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My 2018 Buick LaCrosse, So Far, so Good.

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Old 09-12-17, 03:30 PM   #1
mmarshall
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Default My 2018 Buick LaCrosse, So Far, so Good.

I'm about halfway through the break-in period on the new Lacrosse....so I'm still feather-footing the gas pedal and brakes, though I'm not an aggressive driver by nature. No mechanical or electrical problems, though I thought earlier that I might have had a very slow leak in one tire.....seems OK now. Getting compliments on the smoke-gray/gold-tinged Pepperdust paint job, though it doesn't open eyes as much as the Candy-Apple-Red Pearl my Verano had. It's significantly longer, and a little wider than the Verano I had, so it's a little harder to park in standard spaces, though no problems if you are careful and watch what you are doing. High-zoot versions have the automatic-parking system that I decided I could do without (my previous experience in maneuvering and flying airplanes also helps my skills behind the wheel). Driving this car is a dream....easily the most comfortable, smoothest, quietest car I've had since college, though it's not quite as smooth over bumps as my substantially larger 1965 big Buick was. Still, it glides down the road like a soundproofed cocoon. The Verano I had was the same way over smooth, non-porous pavement, but bumps were more pronounced, and the engine wasn't as quiet as this V6 (indeed, this engine is so unobtrusive that twice now, I got out of it and actually left it running LOL. I can understand why so many older people like it (and, yes, some younger ones, too)....simply driving it lowers one's blood-pressure 20 points. So far, averaging 22 MPG on 87-octane regular in suburban stop-and-go driving....that's not bad for a (by today's standards) full-size borderline-luxury car with a 3.6L V6. My last big Buick, in college, got about 8.5-10 MPG (on super-premium leaded gas) on the same routes. The efforts of the Buick/GM engineers to cut out weight (300 lbs. from the previous-generation version), develop the new 9-speed automatic along with Ford, and implement the virtually-seamless engine stop/start system at idle pay off in gas mileage. I have no doubt I'll do 30 or better on the road on a long trip, given my driving habits. The voltmeter and engine oil-temperature gauge (in addition to the usual coolant-temperature), which are unusual on a non-sporting sedan, help me keep an eye on the engine and battery/charging.

Quibbles/Complaints? Yeah...there's a few. There's no perfect car.....I haven't seen one yet. First, even though it helps the MPG in stop-and-go driving, I could live without the start/stop system at idle. It probably adds needless complexity and wear on the starter and transmission....though Buick has a long 6/70 drivetrain warranty to take care of that (same as Lexus/Lincoln/Cadillac/Acura/Infiniti). The system cannot be switched off, though, with experimentation, I have found a few ways to minimize or override it. Second, unlike my Verano, I have to choose, in the video-screen, between the climate-control and radio/audio functions.....in the Verano, ALL of the climate functions were below the screen, in buttons....I used the screen only for the audio, so both were instantly available on sight. In the Lacrosse, no matter how you set the system up with the SETTINGS function, there is some switching back and forth needed between audio and climate functions on the screen, though some of the steering-wheel and dash buttons help. Third, the power-mirror control-****, in my Verano, stayed in the position I would leave it....the dual-button control, in the Lacrosse, remains set on the left/right side mirror (with a small orange light-indicator) for about a minute, then reverts back to neutral...you have to keep re-pressing the button every time you want to pick the left or right mirror. (I would have liked the automatic reverse-tilt-down feature for the mirrors, but that only comes with the memory-seats, which are not in the Preferred trim-level I picked). Still, to get that feature, I would have been stuck with other features on the higher trim-levels I did NOT want......so I probably made the right move. Fourth, I'm not wild about the electronic Fuss-O-Matic shifter, though it does have a nice click-click feel/motion, I'm getting used to it, and most of the time, I only use three basic positions.....D, R, and P. (P is a button on the shifter, not an actual position, and it will automatically go into P when you get out if you don't do it manually).

So, all in all, I'm really glad to have this car......cars like this are soon going to be an endangered species, at least in the U.S. All of GM's big sedans.........the Lacrosse, Impala, XTS, and CT6 may soon be on the chopping-block, as relatively few people like me still appreciate or want them any more. I wouldn't be surprised to see Ford go the same route with the Continental, MKZ, and Taurus....though the Lexus ES350 still seems to be sellng well.

