Review & car history: '16 Buick LaCrosse Premium

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Today marks 3 months since I purchased this big beast: some 36,700 miles on the clock today. Like my previous Buicks, it is solid and reliable (so far, anyway!) and quite the pleasure to drive. I find myself taking a 25-mile, 35-minute run to work in the early morning now and then instead of my usual 12-mile, 25-minute commute, just so I can enjoy the car's power and ride. That ride is not soft, not a boat like Buicks of old, but this is not a car that makes you feel every bump, thank goodness. Garnet Metallic (red) over cream, the car has most of the whistles and gimmicks Buick loaded onto its top sedan for its last year on this chassis. I don't have a sunroof, which is fine with me, or any sort of adaptive suspension. I can shift manually if I want to -- but the 300hp V-6 has enough power for passing, even going uphill, that I don't need it. Besides, unlike those on the 2011 Regal or the '15 BMW 328i, the shifter is not in the best location to play with. I can imagine using it to downshift when going up or down a steep grade, but probably not much otherwise. Oil at this point: about 53% left to go, and it was at 98% when I bought the car in August. So I expect that a 5.5-month, 5000-mile OCi will be about right. I will probably try to change on multiples of 5K, 40,000, 45,000, etc. Fuel mileage on regular hovers around 21-23, with heavy city driving. However, if I gas up and then take the long, mostly highway 25-mile route to work, the average mileage number rises to about 32! And the big car does not have the auto stop start, which turned me off from a 2017 LaCrosse when I was searching. Things needed: Not much. The oil change and tire rotation in December or January, when I will also have the cabin filter swapped and I'll do the engine air filter, just to have a baseline I'll remember. Now that the weather is cooler, I'll start on the complete claying-glazing-hand waxing process. The wheels need repainting, though if I run across a good deal on 18" chromed wheels I'll go for that. And perhaps I can take a road trip in late December. The BMW was a lot of fun to drive. This one gives a different kind of fun, a serene enjoyment, much like my late '03 Park Avenue. This car and its successor the '17-19 LaCrosse are possibly the last of the great Buick sedans. I'm glad I grabbed this one when I did.
 
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Oh, and two more points in the car's favor: My note, and my car insurance, are about the same as I had with the 328i, and while the Buick's gas mileage can't compare to the Bavarian Monster Wagon's, the lower cost of regular fuel almost completely offsets that.
 
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Originally Posted by WyrTwister
We love our 2006 Lacrosse . It got 28 MPG , this last week end , around 400 miles each way , with the 3.8l V-6 .
Yes indeed; my 2003 Park Avenue with the n/a 3.8 used to clock 31-32 at 65 on the open road. Buicks are the unsung bargains of the car world, and people who know them love them. When I purchased my PA, someone here mentioned a wealthy fellow he once worked for who could, and did, afford all sorts of higher-end cars, MBs, BMWs, Ferraris, etc. But the fellow always spoke fondly of the Park Avenue he once owned.
 
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I reported the MPG , as indicated by the guess o meter . A previous trip , same destination was 25 MPG and the one before that was 30 - 31 MPG . One trip was rainy / windy . Fuel quality seems to make a larger difference than expected . The guess o meter may be some what imperfect . I have gotten too lazy to figure it by hand . We get 17 - 19 MPG in town . We purchased the car a couple of years ago with 36,000 miles on it . Now has 48000 - 49000 miles on it . Paid less for it than a comparable Impala , which I figure is pretty much the same car .
 
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There were killer deals on a couple of '17 LaCrosse's when I bought my '18 Impala, but the non-defeatable stop/start on the Buicks was a deal killer for me. Glad your's doesn't have stop/start. I'm a Buick guy, so it was kind of hard to walk away from the LaCrosse's, they are very nice cars. We love our '05 Park Ave (23,000 orig miles), our daughter is driving the '03 Park Ave (200,000 miles on it so far).
 
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Originally Posted by carviewsonic
There were killer deals on a couple of '17 LaCrosse's when I bought my '18 Impala, but the non-defeatable stop/start on the Buicks was a deal killer for me. Glad your's doesn't have stop/start. I'm a Buick guy, so it was kind of hard to walk away from the LaCrosse's, they are very nice cars. We love our '05 Park Ave (23,000 orig miles), our daughter is driving the '03 Park Ave (200,000 miles on it so far).
I found out after I'd bought this one that there is a device, approx. $150, that you can buy online and install to defeat the Auto Stop Start. Nice to know if I wind up buying a '17, '18, or '19 in the future. At the time there was a dark sapphire over light gray '17 for sale in the farther suburbs for about the same price as this '16. But I liked the deep red; I've never had a red car, ever, until now.
 
