2010 Buick LaCrosse

2010 Buick LaCrosse

Episode 2902
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

After decades of being too closely associated with older, more conservative buyers, Buick made a breakout in appealing to a younger, more affluent set with the 2008 Enclave crossover utility. The Enclave has been an unqualified success. A second effort is ready with the all-new Lacrosse sedan. While the name is familiar, the car is anything but. It’s a fresh approach with stunning good looks inside and out. Now we’ll see if the Lacrosse can deliver.

Except for the name, the 2010 Buick LaCrosse is all-new. And even that was a point of discussion, since it was first revealed as the Invicta concept at last year’s Beijing Auto Show, and is sold in Canada as the Allure. Its sexy, Asian-penned styling could be mistaken for anything from a Lexus to a Mercedes. Scimitar blade-shaped headlamps flank an Enclave-like waterfall grille. Stylized Buick portholes have migrated from the fenders to the hood.

A high beltline makes room for a deeply sculpted “sweepspear” body line, and provides the greenhouse a low-slung look, even though this LaCrosse is two inches taller.

The less-original rear has lots of chrome- on the license plate header, edging the taillights, and plating the dual exhaust. Wheels come in 17’s, 18’s, or our top-of-the-line CXS Touring’s 19-inch chrome-painted alloys wearing low-profile Eagle RS-A rubber. As part of the ground-up redesign, the outgoing LaCrosse’s pushrod engines are gone, replaced by a trio of twin-cam motors, all with fuel saving direct fuel injection, and a six-speed automatic transmission. Base CX and mid-level CXL share a 3.0-liter V6 with the new Cadillac SRX, churning out 255 horsepower and 217 pound-feet of torque.

Our LaCrosse CXS sports the same award-winning 3.6-liter V6 that powers the Enclave, rated at 280 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. It will be available in front or all-wheel-drive, a first for a Buick car. Due soon is the Malibu’s frugal Ecotec 2.4-liter four cylinder. This new base is rated at 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, with highway fuel economy well into the 30’s.

But even our CXS 3.6 did pretty good in that area. Government fuel economy ratings are 17 city, 27 highway. We achieved a fine 24.5 mpg in real-world driving with regular gas. With an Energy Impact Score of 16.3 barrels of oil consumed annually, and a carbon footprint of 8.7 tons of CO2 per year, the LaCrosse CXS is on par with its premium rivals. Ditto acceleration: zero to 60 in a respectable 7.5 seconds, with a quarter mile of 15.9 at 90 mph. The big six delivers fine low-end power off the line.  Shifts, however, were soft and delayed.

Handling from its new-generation Epsilon platform was actually better than expected. Despite some tendency to understeer, the LaCrosse shifted its weight well along a taut suspension equipped with optional real-time damping. Steering had reassuring heft and a strong self-centering feel. With standard stability and traction control, LaCrosse is much nimbler than its 4065-pound curb weight suggested. Grippy anti-lock disc brakes and a nicely-modulated pedal made for stops averaging a short 125 feet from sixty. Stability was excellent.

Now for the best part; Invicta’s gorgeous and emotional interior theme was delivered intact for LaCrosse, including elegant door treatments, twin-pod instrument cluster, cool blue lighting, and graceful center console. Beefy seats are wrapped in finely-stitched soft leather with available heat and ventilation. Eight-way power is standard for the driver as is excellent lateral support. 

All trims are equipped with satellite radio, automatic climate, and OnStar. Our CXS was loaded up with navigation and rear view camera, oversized sunroof, and head-up display. The split rear seat cushions are a little low, but there is generous legroom, besting the Lexus ES 350 by 4 1/2 inches. There’s an armrest with pass through, an available power rear sunshade, and dual screen DVD. The trunk, however, at 12.8 cubic feet, is smaller and less useable than the ES’.

Base pricing for the LaCrosse is $27,835 for the CX; the CXL starts at $30,395, $32,570 with all-wheel-drive, and the CXS starts at $33,765. In China, where Buick is number one in sales, the venerable brand is revered as a style-setter. With the Enclave, and now the 2010 LaCrosse, that image is starting to take hold in America as well. The “new” General Motors has a lot riding on the success of the LaCrosse, and from where we sit, this ride looks fantastic.

