2015 Buick LaCrosse: Flagship sedan a success

James Raia

General Motors has a lot invested in the Buick LaCrosse. It’s the carmaker’s flagship, full-sized sedan, and it has replaced some well-established styles, the Buick Century, Buick Regal and Buick Lucerne.

Now in the sixth year of its second generation, the 2015 Buick LaCrosse offers several updates as it advances steadily into its second decade. It’s the brand’s best-selling vehicle in North America.

Advanced technology and additional comfort highlight the updates for the 2015 LaCrosse. With the exception of the base model, the Onstar system now offers 4G LTE and WiFi, there are a rearview camera and four-way adjustable headrests as standard equipment.

Further new technology in the infotainment system now includes the ability to read text messages and Siri Eyes Free for voice control of Apple devices.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

The top-line 3.6 liter, V6 with 304 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission was my weekly driver.  It also included two Driver Convenience Package upgrades, conveniently titled Nos. 1 and 2. The first package ($2,150): xenon headlights, foglights, a head-up display, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure alert and forward collision alert. The No 2. package: ($1,245) adaptive cruise control and a collision mitigation system with automatic braking.

The vehicle also had several other upgrades: 20-inch wheels, a torque-steer-resistant front suspension design (“HiPer Strut”) and a navigation system.

The 2015 Buick LaCrosse features several new interior and exterior updates.
The 2015 Buick LaCrosse features several new interior and exterior updates. Images © James Raia/2015

Added to an already substantial list of standard features and the new presentation of the Buick LaCrosse nears the boundary of technology overload. The starting price of just under $40,000 gives the larger sedan an attractive launching point. But with its extras and destination charge pushing the total price to just under $46,000, the new LaCrosse is well into the luxury price category. And with that, several competitors’ offerings come into clearer focus like the Lexus 300h, Hyundai Genesis and Kia K900.

My test drive was an often-made round trip from Sacramento to the Monterey Peninsula. I drove the LaCrosse about 450 miles in a week, primarily while advancing at more than the 65 to 70 mph speed limits in freeway circumstances. (It was the flow of the brisk traffic on Interstate 5.)

The car has few faults. It’s a quiet cruiser, fully confident on the open road. Numerous interior and exterior updates from 2014 remain, and that’s a good thing.

The front and rear seats, all leather covered, are among the most comfortable I’ve experienced. There’s plenty of legroom and headroom. A new exterior look also arrived last year and it has a more handsome, sculptured appearance. The headlights were also redesigned as was the rear end of the car, further adding to the more upscale appearance and overall enjoyment.

Facts & Figures: 2015 Buick Lacrosse

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.8 seconds.

Airbags: 8.

Fuel economy: 18 mpg (city), 28 mpg (highway), 21 mpg (combined), six-speed automatic transmission.

Horsepower: 304.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $39,970.00

Manufacturer’s Website: www.buick.com.

Price As Tested: $45,955.00

Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 6 years/70,000 miles.


Beautifully appointed, quiet cabin.

Comfortable, upscale ride.

Superior safety features.

Head-up display easy to read with plenty of information.


The trunk is difficult to access with its high entry, and it has only 13.3 cubic feet of room.

Acceleration only average.

Cruise control engagement not intuitive.

 What Others Say:

“The 2015 LaCrosse is an excellent choice for luxury shoppers seeking fuel economy and value. That’s even true for buyers in cold-weather climates because 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.” — Auto Trader.

“Conservatively handsome, well equipped, capable, quiet, comfortable, and refined, the LaCrosse presents well as a thoroughly credible alternative to import brands like the new Hyundai Genesis and Acura TLX sedans.” — Kelley Blue Book.

“The LaCrosse is a full-size premium sedan and the flagship model of the Buick brand. Unlike Buick’s octogenarian-focused offerings of years past, the LaCrosse deserves full consideration from buyers of all ages thanks to its handsome interior, strong available V6 motor and excellent ride/handling balance.” — Left Lane News.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“It’s difficult to match the ever-improving Korean and Japanese full-size sedans. But 2015 Buick LaCrosse takes them on full-speed ahead and adds another respectable choice to the chocked-full segment of quality foreign and domestic automobiles.”

Article Last Updated: June 25, 2015.

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