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Buick LaCrosse



  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    Mrs. Rogers and I recently test drove a 2005 LaCrosse CXL, a 2005 Lexus ES330, and a 2005 Lexus RX330 for 24 hours each. We wanted a car to replace her 1998 Regal LS with 100K miles. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz talks about Lexus all the time, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about.
          I will start by saying that Hertz has rented me Toyota Camrys before, and I never had a problem. I had higher expectations for the ES330, and we came away disapointed. The ES330 seat cushion is too short to provide adequate thigh support. I supposed I could replace the seats with Recaros, but why should we have to? The five speed automatic is hesitant to downshift in city driving. I ended up moving the lever to "3" and "4" in city driving, and did not shift into "5" until we were on the freeway. There is not much headroom with the standard sunroof. According to Edmunds, the ES330 has much better resale than the Regal.
         The RX330 had the same seating and transmission problems, and it also had wind noise. We believe it is coming from the luggage rack. I am not sure if a RX330 could be delivered without the luggage rack.
          As Edmunds says in their recent roadtest, the LaCrosse four speed automatic is much smoother than the Lexus five speed. The seats offer much more thigh support. In fairess to Lexus, it is possible that the Lexus leather is of a higher quality that the Buick leather. Perhaps Bob Lutz can offer a "Coach" option next year. Both the ES330 and LaCrosse are very quiet cars.
           After the three roadtests, we decided to purchase a new LaCrosse. I will get into the details in my next post.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    We decided on a 2005 LaCrosse CXL with the following five options:
    PY1 16' Chrome-Tek wheels
    JL9 Antilock brakes
    AY1 Head curtain airbags
    R13 Chrome package
    KA1 Heated seats
    The invoice total including the five options is $25,833. Deducting the $1,000 rebate brings the price down to $24,833. I was able to negotiate a price of $24,900 which is $67 over invoice. I also agreed to pay their $95 documentation fee.
        Edmunds says my 1998 Regal LS with 100K miles is worth $2,800 trade in. I was able to negotiate a $3,250 trade in. I ordered the car, and it is supposed to arrive in six to eight weeks.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    I was not offended.

    Where indeed has the sound system been critically reviewed?
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    More than one salesperson at a number of dealerships. Salespersons don't commonly know much about the sound system, however. GM of Canada online information states the speaker system is Delphi but avoids telling you who "manufactures" it or any of the manufacturing details.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I always go with the standard radio and upgrade it later. You will probably come out ahead over anything GM offers. Just my opinion.
  • 99gs99gs Posts: 109
    Thank you Mr Rogers for taking the time to post all that great info.
  • 99gs99gs Posts: 109
    Does a speaker replacement make the biggest difference when upgrading?
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    Yes, definitely. It's the single most effective measure in an aftermarket audio upgrade.
  • Sounds to me that you in fact did not contact anyone in GMCda or GMC; that the dealers don't know; and that you really do not know either, unless you took apart a speaker unit. So I am left wondering how authoritative your comments on the speakers are. Or am I missing something here?
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    Sounds to me that you want to be an apologist for Delphi's junky paper cone speakers. Go listen to a "Concert Sound III" system and then come back and tell us how good the speakers sound. If you don't know what a really good automotive sound system sounds like, which is entirely possible, go listen to the Mark Levinson in a Lexus or the Scheiner system in an Acura TL, so that you have a basis of comparison. The only way GM can get away with putting a substandard sound system in their cars is that they are betting the buying public will not call them on it and reward them by buying their cars.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And I, for one, would gladly pay NOT to get a Bose.




    I had a Maxima that had a Bose system.


    No highs, no lows, it must be Bose.


    One maxim that is very close to the truth!
  • Sound quality is such a subjective feature, as the series of recent posts on LaCrosse/Allure, etc has amptly demonstrated. While my fellow Canadian, priggly, cannot back up his allegations on paper cone speakers, the real point is that the quality is in the ear of the beholder. For many of us, its is crystal clear that the Concert Sound III in the Buick CXS is a noticable improvement over its predecessor and is in fact comparable to sound systems in the entry-level luxo class. In this and many other respects, the new LaCrosse/Allure is fully competitive in quality,features, and performance with its comparators while offering excellent price points.


