Buick restyled its largest sedan, the LaCrosse, for the 2010 model year. Under the hood and in the cabin, the LaCrosse gets parts previously used in Cadillacs, but the LaCrosse retains a unique look.
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GM holds onto the Buick brand partly because it is a prestigious seller in China, which regards Buick similarly to how Cadillac is seen in the U.S.
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At the CXS trim level, the LaCrosse gets a direct-injection 3.6-liter engine making 280 horsepower. At the lower CX and CXL trims, the engine is a direct-injection 3-liter V-6.
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The LaCrosse's roofline runs back to the trunk lip, making for a roomy rear seat in the car.
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The standard suspension is extremely soft, leading to a cushy ride. It also means the LaCrosse wallows in turns. An adjustable dynamic suspension is available.
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The trunk seemed small compared with other large sedans we've seen.
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Buick fits the cabin with quality materials, such as wood trim and leather. Soft plastics cover the dashboard.
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Controls for phone, audio, and cruise are set into the wheel spokes, and look well-designed.
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The blue coloring of the rings in the gauges is a theme repeated throughout the cabin, in both the instrument cluster display and the center LCD.
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The LaCrosse's six-speed automatic shifts smoothly, and has a manual mode. As it isn't much of a sports car, manual shifting is best used for engine braking.
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The center stack uses a touch-screen LCD and a large knob for its interface. We didn't always find it clear when to use the touch-screen vs. the knob, but the former was usually the quickest.
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The navigation system's maps are stored on a hard drive. Although not realistically detailed, the resolution is high, and a good color scheme makes them easy to read.
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The navigation system integrates a traffic data feed. We particularly like how the car warns about bad traffic on the road ahead even when not using route guidance.
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As there is a hard drive for maps, the LaCrosse reserves some space for music storage, and offers a convenient music library interface.
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The Lacrosse has a USB port for iPods and mass storage devices, but it seems a special cable is needed for iPhones and newer generation iPods, beyond the standard iPod cable.
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A Harman Kardon audio system comes standard at the CXS trim level, and delivers excellently detailed sound. It uses a 384-watt amp and 11 speakers.
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The car comes with a Bluetooth phone system, but it is relatively primitive, having no phone book capabilities.
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The back-up camera uses trajectory lines and object detection to help drivers.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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