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2012 Buick LaCrosse (photos)

Buick bills its new LaCrosse as the most fuel-efficient luxury car with good reason. Its electric-assisted four-cylinder engine gives the full-size sedan average fuel economy around 30 mpg.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
When GM thinned out its herd in 2009, Buick was one of the surviving brands. Buick models now represent luxury cars without the sport capability for which Cadillac has become known. The LaCrosse is Buick's full-size sedan.

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Buick maintains a cohesive design language for its cars, with a rounded roofline and a toothy grille.

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The base engine in the new LaCrosse is a direct-injection 2.4-liter, assisted by a small electric motor. A 3.6-liter V-6 is also available.

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The LaCrosse features a very roomy cabin with plenty of headroom.

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The suspension is primarily tuned for comfort, rather than handling.

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The trunk space is slightly compromised by the battery pack, mounted to the right.

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Buick keeps the interior design simple, with buttons confined to the head unit and just a few other areas.

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Big leather-clad seats add to the comfort of the LaCrosse.

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The rear-seat area is very spacious.

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Buick uses an electrically boosted power steering system, tuned for ease of turning rather than a lot of driving feel.

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The tachometer shows an auto stop area, for when the engine shuts down at traffic stops.

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The six-speed automatic shifts smoothly.

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Buick has a very cool new infotainment system called IntelliLink, but it is not available when the navigation system is present. Buick still needs to integrate these systems.

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14 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
Without IntelliLink, the voice command system is very limited.

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The navigation system's maps, stored on a hard drive, look very good. They also show some rendered landmark buildings.

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16 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
This attractive virtual keyboard serves for address input.

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17 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
Buick's Bluetooth phone system is not as advanced as others, for example requiring manual phone book entry.

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18 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
Along with traffic data, the head unit also shows weather information.

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19 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The LaCrosse's audio sources include iPod, onboard hard drive, and satellite radio. There is no Bluetooth streaming audio.

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20 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The terrestrial and satellite radio screens let you save six sets of six preset stations, and you can mix and match AM, FM, and satellite.

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21 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
The premium Harman Kardon audio system delivers very good quality sound, but strong bass will shake it up.

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22 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET
Driver assistance systems include a backup camera and blind-spot detection.

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