New Car Review

2016 Buick LaCrosse: New Car Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse Leather
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse
$20,975
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse Leather
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse
$20,200
RELATED READING
See all Buick LaCrosse articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader December 2015

With its combination of European styling, modern luxury touches and excellent fuel economy, the Buick of today is largely unrecognizable from the dated brand most Americans still remember. Stodgy and mild no longer have a place in the Buick vocabulary, and few models are better proof than the 2016 Buick LaCrosse.

When the LaCrosse received its last major overhaul for the 2010 model year, it was billed as the first car of a new generation of Buicks meant to attract younger buyers. For the most part, the strategy has succeeded, and with the addition of models such as the Verano, Regal and Encore (along with the continued success of the Enclave), Buick has been rewarded with strong sales growth.

The 2016 LaCrosse is an excellent choice for luxury shoppers seeking fuel economy and value. That's even true for buyers in cold-weather climates, since it features available all-wheel drive. Yes, it has a few foibles, but they are by no means deal-breakers, especially among the car's target market.

What's New for 2016?

The LaCrosse sees minor changes for 2016, including an updated IntelliLink infotainment system (with new Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability) and an alluring new Sport Touring package for base models.

What We Like

Good luxury appointments; impressive standard features; good fuel economy; available all-wheel drive

What We Don't

Twitchy steering; base 4-cylinder lacks performance; slightly dull styling

How Much?

$32,000-$41,100

Fuel Economy

The LaCrosse offers two engines. The vast majority of LaCrosse models come with the sedan's 3.6-liter V6, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and makes 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive V6 models return 18 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while optional all-wheel drive brings those numbers down to 17 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.

Drivers looking for extra efficiency can upgrade to the brand's mild hybrid eAssist 4-cylinder, which is offered on the base-level LaCrosse and the LaCrosse Leather. This engine is a 182-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, and it touts an impressive 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy. It's only offered with a 6-speed automatic and front-wheel drive.

Standard Features & Options

The LaCrosse is offered in five trim levels. There's the base-level LaCrosse 1SV, followed by the LaCrosse, the Leather, the Premium I and the range-topping Premium II.

The base-level 1SV ($32,000) is an unusual trim that comes only one way, with the sedan's standard V6 engine, a power driver's seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, a backup camera, cruise control, an 8-in center touchscreen with Buick's recently updated IntelliLink system (which now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), Bluetooth, OnStar with built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi and an auxiliary jack for iPods and other music players. There's also a tilt-telescopic steering wheel for driver convenience.

Step up to the LaCrosse ($34,700), and you add a cargo net and, most importantly, the ability to order extra options, namely, the new Sport Touring package, which features sleek 18-in alloy wheels and a trunk spoiler; the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, which offers improved fuel economy; the Comfort and Convenience package, which boasts rear parking sensors, keyless access with a push-button starter and driver memory settings; and the Leather package, which adds leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power passenger seat.

Next up is the Leather ($36,800), which also offers the choice between the V6 and the 4-cylinder. It adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power passenger seat and driver memory settings.

The Premium I ($39,100) adds the 3.6-liter V6 as standard equipment, along with ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, a power rear sunshade, a Bose audio system and 18-in alloy wheels.

Topping the range is the Premium II ($41,100), which adds 20-in chrome wheels and adaptive suspension dampers for an improved ride.

The LaCrosse offers several options. Some features from upper-level trims are offered on lower models, for instance, but other important extras include a panoramic sunroof, improved cabin materials (in the Ultra Luxury package) and two Driver Confidence packages: one that offers rear cross-traffic alert, a head-up display, a blind spot monitoring system, xenon headlights, fog lights, lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert, and another that adds an automatic forward-collision braking system, adaptive cruise control and a vibrating safety-alert seat.

Safety

The 2016 Buick LaCrosse comes standard with eight airbags, a backup camera, stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes and daytime running lights. Optional safety features include rear cross-traffic alert, a head-up display, a blind spot monitoring system, xenon headlights, fog lights, lane-departure warning and forward-collision alert, an automatic forward-collision braking system, adaptive cruise control and a vibrating safety-alert seat.

In government tests, the LaCrosse earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's perfect 5-star overall crash-test rating. That includes 5-star performance in the front- and side-impact assessments, along with a 4-star rollover rating.

Behind the Wheel

While the interior of the 2016 LaCrosse is generally well-designed and pleasing to look at, a week of hauling a family around gave us insight into its strengths and weaknesses. One of the car's best features is how well the engineers handled noise and vibration. In fact, the car was so quiet, even on poorly maintained highways, that the road sometimes faded away as an afterthought. With the engine off at every stop sign and red light, the quietness was even more noticeable in city driving.

Although the seats are generally comfortable for long rides, they could benefit from a bit more bolstering for front passengers' hips and thighs.

To attract a younger, more tech-savvy buyer to the brand, Buick's smartphone integration is very good and intuitive. Connecting an iPhone to the system worked flawlessly, and the Bluetooth audio phone connection was clear and easy for incoming callers to understand, even at highway speeds. Buick's standard IntelliLink infotainment system also adds value.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Cadillac CTS -- The CTS is more of a driver's car than the LaCrosse, boasting rear-wheel-drive architecture and powerful engine offerings. Still, both cars offer well-priced luxury.

2016 Lexus ES -- The Lexus ES is a pricy competitor, but it also offers a high-end interior, powerful engines and a hybrid that's far more efficient than the LaCrosse's eAssist powertrain.

2016 Lincoln MKZ -- The boldly styled MKZ provides a good challenger to the LaCrosse thanks to a supple ride, a handsome interior and reasonable pricing. Plus, there's a hybrid that returns 47 mpg.

Used Hyundai Genesis -- Hyundai's supple Genesis sedan offers a lot of technology and better performance than the LaCrosse. Higher prices mean you may have to consider a used model, though.

Autotrader's Advice

The LaCrosse is an excellent near-luxury sedan, and we certainly recommend adding it to your list of cars to consider. If we were buying, we'd probably choose the Leather with the 3.6-liter V6 and at least one Driver Confidence package; that's a well-equipped luxury sedan with a lot of safety and comfort features for a reasonable price.

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse Leather
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse
$20,975
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse Leather
Used 2016 Buick LaCrosse
$20,200
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.
2016 Buick LaCrosse: New Car Review - Autotrader