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Regalguy01

Lacrosse Test Drive of Lacrosse CXL

19 posts in this topic

Being the member with the moniker 'regal guy' and being that the Lacrosse was/is its replacement, I thought it only natural that I test the car that dealt the death blow to one of my favorite autos.

On Saturday I had the oppurtunity to test drive a Charcoal colored Lacrosse CXL. Let me start by saying that I did not like the look of the lacrosse intially, but the fish-eyed look has softened on me a little since then. This Lacrosse CXL was a program car and it had less than 18,000 miles on it. This car actually looked good from ever angle I stared. It had these very nice chrome buick rims and all the chrome accents offered by GM.

After the walkaround the salesman gave me the key and I opened the door. Black leather with rich simulated wood accents. The interior improvements over my 01' Regal are vast. The seats are instantly noticeable in how much more supportive they are. The materials used on the center stack are of a classier nature than in my Regal and the gauges have a more sophisticated look as well. Thoughtful convienences such as a compass in the dash(not in the rear view) and rings around the different gauges furthered my favorable impression of the automobile. All things weren't favorable though, the tightness in the back seat continues and I believe it is due to the design of the interior. The backseat can only be described as adequate. That is if the passengers stay under 6'2. Otherwise, the seat backs will be hitting the knees of rearseat passengers.

The final and most important thing was to take the car for its intended mission, a drive. I wasn't out of the parking lot before I noticed the differences between the series II V6 and the series III V6(3800). I have always felt the series II idled and shifted as smooth as cars costing twice as much. Ladies and gentlemen, GM has found a way to make it even smoother! Once out on the road though I found out the benefits of the quiet-tuning. The car was bank-vault quiet on the street. I mean it, I heard next to nothing!! On the highway, I did hear some road noise but not enough to complain about. Also, comparitively speaking, it was much quieter than my regal and many other cars that I have ridden in. (including my wifes ES330). There is a noticeable difference in the electronic throttle response that was added to the series III 3800. If not applied right, it can have a 'jerky' sensation. It wasn't anything that was hard to adjust to though, in fact I learned how to correctly 'floor it' with out 'jerking it' by the end of the test drive. The car soaked up bumps with ease and held the road with great presence. Plenty of power was on tap for passing and I felt like I was riding in a solid, well put together piece of machinery.

My closing thoughts are these: This car is a great improvement for Buick. Any former century or regal customer should be thrilled to drive it. Most importantly though this car is a great car for non-buick customers as well. It has power, prestige and price(a low one). I can honestly say that I walked away from that ride with a new appreciation for the lacrosse. I also just as honestly say I walked back to my Regal with a little less love in my heart................. :P

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Being the member with the moniker 'regal guy' and being that the Lacrosse was/is its replacement, I thought it only natural that I test the car that dealt the death blow to one of my favorite autos.

On Saturday I had the oppurtunity to test drive a Charcoal colored Lacrosse CXL. Let me start by saying that I did not like the look of the lacrosse intially, but the fish-eyed look has softened on me a little since then. This Lacrosse CXL was a program car and it had less than 18,000 miles on it. This car actually looked good from ever angle I stared. It had these very nice chrome buick rims and all the chrome accents offered by GM.

After the walkaround the salesman gave me the key and I opened the door. Black leather with rich simulated wood accents.  The interior improvements over my 01' Regal are vast. The seats are instantly noticeable in how much more supportive they are. The materials used on the center stack are of a classier nature than in my Regal and the gauges have a more sophisticated look as well. Thoughtful convienences such as a compass in the dash(not in the rear view) and rings around the different gauges furthered my favorable impression of the automobile. All things weren't favorable though, the tightness in the back seat continues and I believe it is due to the design of the interior. The backseat can only be described as adequate. That is if the passengers stay under 6'2. Otherwise, the seat backs will be hitting the knees of rearseat passengers.

The final and most important thing was to take the car for its intended mission, a drive. I wasn't out of the parking lot before I noticed the differences between the series II V6 and the series III V6(3800). I have always felt the series II idled and shifted as smooth as cars costing twice as much. Ladies and gentlemen, GM has found a way to make it even smoother! Once out on the road though I found out the benefits of the quiet-tuning. The car was bank-vault quiet on the street. I mean it, I heard next to nothing!! On the highway, I did hear some road noise but not enough to complain about. Also, comparitively speaking, it was much quieter than my regal and many other cars that I have ridden in. (including my wifes ES330). There is a noticeable difference in the electronic throttle response that was added to the series III 3800. If not applied right, it can have a 'jerky' sensation. It wasn't anything that was hard to adjust to though, in fact I learned how to correctly 'floor it' with out 'jerking it' by the end of the test drive. The car soaked up bumps with ease and held the road with great presence. Plenty of power was on tap for passing and I felt like I was riding in a solid, well put together piece of machinery.

My closing thoughts are these: This car is a great improvement for Buick. Any former century or regal customer should be thrilled to drive it. Most importantly though this car is a great car for non-buick customers as well. It has power, prestige and price(a low one). I can honestly say that I walked away from that ride with a new appreciation for the lacrosse. I also just as honestly say I walked back to my Regal with a little less love in my heart................. :P

I'm glad you liked the car ^_^ But since it's Buick...shouldn't it have real wood? I wis it at least had a Nav system.

