Saturday, April 02, 2011

2012 Buick LaCrosse - The Car that CAFE built

The current generation of the Buick LaCrosse has been a critical and sales success for General Motors. For the 2012 model year, the LaCrosse will get a freshening with a difference, the new LaCrosse will come standard with an eAssist(tm) electric boost system that is expected to give the LaCrosse an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 37 MPG. What's not to like about a full-sized car that gets 37 MPG on the highway? Depending on your needs, maybe nothing, but if you are expecting a full-sized trunk in your vacation mobile, you might be disappointed with the 2012 LaCrosse. The the trunk in the 2012 LaCrosse only has 10.9 cubic feet of usable space, roughly a third smaller than class average and just a little more than half the size of the class leaders.

The difference in trunk room is due to the battery and other equipment used to deliver the class-leading economy of the LaCrosse. In my opinion, it would have been better to wait until a new car could be designed around the system rather than to shoehorn it into a current model. I suspect that GM was forced into this decision due to the requirement to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. GM recently announced that it expects to offer the 2012 LaCrosse with a no-cost V6 option. That solves the trunk problem, but it essentially makes the LaCrosse unremarkable.

For a detailed preview of the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, check out the article linked here.

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