New car reviews

2005 Buick LaCrosse

By Jon Rosner, Thu, 5 May 2005 08:00:00 PDT

Shaped and blended fenders shift the style of the LaCrosse towards the rounded and sumptuous curves of a large Jaguar while the signature waterfall grill says Buick. The restrained use of chrome on the bumpers and door handles speak to the conservative nature of the LaCrosse's target market, while the chrome plated wheels offer a splash of the dramatic. The design is half-way between Japanese soap-bar boring and Jaguar feline aggressive, not a bad place to be really.

The interior was awash in well-stitched good quality leather. The beautiful burl wood that stretched across the dashboard was accented by thin chrome rings that surrounded the gauges and matching elegant chrome strips on the armrests and center console.

Thoughtful touches included easily grasped sun visors nicely recessed into the headliner, large and easily read buttons for the controls, and seats disguised as overstuffed living room chairs with very good upper back, lower back and thigh support.

The engine started instantly and quietly. Visibility for the driver is superb. Unlike far too many new cars, it was easy to see exactly where the car began and ended when parking.

I didn't spend much time on backroads in the LaCrosse, but what little time I did spend showed that the suspension had a soft, leaning toward plush ride while not exhibiting the top-selling mid-size Japanese car's penchant for wallowing from corner to corner when pushed even slightly.

The chassis of the LaCrosse felt solid, and only squealed a tire when pushed towards the limits of tread adhesion. That soft but controlled ride was wonderful on the highway and made the car very appealing for long-distance cruising. I saw low 20s for fuel consumption, which is quite good for a car this large.

The kids liked the fact that they see over the back doors and see the world go by. Child safety seats were a snap to put in and pull out. There was plenty of interior space for four large adults and the trunk was absolutely cavernous. Buick has been in the J.D. Powers top ten for quality for years. My mother's 1996 Roadmonster, errr....Roadmaster Wagon has provided her with nine years of flawless service.

Am I now the target audience for this Buick? The LaCrosse was very easy to live with. G.M. is getting better at sweating the small details. Consumer Reports has given a number of Buick's cars a rather good rating and I can see why. I never expected to like this car this much, nice work Buick.

 


2005 Buick LaCrosse on carlist.com


2005 Buick LaCrosse on carlist.com

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