Still, for the time being........I'm in love.

Last edited by mmarshall; 09-12-17 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 09-12-17, 03:54 PM   #2
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Thanks for the update on your new pepperdust Buick. Saw one today while we were looking at cars. Love love love the front end. I am thinking S-class coupe kind of love. Very nice.

Now, question for you. You state that thestart stop is so seemless. Then why would you want to not have it? Makes no sense. And why would you keep trying to trick it if it is so seemless? Sounds like perhaps you don't like and just can't say it.

Overall, interesting comments about the negatives. Sounds like you connected with it hense some criticism of the car.

Glad you are enjoying!! Always so exciting to get a brand new car.
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Old 09-12-17, 04:14 PM   #3
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now, question for you. You state that thestart stop is so seemless. Then why would you want to not have it? Makes no sense. And why would you keep trying to trick it if it is so seemless? Sounds like perhaps you don't like and just can't say it
+1...............
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Old 09-12-17, 04:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the update on your new pepperdust Buick. Saw one today while we were looking at cars. Love love love the front end. I am thinking S-class coupe kind of love. Very nice.
Yes, the front end does look like a Mercedes....but even a typical non-AMG E-Class, much less the S-Class, costs twice what a Preferred-level Lacrosse does, and IMO doesn't drive much better, if any. Yes, the S-Class does, and sets what is probably an automotive benchmark....but a typical non-AMG S-class costs 100K or more, and trust me.....you won't even want to know what an S-class AMG costs.

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Now, question for you. You state that the start stop is so seemless. Then why would you want to not have it? Makes no sense. And why would you keep trying to trick it if it is so seemless? Sounds like perhaps you don't like and just can't say it.
Yes, the Buick engineers (actually GM engineers, since this particular 3.6L/9-speed drivetrain will be used in a number of larger GM products) did a good job making it as seamless as possible, and it adds MPG in stop/go driving. It is not totally seamless, but one of the smoothest I've sampled yet. But, to me, that alone is not the issue. It adds what IMO is needless complexity and may (?) be adding extra wear to the starter and transmission. That part, though, about the wear, though, I'm not totally sure of...the transmission uses a pressure-accumulator that keeps up fluid/line pressure, even when disconnected, and the starter is supposedly helped in the re-start by that pressure. Several different people, both at GM and at the dealership-service department, have given me several different explanations on exactly how it works (?), so I have to confess that there's a lot about it that I don't know, in addition to what I do know.

Quote:
Overall, interesting comments about the negatives. Sounds like you connected with it hense some criticism of the car.
You've read enough of my reviews, Jill, to know that I'm honest, and present both the good and bad sides of a vehicle as I see them......so I certainly would do the same with something I actually own.

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Glad you are enjoying!! Always so exciting to get a brand new car.
Thanks. I especially enjoy this car because it's something I've wanted since college days. I just wish Buick quality hadn't tanked for so long..... some 40 years. Except for the long-running 3.8L V6, which was admittedly a good engine, it took the smaller, Opel-engineered/rebadged vehicles to finally bring back some credibility to the brand, and now even the traditional bigger Buicks also seem better-built, though not quite to the same standards as Opel.

Last edited by mmarshall; 09-12-17 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 09-12-17, 09:31 PM   #5
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Good update. We are all happy you are happy. It was a solid choice, even though it doesn't have a wood steering wheel. ; )
So how have you been able to manipulate the start-stop feature to not always work? I agree with you about the extra wear and tear on the starter. The bottom line is, manufacturers design products to last a certain amount of time. The more usage, the faster it wears out. So unless someone can prove GM or the makers of these starters beefed things up to handle the extra usage, I have a hard time accepting the practicality of it. These days, I'd be in the market to having a car or product that costs me the least over a long period of time.
I wouldn't say such a car would be phased out. It's not like it's a 1991 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham or waffling 1995 Lincoln Continental. The Buick has decent handling, as well as a smooth ride. Many people still want such a combination. I would estimate a car like this to be around for a while, so as long as Buick/GM keeps the interior fresh. I think it was the dated interiors (and poor materials) that left a lot of the past cars in the dust and led to their discontinuation.
Lastly, what does Buick say about break-in period? Most modern cars today have no break-in timeframe. I think it's usually something like, "don't drive the same speed for any long period of time." Have you checked the owner's manual for the procedure?
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Old 09-13-17, 05:55 AM   #6
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Glad to hear you're enjoying it.

