What's New for 2007
For 2007, Buick gives the LaCrosse a few more standard features. An upgraded OnStar system (with turn-by-turn directions) becomes standard on all trims, while XM satellite radio now comes on the CXS. A couple of new wheel designs and new upholstery fabric round out the changes. GM has also extended the powertrain warranty on all of its models to five years/100,000 miles.
The 2007 Buick LaCrosse finds itself in one of the most competitive segments in the industry; that of the $25,000-$30,000 upscale family sedan. The last few years have also produced a bumper crop in this class, with strong entries such as the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon/Camry and Volkswagen Passat packing plenty of features and performance.
The LaCrosse has an oval design theme, as seen in its grille and greenhouse. Under the skin, the LaCrosse utilizes Buick's "Quiet Tuning," which means that liberal amounts of sound insulation and acoustical glass are fitted. Inside, generous amounts of wood-grain paneling and tasteful chrome accents dress up the cabin and make for a strong first impression. The interior's fit and finish is generally acceptable, but there are still a few examples of cheaper plastic trim to be found.
Replacing the previous Regal and Century a couple of years ago, the LaCrosse is meant to strike an agreeable balance between a supple ride and confident handling. In essence, Buick hopes to please both its traditional customers as well as consumers who might otherwise have not considered one of its cars. All but the top trim level (the CXS) employ the proven 3.8-liter 200-horsepower V6, while the CXS gets a more modern DOHC 3.6-liter V6 good for 240 hp.
Overall, the 2007 Buick LaCrosse is a pretty decent car. It's fairly quick with the top-line V6, and it delivers a smooth, quiet ride. But there's very little else that makes the car desirable alongside the top vehicles available in this price range. Handling is sloppy, seat comfort is below average and the equipment list is unimpressive. With that in mind, we encourage shoppers to take at look at the other available sedans in this class before settling on this midsize Buick.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Buick LaCrosse is a midsize family sedan. Three trim levels are offered: CX, CXL and CXS. The CX comes with 16-inch steel wheels, a power driver seat, air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, cruise control and full power accessories. The LaCrosse CXL adds alloy wheels, leather upholstery, automatic climate control and a split/folding rear seat. The top-of-the-line CXS provides a more powerful V6, a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, XM satellite radio and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Many of the features on the CXS can be had on lower trims. Other significant options include a remote engine-start feature, rear parking assist and upgraded audio systems that include MP3 compatibility and a six-disc CD changer. High-end features like a navigation system and Bluetooth are not available.
Powertrains and Performance
The CX and CXL models are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 200 hp. Exclusive to the CXS model is a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 that features variable valve timing; it produces 240 hp. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. The CXS is respectably quick, as it runs the 0-to-60-mph drill in 7.6 seconds and completes the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds. Fuel mileage ratings are impressive: The 3.8 is rated at 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, while the higher-performance 3.6 is rated at 19 city, 27 highway.
Full-length, head-protecting side curtain side airbags are standard, as are OnStar, traction control, a tire-pressure monitor and antilock disc brakes. Stability control is optional on the CXS only. Torso-protecting front-seat side airbags are not available. In NHTSA crash tests, the 2007 Buick LaCrosse earned a five-star rating (out of a possible five) for its protection of the driver and front passenger in frontal impacts. In NHTSA side impact tests, all LaCrosses scored four stars for the rear seat. LaCrosses made after Feb. 5, 2007 scored three stars in front, but those made before that time earned only one star. However, a service bulletin was issued for the earlier models that will bring their crash performance up to the level of the later production cars. In IIHS testing, the LaCrosse scored a "Good" (the highest possible score) in frontal-offset tests. That agency's side-impact testing, however, resulted in a "Marginal" rating (the second lowest of four).
Interior Design and Special Features
The LaCrosse is offered in both five- and six-passenger seating configurations. The broad, flat seats are easy to slide into, but lack support for longer adults. Rear-seat legroom is tight for adults. The dash design is simple and elegant, with one long expanse of faux wood and a clear set of gauges right in front of the driver. Tasteful chrome accents along the dash and around the gear selector add a dash of style. Although most cabin materials are of solid quality, the lower door trim and console plastics look and feel cheap. Climate and audio controls are for the most part user-friendly, once one remembers the functions of the stereo's array of similar buttons. There is plenty of storage in the cabin and the trunk measures a spacious 16 cubic feet.
On the highway, the Buick LaCrosse rides smoothly and soaks up the bumps without drama -- the mark of any decent midsize family sedan. But there's little excitement when you come upon a winding stretch of road. Even on the supposedly sporting CXS model, the body rolls excessively and the steering feels numb. Although somewhat noisy, the base V6 in CX and CXL models offers decent power and good fuel economy. Still, we feel the CXS is a better choice overall, as its overhead-cam V6 provides a broader, more refined power delivery.