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Buick LaCrosse

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Comments

  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The Lucerne will do MUCH better vs. the Avalon. The Lucerne is a full size, LaCrosse is a large midsize in my opinion.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,087
    Yes. When I reread the other posts, the Avalon was based on the old Camry chasis. So now it's based on a new Camry chassis, rather than it's own chassis as the wording implies when it says it's based on a new design for the Avalon.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I think you are cutting it pretty fine by categorizing the LaCrosse as a large midsize. If you compare Edmunds overall measurements for the four cars compared, the range in length variation is 3.9", width 2.3", height 2.7" and weight 198lbs, so in my book, they are all about in the same size range.

    Fact is the LaCrosse is just a bit smaller due to its somewhat dated platform and roofline, which particularly cramps the rear seating head room.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,087
    I notice that the 500 and apparently the Avalon have higher roofs to make more rome for passengers who sit more upright in the car. These extra tall cars are not going to have as high gas mileage at 70 mph as a car with a more aerodynamic design. It's the Pacifica problem. Tall car, wide, almost like a minivan in aerodynamics; poor gas mileage results.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I like the lower roofline and stance of the LaCrosse. If I wanted an SUV or a crossover, I'd buy one. I like "sleek" in my car.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    To each his own, but 2.7" in height variation between the tallest and lowest of these four choices doesn't seem like much to me.
  • The difference in height of the passenger compartment between the various vehicles is likely more than just 2.7". The actual height of the passenger compartment is the vehicle height minus the floor height. While I could not find the floor heights of the vehicles, I did find the ground clearances for each vehicle. If one assumes the ground clearance reflects the height of the floor, one ends up with the following passenger compartment heights.

    Car Overall height Ground clearance Passenger compartment height (Relative height)

    Lacrosse 57.4 6.5 50.9 (0.926)
    Chr. 300 58.4 5.6 52.8 (0.96)
    Ford 500 60.1 5.1 55.0 (1.0)
    Avalon 58.5 5.3 53.2 (0.967)

    Thus, there is a >7% difference in height between the highest and lowest vehicles. From my perspective, 7% is non-trivial. The other interesting feature, and one that we did not consider before buying the Lacrosse, is the significantly greater ground clearance of the Lacrosse. Relative to the other 3 cars, it has 18% (Chr. 300), 27% (Ford 500), and 23% (Avalon) more ground clearance. While this is disadvantageous in terms of overall passenger compartment height and volume, it can be very advantageous in going over large bumps, sharp driveway cuts, etc.

    Note: The ground clearances were found by doing a Google search on "[Car] ground clearance".
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    You can not accurately calculate cabin height by using ground clearance as the ground clearance is measured from the lowest hanging feature on the car. In no way is this related to the actual useable cabin height.

    You also cannot use head room data as this depends on seat height data.

    If maximum ground clearance is your criteria for picking a vehicle, then LaCrosse is your car.
  • As I noted in my previous post, it is an approximation that ground clearance and floor height are related. While there is clearly no absolute relationship between the two, unless a manufacturer is really stupid, ground clearance and floor height will be fairly similar. At least in a car, it would be less than smart to have a high floor and lots of stuff dangling far below the level of the floor.

    Finally, as I noted in my previous post, we did not consider ground clearance when we chose to buy the Lacrosse - it was primarily its ride and quiteness that attracted us. For the type of roads we occassionally drive on in the hills of Colorado, the higher ground clearance will likely be an added benefit.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    I guess you haven't looked at a Toyota Camry tailpipe lately!
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Roof height makes a big difference in styling. Many are going to a high seating position for comfort and be more like an SUV. The Lacrosse was going for smooth styling, completely opposite of the 500 and old Avalon. The rear part of the roof sweeps down. This forces the rear seat down to maintain rear headroom.

    The old Avalon also have very upright side glass for more side clearance to the head. It is pretty unattractive from the rear. I think they fixed it on the new one but am not sure.
  • drwilscdrwilsc Posts: 140
    Along the same lines of comparing the Lucerne, rather than the LaCrosse, to the $37,000 Toyota, I was a bit surprised that they did not choose the Hemi 300C V8 instead of a V6 version of the Chrysler. It would have hammered the Toyota (and all of the others) in the acceleration runs, and not cost any more than the Avalon.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,087
    My point was also that the front ends were squared out substantially more giving those cars higher air resistance than the more aerodynamic LaCrosse (and Avalon). Look at the front end of a 500--it looks like a miniature Explorer coming at ya'. The car does look like it stands much higher--like the Ford Volvo in certain models have a high-standing profile.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And AWD Five Hundreds stand taller than do the FWD ones...