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Originally Posted by WyrTwister
I reported the MPG , as indicated by the guess o meter . A previous trip , same destination was 25 MPG and the one before that was 30 - 31 MPG . One trip was rainy / windy . Fuel quality seems to make a larger difference than expected . The guess o meter may be some what imperfect . I have gotten too lazy to figure it by hand . We get 17 - 19 MPG in town . We purchased the car a couple of years ago with 36,000 miles on it . Now has 48000 - 49000 miles on it . Paid less for it than a comparable Impala , which I figure is pretty much the same car .
I liked the Impala, which is based on the same platform, I think. But I couldn't find one with a light-colored interior, which is important to me. Chevy offered a caramel-brown interior; but you had to buy the top-of-the-line model to get that. And there were very few of those in used form around. The LaCrosses all came with leather (I believe), and a good percentage of those were the "light neutral" or cream color. Plus the Buick has more sound deadening material for a quieter ride. That adds more weight to the body (and more $$$ to the purchase price. But since I buy used, it's not a factor).
 
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Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
Originally Posted by carviewsonic
There were killer deals on a couple of '17 LaCrosse's when I bought my '18 Impala, but the non-defeatable stop/start on the Buicks was a deal killer for me. Glad your's doesn't have stop/start. I'm a Buick guy, so it was kind of hard to walk away from the LaCrosse's, they are very nice cars. We love our '05 Park Ave (23,000 orig miles), our daughter is driving the '03 Park Ave (200,000 miles on it so far).
I found out after I'd bought this one that there is a device, approx. $150, that you can buy online and install to defeat the Auto Stop Start. Nice to know if I wind up buying a '17, '18, or '19 in the future. At the time there was a dark sapphire over light gray '17 for sale in the farther suburbs for about the same price as this '16. But I liked the deep red; I've never had a red car, ever, until now.
You mean to tell me you can not shut off the start/stop function through the cars cpu? Pretty sure the vehicles that my friends or rentals in which I have had, you could do this through vehicles onboard cpu. Such as how long lights stay on after car turns off etc... That's ludicrous if they don't give you that option from factory!
 
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Originally Posted by domer10
Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
Originally Posted by carviewsonic
There were killer deals on a couple of '17 LaCrosse's when I bought my '18 Impala, but the non-defeatable stop/start on the Buicks was a deal killer for me. Glad your's doesn't have stop/start. I'm a Buick guy, so it was kind of hard to walk away from the LaCrosse's, they are very nice cars. We love our '05 Park Ave (23,000 orig miles), our daughter is driving the '03 Park Ave (200,000 miles on it so far).
I found out after I'd bought this one that there is a device, approx. $150, that you can buy online and install to defeat the Auto Stop Start. Nice to know if I wind up buying a '17, '18, or '19 in the future. At the time there was a dark sapphire over light gray '17 for sale in the farther suburbs for about the same price as this '16. But I liked the deep red; I've never had a red car, ever, until now.
You mean to tell me you can not shut off the start/stop function through the cars cpu? Pretty sure the vehicles that my friends or rentals in which I have had, you could do this through vehicles onboard cpu. Such as how long lights stay on after car turns off etc... That's ludicrous if they don't give you that option from factory!
I don't think GM does let you do that. The BMW F30 model, the one I had, when that chassis first came out you could turn the feature off -- but you had to do it each time you started the car; it defaulted to "Auto Stop Start = on." Starting with the second model year, the dealers would code it for you to remember the last setting. Mine would still turn the feature on when I put the car in EcoPro (economy) mode, but I'd turn it off and it would stay off. From what I've read, however, there isn't any way to turn off the LaCrosse's feature from the car's Driver's Information Center, and I don't know if the dealers will do it for you. I'll grant that the BMW's version of it was pretty seamless. If the one on the 2017+ LaCrosses is as well, that's not so bad. But when I turn my car on, I want it to stay on until I turn it off.
 
