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Auto review: Full-size Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan returns for 2018; prices start at $29,565

G. Chambers Williams III, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Automotive News

Buick's rebirth as a premium General Motors brand received a big boost with last year's introduction of the redesigned, next-generation LaCrosse full-size sedan, including new styling, technology and luxury amenities.

This car is aimed at professionals in their 30s who are looking for a bridge between a mass-market sedan like a Honda Accord and a more-expensive luxury brand such as BMW or Mercedes.

That has been the goal since the first modern version of the LaCrosse went on sale in 2009, and it has been a great success so far, with about 1 million of the LaCrosse sold since the 2009 rollout.

For 2018, now in its second year, this latest iteration of the LaCrosse starts at $29,565 (plus $925 freight) for the base 1SV model, and ranges as high as $38,665 for the top-of-the-line Premium model (before options).

Buick says the redesign last year gave the LaCrosse the "new face of Buick," including a new, larger signature waterfall grille with the return of the three-color Buick shield – red, silver and blue –and such features as high-intensity discharge headlights, LED signature lighting, and LED taillights.

For 2018, there is a new standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an eAssist light electrification system as the standard power on the LaCrosse. With a six-speed automatic transmission, it brings GM-estimated fuel-economy ratings of 25 mpg city/35 highway/29 combined.

 

A new nine-speed automatic transmission comes with the optional 3.6-liter V-6 engine ($2,500 extra), which is available with all-wheel drive ($2,200) on the top two trim levels.

The V-6 produces 310 horsepower and 282 foot-pounds of torque. EPA ratings are 21 mpg city/30 highway/24 combined for front-drive V-6 models; all-wheel drive lowers that a bit, to 20 city/29 highway/23 combined.

Four trim levels are offered, starting with the base LaCrosse (front-wheel drive only), followed by the Preferred ($33,665, front drive only); Essence ($36,365, front drive, I-4); and the Premium ($38.665, front-wheel drive; $43,425, all-wheel drive and V-6).

New exterior colors for 2018 are Satin Steel Metallic, Dark Slate Metallic and Red Quartz Tintcoat.

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