We test and review the 2015 Buick Lacrosse. As a company they are trying to push forward and change perceptions, the question is are they are on the right track?
0:00 - 1:00 Intro
1:00 - 2:43 Buick and Exterior Overview
2:45 - 4:29 In the Shop with Underbody and Mechanical
4:30 - 8:13 Performance and Handling and Driving Impressions
8:14 - 10:04 Interior Overview
10:04 - 12:52 Infotainment Gripes and Other Nice Features
12:53 - 15:00 Final Thoughts
WRITTEN REVIEW BELOW
When the Buick was dropped off it was one of our last nice days of warmer weather and sunshine. The car's metallic paint really stood out. After driving it the 30 feet it's not really what we expected at all. Sure we saw the press materials and other reviews, but the quality of the interior and sculpted exterior were much different in person. It took about 10 minutes with the car to come up with one description that stuck throughout the test drives, "solid."
The doors, and trunk deck lid felt hinges and many other details resonated high quality and luxury by most standards. After the initial impressions wore off we continued to drive and drive. And frankly this is what the car does best. The steering, stability and solidity of the suspension and chassis made for a comfortable yet entertaining drive. The 3.6L V6 with DI and VVT makes around 300HP, but with AWD it has 4100lbs to haul around. The acceleration was ample for the the car is and we can see why they stuck with this motor here as it's just about right for the chassis. The Lacrosse has some German underpinnings from Opel in Germany which is immediately apparent when behind the wheel.
Solidity and confidence is exactly what this AWD model exudes. Over almost every surface, drive frantically or smoothly the car just feels balanced and neutral. Now of course it's not all about driving and Buick wants to lead in tech features and that it does. Our tester had about every option you could spec, including cross traffic alerts, blind spot warning, following distance sensors, adaptive cruise control, 4G Hot Spot and the list goes on. If you go the Buick website this car can be customized so deeply we can't imagine someone not finding what they want.
The interior quality and comfort is about as good as it gets at the 40k price range. There is no way someone large or small won't achieve a comfortable driving position. And even with front seats all the way back there is still leg room for the passenger. Even trunk space is absurd, we were able to fit wheelchairs, luggage, bags, camera gear and much more.
When we strip all of the good away, our biggest complaint came from all the optional electronics. In a word it was just overbearing, too in your face and everyone we placed in the car complained about it being too complicated. Have to menu jump to many times to adjust this that and the other. The head unit/center stack touch screen sensitivity was hit or miss. It often lagged and sometimes things never even opened. The lack of dedicated ergonomic physical control for the touch screen make it hard to use while driving, too much menu jumping to do what you wanted. Although refreshed, the new capacitive touch controls for HVAC were impossible to use without looking down at where you had to place your finger as there is no tactile feedback, its a guessing game. Standard rotary knobs or a physical control would be more suited here. It looks cool of course but not all that functional.
On a positive note the Bose Centerpoint sound system was terrific. We have heard similar setups on other cars but due to the sound insulation in the Buick you can't really ask for much more.
In conclusion most of the complaint items are small, as they are optional. At around 40k for the AWD model excluding the pricey electronic options, this car is one to test drive side by side with the likes of the outgoing TL. It drives better, feels more solid and has more for your money. Now the question is can the mainstream buyer look past the Buick badge? That will be the uphill battle for Buick as a brand. If this car is any sign of things to come, we think many people will be cross shopping and buying these cars sooner than later.