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2017 Buick LaCrosse Essence FWD


regfootball

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DRIVEN: 2017 Buick LaCrosse Essence 3.6 FWD ; Driver confidence, Sun and Shade, Sights and Sounds.

HIGHS:

Car looked good in good color combination and 20" wheels

Pretty good interior space front and rear... deceiving when you look at it but the leg room in back is nice.

Acceptable pull from generally smooth v6

Nice gauge cluster, GM making progress

Seats more comfy than I am used to in GM vehicles lately

Not wholly serene, but not noisy inside.

Nice view in and out of the car.  And large panel sunroof helps relieve the cabin of claustrophobia that can be present in many of the smashed roof sedans today.

I was ok with most of the interior materials.  Dash and console laid out decently for the most part.

I sort of liked the new joystick shifter.  Falls to hand nicely and looks sort of tech.

Car had paddle shifters.  Disclosure, I should have tried using them and the Driver Shift Control.

LOWS:

Overall vehicle dynamics are sort of confused.  Neither plush and soft, or sporty and taut.  Not sure what this vehicle is supposed to ride or drive like.

Car does feel big (and heavy...particularly nose heavy), and so may please those that like heavier cars.

I think the 20" wheel package does something to this car.  Steering seems to require extra effort, and the ride seems like you feel the road too much.  Maybe the 18" setup is better for this car?

Trunk is not huge, could be bigger in a car like this I think.

The console is less intrusive than I thought, but I think perhaps for many customers it may be too high and too intrusive.  A little redesign of this may help I think.

The v6 is nice to have but without a turbo doesn't feel super torquey.  Takes work to get the car up to speed.  Maybe the transmission could be a bit better too.  So perhaps the AWD car and its different trans has more responsiveness there.

Provisions should be made to allow the driver to turn off the Auto Stop Start when they desire.

 

SUMMARY:

Car has some traits lovers of all the 80's, 90's, 00's era of larger GM FWD cars will like.  At the same time, 20" wheel package and strange steering and ride tuning in this example make me wonder what GM is trying for.  I probably need to try one with the different wheel package.  I was neither put off by the car or overwhelmed by it.  The basics are there for a car in the vein of traditional FWD GM sedan fans will like.  The engine was neither sporty or super cruisey.  The most beneficial improvements in the short term that can be done for this car are this, take a look at revising the console area around the shifter to be less intrusive, for ride and handling a less harsh ride, communicative and sharper steering on models trying to be sportier, cushier and quieter on models trying to be cushy and quiet, and something more athletic feeling for ride if a sports model.  No doubt I should try another version of this to see what's up since i know they have different suspension setups available for this car.

If GM gets rid of the Impala and XTS or even just cuts production of the Impala significantly, GM could actually look to sell more LaCrosse and sort of be the attainable large sedan choice in the GM fold almost exclusively.  So it is worth it for GM to look at ways to improve the good starting effort and keep this car running in the lineup for awhile.

 

 

 

Edited by regfootball
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