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Buick LaCrosse

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Comments

  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Thanks for responding to my post. Since you have a LaCrosse how do you and your wife like it? How does it compare to the Regal? What model did you get?
  • MartypaMartypa Posts: 50
    to get a LaCrosse without the fake wood trim. I think it is hideous. I sat in 2 different models at the auto show and couldn't get beyond how cheap I thought it looked, as well as disappointment with the interior overall.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    My wife and I bought 98 Malibu in September 1998, mostly because very good reviews in CR. It was very popular then, and went at almost full MSRP. Several months later the same magazine published bad reliability statistics, and market prices fell couple of thousand dollars.

     

    We trade the car recently. Received $2000 for 6 year old car in good condition, with 70k miles, and we consider it to be a fair price.

     

    After upgrading to good after-market tires, the car was pleasure to drive. It was a pity to off load it. However, after warranty expired, repairs cost almost as much as payments for a new car.

     

    With the experience, I am vary of new models - at least for the a first and second year after redesign. CR does not cover the subject: they simply will have no statistics for couple of years.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    My wife and I have had the LaCrosse CXL for ten days. We ordered the car with ABS, side airbags, heated seats, chrome wheels, and the chrome package. We really like the car. We had 1995, 1998, and 2001 Regals which we drove for an average of 80,000 miles each.

         The LaCrosse is based on the 2004 Grand Prix platform, and it is a much tighter car. There is very little flex in the chassis when you go over a railroad track or round a curve. It is much quieter than a Regal. It reminds me of a 7/8 scale Park Avenue inside, and that is meant to be a compliment. The seats are very comfortable. Mrs. Rogers drove both a Lexus ES330 and RX330 for 24 hour test drives, and she says that the LaCrosse seat cushion is longer and offers better thigh support.

         Fiehrer Motors in Fairfield, OH north of Cincinnati delivered the car, and they are a pleasure to deal with. If GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz ever wants to copy Lexus customer service, he should visit Fiehrer. It was raining when we picked up the car, so they had the car indoors so we could inspect it. They give you a CD to help you get acquainted with the car.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Thanks Mr. Rogers for your info. Please keep us advised as the miles and weeks go by. The LaCrosse is one vehicle that is on my possible buy list. I am awaiting the CR report.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    GM is not advertising it, but if you ask your dealer politely, they will arrange for you to test drive a new LaCrosse for 24 hours. I feel this is very helpful in making an important decision.
  • Thanks for the report. I found the comments on the back seat room rather ironic. Among about 6 cars we we test drove, we were also considering the Toyota Camry (also looked at: Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Ford 500, Chevy Malibu). Probably the primary reason we chose the Lacrosse was that it had significantly more rear seat room than the Camry. For rear seat room, we did two tests - I put the seat in my driving position and she sits behind me. Then, she puts the front seat in her driving position and I try to sit behind her. Both cars passed when I was in the front seat (i.e., her knees did not hit the drivers seat). However, when she sat in the front seat of the Camry, I had a choice of either sitting with my knees driven into the drivers seat or spread wide apart. In the LaCrosse, there was plenty of room when she was in the drivers seat. Toe room was fine in both cars. (I am about 6'1" and she is about 5'9")
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    it comes to American cars. Perhaps they're thinking of the quality/reliability gaps of the past.

     

    I'm considering trading in my '02 Regal LS Abboud on a LaCrosse CXS. I haven't driven the LaCrosse, nor its competition. I DID drive a Chrysler 300 and a Lexus ES300 to compare before buying the Regal. The Chrysler was inferior in every department - performance, braking, cornering, seats - you name it. The real surprise was the Lexus - grabby brakes, vague, too-light steering and a notchy gas pedal. The Regal, for all its dated design [even then], was equal or superior to the Lexus in every department, save for the lack of memory seats.

     

    But, back to CR - What leadfoot there got only 18mpg from the 3.8 LaCrosse? I NEVER see less than 21mpg in my Regal, and 30+mpg on the road is usual. And, yes, I drive a lot faster than 55 when possible.

     

    Makes me wonder....
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Thanks for the advice. That certainly is something that I will do before making a final decision.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Where did 18 mpg from the 3.8 LaCrosse come from in CR magazine? The full report on the LaCrosse will be out in the February issue of CR which, I believe, will be out very shortly.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The full report of the LaCrosse CXL will be in the March issue, which will be available shortly. Its available now to subscribers of CR's website. The review of the LaCrosse is fairly positive and is in line with everything else I've read- the vehicle is significantly better than the Regal but sets no new standard for the class. The overall MPG as tested was 18 MPG. Major areas of criticism were rear seat room and pricing. At MSRP, the LaCrosse is a tough proposition. A few items to the CXL and you've already hit $30K, without GMs excellent 3.6L V6, or stability control for example.