The car doesn't need a break in period, no modern car does.
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Old 09-13-17, 06:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fizzboy7 View Post
Good update. We are all happy you are happy.
Thanks. There's no such thing as a perfect car, but I certainly am not disappointed.

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It was a solid choice, even though it doesn't have a wood steering wheel. ; )
Like the 2018 Enclave Avenir, I think the upcoming Lacrosse Avenir full-luxury version will probably have one.....but only on the upper-rim of the wheel. That, IMO, is what Cadillac should have replaced the old DeVille/DTS with, but did not. IMO, it would have appealed to the DTS customers a lot more than Cadillac's present sedans.

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So how have you been able to manipulate the start-stop feature to not always work? I agree with you about the extra wear and tear on the starter.
The main thing if possible, obviously, is to keep moving. If that is not feasible or possible, then one, at a "stop", can keep very light pressure on the brake pedal, or feather the pedal-pressure up and down very lightly to allow a very slow creep while at a stop sign, a long as traffic is not completely stalled in front of you....giving yourself extra room behind the vehicle in front will (safely) allow some creep-room until the light turns green or traffic clears at the stop-sign. As long as the vehicle is not at absolute stand-still, the system will not engage. It will not engage if you shift into Neutral just before the full-stop.....which means bumping the electronic shifter forward one notch and waiting about a half-second to a second (the shift to N is not instantaneous like the other gears). And it will not engage during certain periods during warm-up, or during some A/C and engine-load combinations. And it won't engage if the battery-charge is too low.

However, if in doubt, my philosophy is to come to a full stop. In many jurisdictions, not coming to a full-stop can result in a ticket, and one certainly doesn't want to tap the guy's rear bumper in front of you. Starters can be replaced...your driving-record can't.

Of course, I have to admit that I don't really know the details of just how that stop-system works. I'm certainly no expert on it, despite owning one. I've had several different sources tell me several different things on exactly how it works, and how much demand is placed on starters....including GM's (supposed) use of special beefed-up starter motors on vehicles thus-equipped.

And, in some ways, I can't really complain about it. It definitely helps the stop-and-go gas mileage. I've done significantly better in suburban driving with it than I had expected to....and the engine isn't even fully broken-in.

Quote:
The bottom line is, manufacturers design products to last a certain amount of time. The more usage, the faster it wears out. So unless someone can prove GM or the makers of these starters beefed things up to handle the extra usage, I have a hard time accepting the practicality of it. These days, I'd be in the market to having a car or product that costs me the least over a long period of time.
Well, with a Buick, Lexus, Lincoln, Cadillac, Acura, or a Infiniti, major drivetrain repair-charges (including a worn-out starter) won't be an issue for at least 6 years or 70,000 miles. 5-6 years is usually the time-frame that I get a new vehicle anyway. Granted, though...I wouldn't want the starter failing in an inopportune place or time, though.

Quote:
I wouldn't say such a car would be phased out.
Even though GMs vehicles are much better today than in the past, the marketing department still is run by bean-counters. Vehicles either sell or are discontinued. And, right now, despite my own personal contribution, GM's large sedans simply aren't selling.

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It's not like it's a 1991 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham or waffling 1995 Lincoln Continental.
Ride-comfort was the name of the game on those cars. Handling? Well............


Quote:
The Buick has decent handling, as well as a smooth ride. Many people still want such a combination.
20" wheels and Hi-Per-Strut suspension options are available on upper trim-level versions of the Lacrosse for those who want to make a sport sedan out of it. IMO, however, except for the Regal GS, Buicks are not sport sedans, and have no need to ride like them.


Quote:
I would estimate a car like this to be around for a while, so as long as Buick/GM keeps the interior fresh. I think it was the dated interiors (and poor materials) that left a lot of the past cars in the dust and led to their discontinuation.
At GM, the poor interior materials, IMO, reached their worst in the 1990s. Starting about 2005 or so, notable improvements started to be seen....and that really took off after the bankruptcy and buyout, after the corporation was rejuvenated.


