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2005 Buick LaCrosse

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San Francisco:  In the last ten years or so, change has been constantly reforming the world around us. So it’s a good thing we got a chance to drive Buick’s all-new 2005 LaCrosse, the car replacing the Century and Regal.

Debuting this year the LaCrosse is an attractive car with great potential and is getting the younger crowd’s attention with the help of Tiger and his resurging golf game. We drove the “performance-oriented” CXS and the powerful, new-for-05 3.6-liter VVT V6 and it made a lasting impression on us. With 240 horsepower and 225 lb.-ft. of torque, we found getting onto the freeway a breeze and getting a head start on the surrounding traffic pretty easy.

We were able to get around 22.5 miles per gallon out of the LaCrosse with quite a bit of spirited driving and a lot of freeway driving. We thought this was pretty good for a sedan like this, and after looking at the EPA estimates of 19 city and 27 highway, we decided the mileage was on par with other cars in this class and size.

Trying to get through a hilly countryside is another matter. With front-wheel-drive making understeer the soup du jour, driving fast around any corner was more chore than playtime but we had some fun shooting ourselves out of long sweepers with the available horsepower the new engine had on tap.

Inside, the LaCrosse is more European than Japanese, with an uncluttered dash and center stack with attractive wood-grain trim throughout. There was also a really nice two-tone theme with the rest of the cabin: dark gray on top of a lighter gray that looked awesome … especially at the Buick’s price point.

The greatest single feature of the LaCrosse, and other GM vehicles with this feature is the remote starter. It was totally functional, without any bad habits, and even turned on the heater or air conditioning, depending on the cabin temperature. It is a perfect execution on a useful feature.

The seats, of course, were top notch. That is one area we have come to expect from Buick - great seats to sit in. We found them to be comfy and well worth the price of admission, if not totally in synch with the “sporting” character of the CXS.

Outside, the styling of the LaCrosse fits somewhere between some sort of new Lexus, a bigger, more rounded Kia Optima and a resurrected Riviera…with four doors. We actually like how the LaCrosse looks. It’s a definite evolution from the Regal / Century twins that really brings Buick’s mid-size sedan into this century.

The bottom line on the LaCrosse is an as-tested price of $32,160. Our car was equipped with the Gold Convenience package that included a leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio and climate controls, a Homelink transmitter, heated outside mirrors, six-way power passenger seat, rear park assist, and rear reading lamps for $1,150; chrome-plated 17-inch wheels for $650, Stabilitrak, GMs stability control program, for $495; Head & side airbags for $395; XM Radio for $325, and the remote starter option for $150.

With a base price of only $28,000, the standard equipment list in no small thing. Couple that with the options of our test car and you have a great value in an American sedan. We think the golf crowd and Americans bent on getting an American-made vehicle will love the Buick LaCrosse and we can’t blame them for wanting a solid car with a great quality rep and good looks.  By James Bryson  © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: 
 LaCrosse is a solid car with good looks
 The 2005 Buick LaCrosse
Word Count:  
Photo Caption: 
 The 2005 Buick LaCrosse
Photo Credits:  
Buick Internet Media
Series #:   2005 - 39

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