Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
You'll Like The 2010 Buick LaCrosse If...
If comfort, modern styling and value-for-money are all things you want in a mid-size premium sedan, the well-rounded 2010 Buick LaCrosse should be on your must-see list.
You May Not Like The 2010 Buick LaCrosse If...
Although Buick has certainly stepped up its game, the brand still doesn’t quite carry the same luxury cache as Lexus, nor possess the sporty driving dynamics of others in the segment, like the Acura TL. And, unlike LaCrosses of the past, this sedan does not offer a V8.
The redesigned 2010 LaCrosse is not the stately Buick sedan that your grandfather drove. With a fresh look, a just-right price and a much more engaging ride than you’d expect, this four-door is sure to make people rethink the Buick brand.
Inside is really where the new LaCrosse design comes together. Flowing lines, seam stitching and soft-touch surfaces abound. All buttons and switches have a substantial, upscale feel and are logically laid out. The USB port is located in the center console, and although it is located towards the back of the bin (making it a little difficult to reach), it is thankfully at the top. We found the trunk to be a bit of a mixed bag; although we appreciated how quickly (and completely) it opened, the usable space inside was seriously impeded by two trunk lid supports that take up some considerable real estate on each side.
No Buick would be complete without the iconic waterfall grille and portholes (on top of the hood, for the first time), and the 2010 LaCrosse sports both outlined in attention-getting chrome. A dramatically sculpted high beltine – known as "sweep spear" in Buick parlance – stretches from the front of the vehicle to the rear, which, when combined with the available 19-inch wheels, make the redesigned LaCrosse look more athletic than anything else the brand has on offer – yet. For a smooth, unbroken appearance in the rear of the vehicle, the exhaust tips exit via the rear fascia instead of under it.
Those looking for a daily driver and comfortable highway cruiser would not be disappointed by the 2010 Buick LaCrosse. It’s exceptionally quiet and smooth (as a large Buick sedan should be), but it also delivers surprisingly eager driving dynamics – especially noticed when driven side-by-side with the Lexus ES 350, the vehicle the LaCrosse is really setting itself up against. The interior is well-designed, with stitching and faux wood details that serve to enhance the vehicle without looking cheap. While there are three engines on offer – a 2.4-liter in-line four, 3.0-liter V6 and 3.6-liter V6 – the lone available transmission is a six-speed automatic which allows for "manual" gear changes via the gear selector. Unlike some of its competitors, those wanting added all-weather on-road security can opt for all-wheel drive on the mid-level CXL trim with the 3.0-liter engine.
A base 2010 Buick LaCrosse CX starts at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $28,000, while moving up to the CXL trim bumps the price closer to $30,000. Adding all-wheel drive to the CXL will add about $2,500 to the final price. The top-of-the-line, 3.6-liter V6-powered CXS sells closer to $34,000, and, when fully loaded, inches close to $38,000. To ensure that you get the best deal on your LaCrosse, be sure to visit our New Car Blue Book Values to see what others in your area have paid for theirs. Competitors for the LaCrosse include the 2010 Lexus ES 350, 2010 Acura TL, 2010 Ford Taurus, 2010 Lincoln MKZ and 2010 Hyundai Genesis, and all start several thousand dollars above the base CX. However, when it comes to resale value, the LaCrosse can’t trump the segment-leading ES 350, falling several percentage points behind it and right in line with the MKZ and Genesis.
A 2010 Buick LaCrosse CX comes equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 (a 2.4-liter in-line four will be available soon), six-speed automatic transmission, eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat, OnStar, automatic air conditioning and 17-inch alloy wheels. Moving up to CXL territory adds halogen fog lamps, 18-inch wheels, dual zone automatic air conditioning, auto-dimming rear mirror, universal home remote and leather seating. The top-of-the-line CXS is additionally outfitted with a 3.6-liter V6, 18-inch chrome wheels, heated and cooled front seats and a harmon/kardon 11-speaker sound system with USB port.
Looking to outfit your 2010 LaCrosse in every techie extra it offers? Then opt for Bluetooth, the harmon/kardon sound system, rear park assist, navigation, head-up display and the rear seat entertainment system with noise-cancelling headphones. If comfort is more important to you, add the heated and ventilated front seats, four-way driver’s lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, heated and power-folding side mirrors and keyless start. And if you want the LaCrosse to look and behave a bit sportier on the road, add the xenon headlights, rear h-arm suspension, 19-inch all-season tires and chassis with continuously variable real time damping and sport mode selectivity.
Spacious InteriorEven with the front seats moved as far back as possible, rear-seat passengers still have enough legroom to sit comfortably, no matter the length of the trip.CXS Ice-Blue Interior LightingWhen the sun goes down, the interior of the LaCrosse is bathed in a soft blue light, emanating subtly from multiple points inside the vehicle. This "mood lighting" is a nice touch that adds to the sedan’s premium feel.
Under the Hood
Motivation for the 2010 Buick LaCrosse comes from either a 3.0-liter V6 (CX and CXL trims) or a 3.6-liter V6 (standard on the CXS). Later in the year, a 2.4-liter in-line four engine will be standard on the CX trim. All engines employ direct injection and are mated to six-speed automatic transmissions to help maximize fuel economy. 2.4-liter in-line four182 horsepower @ 6700 rpm172 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 (estimated)3.0-liter V6255 horsepower @ 6900 rpm (FWD)252 horsepower @ 6900 rpm (AWD)217 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5100 rpm (FWD)215 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5100 rpm (AWD)EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (FWD), 16/25 (AWD)3.6-liter V6280 horsepower @ 6300 rpm289 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27
If you’ve been hearing the words "renaissance" and "Buick" in the same sentence, the word "LaCrosse" is also probably also in there somewhere. That’s because this redesigned vehicle has the good looks, dynamic ride and modern feel that Buicks of recent memory – Enclave notwithstanding – have sorely lacked. These features really help the 2010 LaCrosse shine, especially when compared to other premium-leaning sedans such as the Lincoln MKZ, Hyundai Genesis and Lexus ES 350. While the Buick brand still has some work to do in getting back into the hearts and minds of the car-buying public, we think that the well-sorted LaCrosse is a very fine step in the right direction.