Buick has been busy evolving, and the newest LaCrosse is a good example of the ongoing process. Technically an entry-level luxury sedan, the 2012 LaCrosse fits in well with its upscale classmates. Read on for an impressive report card.
Buick LaCrosse Trims and Features
2012 Buick LaCrosse comes in 7 trim levels with varying degrees of features. Check them out here, or buy a new LaCrosse on CarWoo!
Starting with Base LaCrosse (from $29,320), standards include a 2.4 liter gasoline/electric engine, 17” alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, rear spoiler, an 8-way adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, cloth seating with leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, custom lighting, and a 7 speaker audio system with CD/XM/iPod access.
Convenience Group LaCrosse ($29,790) adds a V6 engine option, 4-way driver’s lumbar adjustment, remote start, and auto dimming interior rearview mirror.
Leather trims ($31,255) add the obvious leather trim with heated front seats- along with a front passenger 8-way adjustable seat- and foglamps.
Premium I LaCrosse ($31,800) includes rear parking assist. Additional tech features become optional and include navigation, head-up display, and an 11 speaker surround sound audio system.
Premium II models ($33,255) add 18” alloys, key fob entry, a leather & wood grain heated steering wheel, and perforated leather seating. (Also note that for Premium II LaCrosse and up the V6 engine is the only choice available.)
Jump to Premium III LaCrosse ($34,645) and it’s 18” chrome plated wheels, improved sport suspension, standard surround sound audio, and a push-button start.
Finally, Touring trims ($37,630) come with 19” wheels, adaptive suspension, and standard navigation, rearview camera, and blind spot warning.
Buick LaCrosse Performance
Buick offers a pair of engines for its LaCrosse. New for 2012 is the eAssist gas/electric powered LaCrosse hybrid which pairs a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine with a lithium-ion battery and electric motor. The front-wheel driven eAssist delivers 182 horsepower and 172 lb.-ft. of torque with the most noteworthy aspect being up to 25% improved fuel economy according to Buick. eAssist models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The other LaCrosse option is a traditional 3.6 liter V6 offering more boost by way of 303 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque. Choose between front-wheel or all-wheel drive with the V6; either option comes with 6-speed auto.
Buick LaCrosse Fuel Economy
eAssist LaCrosse, with help from automatic front grill shutters under-body aerodynamic panels, offers an EPA estimated 25/36/29 (city/highway/combined) MPG; 29 combined MPG puts LaCrosse above 4-cylinder nameplates Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord. V6 models come in at 17/27/21 with front-wheel drive and 16/26/20 with all-wheel drive.
Critics say LaCrosse’s interior rivals, and in some aspects outdoes, luxury sedans like Lexus’ ES with upscale features like ambient ‘ice’-blue lighting for night drives and comfortable, quality trims with available features like a head-up display and heated steering wheel. Buick’s QuietTuning creates a quiet cabin so drivers and passengers alike can enjoy LaCrosse’s expansive seating arrangement; the sedan seats 5, and even back seat passengers can stretch out a bit with 40.5” of legroom and 56” worth of shoulder space.
The only complaints come from a less than average sized trunk providing 13.3 cubic feet for V6 LaCrosse and just 10.9 cubic feet for eAssist models due to battery placement. Some note a few awkward control functions, but nothing time and familiarity can’t fix.
Buick LaCrosse Safety
Sometimes it’s good to be a bigger sedan. 2012 LaCrosse nearly swept the board in governmental crash tests, scoring 5/5 stars overall by way of 5/5 for frontal crashes, 5/5 in side impacts, and 4/5 for rollovers. Aiding LaCrosse’s overall safety are standard features like stability and traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, and front seat side impact and side curtain airbags with rear seat thorax bags optional. A 6 month subscription to OnStar services is also included. Critics say that visibility may become problematic for drivers so thankfully LaCrosse offers an optional rearview camera and blind spot warning system.
Those not versed in Buick’s more recent evolutions may want to pass over the 2nd generation LaCrosse, but the consensus is that this entry-level luxury sedan is one of the best available right now. An attractive overall package, 2012 LaCrosse offers a refined, quiet cabin, satisfactory tech features, performance optioning with the economic with eAssist or more powerful V6, and top crash ratings. Enough to make a wide range of drivers want to take notice.