2015 Buick Lacrosse Redesign

Thursday, June 26th 2014. | Buick |

2015 Buick Lacrosse White ViewTo keep its vehicles from sliding back into outdated territory, Buick will be offering new technology and features to keep its models fresh and current with today’s market.

Buicks have grown into something totally different than their sister models of yore. They’ve gone upscale and up-market, and it might prove difficult to find a 2015 Buick LaCrosse relaxing in the parking lot of your local retirement home. Instead, the brand has sought to attract younger buyers, and in the process, the cars have become more stylish and more engaging, to the point where they almost flirt with the word ‘sporty.’

Even more modern are the changes seen in the LaCrosse for 2015. A rearview camera becomes standard across all models, and OnStar now comes equipped with a 4G LTE connection, which includes the ability to broadcast a WiFi data connection inside the vehicle. The Buick IntelliLink infotainment system also now includes text message alerts and Siri Eyes Free connectivity for your iPhone.

Buick Lacrosse Interior

2015 Buick Lacrosse InteriorThe LaCrosse cabin is designed with you in mind. You’ll find ingenious storage throughout. Room to stretch. Available soft, supple leather-appointed seats. A customizable Driver Information Display that puts the information you need right in front of you. And a cabin so quiet you can hear yourself think. All you have to do is take a seat.

The LaCrosse cockpit pulls off a swanky, traditional feel in all but the very base editions, where it’s a bit less nice. The modern arc of the dash divides it into two tone zones, with an upper tier that swoops its way around the cabin, flowing neatly into redesigned door panels to form an interior beltline.

The interior appointments and standards of refinement in the LaCrosse’s cabin are truly luxury-car caliber. Across most of the interior, materials are lavish, with fine detailing, ambient lighting, and nicely done faux-stitching on the dashboard, along with plenty of soft-touch surfaces. The materials were updated last model year, along with the seats

Last year, Buick’s added active shutters to the grille for smoother aero, and cooler headlamps with LED wings bookended by LED taillamps. What it could have used, at the same time, is a pry bar for the fake portholes still stuck to its reshaped hood. They’re an unwelcome echo of the past, almost the only reminder of where Buick was just a decade ago.

2015 Buick Lacrosse SunroofThe LaCrosse is graceful and soft where it needs to be, at the roofline and around its shoulders. But there’s enough bulk down low (the 20-inch wheels now available are beefy well-fillers) and enough starch in its creases to lend it presence. It even has some of the stance of a classically proportioned sedan despite the fact that it’s a front-driver most of the time–the long nose helps, a lot, and so does the small decklid spoiler.

The standard LaCrosse comes with the usual power features, cruise control, climate control, and AM/FM/XM/CD player. There’s remote start, eight-way adjustable front seats, and Bluetooth with audio streaming, a tech feature that might not mate up with the core Buick audience of yesterday, but thinks ahead for the customers it needs to attract.

Buick Lacrosse Engine

 Buick Lacrosse EngineWho says luxury and performance can’t coexist? Opt for the 304hp V6 engine and you’ll be enjoying the road in no time. Innovations like eAssist technology help conserve fuel, while the option of All-Wheel Drive helps you stay in control even in rain, sleet or snow. That kind of confidence never goes out of style.

There are two drivetrains available in the 2015 LaCrosse. One is focused on the brand’s reputation for smooth sailing and highway cruising, while the other gets the most out of each gallon of gas in the tank.

The LaCrosse is no performance car, but it does handle the curves better than its predecessors. Its electric power steering has a better sense of stability and on-center tracking than some of the brand-new large sedans we’ve driven this year. And in Touring guise, with the optional magnetic adjustable suspension (and included V-rated performance tires and variable-effort power steering), the LaCrosse gains a more responsive feel that doesn’t come at the expense of ride quality.

For those who want an experience that’s closer to that of a traditional luxury car or a traditional Buick, a 304-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 is available. Mileage dips significantly, but it’s strong and smooth, with plenty of reserves for passing–which perhaps makes it the best choice for those who plan to carry a full load on highway trips. There’s also an all-wheel-drive option, engineered by Haldex, that can shuffle some power to the rear wheels when the fronts lose traction.

The base powertrain takes a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and couples it to an “eAssist” mild-hybrid system made up of batteries and an electric motor. It’s not a full hybrid–it’s not able to cruise on electric power alone–but the eAssist setup does feed some of its net 15 hp to the drivetrain to smooth six-speed automatic shifts and to run some accessories, as well as to restart the engine after it’s automatically stopped at longer pauses. With a net 182 horsepower, this base powertrain is quite smoothly integrated and perfectly adequate, though not all that enjoyable. Although eAssist helps smooth out shifts most of the time, the system still has moments of roughness and indecision.

Buick Lacrosse MPG

The EPA hasn’t yet rated the fuel economy for the 2015 Buick LaCrosse, but we expect to see those numbers mirror last year’s.  With the available V-6 engine, the LaCrosse’s fuel economy doesn’t necessarily blow our minds. Last year’s EPA figures come in at either 17/26 mpg or 20 mpg combined for the all-wheel-drive version, or 18/28/21 mpg for the front-drive V-6 car.

Last year, the eAssist mild-hybrid powertrain delivered an EPA-rated 25 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, for a combined gas mileage figure of 29 mpg. That’s a very good number for a large sedan, and in real-world driving, our editors have seen about 30 mpg in 270 miles of mixed driving.

A word of caution, though. While we’ve been able to come close to replicating the LaCrosse’s 36-mpg highway rating, we’ve found it challenging—virtually impossible—to see the EPA test’s 25 mpg in city driving. The trip computer’s figures in typical city driving have been more in the 19- to 21-mpg range.

2015 Buick Lacrosse Image Gallery

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