Launched in 2005 as a replacement for both the Buick Century and Lucerne, the LaCrosse was a big success in its first full year on the market, selling close to 100,000 units. Although sales dropped and the sedan rarely moved more than 50,000 examples per year since 2007, it’s still an important car for the GM-owned brand. Redesigned for 2017 with a more elegant design and a more upscale interior, the LaCrosse is now moving higher on the premium ladder with the Avenir model.
Although the Avenir name was launched with a concept car and gave us hope of a new, luxury-oriented sub-brand, it turned out to be just a trim level. This was confirmed when the Enclave Avenir was unveiled earlier in 2017 as the range-topping model of the company’s full-size crossover. Now, it’s the LaCrosse’s turn to get pampered in a move that’s supposed to satisfy market demand, according to Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick and GMC. “Nine out of ten LaCrosse buyers are choosing one of the top two trim levels — customers are signaling they want more from Buick," he said. Let’s have a closer look at what the Avenir badge brings to the LaCrosse.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick LaCrosse Avenir.
What makes the Buick LaCrosse Avenir special?
- New grille with 3D honeycomb mesh
- Redesigned bumper intake
- Wider stance
- More upscale look
- Exclusive 19-inch wheels, 20-inch upgrade option
- Chestnut upholstery
- Optional Ebony interior
- Embroidered headrests
- Standard navigation and moonroof
- Bose audio system
- Avenir sill plates
- Same 3.6-liter V-6 as standard model
- Optional AWD system
Just like on the Enclave SUV, the Avenir package replaces the vertical-slat, "waterfall" grille of the standard LaCrosse with a three-dimensional mesh with a honeycomb design. The same mesh was fitted in the bumper, replacing the horizontal bar seen on the regular sedan. At the same time, the lower grille is now a one-piece element with LED lights at the corners. This gives the car a wider stance, as well as a more upscale look.
Changes aren’t as significant onto the sides, but the sedan did get "Avenir" badges on the front doors and a set of exclusive, 19-inch Pearl Nickel wheels. Optionally, you can get larger, 20-inch rollers finished in Midnight Silver. Around back, the Avenir trim is identical to the regular model. Overall, Buick managed to maintain the LaCrosse’s classy and organic lines while adding subtle and tasteful details. It’s the right way to move a car up the premium ladder without overdoing it.
As seen on the outside, the interior gets subtle detailing and new upholstery. The seats, lower dashboard, and parts of the door panels are now wrapped in Chestnut leather, a dark shade of brown that works well with the black upper dash and doors, giving the cabin a classy look. The contrasting stitching and piping seen in the Enclave didn’t make it inside the LaCrosse, but the front seats have embroidered headrests as an extra feature.
Speaking of which, the Avenir model comes standard with a navigation system and a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound premium audio, as well as a panoramic moonroof. These three features are optional on the regular sedan. The upscale interior is rounded off by Avenir sill plates. If you don’t like the Chestnut upholstery and prefer something a bit more sober, Buick has you covered with the optional Ebony interior.
Under the hood, the Avenir uses the same 3.6-liter V-6 as the standard LaCrosse. This isn’t surprising though, as it’s the only drivetrain option for the third-generation sedan. Although similar to the previous V-6, the unit is actually new, having been launched with the Cadillac XT5 crossover. The mill cranks out 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, a mild increase over the outgoing unit, but the fact that the new LaCrosse is some 300 pounds lighter makes quite a difference in the performance and fuel economy departments.
The engine pairs to a nine-speed automatic transmission and uses Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop-start technology. The Intelligent Twin-Clutch AWD system is optional, as is the Dynamic Drive Package, which adds continuous variable real-time dampening control and a range of advanced safety features. The list of active safety systems includes Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Automatic Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Automatic Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Rear Vision Camera.
|Type||3.6L V-6 DI VVT|
|Displacement (cu in / cc)||223 / 3649|
|Bore & stroke (in / mm)||3.74 x 3.37 / 95 x 85.8|
|Block material||cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners|
|Cylinder head material||cast aluminum|
|Valve train||DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing; Active Fuel Management|
|Fuel delivery||direct high-pressure fuel injection|
|Horsepower||305 HP @ 6,800 RPM|
|Torque||268 LB-FT @ 5,200 RPM|
|Transmission||eight-speed, electronically controlled automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch|
Pricing information is not available as of November 13, 2017, but the Avenir should become the most expensive model in the range. With the range-topping LaCrosse Premium costing $41,900, the Avenir could fetch at least $46,000 before options. For reference, the base model retails from $32,990.
Read our full article on the 2017 Buick LaCrosse.
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