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The O.C.

LaCrosses at Auto Show in Motion.....

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I got the chance to compare LaCrosses at the ASIM in Pomona on Sunday and came away pleasantly surprised with the car. First, I drove the CXL (3800, base suspension) and while it was a bit floaty, it was not NEAR as bad as I thought it would be. I'd compare it to a base Camry or Avalon. The engine, however, was pretty bad. I'm no pushrod fan, but I don't ever remember the 3800 being this sluggish and unresponsive. I had to floor the gas throughout the course to get any response from the engine or tranny. Overall, however, not bad for a base car. Next was the CXS and while it didn't feel that much firmer than the base car, it lacked the float and roll the base car exhibited and was kinda fun to toss the car into the bends. The engine was a revelation compared to the 3800 in the CXL. And even though it is a DOHC, higher-revving engine, it really seemed to have more low-end pull than the 3800..... The CXS was really nice....and made me wish for a modern "T-Type." I've been mad ever since Buick abandoned that "brand." I thought they had a good thing going with the T-Types and the LaCrosse CXS is a GREAT modern interpretation of what a T-Type used to represent.
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I'm not too impressed with the LaCrosse but I haven't driven one either. However, at the Chicago ASIM that we went to, the first thing my dad said when he was driving the LaCrosse (CXS) was "this is a grandma's car".
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I just don't see how your father got "grandma's car" out of driving the CXS. A CX or CXL with the bench but not the CXS. What is your father's normal preference?
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That's a shame to hear re: the 3800 performance. Granted it'd be a decent step up from my current engine, 3300 160hp V6, the car is bigger/heavier. I have just been feeling lately that the 160, although adequate has been subpar for my driving. I don't normally need a lot of power, but lately I've just been feeling like more would be a pleasure to have. I guess I really can't form my opinions until I drive the two engines in the LaCrosse, but still I feel like the 3.6 should have been standard... if Buick wants to go premium/luxury status, OHV engines just don't cut it well in today's market.
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OC I think it'd be interesting to know your idea of what a great midsize car is so we know what angle you're looking from. You seem to be looking from a sports car angle which I am also upset Buick is lacking with the LaCrosse. Even though the 3.6 picks up quicker than the 3.8 neither are very impressive with 0-60 times, but nor are they horrible either. I agree with you though- Buick should bring back some sort of sports division. Every other GM company has- it's only fair.
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OC I think it'd be interesting to know your idea of what a great midsize car is so we know what angle you're looking from.  You seem to be looking from a sports car angle which I am also upset Buick is lacking with the LaCrosse. Even though the 3.6 picks up quicker than the 3.8 neither are very impressive with 0-60 times, but nor are they horrible either.

I agree with you though- Buick should bring back some sort of sports division. Every other GM company has- it's only fair.

[post="2401"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Okay....here you go. I have been a Buick fan for quite awhile since I was a little boy and Mom worked for Buick and drove '84-'85 Rivs, etc. I was working for Buick when the T-Types were out and I thought those were great cars because they gave you Buick comfort and luxury with a better handling, sportier look and feel. I've been wanting a current Buick to bring back that feeling. As the years went by, Buick kept "dumbing down" the Y56 Gran Touring Suspension and making it floatier until lately where the Gran Touring Suspension didn't seem to give much more handling potential over the base DynaRide suspension.

My last company car was a Mazda6, not really a Buick competitor, but if any of you have driven the 6, you know what a GREAT ride-and-handling setup that car has. I'm also a big fan now of BMWs and higher-end imports.

I'm not expecting BMW levels of ride-and-handling from a Buick, but what I've always wanted was a current Buick that you could actually feel a bit of the road and that didn't float annoyingly over dips and bumps in the road, but still had the typical Buick ride and quietness. To me, a "good" Buick ride-and-handling compromise might mimic a "base" BMW ride setup....or a "base" Benz ride setup, etc.....understanding that a BMW "sport package" or a Benz "AMG" setup WOULD probably be too hard for a Buick.

