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It was a long wait....but worth it.

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It was a long wait....but worth it.

Old 08-30-17, 06:14 PM
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mmarshall
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Default It was a long wait....but worth it.



Some of you know that I ordered a new Buick Lacrosse several months ago. The order turned out to be a marketing mess (leave it to GM to get things messed up, such as when I ordered a new Saturn SL2 almost 20 years ago, in 1999, and it was delivered with more options than I had ordered, and right after they had dropped the first-choice color I wanted). Anyhow, with the new Lacrosse, at the time, after I had asked the sales-people three times, they promised that new 2017s could still be ordered (Lacrosses are built, along with several other GM products, at the large Detroit-Hamtramck plant). So, I told them, go ahead and order it...a new Preferred model, one step up from base. The Preferred trim-level was the one, equipment-wise, closest to what I was looking for, and they were difficult to find in stock...I didn't need or want a lot of the advanced electronic-aids, AWD, or other options on the upper-level Essence and Premium trim-levels). I wrote them a check for the usual $1000 deposit on a special-ordered vehicle, briefly looked at a couple of new GM products while I was there that I hadn't seen before (among them, the all-electric Chevy Bolt), and went home.

So........what happens? I get out of bed the next morning, have my coffee, and get a call from the dealership's Sales Manager. "Mr. Marshall, GM tells us it's too late to order a 2017"...the Hamtramck plant either shut down for the annual re-tooling or cancelled all of the remaining 2017 orders without prior notice. The dealership offered to refund the deposit. I told them I'd think it over, looked at how the 2018s were going to be equipped (apparently, minimal changes except for paint-colors, and they were keeping the nice metallic gray-gold Pepperdust paint color I wanted). I looked at the (apparent) 2018 order-forms, saw that the 2018 Lacrosses were getting the new, advanced 9-speed 9T65 transmission co-developed with Ford, which, with its 60 new patents and seamless operation, was a far more impressive transmission than the Aisan-built 8-speed units than GM was buying from that company for the 2017 Lacrosse models. I decided, admittedly against the advice of a couple of my forum-colleagues, that the 2018 version, even with the (possible) loss of the then-$1500 rebate, and a possible slight price-increase on top of that, was worth the wait and possible extra cost. I was in no hurry for a new car (my whole life-style, since I retired, is built around paitience and not rushing).....I had plenty of time to wait for it, and wait I did. So, a revised order went in for a new 2018.

Well, leave it to GM to (once again) move the goal posts after the ball has been kicked. Not even a week after the second re-order had been put in for a 2018 Preferred model, I suddenly see, in Google web-sites and review-videos, that the Bozo marketers had made a late decision (again, without much if any prior notice) to yank the 3.6L V6 and 9-speed out, and substitute a new four-cylinder/electric-motor hybrid and the old GM 6-speed automatic as the base drivetrain on all but the top-level Premium and AWD models, where the V6/9-speed would remain standard. Base models would have only the new hybrid powertrain with no option, and Preferred/Essence versions would have the hybrid base powertrain and the V6/9-speed as an option. So, since I wanted the V6 (this was, after all, a big Buick by today's standards, and I wanted an engine at least worthy of a big Buick...not something running around on an unrefined, Mickey-Mouse four-banger and electric batteries), I could clearly see that the car was going to have to be re-ordered again, a third time, with the V6/9-speed option. At the time they substituted the base-drivetrain change (and also because of slow sales) they dropped the base price of the car some $1500...to down below 30K. The formerly standard V6/9-speed, on the new lower base price, was made a $2500 option (still worth it, IMO).

So, the next morning.....back to the dealership. When I told them we were going to have to re-order the car yet again, they looked at me incredulously...are you serious? They were not even aware of the new base-drivetrain status...unbelieveably, they had not been told of the change by GM marketing, even though it was on the web-sites. When I showed them what was happening, there were a couple of red faces, and then they said..."Yep......we'll re-order it again". So, they pulled the old package, archived it, and wrote up new papers, this time for a Preferred model with the optional V6 and the $140 rubber floor and trunk-mats (that $140 was a relative bargain...it included four large custom-fit thick-rubber floor-mats for front seats, back seats, and a large one for the trunk floor, Subaru-style. THIS time, after the third re-order, GM marketing, apparently, had finally gotten their s*** together, kept things that way, and the car didn't have to be ordered again.....it was just wait for it.

