Buick has just published all kinds of juicy information about the 2012 LaCrosse on its website, revealing that the
mid-size full-size luxury sedan will start at $29,960 — a $2,830 increase compared to the outgoing 2011 model. And unlike the 2011 LaCrosse, the 2012 does away with three-letter trim levels (CX, CXL, CXS) in favor of seven (yes, seven) equipment groups that we outline below.
2012 Buick LaCrosse Equipment Groups
|2012 LACROSSE BASE||CONVENIENCE EQUIPMENT GROUP||LEATHER EQUIPMENT GROUP||PREMIUM I EQUIPMENT GROUP||PREMIUM II EQUIPMENT GROUP||PREMIUM III EQUIPMENT GROUP||TOURING EQUIPMENT GROUP|
|MSRP: $29,960||MSRP: $30,430||MSRP: $31,895||MSRP: $32,440||MSRP: $33,865||MSRP: $35,285||MSRP: $38,270|
|Front-wheel drive (FWD)||ALL LACROSSE BASE FEATURES, PLUS:||ALL CONVENIENCE EQUIPMENT GROUP FEATURES, PLUS:||ALL LEATHER EQUIPMENT GROUP FEATURES, PLUS:||ALL PREMIUM I EQUIPMENT GROUP FEATURES, PLUS:||ALL PREMIUM II EQUIPMENT GROUP FEATURES, PLUS:||ALL PREMIUM III EQUIPMENT GROUP FEATURES, PLUS:|
|EPA-est. 25 city/36 hwy MPG||Auto-dimming Inside Rearview Mirrors||Available in FWD & AWD models (AWD requires V6 engine)||Available in FWD & AWD models (AWD requires V6 engine)||Available in FWD & AWD||Harman/kardon Audio System||Side Blind Zone Alert|
|2.4L ECOTEC Direct Injection 4-Cylinder engine with eAssist Technology||Remote Start||Leather-appointed seats||Rear Park Assist||303 horsepower V6||120 volt Power Outlet||Head-Up Display|
|StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System||Power Driver Lumbar||Heated front seats||Memory Settings||EPA-est. 17. city/27 hwy MPG (FWD)||18" Chrome Wheels||Articulating HID Headlamps|
|6-Speed Automatic Transmission with Driver Shift Control||Universal Home Remote||Power Passenger Seat||Auto-Dimming Outside Rearview Mirrors||Heated Steering Wheel||HiPerStrut Front Suspension||19" Wheels|
|QuietTuning||Foglamps||Power Rear Sunshade||Real-Time Dampening|
|LED turn signals on Outside Rearview Mirrors||Passive Entry/Push-Button Start||Sport Mode Selectivity|
To start, the base $29,960 LaCrosse eAssist doesn’t really have an equipment group, instead being called, well, the 2012 Buick LaCrosse. From there, we have the stair-step increments of equipment groups: Convenience Equipment Group, Leather Equipment Group, Premium I Equipment Group, Premium II Equipment Group, Premium III Equipment Group, and — finally — Touring Equipment Group.
The GM Authority Take
As expected, this is a step in the right direction. We’re ardent supporters of the slow yet progressive move of Buick upmarket — and thus welcome the nigh-$3,000 increase in the base price of the Epsilon II-based sedan, which now features the eAssist mild hybrid system as standard equipment.
However, Buick is calling itself a luxury brand nowadays, which begs the question: why in the heck is leather, push-button start, and power front seats (with memory) not standard across the board? Let’s remember that the LaCrosse’s primary competitors — the Lexus ES350 and Acura TL — start at 36,725 and $35,605, respectively. In that regard, Buick has almost $5,000-worth of headroom with the LaCrosse, headroom that should result in the standardization of even more features while decreasing the seven stair-step packages into something more simple, like three or four.
Why? Because a luxury brand should offer luxury as standard equipment… not as an option.
Note: if you’re wondering about the absence of the IntelliLink infotainment system, GM tells us that it will be available shortly after the launch of the 2012 LaCrosse.