To me, a controlled ride imparts a real feeling of quality to me. (It's one of the things for me that makes a Ford Explorer feel so much more expensive than a TrailBlazer. The Explorer is much more tied down on the highway and doesn't exhibit the same slop and float that the TrailBlazer/Envoy/Rainer do that I've driven. It makes the Explorer feel like a more expensive vehicle.) Marry that body control with Buick's traditional quietness and ride quality, and you've got a really nice car.

The CXS was pretty impressive in this regard considering the age of the W-car architecture.

The CXL still floated too much....but the CXS was just about right.

For me, the CXS suspension tuning and the 3.6L SHOULD be the base LaCrosse setup.....even if it means a higher base-priced CX.
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I just don't see how your father got "grandma's car" out of driving the CXS. A CX or CXL with the bench but not the CXS. What is your father's normal preference?

[post="2249"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Well his daily driver is a Maxx, but I think he might have thought the LaCrosse was a "grandma's car" because I think it reminded him a lot of his old LSS.

Maybe it was just a grandma's car in regards to the cars he had been driving... GTO, G6, Cobalt SS, CTS-V, STS, SRX, 9-3 and such. I think it just took a lot more work to throw around the track than the other cars listed.
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I got the chance to compare LaCrosses at the ASIM in Pomona on Sunday and came away pleasantly surprised with the car.

First, I drove the CXL (3800, base suspension) and while it was a bit floaty, it was not NEAR as bad as I thought it would be.  I'd compare it to a base Camry or Avalon.  The engine, however, was pretty bad.  I'm no pushrod fan, but I don't ever remember the 3800 being this sluggish and unresponsive.  I had to floor the gas throughout the course to get any response from the engine or tranny.  Overall, however, not bad for a base car.

Next was the CXS and while it didn't feel that much firmer than the base car, it lacked the float and roll the base car exhibited and was kinda fun to toss the car into the bends.  The engine was a revelation compared to the 3800 in the CXL.  And even though it is a DOHC, higher-revving engine, it really seemed to have more low-end pull than the 3800.....

The CXS was really nice....and made me wish for a modern "T-Type."  I've been mad ever since Buick abandoned that "brand."  I thought they had a good thing going with the T-Types and the LaCrosse CXS is a GREAT modern interpretation of what a T-Type us ed to represent.

[post="2206"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I rented a base CX with std buckets and floor shifter and optional alloy wheels and came away with mixed feelings about the car. It's as if Buick only half tried on this one. My 02 Intrigue drives so much better in every way. The Lax's steering feels twitchy and weird. It's handling is so so and the light colored gray plain looking seats just didn't seem Buick. The frontal styling is too Hyundai and the whole car looks more like the 90-96 version of the Regal to me than a new car. My biggest complaint was the tried and true 3800. It felt sluggish and unresponsive at times and the electronic throttle control made it feel jerky when you did floor it. It would barely break the tires loose on gravel and it still sounds gruffer than my 3.5 Shortstar which will litterally blow this car off the face of the earth and gets better mileage to boot. One area where the Buick did beat my car was in interior quality. Everything opens and closes very precisely and the fit and finish is light years better in most respects. It's the whole driving experience that turned me off a bit. Can't wait to try out a CXS which should fix the engine problem and seat color with it's ebony leather. It's handling also should be an improvement. It's just amazing that I would have to step into a 32K CXS just to get handling and steering like my base Olds that was designed in 1998.
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I went to ASIM, too, but my senses were dulled from trying so many cars under the blistering sun... after the first twenty, everything felt pretty much the same, and after thirty, I was officially immune to GM interiors. I recall trying a LaCrosse CXS, and I remember that it looked sharp in black with chrome wheels. It's still too expensive, though, but, yeah, it's "nice." The Passat is in a completely different league, IMO.
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The Passat is in a different league, for sure.  The Passat, with its poor reliabilty ratings is in the shop twice as often!

[post="14100"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Bur remember people are willing to pay more so they can have something that will break down more often and cost more money every time it does! The Passat is in the same league as mofo nutcases!
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The current gen Passat, quality issues or not, is in a different league.
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