The Buick LaCrosse lasted 14 model years in North America, Buick’s flagship sedan that competed with cars like the Chrysler 300, Toyota Avalon, Lincoln MKZ, and Hyundai Genesis. There was even a fun LaCrosse once, though GM gave up on LaCrosse here after 2019, probably because Buick’s core American demo is older and also because Buick’s existence in America as a sort of quasi-luxury brand was increasingly confusing.
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Buick used to fit in a continuum of GM brands, with Cadillac at the top and Buick not far behind, followed by Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Chevy. But in our current era of cars automakers have almost all simplified, with a single regular car brand and a single luxury brand, for those that still make regular cars and who aren’t luxury by default. There are Chevy and Cadillac, but also Ford and Lincoln; Toyota and Lexus; Honda and Acura; Nissan and Infiniti; Hyundai and Genesis; Chrysler and Chrysler; perhaps Volvo and Polestar. Mazda never did a full luxury division but thought about it. The Germans have always been luxury, at least to Americans, same with British cars like Jaguar, Aston Martin, and Land Rover, because Americans are shallow. The Italians are a bit of a special case, as Alfa Romeo pretends to be luxury, but Maserati is too, and they are both owned by Stellantis.
At any rate, for decades in America, if you bought a Buick it meant you specifically weren’t going for luxury, but respectable and sort of luxury, a category that doesn’t really exist anymore in America, since Buick only sells unbelievably boring SUVs these days in America.
In China, Buick is still luxury, and still selling, based on the lingering allure of an overseas marque that doesn’t, on the surface, seem that rational, though if you want insight into this phenomenon ask one of your buddies who just bought an Alfa. China is also getting a new generation LaCrosse, it was announced on Thursday, which seems like the fourth-generation LaCrosse, since the third-generation was the last we saw here, and debuted in 2015. Or maybe it’s something else entirely.
Buick describes it as “its new-generation LaCrosse in China.” The car is powered by a four-cylinder gas engine, according to CarScoops, but Buick would rather you not think about that. Buick’s press release is all about styling, LED lights, and improvements in the interior.
The reimagined signature wing-shaped front fascia is matched with a larger, more intricate grille that enhances the overall expressiveness. New signature wing-shaped LED headlamps bring diamond-effect forward illumination, emphasizing the sense of technology.
The Avenir variant, which represents the highest expression of Buick luxury, is equipped with exclusive Matrix adaptive headlamps with 222 LED lighting sources. They support nine intelligent lighting modes that can automatically shift between high beam and low beam for a safer driving experience.
The new-generation LaCrosse has premium sleek proportions, complemented by a flowing fast-roof and dynamic aluminum wheel design. Adding to its dynamic and stylish look are a distinct tail wing and chrome-plated dual exhausts. The redesigned connected wing-shaped taillamps incorporate 352 LED lighting sources. The 1.3-meter light pipes integrate advanced laser welding technology, enabling a stunning lighting sequence that makes the vehicle more recognizable on the road.
The interior of the new-generation LaCrosse is defined by premium sophistication and advanced technologies.
It is equipped with the Buick Virtual Cockpit System featuring an EYEMAX 30-inch curved 6K screen, which allows more intuitive control, extended functionality, and a better display effect. Thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chip, the VIP intelligent electric architecture and 5G connectivity, the LaCrosse will support OTA updates for multiple modules throughout its lifespan.
The new-generation LaCrosse’s roomy cabin combines a floating design, premium materials and refined craftsmanship that goes well beyond its segment. The floating center console has a large open space between the front seats, bringing extra storage and reinforcing the model’s spaciousness.
The elegant interior has a luxurious appearance with an attention to detail. It includes laser-brushed trim, French double stitching, and a diamond-pattern control button. A unique blue and beige dual-color pattern is offered in the Avenir version, which also features a dynamic backlit LED trim panel and 121 dynamic ambience lighting sources that adapt to the change in music for a sensational cabin experience.
Buick says it has sold 10 million cars in China since entering the market 25 years ago, and those numbers aren’t too shabby given that Buick sold a little over 103,000 cars last year in the U.S., according to GoodCarBadCar. America isn’t getting the fourth-generation LaCrosse because we probably wouldn’t buy it, even less than a Buick SUV. I hope the LaCrosse lives on forever overseas, though.