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LaCrosse: The Buick we finally would rather have

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LaCrosse: The Buick we finally would rather have

10:29 AM

A big comfortable sedan with ample power and nimble handling, a blow-away great interior and a price tag that seems about $8,000 less than you'd expect to pay.

That's the Buick LaCrosse, which Drive On finally took for a spin even though it's been out for months. Why haven't we paid much attention before? Because it's a Buick.

LaCrosse seems impressive because it comes from a brand that makes you think of your father, or your father's father. But it is getting discovered. LaCrosse sales were up 212% last month from a year ago on the strength of the new model. For Buick executives, the challenge is just to get potential customers in the car.

"The product is the great proof point," says Roger McCormick, Buick's chief marketing guy, adding, "once people spend time in the car."

One victory: the percentage of customers coming to the brand are arriving from trade-ins from other brands, including imports he says. It's used to be 22%; now it's closer to 50%.

Though the starting price of a LaCrosse is around $26,000, McCormick says the average price of the LaCrosse leaving showrooms is around $32,000, an increase over the model it replaces. The one that Drive On tested was $37,280, and it had about every modern convenience and gee-whiz feature that you could pack into a car.

Buick is about to shift its marketing focus to the smaller Regal, but if you really want to see what's going to happen to this brand, keep your eyes on LaCrosse.



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