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LaCrosse track tested

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http://blogs.edmunds.com/straightline/2009...photopanel..2.*

Inside Line tests hundreds of vehicles a year, but not every vehicle gets a full write-up. The numbers still tell a story, though, so we present "IL Track Tested." It's a quick rundown of all the data we collected at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

Try to forget the awful commercials for the 2010 Buick LaCrosse for a moment. As ill-conceived as those pathetic attempts to make Buick look cool may have been, the car doesn't really need that much help. It's not the best-looking sedan Buick has ever made, but it's not ugly either and it has some good hardware under the skin.

In this case, our CXL tester was powered by the base 3.0-liter V6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. With 255 horsepower, it's a pretty stout engine, but it did have 2 tons of sedan to move. A standard set of 18-inch wheels and tires helped, too, but the all-season tread left a little on the table when it came to the handling tests.

Of course we're aware that the track is the last place you would ever find a 21st-century Buick, but it did better than you might think. Click through to read all the details.

Vehicle: 2010 Buick LaCrosse CXL

Odometer: N/A

Date: 07/28/2009

Driver: Chris Walton

Price: $32,090

Specifications:

Drive Type: Front-wheel drive

Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic with manual gate

Engine Type: V6

Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,994 (183 cu-in)

Redline (rpm): 6,900

Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 255 @ 6,900

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 217 @ 5,100

Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc

Brake Type (rear): Solid disc

Steering System: Speed-proportional hydraulic power steering

Suspension Type (front): Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar

Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink, coil springs, stabilizer bar

Tire Size (front): 235/50R18 97V

Tire Size (rear): 235/50R18 97V

Tire Brand: Michelin

Tire Model: Pilot HxMxM4

Tire Type: All-season

Wheel Size: N/A

Wheel Material (front/rear): Aluminum alloy

As-tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,035

Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 3.5

0-45 (sec): 5.6

0-60 (sec): 8.4

0-75 (sec): 12.8

1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.4 @ 86.0

0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 8.1

30-0 (ft): 32

60-0 (ft): 127

Braking Rating: Good

Slalom (mph): 62.4

Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.81

Handling Rating: Good

Db @ Idle: 42.8

Db @ Full Throttle: 74.2

Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 67.1

Acceleration Comments: Very quiet at idle and while running through the gears. Obviously smoothness and fuel-efficiency were the goals here -- not acceleration. Gearshifts are smooth and there don't appear to be any dead spots in the rev range.

Braking Comments: Noticeable idle-stroke (an inch or two) but the brakes are otherwise intuitive and progressive. Powerful and fade-resistant, with zero ABS flutter/hum/vibration. Dead straight with minimal-to-moderate pitch.

Handling Comments: Skid pad: A familiar and intuitive hydraulic feel. Good load-up without unnecessary added weight. Early-onset stability system chops throttle, but when it's shut off, the LaCrosse has good balance and control. Minimal understeer at the limit. Slalom: The car turns in crisply, but the steering ratio feels a little slow. The chassis takes a set quickly and is not caught on its heels in the transitions either. Precise steering enables the driver to place the car close to the cones. Eventually, mild understeer limits the car's speed. With VCS on, it's still capable and only dabs the brakes to make early/small corrections to heading. Nicely tuned VSC.

---

The base V6 looks pointless. The 3.0 and 3.6 are essentially the same engines - direct injection, HF DOHC - and likely cost the same to build. But the 3.6 has more power AND better fuel economy.

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Anyone else notice that:

Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 255 @ 6,900

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 217 @ 5,100

Look rather pathetic next to the:

Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 260 @ 5,400

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 280 @ 3600

The supercharged 3800 could muster?

But noo.... we need progress.... we need DOHC.... we need...

Redline (rpm): 6,900

even if it results in a slower car that gets worse mileage.

*Oldsmoboi*

*in the CRV*

*Waiting for the Vtec to kicketh in yo*

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Anyone else notice that:

Look rather pathetic next to the:

The supercharged 3800 could muster?

But noo.... we need progress.... we need DOHC.... we need...

even if it results in a slower car that gets worse mileage.

*Oldsmoboi*

*in the CRV*

*Waiting for the Vtec to kicketh in yo*

As a base engine, it's far better than the...

Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 175 @ 5,200

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 195 @ 4,000

... of the 3.1 pushrod V6 found in the Century.

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'slower car that gets worse mileage', also heavier and larger than the Ws. And nicer interior and more content. Everything's a tradeoff.

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My point was the S/C engine offered better performance and is a lot cheaper than the 3.0 DI

And it would also probably have to be priced at a much lower price point and/or sell less fewer units.

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You can play with numbers all you like but I own and drive a 3800 Series III SC in a W body and a 3.6 Malibu Six Speed.

