2018 Buick LaCrosse makes full-size cars fun again
Full size sedans have been out of fashion for a while, but I think they're poised to make a comeback. With cars like Volvo's luxurious S90, BMW's 7-series, and the Buick LaCrosse, you can get the space and comfort you want at a variety of price points and still have a car that's easy to maneuver and park.
When it comes to the price, LaCrosse dramatically undercuts the European brands, starting right around $30,000. You can get the top of the line for under $45,000, and that's a very well equipped car.
The big news for 2018 is that the standard LaCrosse drivetrain includes eAssist, which is a mild hybrid system that uses an electric motor to give some extra push to the standard gas engine. This combination gives the LaCrosse a healthy 194 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque, so it feels more like a V6 than a four-cylinder. You also get Buick's smooth 6-speed automatic transmission and front wheel drive, and the 2018 LaCrosse will return 25 MPG in the city and 35 MPG on the highway, which is fantastic in a full-size.
Inside, the LaCrosse earned a 10 Best Interiors award from Wards Auto, and it's the first Buick ever to make that list. Depending on your trim choice, the LaCrosse is available with perforated leather front seats with both heat and ventilation. Premium trim also includes a lumbar massage function and a heated steering wheel. Taken together with the fuel economy rating, the interior makes the LaCrosse a great choice for a commute vehicle.
Tech includes an 8-inch color touchscreen infotainment display with optional GPS navigation. Like all GM products, the LaCrosse includes support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with a 4G/LTE data receiver and the ability to generate a Wi-Fi hotspot inside the car.
On the road, the LaCrosse is pleasant and comfortable. Interior noise is kept to a minimum with active noise cancellation, and you can enjoy yourself with the optional 11-speaker Bose audio system. The eAssist drivetrain offers good power and the five-link rear suspension gives you a smooth ride.
Safety and convenience gear includes available full speed range cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection with automatic braking, parking assist, forward collision alert, and a following distance indicator. Premium trim even includes a haptic seat that will vibrate on the left or right side to indicate that something requires your attention.
The bottom line on the 2018 Buick LaCrosse is that if you've felt like you want a little more space in your daily ride but you don't want to spend big money, it's time to give Buick serious consideration. You'll be impressed with what you find.
2018 Buick LaCrosse
Base price: $30,490
Price as tested: $44,470
Type: Full-size sedan
Engine: 2.5-liter inline 4 (194 hp, 187 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 25/35
Overall length: 197.5 inches
Curb weight: 3,490 pounds
Final assembly: Detroit, Michigan