The 2010 LaCrosse's exterior design is the result of the combined work of GM's designers in the United States and China. While not groundbreaking or sleek in an Italian sort of way, we reckon that the LaCrosse looks stylish and different enough to grab the attention of buyers in the near-luxury segment. The cars that the LaCrosse will most likely compete with are the Lexus ES350 and the Chrysler 300.
"It is instantly recognizable as a Buick, with its signature 'sweep spear' body-side styling, portholes inside the character line on the hood, and waterfall grille," said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design.
Open the door and you're welcomed by a modern, yet somewhat unimaginative cabin characterized by a flowing design theme that wraps around the instrument and door panels. What sets the LaCrosse apart from its predecessors is the availability of an array of personal technologies. These include features such as in-dash navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, an auxiliary audio input and a USB port. For rear-seat passengers, a power rear-window sunshade and a DVD entertainment system, with two display screens integrated into the seatbacks, is also available.
Based on GM's Epsilon II front-wheel-drive platform that underpins the new Opel Insignia, the LaCrosse is roughly the same size as the car it replaces. Buyers can choose from two direct-injection V6 engines, a 3.0-liter unit generating an estimated 255 horsepower and 211 lb.-ft. of torque (286 Nm), and a 3.6L engine producing an estimated 280 horsepower and 261 lb.-ft. of torque (354 Nm). Both V6 engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
When the 2010 LaCrosse goes on sale this summer, it will be offered in three models CX, CXL and CXS. The CX will be equipped with the 3.0L V6 engine and come with premium cloth seats and 17-inch wheels. The CXL adds leather-appointed heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps, outside rearview mirror with LED turn indicators and puddle lamps, 18-inch wheels as well as the option of all-wheel drive. Finally, the CXS features the more powerful 3.6L V6 unit and adds real-time active-dampening suspension; perforated, leather-appointed, heated and cooled seats, and chrome-plated 18-inch wheels (19-inch optional).