2012 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Review | Edmunds.com
 

2012 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid

 
 

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Buick LaCrosse Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 182 hp @ 6700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/36 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • With the 2012 LaCrosse, Buick has a fully competitive luxury sedan that doesn't nip at the heels of the big dogs, but instead can now run with the pack.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Elegant interior styling; smooth and quiet ride; admirable driving dynamics; hybrid's respectable fuel economy; good performance from V6 models; available all-wheel drive; top crash-test scores.

  • Cons

    Limited luggage space, especially with eAssist trim; compromised rearward visibility; cluttered control layout.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Buick LaCrosse gains a new gasoline-electric hybrid model dubbed "eAssist." The only four-cylinder LaCrosse offered, it promises…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Think twice

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick LaCrosse Premium I Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

If you are like me, the car looks appealing, gets good mileage for it's size and seems to be a good value. The ride is nice, the power is a sacrifice for the mileage....but I'm only getting 31 mpg....not the 36 advertised. Finally the straw that caused me to write this review......the spare tire. How does a $30k car not have a spare tire? GM is cutting corners at the expense of it's customers. I called to order a spare and the retail cost for the tire kit $550...are you kidding me? This is not acceptable and will ultimatley come to bite GM is the butt. I will never buy another GM car because of this one experience and I'll tell everyone I know...GM is all about $$$, not loyalty.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Had enough!

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick LaCrosse Premium I Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

I bought the new Buick LaCrosse Prem. 1 last November and have tried for a year to get used to the poor visability, the front end scaping on driveway everytime I left or came home, raking the the paint off the nose of the car every time I parked in a space with one of those parking "stops" and knowing that if i have a flat tire somewhere unsafe, I have no spare. I researched this car for six months before I made the purchase but there was no way to know about the blind spots and how low this car was to the ground. It was beautiful but I traded for something with better visability, higher off the ground and a spare tire! Will not miss it!



9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Having second thoughts

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick LaCrosse Premium I Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

I purchased the 2012 LaCrosse four months ago. The car is so low to the ground that I can't get in and out of my driveway without scraping the front end. The front and side posts plus the high trunk make visability a real issue when driving in heavy traffic. Other features that I don't like is the lock/unlock buttons being on the middle console instead of on the door and the only trunk unlock is on the key fob. The car performs well enough for a 4 cyl. but I wish I had known about the lack of visability and the drag issues before purchasing. Also, be aware that no spare tire comes with this car. You get a can of Fix-A-Flat. There is a space for it, but no tire.



8 of 15 people found this review helpful

Not your father's buick

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick LaCrosse 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

Having been longtime Pontiac owners we always thought Buick's styling and road manners skewed old. This is not the case with the LaCrosse. The looks are outstanding but it comes at a price. It is hard to judge the front and rear of the car and the blind spots when changing lanes are hard to see. It takes some getting used to but consider getting back up assist and blind spot alert. It has a sporty road feel without a punishing ride. The seats are very comfortable. The layout of the instrument panel is such that the tilt wheel is always obstructing something. The digital speedometer is a big help. The trunk is only adequate for luggage for two. That's the price you pay for the large back seat



14 of 14 people found this review helpful

Eassist buick lacrosse 2012

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick LaCrosse Leather Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

bought a new buick lacrosse eassist on the way home stopped for dinner and the front of the car is so ,low it dragged on the ground causeing 500 dollars in damage thought i was at fault took to body shop and had repainted when i got car back went out that night trying to be extra carefull with driveing and it draged again no damage this time dealer has been great but gm district contact was no help at all this after my being a gm buyer since the early 70s last 3 new gm products where a 96 eldorado 2001 deville and now this buick no wonder people go to outher brands wish i would have kept the 01 deville had it 11 years and it never saw the inside of a body shop



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 25
  • cty
/
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2012 Buick LaCrosse Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse gains a new gasoline-electric hybrid model dubbed "eAssist." The only four-cylinder LaCrosse offered, it promises improved fuel economy but with only a modest price increase. Other changes this year include a more powerful V6 engine and a new trim level structure.

Introduction

For much of the last decade, Buick's sedans held little appeal beyond those consumers still nostalgic about the traditions of this General Motors nameplate. But two years ago, Buick introduced its redesigned -- and much improved -- LaCrosse. Boasting modern styling, an elegant interior and impressive driving dynamics, the LaCrosse quickly became one of our more favored entry-level luxury sedans.

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse gets even better thanks to a new hybrid powertrain. Serving as the LaCrosse's entry-level model (last year's base four-cylinder has been discontinued), the "eAssist" combines a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a mild hybrid system to boost fuel economy to 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. While these numbers are still well shy of what you'll get from the full hybrid Lexus HS 250h, the LaCrosse hybrid is roomier and doesn't come with as big of a price premium either.