Well, after all that nonsense and hassle (and 3 re-orders), Karma caught up with us, and all went very well (though I actually credit God, not Karma......I am a devout Catholic). It was a fairly long wait (though quite short by Tesla standards LOL), but now, at the end of August, my car was one of the very first of the 2018 Lacrosses sent to that dealership (GM had put a priority-status on it because of the hassles and delays). And the timing couldn't have been better. This week, and through Labor Day, the General Manager of the dealership promised a $100 donation to the Red Cross, out of the dealership's profits, for every new vehicle sold....there is, of course, a critical need for help in hurricane/flood-ravaged Texas and Louisiana, where many thousands are suffering. So my delivery today, instead of what would have been three months ago of I had bought a 2017, also helped those in need. My new car listed for $37,685...though there were no official factory rebate on 2018's, they knocked $2000 off list, gave me about $700 or $800 more than my Verano was worth KBB because of its excellent condition/low-miles and because I was a repeat customer (I double-checked the KBB figures myself), so I decided to let them have my Verano, instead of the hassles of selling it myself. Their dealer-processing fee, though more than the regulated fees across the river in Maryland, was still about $200 less that what many surrounding dealerships were asking...so that was, in effect, another couple of hundred off the price. And, instead of a 2017 Lacrosse that has been sitting on the lot for months (the 2017s were quite-slow sellers) with a dated transmission, I have a brand-new car, right off the assembly-line, with one of the smoothest and most advanced FWD transmissions on the planet...though, of course, complex new transmissions can sometimes have teething problems, so we'll see how this one holds up with time. Buick, though, like Lexus, Lincoln, Acura, Cadillac, and Infiniti, offers a standard 6/70 drivetrain and 4/50 bumper-to-bumper warranty. It was not a rock-bottom deal per se, but, for a 2018, I was pleased with the ultimate deal I got, and have no complaints on the dealership's part....just with Buick/GM's marketing. Just one more reason why, like I have said so many times in the past....auto marketers are the bane of my existence. Always were...probably always will be.

The car, having passed my pre-delivery inspections and test-drive, is home now, in one of our blank condo parking spaces, as I write this...I tried to avoid my regular assigned space, as it is under a large oak tree starting to drop acorns this time of year. The last thing I want to see, of course, on a new car, is dings in the sheet metal from the nuts. A couple of more weeks, though (maybe a month at most), and the acorn season will be over. After I left the dealership early this afternoon, I buzzed on over a few miles to my brother's building during his lunch break, showed him the car, ate lunch at a nearby Carabba''s (my favorite Italian chain restaurant), and went home. My brother got some static-shots (his cell-phone is much newer and better than mine), and, if possible, I'll try and up-load them later. In the meantime, though, I'll post some Google-shots of what my car looks like in its interior/exterior colors. Even in the relatively low-grade Preferred trim level, it's still quite complex, electronically, in the video-screen climate/audio functions, and, though I can manage the basic climate-control, I still haven't gotten the conventional and XM satellite radio stations I want in the system's memory...I might need some help at the dealership for that tomorrow.

Driving this car, even though the smooth ride, with the standard 18" 50-series Continental all-season tires, isn't quite as floaty-smooth as the Buick flagships of decades ago, is still like a magic carpet by today's standards. And the new 9-speed transmission is pure butter-smoothness and quick-shifting without being slushy or inefficient...everything the reviewers said about it is true, even its silky stop/start characteristics with the engine. It's miles ahead of the Asian 8-speed that was used for 2017. In my opinion, this is the car that Cadillac should have replaced the DTS with...and didn't.