    Perhaps this town hall should move on to other more important items in the decision-making process and in-use experiences with the LaCrosse/Allure and its contenders.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    coopergerry, I told you distinctly in a post on 9 December, post #858, that a number of salespersons at multiple dealerships indicated to me that the speakers were of the paper cone variety. I checked with several because I wanted a consensus of opinion as I did not find most of the salespersons particularly knowledgeable. I also told you that GM Canada online specified the speakers were Delphi but would give no further information. Therefore, that the speakers are paper is not allegation, it is fact. It seems you do not want to concede that the speakers are of an inferior quality and would rather believe they are "entry-level luxo class," as you put it. That is up to you but I suggest you investigate the matter on your own so that you can speak with more authority and less presumption.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    To believe anything SALESpeople in a dealership tell you IS presumption. It MAY or MAY NOT be true. You yourself, priggly, acknowledge such when you seek out others to agree or disagree with them. But, the fact that six or eight or even ten salespeople who may or may not know what they are talking about agree does not in itself make something a fact, or for that matter, not a fact.


    Why not check with the SERVICE people? They are far more knowledgeable and have access to the service manuals...
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I dont know too many people who base a car decision on the stereo alone but that seems to be the most critical feature for you. MOst GM sounds systems are pretty good, even the no name sound systems. I have a no name Delphi 200watt sound system in my car and I think it sounds fine. It's not as good as Bose or other top end car systems but it is pretty good. It is definitely better than non name brand systems I've heard in Japanese cars. You are beating a dead horse at this point, I dont think many buyers are going to not by the Lacrosse because the sound system isnt up to Mark levinson standards.


    There is no way the Lacrosse is going to be better than the ES330 when a loaded ES330 cost around $40K. Regardless of what Lutz said the Lacrosse isnt going to be a direct competitor for the ES330 for most buyers. What he was trying to say is that the Lacrosse wuld deliver ride and quiet in way you would expect an ES330 to deliver for less money. I have seen no other reviews stating this car was not quiet as advertised. Considering how mist reviewers are quick to point out flaws in GM products I think this car must be pretty quiet.
  • Although I cannot cite any direct quotes at this time I am under the impression that Lutz wanted to transform Buick starting with the LaCrosse as a direct competitor to Lexus and let Cadillac compete against MB and BMW which IMO makes perfect sense. GM has also produced the 3.6 which at worse equals the performance of the 3.3 used by the ES330. Moreover, the LaCrosse platform itself has the potential to meet such expectations. Unfortunately, given limited standard and optional equipment, the LaCrosse is midsize vehicle that probably competes more with the Camry. Which begs the greater question, if my assumption is correct about Lutz's intentions, why didn't GM produce the LaCrosse to be a near luxury vehicle? Shouldn't GM use its multiple lower divisions to compete in the already crowded midsize class?
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    i think lutz would be happy if the lacrosse cxs just competed against high end camrys.


    the arguments for buying a camry V6 xle over a es330 are pretty much the same as it is for the buick lacrosse.


    i don't see much cross shopping between high end camrys/accords/passats and those offerings from GM's so called lower divisions.
  • My point exactly, one would think that GM between Saturn, Chevy and Pontiac would be able to produce a mid-size auto that could be cross shopped with the vehicles you mentioned. Perhaps GM would have been better served to introduce a Chevy version of the LaCrosse with the 3.6. This would be a slot above Malibu and good replacement for the Impala which besides fleet sales appears to be receiving very little love. Then simply add the luxury items into the current LaCrosse and a near luxury competitor is born. The most exciting segment in the market is the near luxury class and traditional GM divisions only offer the Park Ave. and CTS. The Park has limited appeal (it can be purchased with portholes) and will be discontinued at end of the model year and the CTS with options is priced towards the higher end of the segment. The LaCrosse if properly equipped could have been priced towards the lower end and compete with Japanese rivals. Even if the LaCrosse would not be the sales leader its Chevy relative would benefit from its sister vehicles added prestige.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Apparently, you aren't keeping up. Impala sales are brisk, and by far the majority are NOT to fleets. And the new Impala is well on the way.


