$18,153 - $25,112

2016 Buick LaCrosse Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Buick LaCrosse was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.1

While the 2016 Buick LaCrosse eAssist earns great fuel economy estimates for the class, critics say its acceleration is slow. They recommend opting for the available V6 engine, though its fuel economy estimates are low for the class. Auto writers are impressed with the LaCrosse's comfortable ride and composed handling through turns, though some wish its steering provided more feedback.

  • "The key point about the 2013 Buick LaCrosse driving experience is how transparent its eAssist system is on the road." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • It's still no sport sedan, but it won't make you fearful of short freeway on-ramps. The auto start/stop feature works pretty well, starting almost imperceptibly except in very quick transitions from brake to throttle." -- Motor Trend (2012 eAssist)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 Buick LaCrosse comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 304 horsepower. The available LaCrosse eAssist model has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that together make 182 horsepower. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the V6 model gets up to 18/28 mpg city/highway, which is on the low end for a V6-powered large car. The LaCrosse eAssist earns an EPA-estimated 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.

Reviewers think the LaCrosse eAssist's powertrain produces slow acceleration, and a few also report that the gasoline engine can be noisy. Some auto writers recommend the available V6 engine. Still, test drivers are impressed with the LaCrosse eAssist's seamless start-stop system, which conserves fuel by shutting off the engine when the car is stopped. Test drivers are also impressed with the excellent fuel economy numbers the LaCrosse eAssist earns.

  • The 2016 Buick LaCrosse's four-cylinder powertrain operates smoothly, rarely reminding the driver of its hybridized complexity. The auto stop-start system, for example, is unusually refined, lacking the telltale shudder on restart that plagues many of these setups. Unfortunately, the 2.4-liter gasoline engine sounds coarse under full acceleration, and it feels pretty lethargic, especially with extra passenger or cargo weight. The V6, in our opinion, is the way to go." -- Edmunds
  • The standard eAssist system teams a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a 15-kilowatt electric motor for a total output of 182 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. The system's upside is 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, while drawbacks include leisurely acceleration. …" -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The gasoline engine also shuts down at stop signs, but restarts are devoid of the shudder found in many stop-start systems in non-hybrid cars." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015 eAssist)
  • "Despite a boot from its electric motor, 4-cylinder LaCrosse models are still far from quick." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 LaCrosse comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available. Test drivers agree that while you won't mistake the LaCrosse for a sport sedan, it has well-controlled handling through turns. They appreciate that its ride is comfortable and refined for long hauls. However, some critics are disappointed with the LaCrosse's dull steering and say the all-wheel drive model feels especially clumsy. A few reviewers also think the LaCrosse's brakes are powerful.

  • "With either engine, the LaCrosse's driving dynamics are spot on. The ride is exceptionally comfortable and quiet, but there's more to this Buick than just its cruising credentials. It doesn't feel like a land yacht from the driver seat; on the contrary, it's surprisingly composed and steady when you're driving it around turns." -- Edmunds
  • "Whether you choose the eAssist or V6, the LaCrosse boasts competent handling, a smooth ride and strong brakes. It's no sports sedan - the steering is particularly numb, for example - but for long distance cruising, the quiet cabin, excellent audio and comfortable highway ride are ideal." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Buyers in the large, plush premium car segment probably aren't looking for a sport sedan, and they won't find one in the LaCrosse. However, it does provide faithful steering and composed handling without a tradeoff in ride quality, which is decidedly cushy. Suspension revisions for the latest model year help give the LaCrosse a slightly more agile feel." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The AWD model lacks the best suspension bits and the smooth ride of its counterpart. And it just feels heavy. We'd recommend it only for those in regions with the worst winter weather, and even then we'd advise shopping AWD alternatives." -- Popular Mechanics (2014)

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