The 3800 SC I thought was a good engine till I started driving the Bu I bought my mother. The 3.6 Is smoother and much more refinded. It feels as powerful even if it is down 5 HP. Also the Bu gets near 5 MPG better mileage. GTP 18 MPG and 26 MPG real world, Bu V6 23 MPG and 31 MPG real world.

Note that most recent GM cars will do better than the posted MPG rating in the real world.

Before anyone can informed condemnation of the new DOHC V6 engines they need to put in some time behind the wheel with one.

It is sad that it has become the norm around here to condem cars we have not driven, sat in and at time let alone even seen more than a grille and bumper photo (the latest upcoming Buick plug in). God forbid anyone really get behind the wheel and really see what is going on and not rely on just a bunch of numbers that tell the whole story.

The truth is the Ecotec and the new DOHC V6 engines are some of the best engine GM has ever made right out of the box and will only improve in time. The one area GM is not behind so much is drivetrain. Even the Six speed trannys are so smooth it make shows how bad the 4 speed really were.

The biggest problem is the weight of this car but for the class it is in it does what it needs to do well. It does not say SS anywhere on it. But I will wait to form a real opion on this car untill once I have driven it. If it is as much better than the BU as some claim it should be a very good comfortable ride.

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My point was the S/C engine offered better performance and is a lot cheaper than the 3.0 DI

It's a Buick...it doesn't have to be cheaper or performant. A pushrod V6 is unsellable in the midsize/large FWD sedan category in 2010. It has to have a modern engine to be marketable.

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You can play with numbers all you like but I own and drive a 3800 Series III SC in a W body and a 3.6 Malibu Six Speed.

The 3800 SC I thought was a good engine till I started driving the Bu I bought my mother. The 3.6 Is smoother and much more refinded. It feels as powerful even if it is down 5 HP. Also the Bu gets near 5 MPG better mileage. GTP 18 MPG and 26 MPG real world, Bu V6 23 MPG and 31 MPG real world.

Note that most recent GM cars will do better than the posted MPG rating in the real world.

Before anyone can informed condemnation of the new DOHC V6 engines they need to put in some time behind the wheel with one.

It is sad that it has become the norm around here to condem cars we have not driven, sat in and at time let alone even seen more than a grille and bumper photo (the latest upcoming Buick plug in). God forbid anyone really get behind the wheel and really see what is going on and not rely on just a bunch of numbers that tell the whole story.

The truth is the Ecotec and the new DOHC V6 engines are some of the best engine GM has ever made right out of the box and will only improve in time. The one area GM is not behind so much is drivetrain. Even the Six speed trannys are so smooth it make shows how bad the 4 speed really were.

The biggest problem is the weight of this car but for the class it is in it does what it needs to do well. It does not say SS anywhere on it. But I will wait to form a real opion on this car untill once I have driven it. If it is as much better than the BU as some claim it should be a very good comfortable ride.

I owned a CTS with the 3.6 and I've driven a CTS with the 2.8 and a 9-3 with the 2.8 Turbo. I'm quite familiar with this engine family. Honda wouldn't even put out a V6 engine where the HP peak and the redline were the same number. 217 ft/lbs @ 5100 rpm is just lame. The Accord 4 cylinder has 190 ft/lbs @ 5000 rpm and it weighs 800lbs less!

Buick should have just used the 3.6 VVT and 3.6 DI setup like the CTS has.

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217 ft/lbs @ 5100 rpm is just lame. The Accord 4 cylinder has 190 ft/lbs @ 5000 rpm and it weighs 800lbs less!

Buick should have just used the 3.6 VVT and 3.6 DI setup like the CTS has.

I completely agree.

What concerns me even more is putting the 2.4L in here when the 3.0L gets an 8.4 second 0-60...

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The 3.0 is a pointless engine, and peak torque is way too high. They should just use the 3.6 DI V6 in all cars and forget the 3.0 and the old 3.6 vvt, because the 3.6 DI makes more power and gets equal or better mileage. Then they are making 1 V6 rather than 3 would is easier and cheaper to do. It would make more sense for GM to go 2.4 DI 4-cylinder, then a turbo version with about 225 hp for middle, and the V6. Those 3 engines could cover almost all of GM's mid-range products.

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I completely agree.

What concerns me even more is putting the 2.4L in here when the 3.0L gets an 8.4 second 0-60...

Or how about a 1.8 or 2.0L turbo. Audi and VW have turbo 4s in mid size cars (A4, Passat).

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GM's current 2.0 turbo doesn't get very good mileage. But the 2.4 DI does, a light pressure turbo might only cost 1-2 mpg and could add 40 hp. They could probably get 3 mpg better than the 3.0 V6, but similar acceleration.

