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Every summer, I absorb a brace of weeks at my in-laws’ log berth on Basin Michigan, in Door County, Wisconsin, and anniversary time I try to drive a agent that will be admired and admired by right-thinking Upper Midwesterners. Last year, for example, that car was the 2016 Cadillac CTS AWD 2.0T Premium Collection; afore that came the 2015 Ford Focus ST and the 2014 Mitsubishi Evolution GSR. This time I autonomous for conceivably the best Wisconsonian best of all: a big Buick sedan.
Like so abounding Denver residents, my wife and I were built-in in the Upper Midwest and now own a dog and a Subaru. Photo by Murilee Martin
I was built-in in Minnesota and larboard for California (in a ’73 Chevy Sportvan Beauville) at age 6, while my wife ancient Wisconsin for South Dakota while in her 20s; like so abounding abnormality Americans, we concluded up in Colorado. Back we acknowledgment to our affiliated acreage every August, my adolescence emphasis starts cheating aback into my speech, I advance a able ache for perch, a appetite for Grain Belt beer … and I appetite to authority my arch up aerial in a adequate Detroit car, finer with four doors and lots of chrome. Not an import, not a truck, but article added like the ’72 Buick Skylark of my wife’s childhood, or the 1949 Cadillac auto of mine. The LaCrosse fit that allegation perfectly.
Not a radical-looking car, but again Buicks rarely accept been. Photo by Murilee Martin
Like the aloof association of the Upper Midwest, best Buicks accept tended against the bourgeois back it comes to administration during the 118 years back the founding of the Buick Auto-Vim and Power Co. This car is no exception, admitting it does accept a added acceptable allowance of agleam $.25 than best 2017 machines.
Orders of consequence nicer than Buick interiors of the 1970s-1990s Dark Ages. Photo by Murilee Martin
The LaCrosse went to a new belvedere for 2017, admitting it charcoal a abutting about of such machines as the Chevrolet Malibu and Opel Insignia. Inside, you won’t acquisition apathetic attempts at German- or Japanese-style luxury; the LaCrosse’s berth resembles the chaste appointment of a actual acknowledged Green Bay attorney. The copse trim on the birr looks acceptable and lacks the grabbing-by-the-throat “this is absolute wood, sucka!” beam of a added boastful affluence car.
Weather advice is very, actual important in the Upper Midwest. Photo by Murilee Martin
The touchscreen interface is avant-garde enough; no best does GM allegation to anguish that “traditional” Buick buyers will be afraid off by cyberbanking gadgets, as they were about 30 years ago by the Buick Reatta and its touchscreen-interface Graphics Control Center. Of course, the capital purpose for this screen— if you’re activity to go abounding Midwest, as I did— is to accumulate you abreast of weather-related hazards in adjacent and not-so-nearby regions. Looks like some bad beef advancing bottomward on out Winnepeg, ability accept to abolish the booya!
That old Skylark had three — or alike two — advanced gears, but this car has eight. Photo by Murilee Martin
This car has admirable acceleration, with 310 hp out of a 3.6-liter V6, admitting I allegation alive with my affliction that I didn’t analysis the all-wheel-drive system’s abilities on the beach at adjacent Whitefish Dunes State Park. The accustomed front-wheel-drive LaCrosse would accept been aloof as acceptable for my nearly-all-pavement active adventures in Wisconsin.
In a brace of months, the AWD will be actual advantageous for this road. Photo by Murilee Martin
The ride is affluence comfortable, as you’d apprehend and Buick shoppers demand, admitting the eight-speed automated manual seems to do added gear-hunting than necessary. I didn’t like the awfully annoying reflections of the birr assimilate the windshield, and my abeyant Barometer OCD got triggered by the coolant-temperature barometer account on a C-H calibration while the oil-temperature barometer displayed degrees (and don’t get me started on the 5/8-volt increments on the voltmeter).
Using the 2017 Buick LaCrosse as a adaptable office. Photo by Murilee Martin
Because my in-laws’ basin berth has all the best 1940s technology, best advisedly not including cellphone coverage, I had to drive into Sturgeon Bay in adjustment to booty advantage of the car’s (optional) OnStar Wi-Fi hotspot and accomplishment my huge Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats arcade post. The LaCrosse accepted decidedly acceptable as a adaptable office, with the air conditioning befitting me air-conditioned for hours at abandoned in 90-degree alfresco temperatures and affluence of allowance to advance out my addendum and equipment.
I had to contrivance a amazon in this road, anon afterwards the photograph was taken. Photo by Murilee Martin
I anticipate you could get aloof as abundant GM auto affluence for a lot beneath money — e.g., with the Impala or alike the Regal — but the Buick name agency article in these parts, and that may be account advantageous added for.
On Sale: Now
Base Price: $43,265
As Tested Price: $50,270
Powertrain: 3.6-liter DOHC V6, AWD, 8-speed automated transmission
Output: 310 hp @ 6,800 rpm; 282 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,888 lbs
Fuel Economy: 20/29/23(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Observed Fuel Economy: 23.4 mpg
Options: Driver Confidence Pkg, $1,690; Sun & Shade Pkg, $1,550; Sights & Sounds Pkg, $1,145; Dynamic Drive Pkg, $1,300; Quicksilver Metallic, $395; Destination charge, $925
Pros: Rides like a Buick, carries Buick authority in Buick Country
Cons: Lots of cheddar for this car
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