Are you searching for a luxuriously appointed sedan that's just as confident on the highway as it is carving up curvy back roads? Do you crave Old World levels of refinement but don't see the need to shell out princely sums in order to get what you want? If so, you can't afford to overlook the 2018 Buick LaCrosse.
Last year, the Buick LaCrosse was completely redesigned. It's quieter, more comfortable, and more refined than ever before, and in 2018, it comes available with a high-tech mild hybrid engine as one of the powertrain options. While the 2018 LaCrosse is sure to appeal to longtime fans of the brand, the latest model is sure to attract a wider array of people with its more upscale styling, a greater focus on efficiency, and an array of new technology features—all at an affordable price.
The 2018 Buick LaCrosse gets an extra dose of both performance and refinement, thanks to an upgraded powertrain and re-engineered chassis. The traditional standard gas engine option is now joined by a mild hybrid engine option.
The 3.6-liter standard gas V6 produces 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The V6 features direct injection for added power and more efficient combustion, as well as two notable fuel-saving features: General Motors’ Active Fuel Management system, which shuts down two cylinders under light loads and reactivates them when needed, as well as an engine start/stop system that shuts off the engine at traffic lights and stop signs to reduce fuel consumption.
The LaCrosse features standard front-wheel drive, and Buick’s new twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system is available as an option. It uses an independent clutch setup to determine how much power is sent to each individual rear wheel, improving handling. A new five-link rear suspension and available Continuous Damping Control active suspension also help in that area.
All of this hardware would be useless without a sturdy chassis to bolt it to, however. Buick says the 2018 LaCrosse body structure is not only stronger than before, it's also 300 pounds lighter thanks to extensive use of high-strength steel. The LaCrosse also benefits from Buick’s QuietTuning process, which utilizes features like triple-sealed doors, acoustic laminated glass, and active noise cancellation to ensure a peaceful cabin experience.
Fuel economy is another area where the 2018 LaCrosse shines. With standard front-wheel drive, the LaCrosse earns an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined (21 city/31 highway).* When equipped with available all-wheel drive, the 2018 LaCrosse earns an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway).*
Joining the powertrain lineup this year is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with eAssist light electrification technology. Buick’s eAssist propulsion system combines a compact electric motor and an advanced 24-cell air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with the gas engine to enhance efficiency and maintain refined performance. This revolutionary new technology provides a 19 percent increase in city fuel economy compared to the LaCrosse’s advanced V6, as well as other benefits found in fully electric vehicles, such as torque-assisted launch, energy-saving regenerative braking, and exceptionally smooth stop/start. It brings the LaCrosse's fuel economy up to an enviable 25 mpg city and 35 mpg highway.*
The 2018 Buick LaCrosse is a four-door, five-seat sedan. It's available in 1SV, Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir trim levels. Despite all that it has to offer, the LaCrosse won't burden your bank account thanks to an attractive starting MSRP of $29,565.**
The 1SV trim has a dizzying array of standard features that include 18-inch wheels, automatic xenon headlights, fog lamps, and heated mirrors. To help make drivers more comfortable, the LaCrosse also comes with standard dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The LaCrosse also places a heavy emphasis on technology, which is highlighted by its standard rear parking sensors, rearview camera, keyless ignition/entry, and OnStar® telematics system. OnStar® is especially helpful since it not only includes a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, but also provides additional peace of mind while driving thanks to its automatic crash notification, emergency call button, and stolen vehicle assistance, to name a few of its features.
Naturally, the Preferred, Essence, and Premium trims all elevate the 2018 LaCrosse to even greater levels of luxury. Some of the available features include HID headlights with LED signature lighting, 18-inch wheels, perforated leather seats, heated steering wheel, Bose® premium audio system, and a power rear sunshade.
The 2018 LaCrosse also features more onboard technology items than before. The driver gets an 8.0-inch LED “information center” display, and there’s a second 8.0-inch display as part of Buick’s IntelliLink® infotainment system. IntelliLink also features Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ smartphone connectivity. To ensure smartphones feel at home, Buick also offers wireless phone charging.
The 2018 Buick LaCrosse continues Buick’s current design language, with some nods to the brand’s history. The large grille includes a prominent Buick tri-shield insignia accented by wing-shaped elements, against vertical “waterfall” bars. It’s a configuration inspired by the 1954 Buick Wildcat II concept.
The rest of the LaCrosse has a more dynamic look than previous models. The front wheels were pulled forward and the wheelbase stretched 2.7 inches, despite an increase in overall length of just 0.6 inches. The roof is also 1.6 inches lower than the previous-generation model, giving the LaCrosse a sleeker profile. Finally, the wheels are pushed out further toward the corners for a more athletic stance.
The interior is just as stylized as the exterior. It features a dramatic “floating” center console that positions the electronic shifter closer to the driver while creating storage space below. Buick also splurged for high-quality materials, including aluminum sill plates, wood trim, and soft-touch material at most touch points. French stitching on areas like the seats and instrument panel classes things up even further.
The LaCrosse is as capable as it is stylish, thanks to thoughtful touches that help improve functionality. The rear doors open wider than before to offer easier ingress and egress, for example, and trunk capacity is about 7 percent greater than in the previous LaCrosse, giving it enough room for four golf bags.
Safety features on the 2018 Buick LaCrosse include anti-lock brakes, stability, and traction controls, 10 standard airbags, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane change alert, forward collision alert, forward automatic braking, front pedestrian braking, automatic park assist, and GM’s Safety Alert Seat.
The 2018 Buick LaCrosse emerges from its top-to-bottom redesign sleeker, smoother, and more efficient than before.
* EPA estimated.
** The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment.
Image Credit: Buick