    Just a point...

    One reason I never seriously considered the LaCrosse, regrettably, is that there is no AWD offered....
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,087
    I can't see the extra cost of AWD along with the maintenance, failures, gas mileage penalty, and ? for a small benefit in traction in snow in Central Ohio.
    I've found front wheel drive more than adequate with good tires on it. That wouldn't be a reason NOT to buy a car for myself.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    My father in law bought an AWD Rendezvous and regrets it here in Michigan. He drives about 2 1/2 hours north almost every weekend and is unhappy on the gas mileage. While AWD is great for some situations it is rarely needed, even here in Michigan. FWD does just fine. If there is to much snow most folks jst wait for it to be plowed away in a couple of hours.

    Now if you live in the boondocks AWD or 4WD may be needed. Seems like those folks (I used to live out there) have at least one truck in the family for the snow.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    as a rental. Don't ask me the model as I simply needed that size and they gave me a loaded sedan that screamed "Buick wannabe" inside and out, standing still, and "'69 Special" when in motion. Tough on gas, too. Inferior in every way to my '02 Regal, which I love but was thinking of swapping for a LaCrosse soon.But you could BUY one for <$20K!

    I take the point about the 3.6, $33K LaCrosse lacking many expected amenities, as noted in the edmunds article. You have to believe that Buick/GM considered all of the missing content and decided against including it. They are saying, "you customers won't care, anyway, and that money looks better in our pockets". Exactly the opposite of the Toyota mindset.

    Whatever platform the Avalon rides on, it's clearly superior, in terms of space efficiency, to that of the LaCrosse. Just sit in one. As to tall cars wasting gas fighting the wind, the 500, 300, etc. seem perfectly capable of 20 to 30 mpg under a light foot. As does the LaCrosse. Even my tall 'n' flat Rendezvous can do that.

    What kind of MPG did that AWD Rondy get?
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    The fact you may not want AWD doesn't mean it shouldn't even be offered as an option. It's things like this that have Buick (and Pontiac) in the trouble they are in...
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    No, they said we have a huge cost disadvantage because we are one of the last companies to manufacture products in North America. Very little is made in this country. Just read an article that Bissel vacuum cleaners just moved off shore. They waited as long as they could but finally decided they needed to compete and fired their work force. Domestics have huge cost of non government paid health care and pensions. GM has been around 100 years and have all those retirees. Sure they are no where near perfect but they have done better than most of the other companies in this country. In fact maybe GM should go out of business, sell the factories to another company and just forget about the retirees and the union contracts. Toyota and the other "transplants" have very few retirees and the unions cannot get in. Suppose we could also complain that the union is overpaid. Goes on and on.

    If it was even, GM and the other domestics could put in another $1000 of content. They cannot. Sorry for complaining but IMO things are not going well in this country. We are still the best place to live. Not saying I have any answers but the domestics do have some issues that will be very hard to get over.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    Toyota and the others have huge cost advantages over GM - BUT - GM still has 24% of the US market and builds a lot more vehicles worldwide than does Toyota. See Peter DiLorenzo's AUTOEXTREMIST website for good ideas about how GM needs to rationalize its business model. Too many nameplates selling full ranges of "badge-engineered" vehicles of mediocre design through too many dealers to compete properly where it counts - outstanding PRODUCTS. Maybe if they had passed on the Terrazza and Ranier, Buick could have been given the $$$ to design a 'clean-sheet LaCrosse. Now, LaCrosse is an excellent automobile; a MUCH better car than ANYONE [luxo vehicles don't count] was building as recently as 20 years ago. If it were coming in from overseas [do those non-union Mexican-built Rondys count?] you'd see a loaded CXS for <$25K, just to grab market share. I'm sure that's what Hyundai was doing last year. Then, over time, a younger US labor force might enter those North American UAW factories and give GM some cost relief in return for a share in future profits. Just my .02.
  • brood1213brood1213 Posts: 27
    Front wheel drive with traction control does 85% what all wheel drive can do. How many AWD Camry's and Accords are sold? With GM making Stabilitrak standard in the near future there is no need for AWD. Pontiac and Buick are not in trouble. It was the press putting spin on words. The Lacrosse in March sold more than the century and regal last year in the month. If any brand is in trouble it is Saab.
    The Vibe outsells the Toyota Matrix, Solstice ordering is already almost filled up, going to have 8 g6 models. Yes they had a bad month in feb when all the rumors started but March sales were up 34% over Feb.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    It's a waste unless you live in a rural snow belt area. I live in the Toronto area which gets plenty of snow in the winter but have never had issues with FWD cars getting stuck or sliding. If I bought an SUV, I'd also get a FWD, saves gas and money on MSRP.
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    that LaCrosse outsold Century and Regal's numbers for March, even if March '04 was down from the year before.....
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    To suggest Buick and Pontiac are in trouble because their cars don't offer AWD is ridiculous. The most successful midsize sedans do not offer AWD and it is a pointless option for most drivers. Before the 500 came out no one was saying that AWD was a must have option. It's funny how no one things the Accord, camry or Sonata need AWD but all GM sedans are expected to have it. The only automaker who has been on top of AWD in this segment is Suburu and I dont think the Legacy has ever come close to matching the sales of the Camry, Malibu, Impala or Accord. The Lacrosse is not struggling due to lack of AWD.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,087
    >With GM making Stabilitrak standard