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My point was the S/C engine offered better performance and is a lot cheaper than the 3.0 DI

until the gasket goes

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LOW TORQUE + HIGH WEIGHT = SLUG.

I should know i had a 500.

ALTHOUGH, with low torque and high weight the 500 was quite sprite above 35-40 mph once the top end kicked in and the 6 speed was quite good keeping the engine on the boil. I suspect GM will need to tune the 3.0 LaCrosse the same way.

I agree GM should have like one or two v6's but the jackasses in europe probably can only manage a 3.0 with all their taxes there on displacement so GM prob had to make the 3.0 size to appease those twerts.

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By comparison the new Lacrosse is 120 pounds lighter and has 20 more horsepower than a 1996 Chevy Impala SS and we are concerned about the 0-60 time? I am more worried that something that size weighs so damn much.

The Impala also was rated 17/25 fuel mileage. And was waaay cooler to be seen in.

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Anyone else notice that:

Look rather pathetic next to the:

The supercharged 3800 could muster?

But noo.... we need progress.... we need DOHC.... we need...

even if it results in a slower car that gets worse mileage.

*Oldsmoboi*

*in the CRV*

*Waiting for the Vtec to kicketh in yo*

IMHO, I think the Supercharged 3800 engine is one of the best engines GM ever made ...

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I agree GM should have like one or two v6's but the jackasses in europe probably can only manage a 3.0 with all their taxes there on displacement so GM prob had to make the 3.0 size to appease those twerts.

There are no displacement taxes for car engines in Europe - they're based on emissions. The 3.0 V6 has been for North American applications - Equinox, Terrain, LaCrosse, SRX, and CTS.

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Buick should have just used the 3.6 VVT and 3.6 DI setup like the CTS has.

Agreed. The LaCrosse 3.6 has far more power and torque than the 3.0, and its highway MPG is one better.

Edited by pow
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By comparison the new Lacrosse is 120 pounds lighter and has 20 more horsepower than a 1996 Chevy Impala SS and we are concerned about the 0-60 time? I am more worried that something that size weighs so damn much.

The Impala also was rated 17/25 fuel mileage. And was waaay cooler to be seen in.

In cars of this size, the torque number is what matters more. The Impala SS had about 120ft/lbs more.

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Buick should have just used the 3.6 VVT and 3.6 DI setup like the CTS has.

CTS for '10 also ditches the "base" 3.6L for the 3.0L DI.....with the 3.6L DI remaining optional....

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Anyone else notice that:

Look rather pathetic next to the:

The supercharged 3800 could muster?

But noo.... we need progress.... we need DOHC.... we need...

even if it results in a slower car that gets worse mileage.

*Oldsmoboi*

*in the CRV*

*Waiting for the Vtec to kicketh in yo*

The problem with this car (like the SRX) is not so much the 3.0L DI engine.....but the excessive curb weight.

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impressive handling in a Buick is a revelation. I don't completely understand the complaints with regard to the 3.0. in every car it's currently offered in, there is an uplevel engine, for the 10% of the buying public that is power hungry. for the rest of the people the power and performance is respectable.

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impressive handling in a Buick is a revelation. I don't completely understand the complaints with regard to the 3.0. in every car it's currently offered in, there is an uplevel engine, for the 10% of the buying public that is power hungry. for the rest of the people the power and performance is respectable.

But since the 3.0 offers no fuel economy gain over the 3.6 V6 why even bother with it. Toyota uses the 3.5 liter V6 in almost everything they make, it is easier to make 1 engine. Respectable and near bottom of the class performance isn't going to get GM's sales going back up.

My complaint with the 3.0 is 255 hp, 217 lb-ft and 17/26 mpg,

while the Toyota Avalon 3.5 is 268 hp, 248 lb-ft and 19/28 mpg

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Keep in mind this will get better mileage than posted. Most GM cars of late seem to better the numbers posted for them on the sticker. Many GM web sites will bear this out with members posting mileage better than the EPA numbers.

Either way the 3.6 is a good engine and is optional. Also the 3800 SC is gone and has gone as far as it will go. It is much too course of an engine for todays market. Any Honda owner would reject it on noise and viberation alone.

The interesting thing will be the 2.0 Turbo option for this car in a year or two. It has yet to be mated to a six speed and should repond well with it.

the 2.0 Turbo with 290 HP in my SS gets 23-24 City and 30+ highway with a Auto 4 speed. I am not feathering it either. I also have 3200 pounds.

The 2.0 torque curve is very flat and the six speed will keep the rev in the boost range. The question is what will the price be. I expect more out of this engine as they develope it more.

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