>> Okay, no sneering Buick cracks. Everybody's heard them all, anyway. Buick earned most of those snide asides, but maybe not anymore. Let's snap your head around with the 2010 LaCrosse CXS and check the tech.
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Your first impression of a LaCrosse could be that it's a Lexus ES with the bland removed. Ours is even a tad sinister in carbon black metallic with the same tone inside. The car looks and is larger than an ES, which is what it's aimed straight at. That makes for some nice rear seat legroom in the Buick, but somewhat more portly acceleration. Overall, though, the look is pretty youthful, so there's one Buick stereotype done. This car's a CXS. That's the high trim for the LaCrosse. The cabin materials reflect that, and our car has many of the optional toys. The nav rig is hard drive-based, and there's room on that drive for you to rip CDs and/or copy over MP3 files. Maps look good on a big 8-inch LCD, and you'll see live traffic alerts and information, even if you're not under guidance. That's nice. You can touch the screen or use the well-labeled buttons underneath it. Voice command is just for the Bluetooth hands free gear, though, which, by the way, does not import contacts from your phone. And while we're speaking of limitations, this car has a radio pause function that will pause and buffer up to 20 minutes of a broadcast so you don't miss any of it, except you have to stop the car for it to work. That makes no sense to me. The Harmon Carmen audio, with 11 speakers and 384 watts, was pretty impressive, and it came in a package with not only the navigation rig, but also the addition of DVD playback and a rearview camera that throws up trajectory lines and a breathless, little yellow exclamation mark when it detects something it thinks you might be about to run over. We were able to get older iPods to work with this aux/USB combo connector, but not the more modern devices, like iPhones and iPod touches. To go with the nice rear seat room, there is also an available dual screen, dual DVD rear seat entertainment rig that gets mounted in the seat backs of the front seats. The nice 3.6-liter direct injection V6 in this car has been popping up all over General Motors, with its 280 horsepower and 259 foot-pounds of torque. MPG is 17 in the city, but a much leggier 27 on the highway. And emission scores are pretty good; seven for smog and a middle ground five for CO2. Zero to sixty, about the mid-sevens, which isn't all that sprightly, but this biggish car does weigh over 4100 pounds. Just one choice on the transmission, a six-speed automatic that has a sport mode that suits this car's touring rather than sporting demeanor. And that touring demeanor is clear on the road, where this isn't the first car you'd choose to attack a slalom, like you do that anyway. But its real-world comfort is not gained by a wallow. It is cosseting, but not sloppy. The best deal on the build sheet might be the paltry $800.00 for a touring package that includes continuously adaptive suspension. That price is so low, it seems like a typo. By the way, the LaCrosse CSX is a front-wheel drive car only, but the two lower trim levels can be had as all wheel drive vehicles. This surprisingly fresh LaCrosse runs about $34,000.00 in this high-trim CSX. Add two grand for the hard drive-based nav, audio, rearview camera package, rear-seat entertainment around $1,300.00. A power sunroof is $1,200.00, and a pending blind spot detection system is still to be priced. The real steals are a head-up display for a mere $350.00 and that tantalizing adaptive suspension for what? 800? That just might burnish the handling of this car enough to be worth three times that much.
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