Together with the new 2010 Buick Enclave mid-size SUV, the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan with its more modern and energetic appearance as well as a long list of optional high-tech equipment that your granddad’s Buick couldn’t even dream of, has a good chance of helping the struggling brand in making its customer base both younger and, hopefully, a bit more loyal. Yet, the main market that is targeted by General Motors is China where the old American brand has a lot stronger brand power than on its home turf.
Created by a team of American, Chinese and European designers and engineers, the 2010 Buick LaCrosse will be delivered in three trims with a choice of two V6 engines mated to a single six-speed automatic transmission.
Based on the 2008 Buick Invicta concept car, the 2010 Buick LaCrosse has retained the concept’s gorgeous (at least, for an American car) exterior looks while featuring only some minor tweaks necessary to make the car more suitable for daily driving and more affordable to build. Regretfully, the vehicle has also lost some of its masculinity in the process, but that’s sort of obvious and, well, often happens to the best of us.
Although the sheet metal now looks not as deliciously sculpted and the front fascia has lost its aggressive front bumper in favor of a more Corolla-like dull and unimpressive variety, I still must admit that the vehicle somehow managed to look younger and more, um, European than any previous Buick released during the last two or three decades.
Inside the car, there is an analog instrument cluster, a natural-looking (it’d better be natural for a car of this class) dark wood trim, nice and soft ambient lighting, and even a leather-clad instrument panel with French stitching. Buick also promises that the interior will not only look good, it will sound good too, thanks to its signature QuietTuning sound-proofing technology.
The list of standard and optional gizmos includes an entertainment system with in-dash navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, an AUX audio input and a USB port.
Passengers in the second row may also get their fair share of entertainment thanks to a DVD-based multimedia system delivering video signal to a pair of monitors integrated into the seatbacks (although, it’s not quite clear from GM’s press release whether the monitors may be ordered as an optional equipment or you’ll have to buy them as an aftermarket solution).
The 2010 Buick LaCrosse will be available in three trims — CX, CXL and CXS. The first two will feature the same 3.0-liter, 255hp and 211 lb-ft V6 engine and the CXS model will come equipped with a more powerful 3.6-liter, 280hp and 261 lb-ft powerplant.
The basic LaCrosse CX will be available with cloth seats and 17-inch wheels, while the mid-range CXL will come equipped with leather appointed heated seats, dual zone climate control system, fog lamps, outside rearview mirror with trendy LED turn indicators, and will roll on a set of 18-inch wheels. This model may be also ordered with an AWD system.
The top of the line CXS trim only adds heated and cooled leather seats and 18-inch chrome wheels with an optional set of 19-inchers.
GM plans to start building the 2010 Buick LaCrosse this summer.
See also: 2007 Buick Park Avenue goes to China