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2012-2013 Buick LaCrosse eAssist review | Consumer Reports


Big old Buicks used to be land barges,
just sort of floating down the road. But the LaCrosse does a lot to change that perception. First up the LaCrosse handles pretty well. Steering effort is light when you want it to be like when parking. But it firms up nicely when you’re driving down the road. There’s pretty good response and decent driver feedback as well. Top level Touring versions handle even better. Another way that the LaCrosse is a thoroughly
modern car is in its powertrain. You won’t see any special badges on the outside but the
standard engine in the LaCrosse is actually a hybrid. GM’s eAssist hybrid is a light hybrid system that uses a lithium-ion battery
to give the engine a bit of a boost for acceleration. Now this is a help because GM briefly offered a
four-cylinder non-hybrid LaCrosse and that car was a slug. The eAssist hybrid works really well. It’s nearly transparent
at helping to move along the LaCrosse. There’s also an engine shut-off system that shuts the engine down
when you’re at a stop in order to save fuel restarting it automatically. Now the system performs really well. It’s almost seamless. Fuel economy is really impressive for a car of this size. But the hybrid system’s battery pack does eat up some trunk space
making for a smallish trunk in such a big car. You can also get the LaCrosse with a V6. Over the
years GM has offered quite a few engine options here. There used to be a 3-liter V6 but that engine
lacked torque and made the car feel really flat-footed. A better option is the 3.3 liter V6. That engine is responsive and offers
strong acceleration along with decent fuel economy for a car of this size. No matter which engine you pick the LaCrosse is very
quiet inside. You hear next to no road noise. The big Buick also rides well rather than being floaty and
loose like old Buicks. The ride’s actually quite tied down. Yet it remains comfortably compliant. However, the LaCrosse rides better on versions with smaller wheels and tires than
with the 19-inch wheels and tires that come on top-level versions. The LaCrosse’s attractive styling hurts driver visibility. These windshield pillars, they’re enormous. They’re like a set of blinders in the corners. The side windows, they’re really short. And looking out the back, there’s
a small rear window and a very high rear deck. Bad driver visibility is easily the biggest problem with the LaCrosse. Inside you’ll find a very nicely-finished interior with lots
of wood trim and nice stitching details. But the driving position is oddly cramped for such a big car. The console cuts into knee room and the foot rest is
pushed way in towards the center of the car. Controls could be easier to use, too. There are a lot of buttons that all look
alike, all jumbled together on the console. On the plus side, the front seats are very comfortable–a
nice blend of soft padding and long-lasting support. The leather seats are much more supportive than the standard cloth seats. There’s also plenty of space in the rear seat. So the LaCrosse is a thoroughly modern, large, upscale
sedan, especially with its eAssist hybrid drive train. The car is plush and quiet. It’s too bad though the
driver visibility and space are limited by the car’s packaging.

David Frank

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Siyuan Pan Posted on July 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    what's the difference between this and the other lacrosse review, besides a different engine

    Reply
  2. Andrew Posted on July 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    The previous did not have the Eassist system which he noted from the start, also there is no longer a 3.0L offered, only an updated for 2012 on foreward 3.6L V6 that has 303 HP vs 288 when it first came out in 2010.

    Reply
  3. oldschool1 Posted on July 17, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Bad driver visibility = more exterior cameras, lane change radars, bumper sensors.

    Reply
  4. Gerald Dinnozzo Posted on July 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    in price yes and overall it has many of the same features i would buy american over a inport brand such as lexus any day

    Reply
  5. pedrof830 Posted on July 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    Mr Tester: in case you haven't noticed, limited visibility is in vogue nowadays, most manufacturers are guilty of this, for the sake of styling, if you want visibility check out a GM full size car from the 80's

    Reply
  6. blackseries99 Posted on July 18, 2012 at 12:36 am

    have u seen the new ES

    Reply
  7. StarBowy Foster Posted on July 18, 2012 at 12:50 am

    They are not even in Lexus class not even closes it is a nice car tho @Gabem8999

    Reply
  8. Jake S Posted on July 18, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Not really, Lexus is way out of Buick's league. Maybe some upper scale Hyundais and Mercury vehicles of old.

