2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist an AutoWeek Flash Drive Car Review Autoweek

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Buick Electric Cars

2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist, an AutoWeek Flash Car Review

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The midsize Buick looks about the same for but buyers will notice oomph with better This extra power comes from a new light-hybrid called eAssist, which be standard on the four-cylinder LaCrosse forward.

The technology uses electric power to provide juice, adding up to 15 hp and 79 lb-ft of to augment the 182-hp, 172-lb-ft Ecotec engine. Buick out the alternator for a belt-driven, 15-kilowatt generator and a 115-volt lithium-ion pack.

In launching eAssist, Buick its intent is to improve performance and without making any sacrifices to the styling or essence of the LaCrosse. braking and fuel shut off deceleration are meant to cast a halo on the car without overwhelming its or familiar driving dynamics.

is it like to drive?

The 2012 doesn’t feel like a green car. The eAssist at work manage to exist in the background of the driving experience of stealing the limelight.

Buick is advertising the LaCrosse eAssist as a more refined than that of the standard claiming the system provides a throttle response at cruising speeds, thereby creating transitions and reducing the need to as often. We sampled it on various around San Francisco—in rush-hour on winding roads and coasting on the No matter the circumstance, any hint of assist was only apparent heavy acceleration.

The vehicle fussy going up and down or sitting in stop-and-go traffic. It as if we were driving the standard with more of a fun factor hitting the on-ramp for less at the pump.

Meanwhile, though it might not full-electric standards of silence, the was refined and the ride was Buick-smooth, camouflaging the green technologies at

Transitions from one mode to the didn’t produce the slightest even when repeatedly off and hitting the brake to restart and down the engine. If it weren’t for the stop marking where the 0 typically reside on the tachometer, the system would have unnoticed.

One subtle reminder this LaCrosse is different is a ECO gauge below the speedometer—a little nonintrusive feature lets you monitor and correct sloppy driving to maximize If you slam on the brakes or speed up too the needle wags a disapproving by sliding out of the green zone.

One big qualm: the counterintuitive functionality of the knob in the center display using the navigation. You zoom in on the map by the knob to the left and minimize by to the right, in total defiance of instinct. We eventually gave up to zoom.

Do I want one?

If in the market for an efficient, larger sedan, the LaCrosse with is worth a close look. car performs better than the four-cylinder model, with 26 better fuel economy. eAssist, Buick has done an job of creating a green car with compromise.

Buick Electric Cars

2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist

On Sale: August

Price: $30,820, including

Powertrain: 182-hp, 172-lb-ft 2.4-liter DOHC inline-four; 79-lb-ft, 15-kilowatt electric FWD, six-speed automatic

Weight: 3,835 lb

0-60 9.0 sec (est)

Fuel Economy: 25 mpg 36 mpg highway

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Buick Electric Cars
Buick Electric Cars
Buick Electric Cars


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