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By Harold Osmer
Buick. Who? What? Are those guys still around? Oh yes. And their third generation LaCrosse is a prime example of why auto buyers should play closer attention.
Our 2017 Buick LaCrosse Premium Edition is an adult’s car. Roomy and comfortable with ample space for four, LaCrosse’s interior feels larger than it appears. Front seats adjust in eight directions and they slipped in a massage function for those stuck-in-traffic hours. It’s hard to imagine needing that feature on regular basis as LaCrosse is plenty comfy on its own.
LaCrosse is tasked with moving full sized people and does so with luxury and ease. Rear seats offer plenty of leg (38 inches), head (37.2 inches), and shoulder space (56.6 inches). Interior appointments include a wide center console with discreet underside storage space large enough to hold a purse or laptop. Our power sunroof opens far enough to reveal passengers to the great outdoors. Positive feel controls and switches speak to a level of service expected by Buick owners. Owners want fast action windows, immediate electronic response from switch input, and solid feedback from all controls. They are here.
Outward styling is very modern. Body contour sculpting runs from the front to fading in at about the rear quarter panel. Another line goes from the tail light area forward to the rear door. The result is subtle and very visually effective.
LaCrosse escorted us through our canyon/freeway test loop in undramatic fashion—that’s a very good thing. Big four-wheel antilock disc brakes bring this car to a ready halt. Turns and twists in both Touring and Sport modes came with stability and confidence while freeway speeds were very quiet and smooth. the 2017 Buick LaCrosse is well suited to both types of driving.
The safety feature list is highlighted by a ten-airbag passenger sensing system with child presence detector. Forward Collision Alert, Following Distance Indicator, Front Pedestrian Detection, and Front Automatic Braking are just some of the electronic systems designed to assist in quick emergency situations.
Our only knock on the driving experience is comes via the engine start-stop feature. This feature shuts the engine off when the vehicle is stopped for anything more than a second or two, say at a stop light. It refires when your foot is lifted off the brake or you step on the gas. Generally seamless in a mechanical sense, start-stop nonetheless results in also shutting down the air conditioning system. Thus cool air is replaced with ambient. So maybe the system is not all that seamless afterall. We did not search for a way to opt out of this feature but would assume there’s a selection available in the CUE.
Still, the 2017 Buick LaCrosse is quite a nice car. We’re happy to place it on our “too bad we have to give it back” list.