    Reply
  9. Jake S Posted on July 18, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Actually, maybe some top-trim level sedans like Camry XLE.

    Reply
  10. Billy Sou Posted on July 18, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I'm glad Buick ditched the original I-4 from last year (same I-4 as Equinox and Terrain). Tom said that he felt pinned in as he explained; I didn't feel that way. Don't forget a back-up camera is optional, but only if you get a Navi system. Hope Buick will offer the back-up camera with intellilink and have to fork over a grand for that option.

    Reply
  11. jhumenik97 Posted on July 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    they do have intellilink and offer a backup camera

    Reply
  12. jhumenik97 Posted on July 19, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    actually all there is is blind spot monitoring and a backup camera

    Reply
  13. JC6817 Posted on July 20, 2012 at 5:14 am

    You couldn't be more wrong. Have you driven both? I've not only driven both, I've owned both; actually, I owned the GS, and when my wife and I bought the Lacrosse, we were floored. They're totally Lexus class. And if you do your research, Lexus extensively researched Buick before they rolled out the first LS in 1989, so it was Lexus who copied Buick. So on that note, your statement should say "Lexus isn't even in Buick class."

    Reply
  14. zuti071 Posted on July 20, 2012 at 6:14 am

    any BI-TUTBO diesel for this car from OPEL soon???

    Reply
  15. bigcrowfly Posted on July 21, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Wow, a large car with a small trunk, poor visibility front side and rear, uncomfortable drivers seat, and dash with too many buttons.

    Reply
  16. FUCK YOU ALL THE MEN I AM BLAMING YOU Posted on July 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    good review and good car

    Reply
  17. JC6817 Posted on July 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Oh no. You're terribly mistaken. Mercury is dead, Hyundai is improving, and Lexus is being actively overtaken by Buick. Toyota isn't even close. The same people who previously bought Lexus are now shopping Buick; look it up, they knocked Lexus out of the water with sales. And for some history, Lexus' goal was to "be" Buick back in the late 80's. In fact, they researched and copied from Buick for close to 5 years before Lexus released their first model. It's all in black and white. Look it up.

    Reply
  18. Guns Cars and Digits Posted on September 23, 2012 at 3:16 am

    What about LeSabre from what, 50 years ago?

    Reply
  19. dave houston Posted on November 11, 2012 at 12:24 am

    The side windows are way too small on this car.

    Reply
  20. daniel smith Posted on June 4, 2013 at 2:23 am

    3.3 liter? Thought it came with the 3.6.

    Reply
  21. Nick McLay Posted on June 27, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Unlike many posting here, I own one of these. It is OUTSTANDING. Great fuel economy, silent cabin, and smoooooooth ride. I am buying a Verano tomorrow.

    Reply
  22. Billy Sou Posted on September 13, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Cramped? Shaq can fit in this LaCrosse.

    Reply
  23. eternalhalloween1 Posted on October 8, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    For what it's suppose to be, it is an impressive car.

    My only reservations about it are that he said that front vision is obstructed, and rear vision isn't so great. That's pretty much asking for an accident.

    Reply
  24. TruthHasSpoken Posted on December 31, 2015 at 3:04 am

    He makes a couple of very good points that GM needs to listen to:

    1) GM…. what consumer wants to trade off good visibility with a high rear end design? (not me)

    2) GM… stop forcing customers to step up to 19", 20" + wheels that hurt the ride of the car. Need to allow customers to keep smaller wheels for a better ride on the high end models. This makes no sense: Spend more money on higher end models….get nicer looking tires to the detriment of the ride and handling of the car. (no thank you)

    GM… ultimately you need to be customer driven….and stop being driven by industrial car designers who prefer styling over the basics of visibility and handling. Do your marketing people have any input at all? Do you discuss these tradeoffs with customers?

    Also, does a customer want a hundred buttons on the dashboard? He's right in his review…this is a confusing mess.

    Reply
  25. Taylormade2350 Posted on August 30, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Uhhhh, this car has one of the most roomy driver seats I've ever sat in. Im 6'1" and have never been in a car where I cant touch the peddles until this car. Every other vehicle I've owned SUV or sedan my seat position was ALL the way back, I cant do that in this car because there is too much room lol. Very comfortable and roomy.

    Reply
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