sounds Package bundles Buick IntelliLink radio with navigation and Bose surround sound, while the Sun and Shade Package adds the moonroof and rear sunshade.
The Buick LaCrosse has been reengineered and redesigned inside and out for 2017. The third-generation full-size luxury sedan is lighter and stiffer than the car it replaces, and power comes from a revised 3.6L V6 now making 310 horsepower, which is mated to an all-new 8-speed transmission. Prices start at $32,065.