    Stabilitrak doesn't have anything to do with the rear wheels being added to give AWD. Was that what you meant or do I misunderstand.

    Stabilitrak (03 LeSabre version, I caught in an article there are other versions) tries to keep the car from losing control into a skid by judiciously applying the appropriate brakes to help keep from skidding or spinning, but that has to be at lose of ability to turn as sharply as driver may be intending to avoid something... but at the least the car may be under 'control' as the accident continues :) .
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    couple of reasons for AWD:
    One is to be able to go thru deep snow using all 4 tires to push you through.

    Another is if one, two or three tires are on a slippery surface (ice) the tires that still have some traction can get/keep you going.

    Another is to increase handling by applying the right force at the right wheel as you do a manuever.

    Stabilitrac will help in situation #1 and #2 and will do better than #3 due to use of yaw sensors, braking and computerized control of all 4 tires. AWD just is not that smart.

    Stabilitrac will also greatly increase vehicle handling. Very few drivers will be able to handle a vehicle in various driving conditions as well as Stabilitrac. It is an unbelievable safety feature. It will be a much bigger jump in safety than ABS was.
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Saw that LaCrosse numbers were up big. It's great value at the low end and with incentives and a much better car, I'm not surprised it's catching on. Some people still love to see GM fail and after 3 months of sales start calling it a flop. LaCrosse should EASILY out sell Century/Regal by year end.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    it's not shocking to me where the lacrosse placed among these cars. but it's expected since the media is biased against older designs, has a lovefest for toyota and of course they absolutely hate GM. couldn't possibly be because the car isn't exactly a standout.

    it was probably not fair to knock the car for its interior space - i've always considered the lacrosse as mid size, not full size. but no matter, there are more appealing cars available in the mid size category too.

    since i don't see hordes of peoples leaving their regals and centurys for a product outside of GM, sales should be fine in the short term. but one has to wonder about the long term.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    over 40% of sales are from outside Buick
  • gotenks243gotenks243 Posts: 116
    "I can't see the extra cost of AWD along with the maintenance, failures, gas mileage penalty, and ? for a small benefit in traction in snow in Central Ohio. "

    Maintenance? Failures? These things really aren't an issue with modern all wheel drive machines. Do you buy cars without power windows because there's an off-chance the motors could fail? At least with manual windows you always know you can crank it up or down by hand, right?

    Does that notion seem a little silly to you? The failure of an all wheel drive system needn't be feared any more than that, really. And even if the Haldex awd stopped working right on a Ford Five Hundred, the system would basically default to front wheel drive and you'd still be able to drive normally. Same for a Subaru.

    Before I lived in Columbus, I had an acquaintance from there, and happened to recommend a Subaru to him as he was looking for a new car. His response was "Why do I need AWD?" I simply asked him "Does it rain in Columbus?"

    I've never really understood this assumption that all wheel drive is only useful in snow. It's on all year round and provides extra traction all year round, including once the snow tires come off. If you've never driven an all wheel drive car on a dirt road, in the rain, or better yet on a dirt road in the rain, you have no idea of the benefits over a two wheel drive car.

    Good tires too can make a difference in the wet on any car, but make no mistake, there are people who "know" awd that will swear by it on any future car they buy. For these people, it would be nice if the Lacrosse offered this feature. It's the type of thing that will get new people to consider a Buick and could help inject life into the brand, even if the Buick drivers of 10-20 years couldn't care less.

    Mike
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