From its beautifully sculpted exterior with fender port holes and waterfall grille to its premium interior, the 2010 Buick LaCrosse continues Buick’s transition from Grandpa ride to mainstream tourer, as the launch of the LaCrosse touring sedan is a celebration of Buick’s transformation.
During the vehicle’s unveil in Detroit, Automotive Rhythms talked with Dave McIntyre, LaCrosse product marketing manager, about the market positioning of the LaCrosse as GM’s premium large sedan. However, recently in the news there were many stories criticizing Buick’s ad spots for the LaCrosse with some of it coming from GM’s own Bob Lutz. And certainly I concurred.
The not-so-Hollywood commercials did not capture Buick as a premium brand while neglecting the fine details and advanced technology of the vehicle. To squash the negativity brought from the advertising, McIntyre suggested that one of the new LaCrosse’s should be brought to the front of the hotel, in order to show a special interior feature that is best viewed in evening light. As we gathered around the sedan to admire the ice-blue ambient lighting throughout the interior, it visually made the luxurious details more enhanced.
From the console sweeping up into the instrument panel that flowed seamlessly into the doors, the trimmed lighting made everything beautiful. While sitting inside, I asked Dave about Buick’s marketing strategies on how they will target younger consumers to the brand. He said using tools such as Face Book, Twitter and virtual press conferencing; “The goal is to attract an audience that we haven’t attracted before.” And they should with the technology capabilities the LaCrosse has to offer including Bluetooth, interface navigation, rearview camera, and an audio system USB port.
Safety is not compromised either. LaCrosse owners will appreciate such features as adaptive high intensity discharge headlights, head-up windshield display, OnStar, and side blind zone alert system.
Buick has always been looked upon as an American brand, yet they have been global for years while selling cars in China since the 1930s. The LaCrosse is Buick’s first global mid-size car produced in North America. It’s a completely new product built on new architecture. The development process took place over three regions: Europe for the structure, chassis and engineering; China for the interior design and focus on luxury details, and North America for the complete exterior design and engineering of multiple subsystems.
My drive began in Plymouth, and continued on through Chelsea, Michigan. The handling of the LaCrosse was precise, and ride quality exceptional. And the LaCrosse is very quiet, as Buick’s “QuietTuning” noise isolation program for the vehicle really does reduce, isolate and absorb the outside elements providing an almost distraction free ride.
The LaCrosse is offered in three models: CX and CXL with a 3.0-liter V6 making 255 horsepower and the CXS with a 3.6-liter V6 making 280 horsepower. Also, a 2.4-liter Ecotec four cylinder will be available next year. Buick says it will be the only four cylinder offered in a midsize luxury sedan delivering 182 horsepower with an estimated 30 mpg on the highway.
The LaCrosse is a rolling statement of where Buick sees itself headed in the future. The end result is an elegant vehicle with responsive performance and superb ride. Pricing for the 2010 LaCrosse luxury sedan, starts at $27,835.
Kimatni D. Rawlins is the publisher of www.AutomotiveRhythms.com