     

    Regarding rear seat room, here are the dimensions for headroo(figures are w/o sunroof):

     

    LaCrosse/Camry/Accord

    Headroom: 37.2/38.4/38.5

     

    Thats a big difference.

     

    I'm so tired of the argument that CR gives American vehicles negative reviews simply because they are from an American nameplate. People seem to forget that up until the Mazda 3 came along, the Ford Focus was CR's top rated small car, or that last January, the Malibu V6 scored very well, just short of its Camcord competitors. Maybe, just MAYBE... when the domestics produce good vehicles, it gets recognized. But the majority aren't, and its reflected in the ratings, people are up in arms.

     

    ~alpha
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,179
    >when the domestics produce good vehicles, it gets recognized.

     

    Many times with faint praise. The selection of adjectives and tone of sentences colored the preferences. If a flaw was mentioned in a foreign car, it was mitigated with something else said in the sentence or minimized by the choice of wording if the car was on the preferred list. American brand cars--never could do right. E.G., how they got 18 mpg. Did they test drive the Honda Accord v6 with 280 horsepower and get 18--bet not.

     

    The Focus is 'alien' enough in style and position, that it's not proof that American brands can get rated by CR's foreign lovers. Focus seems to be a good car, I'm not berated it. I just want to see fair testing of all cars without bias.

     

    I recall Motorweek having a GM car stop in 128 feet and 'that's not very good.' Later they tested some tiny British thing and it took like 140 feet to stop, and that was sort of okay because of the kind of car it was. BIAS...
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    priggly :" OnStar is not something you are obligated to keep? You get a year free and then you can let it go if you don't want it. Sound system sounded great on the car I tested.

     

    I think CR will give the LaCrosse a luke warm review but will eventually recommend it. I find they generally are ok with Buicks.
  • I think that you, and CR, are correct if you consider the MSRP. After rebates, however, the cars are very cost competitive.

    In terms of the CR report, rightly or wrongly, when a car is evaluated by a relatively small number of people (the test panel in the case of CR, so-called professional reviewers in the case of many newspapers and magazines), specific biases will come through. These biases can come through even in such things that would seem to be purely objective, such as rear seat room. As I noted in a previous post (2018, I think), one of the primary reasons we chose the LaCrosse over the Camry was that the LaCrosse, for us, had much more interior room for us. This was also true for the driver's seat, which for me was marginal at best. The differing results likely reflect differing leg and torso lengths. Thus, the bottom line as to whether or not you like a car and if it fits your style is to drive it!

     

    Our experience with test driving cars and seeing how they compare to the CR report is that sometimes we agree strongly and other times wonder what they were smoking. When we were test driving cars, 3 other vehicles we looked at and that were recently tested by CR were the Chevy Malibu, Toyota Prius, and Ford 500. Our impressions of these cars vis-a-vis the CR reports were: Ford 500 - almost identical to CR; Chevy Malibu - a good car, but not as good as CR made it out to be; Toyota Prius - whatever kind of drugs the CR staff was on when they tested that car must have been pretty powerful. Other than the gas mileage, it was an especially lousy car. While the V-6 Camry has not been rated recently, we thought it was an excellent car except for the size issue - similar to CR.

     

    A more significant issue with CR car reports, however, are their reliability reports. Methodologically, they are likely fatally flawed.

     

    A final comment to the person who posted the CR report verbatim. While it was fun to read the report before my issue of CR actually arrives, it really is not kosher (or legal!) to post an article verbatim (copyright law, etc.). However, it is fine to keep the entire content of the article as long as you paraphrase it.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    There is no 280 hp Accord. And I wasnt talking about Motorweek, the topic of discussion is CR.

     

    Im not sure I quite understand what the following means:

    "The Focus is 'alien' enough in style and position, that it's not proof that American brands can get rated by CR's foreign lovers. Focus seems to be a good car, I'm not berated it."

     

    The Focus is a Ford through-and-through. Berate means to "rebuke or scold angrily and at length" according to dictionary.com

     

    ~alpha
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    A car that is a strong contender and a competitive entry in the marketplace would not need significant rebates to even the pricing field. The Camry is in its 4th model year, and for the month of January in the Greater NY Region, the best rebate you can get is $750 or 1.9% for 36 months. The Accord, in its 3rd model year, sees even fewer incentives. The LaCrosse, introduced in October, is already at this incentive level or higher.

     

    With respect to the Prius, I dont think everyone is quite ready for it. My parents hated it, and all they did was see it in the showroom when our Camry was in for servicing. This does not mean it was undeserving of the Car and Driver Ten Best award last year or CR's review.