Aside from basic variations in trim level, the interior of the 2012 LaCrosse stays the course, meaning you'll find an elegant cabin with sweeping lines and rich surfaces, all set off by the generous use of LED accent lighting. The serene, roomy cabin is filled with useful features and amusing toys ranging from a rearview camera to a dual-screen video entertainment system. In fact, the only significant complaints we have are the small trunk and reduced visibility caused by thick roof pillars.

Even though we're pretty impressed with the LaCrosse, there are a number of strong alternatives we'd suggest buyers also consider, including the Acura TL, Hyundai Genesis and Lexus ES 350. You could also check out the Chrysler 300 and upper trim levels of the Ford Taurus and new Volkswagen Passat. Ultimately deciding among all these likable models becomes a personal decision, but we can tell you the well-rounded 2012 Buick LaCrosse is a fine choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

For 2012, Buick has revamped the LaCrosse model lineup, replacing last year's three relatively uncomplicated trim levels with no fewer than seven different variants.

Base models come nicely equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a power driver seat and partial-power front passenger seat, split-folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, OnStar, Bluetooth, and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface. Next step up would be the Convenience model (1SD), which adds a power lumbar adjustment for the driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and remote ignition.

Spring for the Leather model and you get foglamps, heated mirrors with built-in turn signal repeaters, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a full power front passenger seat. The Premium 1 version adds rear parking assist, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror and driver seat memory settings. The Premium 2 (1SP) ups the ante with the 3.6-liter V6, keyless ignition/entry, perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated leather- and wood-trimmed steering wheel and a power rear window sunshade. A Premium 3 model includes 18-inch chromed alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a 120-volt household-style power outlet and an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.

Rounding things out is the top-of-the-line Touring model, which features 19-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive suspension, xenon headlights, a blind spot warning system, a rearview camera, a head-up display, digital music storage and a navigation system.

Some of the features found on the upper trim levels can be added to the lower trims as options. Other notable options include a sunroof, rear side airbags and a rear seat video entertainment system with dual headrest-mounted screens.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse is offered with one of two new engines. For buyers interested in maximizing miles per gallon there's the new eAssist mild hybrid powertrain, which pairs a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an 11-kilowatt electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. This setup sends 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels by way of a six-speed automatic transmission.

In Edmunds track testing, a LaCrosse with eAssist made the 0-60 mph dash in 9.2 seconds: a rather leisurely performance. Still, this powertrain is about efficiency, not speed; aided by clever aerodynamic improvements like automatically controlled shutters in the front grille, it delivers impressive EPA estimates of 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.

Buyers in search of additional thrust can opt for a new, more powerful version of last year's 3.6-liter V6 that now puts out 303 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered here, but buyers do have a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Despite the added power for 2012, the V6's fuel economy numbers remain virtually unchanged at 17 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 16/26/20 with all-wheel drive.

Safety

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse's list of standard safety features includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, front-seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and the OnStar telematics system. Rear-seat side-impact airbags and a blind-spot alert system are available as options. In Edmunds brake testing, a LaCrosse with the 3.6-liter engine and 19-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet -- a bit longer than average. A LaCrosse with eAssist and 17-inch wheels turned in a much stronger performance, stopping from 60 mph in 115 feet. That's excellent for this type of vehicle.

In government crash tests, the LaCrosse scored five (out of a possible five) stars overall, with five stars awarded for both frontal- and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it their top "Good" rating in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Slide behind the steering wheel of the 2012 Buick LaCrosse and you'll find yourself surrounded by an interior made up of graceful curves and upscale materials. Even after the sun sets, the cabin's flowing lines are emphasized by soft blue ambient lighting that adds a classy touch.

If there's a weakness in this artful design, it's that the controls aren't quite as straightforward and intuitive as some traditional Buick buyers might like. Just the same, we think the abundance of buttons and knobs used to control the audio, climate control and navigation systems is something most folks should eventually get used to.

As you'd expect in a luxury sedan, the LaCrosse's cabin is long on comfort. Seats are supportive and there's plenty of leg- and shoulder room even in the backseat. The available heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated front seats are a nice touch.

The LaCrosse's trunk is on the small side, however, with just 13.3 cubic feet of cargo room. Space is even tighter in models equipped with the new eAssist powertrain, where the hybrid battery pack reduces capacity to less than 11 cubic feet. A smallish opening can also make loading larger items problematic.

Driving Impressions

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the 2012 Buick LaCrosse is the driving experience. The steering feels precise, and handling is significantly better than you'd expect without sacrificing the plush ride quality one expects of a luxury sedan.

The additional horsepower that the engineers have wrung out of the V6 makes this engine even more attractive. More importantly, the new eAssist hybrid powertrain is much better suited to this application than the old four-cylinder, providing decent acceleration, very respectable fuel economy and highly refined operation.

Other items worthy of note here include the quiet interior that adds to the upscale feel. Visibility can be a problem, however, making the available blind-spot warning system and rearview camera worthwhile investments.

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