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6 Sporty Buicks You Might Have Forgotten

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Used 2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL
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author photo by Eric Brandt November 2019

When most people think about Buick, they think about the early bird special crowd and probably the right lane. However, I think that some of Buick's reputation for building cars for, shall we say, more mature drivers isn't completely fair. Yes, the older driving demographic tends to like big, comfy cars and Buick has a great reputation for building those. But there's a surprising number of performance cars in Buick's history that should make you think twice about the brand. I'm not even talking about the old days of the GSX, the Riviera GS or even the Grand National. You don't have to go very far back in Buick's history to find some pretty sporty cars.

Here are a few sporty Buicks you might have forgotten.

Buick LaCrosse

Buick LaCrosse Super

One of my favorite cars in modern history that absolutely no one asked for is the Buick LaCrosse Super, which only lived for the 2008 and 2009 model years. Do you remember the Chevy Impala SS of that era? It had a sideways 5.3-liter V8 engine powering the front wheels and making 300 horsepower. Well, there was a Buick version of that muscle sedan in the LaCrosse Super. One of the giveaways of the Super was the four portholes on the front quarters, rather than just three. (One for each cylinder, I guess.) This thing has a top speed of 150 mph and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. If you can find one, this is one heck of a bargain sleeper sedan. Find a used Buick LaCrosse for sale

Buick Lucerne

Buick Lucerne V8

Another somewhat modern V8-powered Buick sedan is the Lucerne. However, the Lucerne's available V8 wasn't the same 5.3-liter unit that was in the LaCrosse Super. Instead, the Lucerne got the option of the less powerful but supposedly more sophisticated 4.6-liter Northstar V8 that was common in Cadillacs at the time. The engine made between 257 and 292 hp, depending on the model year. It didn't quite have the same heat as the V8-powered LaCrosse, as it was a bigger car that made less power, but the Lucerne still represented a good old-fashioned full-size American sedan with V8 muscle. Oh, and it also had eight portholes to let everyone else in the church parking lot know that your Buick meant business. Find a Buick Lucerne for sale

Buick Verano

Buick Verano Turbo

The turbocharged version of the Buick Verano is becoming a hidden gem in affordable used sport sedans. I wouldn't blame you if you'd forgotten the Verano existed -- it was little more than a rebadged Chevrolet Cruze, and it left the U.S. market when the Cruze entered its second generation. Starting in the 2013 model year, the Verano was available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four making 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. That's right -- only 7 hp less than a Northstar-powered Lucerne! It had an impressive 0-to-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds and it could even be had with a 6-speed manual transmission. Find a Buick Verano for sale

Buick Riviera

Supercharged Buick Riviera

The final generation of the Buick Riviera, which was a large coupe shaped like a Jordan almond, came with GM's venerable 3.8-liter V6 plus an available supercharged version of the engine. The supercharged V6 was standard for the 1998 and 1999 model years and made 240 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. That might not sound like much, but that's not bad at all for a '90s Buick, and this was the most powerful V6 engine in a Buick since the Grand National. No, it's nowhere near as cool as a Grand National, but the last Riviera is not a bad budget alternative if you like the idea of a classy Buick coupe with forced induction. Find a Buick Riviera for sale

Buick Rainier

Buick Rainier V8

OK -- I was hesitant to put this one on the list because I'm not sure that "sporty" is the right word for it. However, I do want to draw attention to the weird fact that you used to be able to buy a Buick SUV with a V8 engine. The Buick Rainier was a reskinned Chevy TrailBlazer, but don't get too excited -- the V8 Rainier was not a Buick-badged TrailBlazer SS. The V8 you got in the Rainier was a 5.3-liter mill making 290 hp in its first model year, 2004, and it was up to 302 hp by its final model year, 2007. I know that's less power than the V6 in the current Buick Enclave, but I think the idea of a V8-powered Buick SUV is pretty cool. Find a Buick Rainier for sale

Buick Regal GS

Buick Regal GS

Here's one that you can still buy new today. I think the Buick Regal GS is one of the most widely forgotten sport sedans of today because it's not quite luxurious or sporty enough to compete with more expensive sport sedans, such as the BMW M3 and the Audi S4, but it's also not quite a budget sport sedan, like, say, the Subaru WRX. That puts the Regal GS in a sport sedan middle ground, which isn't a bad place to be. It's just a nice midsize sedan with a strong V6 plus enough performance mods here and there to give it a fun-to-drive factor that makes your daily drive a little more exciting. Find a Buick Regal for sale

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Used 2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
6 Sporty Buicks You Might Have Forgotten - Autotrader
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