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Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
Originally Posted by domer10
Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
Originally Posted by carviewsonic
There were killer deals on a couple of '17 LaCrosse's when I bought my '18 Impala, but the non-defeatable stop/start on the Buicks was a deal killer for me. Glad your's doesn't have stop/start. I'm a Buick guy, so it was kind of hard to walk away from the LaCrosse's, they are very nice cars. We love our '05 Park Ave (23,000 orig miles), our daughter is driving the '03 Park Ave (200,000 miles on it so far).
I found out after I'd bought this one that there is a device, approx. $150, that you can buy online and install to defeat the Auto Stop Start. Nice to know if I wind up buying a '17, '18, or '19 in the future. At the time there was a dark sapphire over light gray '17 for sale in the farther suburbs for about the same price as this '16. But I liked the deep red; I've never had a red car, ever, until now.
You mean to tell me you can not shut off the start/stop function through the cars cpu? Pretty sure the vehicles that my friends or rentals in which I have had, you could do this through vehicles onboard cpu. Such as how long lights stay on after car turns off etc... That's ludicrous if they don't give you that option from factory!
I don't think GM does let you do that. The BMW F30 model, the one I had, when that chassis first came out you could turn the feature off -- but you had to do it each time you started the car; it defaulted to "Auto Stop Start = on." Starting with the second model year, the dealers would code it for you to remember the last setting. Mine would still turn the feature on when I put the car in EcoPro (economy) mode, but I'd turn it off and it would stay off. From what I've read, however, there isn't any way to turn off the LaCrosse's feature from the car's Driver's Information Center, and I don't know if the dealers will do it for you. I'll grant that the BMW's version of it was pretty seamless. If the one on the 2017+ LaCrosses is as well, that's not so bad. But when I turn my car on, I want it to stay on until I turn it off.
For sure, at least if you are going to put it on car, make it easily able to turn on off. These things drive me mental, in the sense that I feel it adds so much more wear and tear on components.
 
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At the 6-month mark, 39,200 miles, with the big red luxo-sedan, the Buick has been a joy to drive. Regular gas yields 21-22 mpg with a lot of city driving; the A/C, which I needed into December and will need again very shortly, is nice and cold; the car accelerates with little urging, even up the slope of the bridge I traverse every morning. Things done: A complete claying, polishing, and waxing. (The first time I washed the car in August, I could feel with the towel the contaminants in the paint. The car looked smooth, but it had clearly never been clayed.) Oil and filter change at 38K miles in late December, along with cabin filter and tire rotation. Removal of the too-dark window tint from the front door glass and replacement with a lighter, legal-for-here tint. I ported the tan rubber floor mats from the BMW over to the LaCrosse, and they look and work fine, though the driver's side mat is a little small; I might splurge on ones cut to fit. For fun, I bought a little chrome plaque with "3.6 L" emblazoned on it, and will install it next to the license. Shifted car insurance to the Lizard People; Flo's Bros, though they treated me well last summer, jacked up their rates again, $300 more a year. (You know something's wrong when your yearly cost of insurance is more than 2/3 of the annual total of your car notes.) To be done: Engine air filter. A tint strip along the very top of the windshield (legal here); refinishing or replacement of the wheels, which are peeling. Of course all of the wheel refinish places here are not open on Saturday mornings (though their websites proclaim they are), and so I'd have to take off work to investigate what they can do and how much $$$ they'll extort. Buying new wheels might cost about the same, plus shipping. So I'm kind of stuck right now. Fortunately the peeling wheels are only visible close up. At a moderate distance they look fine. Cue the Grandpa Simpson jokes, such as "The cruise control on my Buick is weird. It aims straight for all Piccadilly Cafeterias" or "The steering veers toward any church having a bingo night." I don't care. The big car is comfortable and swift, economical for its size and power, and I grin when I walk up to it. And the color combo of Garnet Red over Cashmere keep it from looking too staid. A week ago on my way home, I slid up next to a red Buick Regal, the model I used to have. The driver rolled down his window, caught my eye, and gave me a solid thumbs-up; and I returned the favor. The light changed before I could call out, "Great cars, aren't they?" Which Buick people know anyway.
 