So do you plan to thinking about getting one? Or are you gonna wait a while for the LaCrosse Super?

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I'm glad you liked the car ^_^ But since it's Buick...shouldn't it have real wood? I wis it at least had a Nav system.

So do you plan to thinking about getting one? Or are you gonna wait a while for the LaCrosse Super?

I don't really mind the wood being fake. If I did, I would try to get a more substantive automobile. i think the Lucerne needs the real wood. It will appeal to a more discerning buyer. I do think the nav should be an option so I definitly agree with you there. As for a replacement, I wont lie, I did make me go home and do a little figuring. But, no I won't buy it. I will look at the Lacrosse Super though. That is if I dont buy an Enclave first. I am 26 and looking fwd to the birth of my first child so I will need some space. One look at the enclave and I said ''If it drives within a fraction of its good looks, ILL TAKE IT!!!!! :pbjtime:

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I don't really mind the wood being fake. If I did, I would try to get a more substantive automobile. i think the Lucerne needs the real wood. It will appeal to a more discerning buyer. I do think the nav should be an option so I definitly agree with you there.  As for a replacement, I wont lie, I did make me go home and do a little figuring. But, no I won't buy it. I will look at the Lacrosse Super though. That is if I dont buy an Enclave first. I am 26 and looking fwd to the birth of my first child so I will need some space. One look at the enclave and I said ''If it drives within a fraction of its good looks, ILL TAKE IT!!!!! :pbjtime:

Yeah I liked the Enlave a lot, I sure hope the wood is real in that thing, just so it has a nice upscale image it deserves.

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i think the Lucerne needs the real wood. It will appeal to a more discerning buyer. I do think the nav should be an option so I definitly agree with you there.

Yeah I liked the Enlave a lot, I sure hope the wood is real in that thing, just so it has a nice upscale image it deserves.

Amen to real wood and Nav as an option! :)

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Does anyone know, if the new Lacrosse super will be built on the same revised W-body plat form?

I would expect a Buickized Grand Prix GXP in terms of powertrain. Naturally, with better Buick looks. If the interior and exterior get revised enough to make it worthwhile, I have no problem with this as a holdover

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God I hope not

lol, its not all that bad. But it is getting older.......... I just think it prevents the designers from being as creative as they could be. The lacrosse is not a bad looking car, and the Lucerne looks quite good. I can't help but wonder though if they could have been better had the designers had a fresh new platform with which to build from.......

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lol, its not all that bad. But it is getting older.......... I just think it prevents the designers from being as creative as they could be. The lacrosse is not a bad looking car, and the Lucerne looks quite good. I can't help but wonder though if they could have been better had the designers had a fresh new platform with which to build from.......

Dn't forget the handling/power limitations of the platforms. Sure, they seem good....

Until you remember Chryser has a RWD 300C with a hemi :P

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Seeing that I own an 2000 Regal LSE (and have similar feelings about the Regal dynasty) and my mother owns a 2005 LaCrosse CXL which I drive regularly I can agree with your review.

I also remember the first time I drove the LaCrosse and then got back in to my Regal and noticed a bit of disappointment at the refinement of my Regal compared to the LaCrosse. The LaCrosse really is a step ahead of the Regal in every way but one...

The Regal has a more aggressive and sporty look to it and I think that is necessary in at least ONE Buick so as to keep the heritage of sport alive a little bit. But apparently this'll be remedied with the LaCrosse Ultra so I'll wait for that to see.

I'm not saying the LaCrosse should look like the Regal, I just like my Buick to look a little more masculine than the very delicate looking LaCrosse.

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I would expect a Buickized Grand Prix GXP in terms of powertrain. Naturally, with better Buick looks. If the interior and exterior get revised enough to make it worthwhile, I have no problem with this as a holdover

I wouldn't either, but my biggest gripe is with the limited rear seat space in this platform. I am tired of parking next to nissan altima's and seeing that they have as much rear seat room as I do, yet my car is several inches longer. It seems they spend too much time making the cavernous trunk and overstuffed seats and that intrudes on cabin space. Also, I have noticed that the rear seat room in the 2000-2005 impala seems more spacious than mine. Is it on the same platform? If not, which one is it on and what other cars share it? Anyone know?

Btw Flybrian, you have one the coolest cars ever ignored by the public at large, the original Aurora. Way too cool for its time......

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Dn't forget the handling/power limitations of the platforms. Sure, they seem good....

Until you remember Chryser has a RWD 300C with a hemi :P

For what they are, they handle very well. I can speak of high-torque FWD cars because I've had decent wheel time with three of them (Aurora, Regal GS, SSEi). Even with 280lb-ft of torque right to the front wheels, torque steer is not a factor. You notice it under heavy acceleration, sure, but its never unmanagable. I can recall one or two instances when it got a bit out of hand, and that was more a combination of my stupidity, damp roads, and either a railroad grating or those slick road marking stripes.

