2013 Buick LaCrosse

A stylish and comfortable near-luxury sedan

BYJim Prueter
Buicks aren’t nearly as boring as the brand’s image would have you believe. The manufacturer is fighting its staid reputation (the average age of a Buick buyer is 60) with a stylish and sporty lineup of vehicles.
 
With the 2013 Buick LaCrosse, General Motors Co. boldly announced it was poised to put the Lexus ES sedan directly in its cross hairs. And, after a week behind the wheel, it’s no stretch to conclude this near-luxury, large-size sedan is as good or better than the Lexus.
 
Matters of Taste
The LaCrosse is more than a very nice sedan. The exterior styling is artistic and the interior is gorgeous — this is especially true of the instrument panel. At night a hidden light bar, spanning the width of the synthetic-leather (but French-stitched) dashboard, emits an impressive aqua-blue ambient glow. The seats are comfortable, but the huge dashboard reduces legroom.
 
A standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder eAssist engine, combined with a small electric motor, powers the LaCrosse. It’s actually a mild-hybrid that delivers 182-horsepower to the front-wheel drive — but all-wheel drive is optional. The test model came equipped with the optional 303-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.
 
For all its appealing features and delightful driving characteristics, the LaCrosse isn’t without faults. Thick A-pillars create blind spots on either side of the windshield, making it easy to lose sight of pedestrians at a crosswalk; most buttons and dials are too small; the ambient lighting makes reading instruments on the LCD screens challenging; and there’s little interior storage space.
 
The LaCrosse earned the highest possible safety ratings in crash tests, including five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
 
The LaCrosse is an excellent car that should be high on the list of anyone shopping for a full-size sedan.
JIM PRUETER, an automotive writer based in Phoenix, has provided reviews and advice about cars for more than 20 years.

 

2013 Buick LaCrosse

Base Price: 
$31,660
Price as Tested: 
$40,790
Fuel Economy: 
17 MPG City
27 MPG Highway
Likes: 
  • Luxurious interior
  • Smooth, quiet ride; excellent driving dynamics
  • Highest crash test scores
Dislikes: 
  • Some compromised visibility
  • Small trunk and cargo space
  • Instruments and gauges are hard to read
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