Last edited by mmarshall; 08-30-17 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-30-17, 06:17 PM
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Old 08-30-17, 06:29 PM
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Congrats! I'm not a Buick fan but the car looks really good. Can't wait to see more pics as I've never really looked at these.
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Old 08-30-17, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by patgilm View Post
Congrats! I'm not a Buick fan but the car looks really good. Can't wait to see more pics as I've never really looked at these.
Thanks. I agree the Lacrosse is not for everyone, but if, like me, you want traditional American luxury-sedan comfort, at a lower price than what the Germans and Japanese are charging, here's your ride. The current Chevy Impala, which is not even close to the Ho-Hum rental-car image it had even as late as the last-generation, is also up there in value now....despite the Chevy nameplate, it can be considered a near-luxury sedan now. Consumer Reports gives it a 95 out of 100 on a road test...very rare for an American0dsigned vehicle.

The Chrysler 300 also has a lot going for it, and offers RWD or AWD for those who like even MORE traditional American luxury, but, in general, cannot equal Buick's reliability.

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Old 08-30-17, 06:54 PM
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Not gonna lie. I was kinda waiting for your write up. So excited for you. Congrats.

1. What kind of tires did you get? Bridgestone I think is standard.

2. Do you have an iPhone or Android? Would love to hear your thoughts on Apple Car play?


Once again. So happy for you. The Lacrosse has a beautiful front end. Batter looking from than any Lexus IMO.
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Old 08-30-17, 07:09 PM
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Congratulations! I hope it serves you well for many years!
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Old 08-30-17, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by LexsCTJill View Post
Not gonna lie. I was kinda waiting for your write up. So excited for you. Congrats.
Thanks. patience pays off.......I learned that myself.

1. What kind of tires did you get? Bridgestone I think is standard.
My former Lexus IS300 and Subaru Outback both came with Bridgestone RE-92 all-seasons, but, no, most Buick products seem to come with Continental. Both my Verano and Lacrosse came from the plant with Continental Contipro Contact all-seasons.

2. Do you have an iPhone or Android? Would love to hear your thoughts on Apple Car play?
Sorry.....I probably won't be of much help to you there. I'm not into that kind of high-tech stuff. I do have a cell-phone, but it is old, and I only use it for rudimentary stuff.


Once again. So happy for you.
Thanks. To be honest, though, the Lincoln MKZ and Continental were both temptations to me....they also have what IMO are stunning front ends. And the Continental has an interior that, despite some plastic in it, will knock one's socks off. But the MKZ's build-quality did not impress me (it had a loose-feel to it) and the engine-choices, for my needs, were poor, the Continental seemed a little too wide and bulky or my condo-parking spaces, and, for several reasons (not the least being excellent service from the Service Advisor at my local Chevy/Buick/GMC shop), I decided to stay at home and become a repeat customer. Also, as I said earlier, I had a big Buick in college, loved it, and never forgot it...even during all the years and decades of GM crap-quality during the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

The Lacrosse has a beautiful front end. Batter looking from than any Lexus IMO
I don't want to insult any Lexus fans here (this is, of course, primarily a Lexus forum, and I respect their views)...but, IMO, I agree with you....a chrome bar and triple-color shield beats an oversized spindle any day of the week.
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Old 08-30-17, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
Thanks. I agree the Lacrosse is not for everyone, but if, like me, you want traditional American luxury-sedan comfort, at a lower price than what the Germans and Japanese are charging, here's your ride. The current Chevy Impala, which is not even close to the Ho-Hum rental-car image it had even as late as the last-generation, is also up there in value now....despite the Chevy nameplate, it can be considered a near-luxury sedan now. Consumer Reports gives it a 95 out of 100 on a road test...very rare for an American0dsigned vehicle.

The Chrysler 300 also has a lot going for it, and offers RWD or AWD for those who like even MORE traditional American luxury, but, in general, cannot equal Buick's reliability.
Agreed on the Impala, my brother in law had one, before it was totaled last month, and the tech was better than my Lexus but my interior was still nicer. He replaced it with a new Charger Scat Pack and even that had better tech than my Lexus and the interior I felt was very nice.
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Old 08-30-17, 07:56 PM
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Congrats on the new Buick!!! I've seen the new LaCrosse in person, this is the most stylish car Buick has done since the old Grand National and blacked out trim T-Type Regal from the 80's. Its a real looker IMO.

