LOS ANGELES — Buick introduced the Avenir concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January. Many called it the “standout” of the show. Now, Buick has taken elements from that design and turned it into the production version of the 2017 LaCrosse sedan.
“It’s brand new from the ground up–all new interior, all new exterior, all new suspension, all new powertrain,” said Brian Shipman, the Buick LaCrosse’s product manager. “We’ve improved the mass of the vehicle, we’ve reduced the weight by 300 pounds. You get better performance, better fuel economy, better ride handling. We’re featuring a five-link suspension, which is the first time for Buick to do that. It quiets down the rear part of the car. This interior is quieter than the current LaCrosse. It’s outstanding.”
New features on the 2017 model include wireless phone charging, teen driver configurations, leather front seats with lumbar massaging and an 8-inch color touchscreen display. The sedan offers technologies such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
“This car has more interior space than a Lexus ES,” Shipman explained. “All of our competition in this segment doesn’t offer the five-link suspension. We also offer all-wheel drive as an option, which only the MKZ offers. We have the most horsepower in the segment for the V6. The new Avenir badge and grille are based off the Avenir concept we had in January. That will be the new look of Buick going in the future.”
The new LaCrosse is equipped with a 3.6-liter, V6 engine producing 305 horsepower and 268 lb.-ft. of torque. It saves fuel by initiating a stop/start system when the driver is at a red light or stuck in traffic.
“It’s a segment that’s getting really, really heated,” said Akshay Anand, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “A lot of competition in that $30,000 price point. Overall, it’s looking like a pretty good show. A lot of vehicles that are really accessible to people.”
Look for the 2017 Buick LaCrosse to arrive in dealer showrooms in early summer 2016. Pricing has not yet been announced. However, it will be manufactured at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.