Quote:
Lastly, what does Buick say about break-in period? Most modern cars today have no break-in timeframe. I think it's usually something like, "don't drive the same speed for any long period of time." Have you checked the owner's manual for the procedure?
This is what the manual says. It is more or less routine for most gas or diesel-engined vehicles, and the procedure I usually follow:

The vehicle does not need an elaborate break-in. But it will perform better in the long run if you follow these guidelines:
  • . Do not drive at any one constant speed, fast or slow, for the first 805 km (500 mi). Do not make full-throttle starts. Avoid downshifting to brake or slow the vehicle.
  • . Avoid making hard stops for the first 322 km (200 mi) or so. During this time the new brake linings are not yet broken in. Hard stops with new linings can mean premature wear and earlier replacement. Follow this breaking-in guideline every time you get new brake linings.

    Following break-in, engine speed and load can be gradually increased.

Last edited by mmarshall; 09-13-17 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 09-13-17, 06:53 AM   #8
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BTW, unless something totally unexpected or dramatic happens, this will be my last thread on this car for awhile. I've taken up a lot of Car Chat time and space for discussion on it, and, hey, I'm nobody special that me and my car should be in the limelight all the time. There are many other members in this forum...a number of them are car-shoppng, too (or have new vehicles), and deserve equal time and attention.
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Old 09-13-17, 08:08 AM   #9
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No worries Mike, it's always good to hear about competing products. You sound very pleased with the car and that's always a good thing to hear - most model-specific forums are full of moans and groans I'm surprised why the ES continues to sell well even as similar cars from Korean and American makes face the chopping block. That darned Camry in a fancy frock...
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Old 09-13-17, 10:59 AM   #10
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The main thing if possible, obviously, is to keep moving. If that is not feasible or possible, then one, at a "stop", can keep very light pressure on the brake pedal, or feather the pedal-pressure up and down very lightly to allow a very slow creep while at a stop sign, a long as traffic is not completely stalled in front of you....giving yourself extra room behind the vehicle in front will (safely) allow some creep-room until the light turns green or traffic clears at the stop-sign. As long as the vehicle is not at absolute stand-still, the system will not engage. It will not engage if you shift into Neutral just before the full-stop.....which means bumping the electronic shifter forward one notch and waiting about a half-second to a second (the shift to N is not instantaneous like the other gears). And it will not engage during certain periods during warm-up, or during some A/C and engine-load combinations. And it won't engage if the battery-charge is too low.

All sounds like the system is annoying. Toyota Highlander got it right. You can turn if off. And you can delay the pause before it turns off.
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Old 09-13-17, 11:10 AM   #11
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No worries Mike, it's always good to hear about competing products. You sound very pleased with the car and that's always a good thing to hear - most model-specific forums are full of moans and groans I'm surprised why the ES continues to sell well even as similar cars from Korean and American makes face the chopping block. That darned Camry in a fancy frock...
Its always great to hear about a new car purchase.

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I'm surprised why the ES continues to sell well even as similar cars from Korean and American makes face the chopping block. That darned Camry in a fancy frock...
Do they really face the chopping block? Or is that just the media getting out of hand. Any discussion of the cancelling the ES needs to be seen from the bigger picture. The Avalon and ES are essentially the same cars. I am assuming the Camry, RX and Highander are also intertwined somehow with them. Its the big picture.

The Lacrosse and Impala are off the same platform. Need to look at the sales from both.
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Old 09-13-17, 11:19 AM   #12
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No worries Mike, it's always good to hear about competing products. You sound very pleased with the car and that's always a good thing to hear - most model-specific forums are full of moans and groans
Thanks. A lot of those moans and groans (not all, of course) could be lessened or eliminated if car-buyers did more research and inspections/test-drives before signing on the dotted line. Most of us in Car Chat, of course, are here to help......but many buyers simply go out on their own, without any real idea of what they are doing. Then, they complain when they take the vehicle home and find out it is not what they expected it to be.

