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2009 Buick LaCrosse: It’s Not Just a Grandma Car Anymore

Frequently when someone mentions Buick, the immediate reaction is, “That’s an old person car.” That unfortunate stereotype in this youth obsessed culture has resulted in these cars being underrated and underappreciated. As a brand, Buick has ranked time and time again at the top of American cars in J.D. Power surveys for quality and dependability. And coming from one who has test driven many vehicles, they are a real pleasure to drive.

Recently I found Cartango and was pleasantly surprised at how much information I found on the LaCrosse and many other sedans. Among many tools, you can send an anonymous message to dealerships or have multiple dealerships compete for your business!

The Buick LaCrosse is a mid-size sedan, replacing the very dated Buick Century from several years ago. Three trim lines are currently available CX, CXL and Super. The CX and CXL both have the same 3.8 liter V6, delivering 200 hp. This engine, in its third generation, is probably General Motor’s most dependable engine. (My brother has a 1993 LeSabre with 250,000 miles that is still purring like a kitten!) The Super boasts a 5.3 liter V8 with 300 hp. This review is based off the CX/ CXL. Prudence dictated that I not drive the Super!

These are not the cars you will see drag racing in “The Fast & the Furious.” Color choices are fairly basic, with white, black, silver, grey, dark blue, beige, though they do have a gorgeous dark red and a very sharp mocha (think metallic hot chocolate) that are quite eye catching. Overall, the fit and finish of these cars is excellent. There are no cheesy ill-fitting plastic pieces, no hollow sounding doors, and no cheap-looking parts anywhere. They are five-star safety rated with dual front airbags, and head curtain airbags standard on all models.

The interior is attractive with controls all easy to reach and in logical places. The seats are very comfortable, and there is plenty of room in the back seat for adults. The LaCrosse comes in standard five-passenger seating with the gearshift on the floor, or in six passenger with the gearshift on the column. Trunk room is adequate, with a good sized opening for large objects. Many of them have the split folding rear seats, allowing you to carry long objects such as rugs.

Where the Buick LaCrosse really stands out is in the driving experience. One of the first things you notice is the amazing quietness. Buick takes noise control very seriously. It isn’t for nothing that they actually trademarked their QuietTuning methods of road and exterior noise dampening. The ride is very smooth and for a fairly large car, they handle well. The standard 16'' tires provide what I would consider good handling, moving up to the optional 17 '' tires improves it tremendously and makes twisty roads a lot of fun. Gas mileage is rated at 17 mpg/city and 28 mpg/highway.

The CX is the base model, but it’s hardly basic. It includes many features that would be options on other sedans. For example: heated outside mirrors, four-wheel antilock brakes, remote start, and steering wheel mounted audio controls. Popular options on the base model are heated cloth seats, split folding rear seats, and Bluetooth technology.

The CXL adds leather heated seats as a standard item, and allows many more options such as rear parking assist, a six way power passenger seat, a sunroof, automatic dimming rearview mirror and a premium sound system. The Super has all of that plus standard 18'' wheels, traction control and a premium sound system.

All Buick models now come with a 5 year/100,000 mile fully transferable power train warranty which includes Courtesy Transportation and Roadside Assistance. In addition, all of them carry a 4 year/50,000 mile Bumper-to-Bumper limited warranty. OnStar is included for one year, and XM radio is included for a three-month trial.

Overall, I found the Buick LaCrosse to be a wonderful all-around vehicle with no major flaws. So if you are looking for a quiet, comfortable, dependable sedan that is a pleasure to drive, take the time to go check these out. I suggest researching them on Cartango. You won’t regret it.