 

Specifications

  • Engine: Cxs 3.6-Liter V6
  • Horsepower: 280
  • Torque: 259 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 7.5 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.9 Seconds @ 90 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 125 Feet
  • EPA: 17 MPG City/ 27 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 24.5 MPG
  • Energy Impact: 16.3 Barrels Oil/Yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 8.7 Tons/Yr
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 1

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Still A Miata, And That’s A Great Thing

Episode 4340
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

When the cool little Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived for 1990, it immediately triggered a host of imitators and sparked a genuine global roadster revival. While that fad has faded, America’s love affair with the MX-5 has stayed strong. And, we’re pretty sure we know why!

The 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably one of the most recognizable cars on the road, and it has a way of putting a smile on our face every time we see one, not to mention any time we get a chance to hop behind the wheel. The Miata concept really hasn’t changed drastically over the last three decades, proof that Mazda got the formula right from the beginning.

Rear-wheel drive, minimal weight, tight suspension, willing engine, superb manual shifter, simple folding top, and just enough creature comforts to make long drives as pleasant as carving up backroad twisties.
An overload of power has never been part of that equation, and many may still decry the lack of horsepower, but just a reminder, this car was meant to rekindle the spirit of British roadsters from the 1960s that were a pure joy to drive, and had engines half as powerful as what the Miata works with today, which is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I4 with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Front2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Profile2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata 3/4 Rear2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Detail2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Detail

A six-speed manual transmission remains the standard; you must upgrade to top Grand Touring trim to even get the available six-speed automatic. And it all works together to deliver a joyful driving experience that few other vehicles can match.

The exterior design has gotten more purposeful and less cartoonish over the years; new for this year is updated lighting which now incorporates the LED DRLs into the headlight assembly, as well as a more cohesive design for the full LED taillights, plus some fresh wheel choices.

Continual upgrades under the skin too, with a new asymmetric limited-slip differential for all manual-equipped Miatas. Its purpose is to minimize oversteer, and if you think that means it’s less fun, you’d be wrong.

The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears.

It was still a blast to dart through the handling course at our Mason Dixon test track and on the autocross circuit at Summit Point Motorsports Park. Minimal body roll and perfectly neutral handling had us scooting through the turns with ease. Kinematic Posture Control was added back in ’22, using selective braking to tighten up cornering. Adding to it for ’24 is a new steering rack and updated software for the Electric Power Assisted Steering that provides better on-center feel and more precise control.

7.0 seconds to 60 mph won’t exactly get your blood pumping, but it’s plenty adequate for the Miata’s mission and the engine sounds great for a four-cylinder. The perfect feel and action of the shifter keeps you looking for reasons to shift gears. But keep those engine revs above 6,000 for the most power. We did and our best quarter-mile was 15.4 at 92 mph.

Our average braking distance of 118 feet from 60 mph may have been a little longer than we’re accustomed to from a performance car these days, but their predictable and fade-free nature will give you plenty of confidence at your next track day.

2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine
2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Seats2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Instrument Cluster2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Central Display2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Shifter2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Trunk2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata Engine

Things remain all business in the cockpit, with everything falling readily to hand, and comfortable seats locking you in place. The most notable change in here for ’24 is a bigger infotainment screen, growing from 7.0 to 8.8 inches.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the manual are 26 City, 34 Highway, and 29 Combined. That’s a slightly better than average Energy Impact Score of 10.3 barrels of annual oil use, with 5.0 tons of CO2 emissions.
Starting price is only $30,170; top Grand Touring goes for $35,470.

It’s true that the Mazda MX-5 Miata has barely evolved over the years; but fortunately for all of us, virtually all of the ways that it has changed have been for the better, yet even in 2024, it remains incredibly affordable. It has been such a constant presence and passion for so many of our MotorWeek staffers over the years it seems like it has been around for a lot longer than just three decades, and thankfully, it looks like there’s no slowing the Miata down.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.0-liter I4
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Horsepower: 181
  • Torque: 151 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 15.4 seconds at 92 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
  • EPA: 26 City | 34 Highway | 29 Combined