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I dropped by a local auto show recently. I really liked the quality of Buick interiors. Probably something to do with age, but the older I get, to more I like them. smile
 
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Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
I dropped by a local auto show recently. I really liked the quality of Buick interiors. Probably something to do with age, but the older I get, to more I like them. smile
Yes; the cool blue ambient lighting on the doors, and the white instruments, are all very sharp. Though I got used to the BMW's orange instrument lighting, I never did *love* it. The blue and white of the Buick is much more comfortable to my mind.
 
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Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
Yes; the cool blue ambient lighting on the doors, and the white instruments, are all very sharp. Though I got used to the BMW's orange instrument lighting, I never did *love* it. The blue and white of the Buick is much more comfortable to my mind.
Actually, the BMW orange is very easy on the eyes. Red/orange is best to help preserve your night vision. While blue/white looks nice, I find it too distracting for night driving, alas, that's just a personal preference. Some newer cars allow you to select your interior lighting color nowadays, depending on your current mood or preference.
 
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Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
Originally Posted by Benzadmiral
Yes; the cool blue ambient lighting on the doors, and the white instruments, are all very sharp. Though I got used to the BMW's orange instrument lighting, I never did *love* it. The blue and white of the Buick is much more comfortable to my mind.
Actually, the BMW orange is very easy on the eyes. Red/orange is best to help preserve your night vision. While blue/white looks nice, I find it too distracting for night driving, alas, that's just a personal preference. Some newer cars allow you to select your interior lighting color nowadays, depending on your current mood or preference.
Oh, I had no trouble with the orange on the vision; and I turn the white/blue down some when I drive at night. It was merely that the orange gave me the feeling that the Springfield nuclear plant was about to blow up under my hood. (My imagination only.) I wish I could select a cool green shade for the instruments like the Park Avenue had years ago.
 
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To H*ll with what anyone else thinks; you have a great car that suits you perfectly- that's all that matters.
 
benzadmiral, how is your lacrosse in suburban duties, i.e. traffic, parking, outwards visibility, useable trunk space? my aching knees want to know if it is a chore getting in and out? buick offers attractive cpo deals... thanks?
 
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Originally Posted by jstert
benzadmiral, how is your lacrosse in suburban duties, i.e. traffic, parking, outwards visibility, useable trunk space? my aching knees want to know if it is a chore getting in and out? buick offers attractive cpo deals... thanks?
Jstert, The car handles traffic beautifully, braking without complaint and accelerating as eagerly as I need. Last August I got stuck in local traffic for two hours on my homeward commute, and the A/C kept me nice and cool the whole time. It's not hard to park, partly, I think, because of the electric steering, which seems to give me more control over the front wheels, and partly because of the rear view camera. Outward visibility is a bit of a problem; as with a lot of cars nowadays, the windows are relatively small and the A, B, and C pillars large. Sure, it's for safety in a crash, but we'd all rather avoid a crash completely than survive one, and more ability to see what's coming at you is a survival trait. The B-pillars and the big front headrests tend to block some vision when you're paused in a U-turn through a median, waiting for traffic to leave a gap for you. As I recall, the BMW's visibility was a notch or two better. However, the Buick's rear headrests are retractable -- not electrically, you have to push a button on each one -- and that helps with rear visibility when looking through a back glass that is relatively small and quite slanted. The car has a good deal more trunk space than the BMW did, and a 60-psi compact spare under the trunk floor too. The cargo net on the Buick is really useful: It mounts parallel to the rear lip of the trunk, and you can actually put things in it. In contrast, the 328i's cargo net attached to the floor of the trunk, which I found useless. Getting in and out? It's a big car by today's standards and quite roomy. (Despite those silly commercials a few years ago where they stuck Shaquille O'Neal in a LaCrosse and had him tell us it had plenty of room. Sorry; you put that big guy in any modern car smaller than an Escalade, and it's gonna look cramped in there.) There are handgrips above each door, including the driver's (I think -- I don't use them), that you can use to lever yourself out. My knees give me a little trouble now and then, but not in the car!
 
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[[/quote] For sure, at least if you are going to put it on car, make it easily able to turn on off. These things drive me mental, in the sense that I feel it adds so much more wear and tear on components. [/quote] Pretty much what I was thinking . Seems you would need extra heavy duty battery , starter and alternator . At the very least . Also , for us folks in the South , what about air conditioning while the system has the engine shut down ? Heater / winter would not be as much of a problem , depending on how much coolant the system holds .
 
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