     

    I fail to see how CR's reliability ratings are fatally flawed, or at least, any more flawed than JD Power's, for example. And if you look at the JD Power dependability studies (3 and 5 year) against the CR ratings... they are remarkably similar. There is disconnect between the JD Power Initial Quality study and CR's ratings, but then, CR doesnt have a measure that tracks only 90 days of ownership. I dont wholly buy the argument that CRs readership dictates its scores. If that were the case, there would have never been enough data on the Chevy Cavalier, but there is. Or there would never be negative data on highly rated vehicles, such as on the Cadillac CTS, Mazda 6, Nissan Armada, etc. The bottom line is that individual consumers do not have the resources/ability to take reliability surveys on their own. It is up to the individual to weigh the information from professional sources such as CR and JD Power with respect to reliability, as these are the two sole credible sources that I know of. My preference is that I care less about reliability and more about the vehicle itself. If I wanted a Mazda 6 or hell, a Malibu for that matter, I would buy it, and find a dealer with a strong sense of customer orientation and good service.

     

    And it was I who posted the CR article verbatim. It was a mistake that won't be repeated, and yes, Copyright law is pretty strict, but.. I never passed the work off as my own, and I provided the citation. Still it was wrong, it was removed, and I will not do that again.

     

    ~alpha
  • rbentonrbenton Posts: 30
    The La Crosse, even though it is massive upgrade of Century and the Regal is 4 to 5 years behind the bell in respect to other near luxury cars (i.e. Lexus ES 330, Acura TL et al).

     

    CXS La Crosse with Gold Convenience pkg, Curtain Air Bags, Stability Control, Sunroof, Monsoon 6 CD stereo, Satellite Radio, Heated seats, and Remote Start = $33400 MSRP.

     

    2005 Acura TL $ 33,470 gives you Xenon headlights, Memory Seats/mirrors, Blue tooth, Extra cog transaxle with Manual Shift Gate, DVD based stereo , Torso Side air bags, 30 More HP, 8 more pound feet of torque, and Longer BTB warranty for only $ 70.

     

    The only advantages the Lacrosse has are 3.5 cubic feet of trunk space, a bit more rear legs room and Ultrasonic parking assist.

     

    Buick is not perceived at same level of prestige as Acura or Lexus. Blame 30+ years of badge engineering and Decontenting their cars down to a Chevy level.

     

    Meanwhile import brands such as Toyota and Honda built clever little cars that were neatly assembled and thoroughly engineered. Those cars built their market esteem based on tangible quality and product advantages.

     

    In other words while GM took the US market for granted, Toyota and Honda built better cars and won over the Baby Boomers and Generation x market with superior products.

     

    It boils to this the near-luxury boom of the past 15 years has stolen to historic market of Buick, Oldsmobile, Chrsyler and Mercury. Buick sales for are down 60% or so from twenty years ago, even though total cars sales have varied 10% from 16 million a year. The 80% La Crosse is symbolic of GM slow decay in to Bethlehem Steel like Abyss. What is really 120% effort to match the competition and 85% of the market price.

     

    Just a few thoughts
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    You may not be obligated to keep subscribing to OnStar but you most certainly are obligated to having to contend with the OnStar electronics in the car if you buy it. Now, I ask you, why wasn't the money obligatorily allotted to OnStar spent on side torso airbags for the car instead of making you accept the OnStar physical/electronic system?
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    One magazine did a long term test of the Acura TL, and the leather interior got poor marks for wear after a few months.

        Car and Driver Senior Editor Csaba Csere commented in his December editorial that even after their sludge problem, Toyota still does not offer a system that tells you when to change the oil like GM does.

         Concerning the issue of LaCrosse only offering a four speed transmission and Lexus offering a five speed, please drive an ES330 for 24 hours like my wife and I did. The ES330 five speed loves to upshift, but is hesitant to downshift. It is not a reliability issue, so people who think of cars the way they think of Maytags might not care. But the hesitation is there in both the ES330 and RX330. I have not driven a new Camry, but I have read that it shares the ES330 transmission.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,179
    >280 hp Accord.

    Whatever the high-powered at high revs engine puts out. I didn't look it up. Sorry.

     

     

    >I wasnt (sic) talking about Motorweek,

    I mentioned Motorweek (the PBS program) in my discussion.

     

    >Focus is 'alien' enough

    The Focus is much different from a Crown Vic, Taurus, Windstar. It's more like a foreign car.

     

    >Berate means to "rebuke or scold angrily and at length" according to dictionary.com

    Thank you for the dictionary check.
  • Thanks for the post. In terms of the Prius vis-a-vis the CR report, we expected the Prius to be similar to a Toyota midsize with respect to performance, etc. Instead, we found it to be a cramped (both driver seat and rear seat), underpowered, noisy, and downright irritating car to drive. The beeper that goes off inside the car when you are in reverse is enough to never want to go in reverse, although there is apparently some way to turn it off. In addition, that so-called information screen in the middle of the car was an utter distraction.