    That all being said, my 00 Impala LS was replaced by a Ford Five Hundred. Yes, I looked at a LaCrosse. Then I saw the value and the superior size, interior and trunk of the Five Hundred, not to mention AWD. And, lastly, I had just had enough of Mr. Lutz's decontenting...
  • I understand a lot of people want to run other peoples business but most cannot manage their own. I think GM has done a great job with the LaCrosse. We just purchased one after much research and the CXL is a great automobile. We took it for a short 150 mile trip yesterday and it is by far the best GM car we have driven or ridden in. We have owned Park Avenues and LeSabres but this rides, drives and sounds much better than any of the previous, the QUIETNESS in the wind is really a suprise. The lumbar support in the seat is great, the dash does everything it should, the steering and control is fantastic in response. The radio and sound is quite good and reception was great in Wyoming and Northern Colorado. I think GM and Lutz and his crew have done a wonderful thing for Buick & GM overall. Thank you.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    Thanks for your post on the new LaCrosse. This is certainly a vehicle that I will look at further. Please let us know from time to time on how the vehicle is doing. What options did you get? I definitely want the side air bags and here in the midwest they are not coming that way. If I want the Lacrosse I will probably have to order one. Do you really feel that this drives BETTER than a Park Avenue?
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,562
    No power backrest, no thorax airbags at any price, do they honestly think buyers don't notice this stuff? I like the styling of the LaCrosse, but features-wise, there's not a lot of value comparing the loaded LaCrosse with an Acura TL.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 642
    There's absolutely no way the LaCrosse compares to an Acura TL if you can get a TL without harmonic distortion in the drivetrain. The LaCrosse doesn't even have heated outside power mirrors as a standard feature and these are available only as part of an option package. This is a basic safety feature that is lacking, as are the side torso airbags. Some Lexus alright.
  • Yes I think it rides and drives better than the Park Avenue. Much quicker response in steering and handling and a much firmer ride, but soft enough to be quite comfortable. The only thing that is taking time to get used to is the vision out the rear sides by turning your head, but we are getting used to it. The options we got were ChromeTech Wheels, Side head Air Bags, Gold Convience Package, ABS Braking, Chrome Appearance Package. We ordered it in Sterling Silver with the Ebony Leather interior. The car came in in about 4 weeks.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    The key point though is that GM isnt going to make any strides by winning over former Regal and Park Avenue owners.


    I like the CXS version of this vehicle, but in more basic trim, I really question the value equation. $23,500 to start and no ABS even? Seriously? And when you look at a loaded CXS at $34,000.... I would certainly favor a basic TL at that price.


  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Congrats to the new owners.


    alpha : I think the Base CXS offers the best value. Loading it up does not make any sense to me either. The base CXS has all most people would want anyway.
  • Here in the rural midwest I have yet to see a single new LaCrosse at any of our small town Buick dealers.They sure are advertising it heavy on TV.


    Why wasnt the new LaCrosse ready to replace the 04 Regals when production ended on them?This reminds me of the huge gap between the 96 Regals and the 97.5 Regals.


    Our local dealer never did like Regals so he probably wont get very many LaCrosses in.He thinks the Century and LeSabre is all there is.One of these days we will probably want to replace our 00 Regal LS but wont go to him.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,565
    In the urban midwest(Milwaukee) the dealer I drive by every day has at least four of them as they are all sitting in a row right by the street-all are silver/gray in color. He started with one there about three weeks ago.


    If I squint my eyes a bit, they look just like my 2000 Taurus, but with Jag inspired headlights, and my Taurus is dark green.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I sat in an Allure on Monday in the mall and I liked it. Fit and finish was superior to my Intrigue though I prefer my exterior. I can see myself getting a CXS in a few years if it drives like they say.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I finally saw a lacrosse yesterday. It was a base model with wheel covers. Overall it was attractive. I have only seen two in the flesh and they were both the same color.


    Most cars in the lower luxury class dont compare well with the Tl in terms of features. that is most likely why the TL has been such a success. If you get a TL you will have lots of torque steer and no fold down backseat. There is not much reason not to get a TL, especially if you are basing your decision on value. The TL is a better value than the 3 series, C class, CTS and many other cars, not just the Lacrosse.
This discussion has been closed.