President-elect Donald Trump may be somewhat angry about China. Somebody should tell him (if not already) that one of the most iconic American brands owes its survival to China: Buick is alive and stronger than ever thanks to its success in China. In 2008, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, GM maintained Buick while killing Oldsmobile and Saturn.
The new generation LaCrosse, launched in September is a large sedan designed for China and North America.
In my one-week test drive with the most expensive 3.6L, AWD Premium version, I was convinced that this GM brand may have a bright future. The five-link rear suspension is a determining factor for smooth ride.
This top-of-line engine with direct injection and variable valve timing generates 310 horsepower at 6800 rpm and 282 lb-ft of torque at 5200 rpm. The intelligent All-wheel drive system monitors the driving and road conditions and smartly delivers and changes the torque to the wheels.
The 3.6L V6 engine is silky smooth and the silence in the cabin is comparable even to the most luxurious brands in this world. The legroom in the rear is so generous that it would host any president or CEO without any complaints.(Note to ordinary and curious man: The rear seat comfort in China is so important that Volvo will make vehicles that sacrifice right-front seats for the “well-being” of the rear passenger)
In the front, the dashboard and the centre console designed and executed perfectly with leather and wood treatment, complemented with high-quality plastic. The small-shift-by-wire lever occupies less space and enables a more-user friendly centre-console with more storage. The seats are very comfortable and and deserve their fair share in creating this level of luxury and comfort.
In an era of rising SUV’s in each category, LaCrosse symbolizes the beauty of the classic American sedan. And Buick needs a new group of buyers who can appreciate that. Despite the transformation and a portfolio of high quality vehicles, Buick’s buyers has the highest average age among the American brands. And Buick puts its efforts to reach more auto fans from the digital age. How much fruit these efforts will bear, remains to be seen in the next few years.
As a car lover, I am so happy to see brands like Buick to adapt to the new times, and become successful.And the LaCrosse is a promising example. The biggest challenge for Buick is solidify its position as a luxury (I am not saying premium) brand within the GM Group and the world markets. Keep in mind that even Cadillac of the same group is and will be a tough competitor.
Somebody should tell President-elect Donald Trump that starting a potential trade war with China is a bad and dangerous idea.
Type of vehicle: Full-size Sedan
Engine: 3.6L DI, DOHC, V6 W/VVT
Transmission: 8-speed, automatic
Price (base/as tested): $47,400 / $53,640
Destination charge: CAD 1,650
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km): 11.6 city; 8.1 highway;10 combined
Sun and shade package (Power panoramic moonroof and power rear sunshade): $2,135
Driver confidence package: (Adaptive cruise control, front automatic braking, automatic park assist) $1,860
Ebony twilight metallic paint: $495
Total Price as Tested: $53,640
Article: Varol McKars
Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars
Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada (via BHG Media Fleet)
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