     

    Anyway, back to my comment on the CR reliability reports and the statistical issues I have with it. You are correct, that in many ways the CR and JDPower reports track each other well, although there are a number of glaring exceptions. For example, average 3 year reliability of all Buick nameplates is higher than 3 year reliability of all Toyota nameplates (this does not include Lexus, which was higher than Buick) in the JDPower report. In the CR reliability, this is not the case. Also, while many individual cars track similarly in the two systems, there are often very large differences.

     

    There are 2 nontrivial issues regarding the CR data in terms of validity. First, the CR data contain a confounding variable - all of the respondents subscribe to CR. Normally, in doing a survey one wants to eliminate confounding variables since it can skew the data. For example, if I wanted to find out about car reliability and I did a survey of only people who went to NASCAR races, I would bet that I would get a very different and equally "valid" result than CR. My data might have been skewed, however, by the confounding variable of all my samples being NASCAR fans. As I understand it, the JDPower survey is a random survey of car owners.

     

    The second issue also relates to the respondents to the CR report all being CR subscribers. A substantial fraction of CR subscribers subscribe to CR in order to find out/be told what vehicle (or other product) to buy. Importantly, subscribers make a financial commitment to the magazine when they subscribe. This raises the issue of what happens if/when the car they buy turns out to be less than CR indicated. Will they be honest in their responses, or will they not want to be percieve themselves as a rube since they paid money for this advice, and pretend the problems don't exist?

     

    I do agree with you that CRs car ratings in terms of how much they like a vehicle do appear independent of reliability ratings. A couple things I would find useful would be if CR would include the cost of ownership in reliability, as they used to do. It would also be nice if CR gave numerical data with standard deviations on the repair incidence, rather than just their circles - I would like to judge for myself how different the values are. Finally, it would be a really neat experiment if CR or some other organization were to repeat the CR study of car reliability one year except instead of including just CR subscribers, include a random sample of car owners. My hunch is that many of the trends between the CR reports and this study would be similar, but there would also be many glaring exceptions. Anyone have a couple hundred K for such a study!

     

    Robchemist
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,179
    Robchemist:

     

    I suggested the sample problem in other discussions here on Edmunds about CR's bias and inaccuracy in reporting. I was summarily pooh-poohed by some posters in that other discussion.

     

    The fact that only subscribers get the questionnaires and then some of those return them and some don't skews the information.

     

    CR never tells how many reports it has about a particular car. That lack of information is a concern in itself for me to understand their results.

     

    I've always sensed that the results are oriented to keep the subscribers happy: their subscribers tend to be green IMHO. That's whom they want to feel that CR has rated their car high or helped them with their other purchases.

     

    Does anyone have info about their subscriber demographics?
  • verdi942verdi942 Posts: 304
    5-speeds, 6-speeds, more high-rev HP, so what?

     

    What counts is the resulting performance/cost.

     

    From what I can tell, the average LaCrosse is fast, smooth, quiet, comfortable, good-looking, well-made [we hope - new model], reasonably well-equipped, good on [regular] gas and probably doomed to poor resale values. Of course, there's the Made in USA [assembled in Canada but by UAW people] factor, too.

     

     3.8 LaCrosses are selling for way under MSRP, depending on the dealer, GM Card $$$, rebates, cheap financing and various other incentives. The truly competitive CSX is too costly for now. The foreign cars offer much less in the way of incentives, although $22K Camrys are going for $17K these days.

     

    The aura of bullet-proof quality surronding Toyota, et. al. should one day be earned by GM, too.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,179
    Are the 5 speed automatics in Acura the ones I read about on another group here that are having problems (more than other Honda products already are having with their transmissions?)?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We need to remember that the subject of this particular discussion is the LaCrosse. We're wandering all over the place here.

     

    There are lots of other discussions where many of these recent comments and questions would be most appropriate. If the search features on the left side of the page do not help you find an appropriate venue for your thoughts drop me an email and I'll dig something up for you.

     

    Meanwhile, back to the LaCrosse in this discussion ...

     

    :)
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    why wasn't the money obligatorily allotted to OnStar spent on side torso airbags for the car instead of making you accept the OnStar physical/electronic system?

     

    Because consumer ate it?
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The cost of the OnStar electronics is likely adding very little to the car cost (probably less than $100). If you like the car and you think the price is fair, why let little details like that bother you?
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    You may special order the LaCrosse and you may delete the OnStar on your special order. I believe the order takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
  • We special ordered a LaCrosse 2/4, and it should be here by the beginning of next week (ca. 4 weeks). Manufacture of the car began last week, and so I guess we are just waiting for the transportation from the factory to the dealer.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    you may delete the OnStar on your special order

     

    Depending on trim. OnStar is not optional with CXS.
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