What color is the interior??? Its hard to judge from those photos if the leather is off white or kind of tan.
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Old 08-30-17, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Aron9000 View Post
Congrats on the new Buick!!! I've seen the new LaCrosse in person, this is the most stylish car Buick has done since the old Grand National and blacked out trim T-Type Regal from the 80's. Its a real looker IMO.
Like me, you seem to have liked the old American luxury sedans. Test drive a V6 Lacrosse, if you have the time, and see what you think of it. For those who prefer a more sporting feel, you can get a 20" wheel/tire package and a Hi-Per Strut suspension to firm things up....but these are not likely to be in stock at many dealerships. (the Hi-Per-Strut package is also available with the base 18" wheels). I myself, however, prefer the softer, comfort-oriented feel....yet it still delivers what IMO is decent handling.

What color is the interior??? Its hard to judge from those photos if the leather is off white or kind of tan.
The interior color is called Neutral. It is a very light grayish-ivory....the ONLY interior color offered on the base and Preferred trim-levels. Essence and Premium trim-levels come wth a choice of three interior colors (depending on exterior color).......Neutral, Ebony (black), or Brandy (a camel-tan). Of the three, I like the Neutral the best.....so I don't particularly care that it's the only interior offered on the lower trim-levels.

this is the most stylish car Buick has done since the old Grand National and blacked out trim T-Type Regal from the 80's.
While you may be correct about the time period since the 1980s, many auto historians feel that the boat-tailed Riviera from the early 1970s was the most classic-looking Buick ever produced. I tend to agree, though I thought that, in 1971, material-quality on all the GM full-size cars took a nose-dive from the 1960s.


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Old 08-30-17, 09:06 PM
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Beautiful car. I hope you have many years of driving enjoyment!
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Old 08-30-17, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
Like me, you seem to have liked the old American luxury sedans. Test drive a V6 Lacrosse, if you have the time, and see what you think of it. For those who prefer a more sporting feel, you can get a 20" wheel/tire package and a Hi-Per Strut suspension to firm things up....but these are not likely to be in stock at many dealerships. (the Hi-Per-Strut package is also available with the base 18" wheels). I myself, however, prefer the softer, comfort-oriented feel....yet it still delivers what IMO is decent handling.



The interior color is called Neutral. It is a very light grayish-ivory....the ONLY interior color offered on the base and Preferred trim-levels. Essence and Premium trim-levels come wth a choice of three interior colors (depending on exterior color).......Neutral, Ebony (black), or Brandy (a camel-tan). Of the three, I like the Neutral the best.....so I don't particularly care that it's the only interior offered on the lower trim-levels.



While you may be correct about the time period since the 1980s, many auto historians feel that the boat-tailed Riviera from the early 1970s was the most classic-looking Buick ever produced. I tend to agree, though I thought that, in 1971, material-quality on all the GM full-size cars took a nose-dive from the 1960s.

Best Riviera was 1965 with the hideway headlights IMO. Like you said build quality on the earlier cars was much better.

1971-1972 were almost as awesome, but for different reasons IMO. Personally I loved the styling and sheer size of those cars. If the interior and build quality on the 71-72 era cars was as nice as the early/mid 60's cars, they'd be my favorite IMO.

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Old 08-30-17, 10:37 PM
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Congrats to you M! So happy you got exactly what you wanted! I love the dash, and it's flowing swath of luxurious wood. It all looks modern and clean inside, which is where you'll spend the most time. Enjoy in good health!
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Old 08-31-17, 01:10 AM
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Congratulations Mike! Buick does elegant, simple interiors much better than Cadillac. Just don't complain about the hard plastics - as an ES driver, I understand The LaCrosse is an American ES and that's no bad thing because plenty of drivers still want quiet, large and comfy sedans.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:47 AM
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Personally I think Marshall's Buick is the best Cadillac GM has put out in a good damn while,
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