The worst handler of the three would be my Olds because its so g@($@$n heavy. Both the Bonnie and Regal are lighter by a few hundred lbs, but not too light. Also, I would argue the G-body is the best fullsize platform currently in existance in terms of rigidity, strength, and overall strength. Ride quality naturally depends on the car, but even a car as old and potentially 'loose' as my Aurora (frameless windows) doesn't shudder as bad on rough roads as newer cars.

And though I haven't significantly driven a LaCrosse yet, if its even at least as quiet as the Regal was. Wow. Because that was a pretty quiet car.

I wouldn't either, but my biggest gripe is with the limited rear seat space in this platform. I am tired of parking next to nissan altima's and seeing that they have as much rear seat room as I do, yet my car is several inches longer. It seems they spend too much time making the cavernous trunk and overstuffed seats and that intrudes on cabin space. Also, I have noticed that the rear seat room in the 2000-2005 impala seems more spacious than mine. Is it on the same platform? If not, which one is it on and what other cars share it? Anyone know?

Btw Flybrian, you have one the coolest cars ever ignored by the public at large, the original Aurora. Way too cool for its time......

The '00+ Impala is on an updated W-body with a 110.5" wheelbase (1.5" stretch from the '97 Ws) and the '04 GP and '05 LaCrosse share that. I would explain the smaller rear seat room with the faster rooflines of the Pontiac and Buick. More sleek = less headroom. This also accounts for the moonroofs in these cars retracting up and out instead of into the roof.

Oh, and thanks. I :wub: my Aurora. :)

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Seeing that I own an 2000 Regal LSE (and have similar feelings about the Regal dynasty) and my mother owns a 2005 LaCrosse CXL which I drive regularly I can agree with your review.

I also remember the first time I drove the LaCrosse and then got back in to my Regal and noticed a bit of disappointment at the refinement of my Regal compared to the LaCrosse. The LaCrosse really is a step ahead of the Regal in every way but one...

The Regal has a more aggressive and sporty look to it and I think that is necessary in at least ONE Buick so as to keep the heritage of sport alive a little bit. But apparently this'll be remedied with the LaCrosse Ultra so I'll wait for that to see.

I'm not saying the LaCrosse should look like the Regal, I just like my Buick to look a little more masculine than the very delicate looking LaCrosse.

You hit the nail on the head for me. My Regal is that Graphite metallic color with the sandrift under body(joseph abboud edition) and when I wash it up, throw on the tire shine and cruise around with the sunroof open, I get many a compliment. This on a 5 year old car!! My import buying friends all love my regal! The Lacrosse does look 'tame' to put it properly, but so does the perennial best sellers in this segment so there really isn't much to complain about. I have said and continue to say that Buick's biggest problem is public perception and media distortion that perpetuates that negative perception.

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Dn't forget the handling/power limitations of the platforms. Sure, they seem good....

Until you remember Chryser has a RWD 300C with a hemi :P

Yup, with available 425hp. Uffa!

Anyway, I'd like to see some nice interior changes for the LaCrosse Super... say, two-tone leather seating, contrasting piping, suede inserts, maybe some sort of wood treatment to the dash (alternate type of wood, color, but dear God, not gray plood please), satin-nickle/aluminum finish on center stack and accents on steering wheel and door controls, heated/cooled seats, harmon/kardon audio, LED sport gauges (and they should do that thing my friend's pontiac used to do, when you start the car, all the gauges fly to one side, then back to their correct positions).

For the exterior, to start, new grille (which we know it'll have), HID headlights, LED taillamps, 19-20" wheels, larger exhausts, portholes, turn signal indicators on the sideview mirrors, oh, and a horn like my Buick has.... LOUD.

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Well as far as the Chrysler and its Hemi V8 goes, that car doesn't particularly suit my tastes. It is probably a good car for those who want it, but I prefer something a little more subtle. The 300 hemiC seems to much of a 'LOOK AT ME AND A LOOK WHAT IM' DRIVIN' kind of car. And there is indeed a market for that, we can credit its runaway sales as a gauge of that. But Buick has always been an undeniably elagant and unapolegtically conservative brand. Many people are comfortable with just knowing they can suck the guy at a red light into his tailpipes at will. It is one of the reasons I praised Flybrian's Aurora earlier. My best bud has a 99 model and even now, more than 10 years from the design date of this car, it emits a muscular grace that commands respect.(not to mention a ride that is wonderfully supple and smooth) I hope that the designers of the Lacrosse super will have that kind of mindset when they go to the drawing board.

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But Buick has always been an undeniably elagant and unapolegtically conservative brand. Many people are comfortable with just knowing they can suck the guy at a red light into his tailpipes at will.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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The 99-04 base Regals were also a bit faster than the heavier LaCrosse which uses numerically lower 2.86:1 gears compared to the Regals 3.05:1 which seems to be the best ratio suited to these engines powerband. I noticed this when I drove a rental LaCrosse for a weekend. It felt a bit weaker than any Regal I have driven and got slightly worse mileage because of it's greater weight. I also didn't care for the herky jerky drive by wire feeling of the series III engine. Thankfully the 07 LaCrosses will return using the better 3.05:1 ratio which should help make them a bit livelier off the line.

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