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I'm surprised why the ES continues to sell well even as similar cars from Korean and American makes face the chopping block. That darned Camry in a fancy frock...
Two reasons, IMO. One, of course, is its long-standing position in the market place as the best-selling Lexus sedan....car-buying habits don't usually change overnight, just as the RX dominates Lexus SUVs. Many Camry buyers, when they find out that the ES is on the same platform, look on the ES as a way to get Camry reliability and refinement in an even nicer, better-trimmed package with a more-plush interior. (I considered an ES myself before settling on the new Lacrosse) Two, except for some thin, lightweight interior materials and rather tinny, unsubstantial-feeling doors, it is indeed an excellent mid-sized sedan with nice road manners. That appeals to a lot of people.
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Old 09-13-17, 11:40 AM   #13
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So how have you been able to manipulate the start-stop feature to not always work? I agree with you about the extra wear and tear on the starter. The bottom line is, manufacturers design products to last a certain amount of time. The more usage, the faster it wears out. So unless someone can prove GM or the makers of these starters beefed things up to handle the extra usage, I have a hard time accepting the practicality of it. These days, I'd be in the market to having a car or product that costs me the least over a long period of time.
The easiest, most effective and obvious method of reducing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions is to shut off the internal combustion engine when it is not needed; the engine is not needed when the car is idling at a stoplight or waiting at the curb (accessories such as lights and climate control can continue to run on battery power). This should have been the low-hanging fruit and so should have been one of earlier methods to be tried.

Yet, automakers spent millions and millions of dollars and pounds and euros on flashy and gimmicky technology such as supercharging, turbocharging (or both together), variable displacement and "clean" diesels, that did nothing more than game the system, giving falsely positive fuel economy numbers in lab tests that could not be met in real life.

Yes, logic dictates that if you are putting more load on the starter due to more stops and starts, you need to beef it up or engineer a method(s) to ease (or eliminate) those extra loads. That is not rocket science. The automakers' engineers know this. GM's engineers know this, and even their bean counters should know this now, after the ignition system scandal.

If GM's engineers had the smarts to design and produce the Belt Alternator Starter hybrid system (that constantly stopped and started the engine to save fuel), and has the smarts to design and produce the complex plug-in hybrid system used in the Volt, they have the smarts needed to beef up the starter they need for an automatic idle-stop system.

If, however, time and recalls of this starter prove that GM has not learned anything from the many different hybrid systems they have produced, and learned nothing from the ignition scandal, GM does not deserve to be an automaker.


Yes, by careful driving, you may be able to avoid the automatic idle-stop system from turning off the engine.

You can do that by adopting head-up driving, looking ahead to determine if the next green light is about to turn red, and then coasting (slowing down) to avoid having to come to a full stop at the light. This also happens to save fuel, and save wear-and-tear on your brakes, starter and engine. This is what hypermilers do (and what hybrid vehicle drivers do).
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Old 09-13-17, 11:42 AM   #14
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Its always great to hear about a new car purchase.
Thanks, but I don't want to overstay my welcome.

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Do they really face the chopping block?
The big sedans from GM are indeed way down in sales this year (one thing, of course, is GM's insistence on not including a defeat-switch for the start-stop system.....it's that way on all of their vehicles so-equipped). If you look at the typical chat on Buick forums (I have, but haven't actually joined any), that non-defeatable system is holding up a lot of potential sales. One factory-order, from some obscure guy on Car Chat named Marshall, isn't going to make any difference in what the marketers think....they look at the big picture. SUVs, of course, are also a huge factor....they are basically taking over the market.

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Or is that just the media getting out of hand. Any discussion of the cancelling the ES needs to be seen from the bigger picture. The Avalon and ES are essentially the same cars.
Yes and no. They indeed come off the same platform, but, unlike former Avalons, with this one, paying a little more for the Lexus badge on the grille buys what IMO is a significantly nicer-driving car and better interior. The current Avalon, IMO, was a significant letdown from previous ones, though Toyota did address the too-firm-suspension issue with the mid-cycle update last year.

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The Lacrosse and Impala are off the same platform. Need to look at the sales from both.
No. That misleads a lot of people. The current 3Gen Lacrosse was an all-new platform last year, for 2017. The current Impala rides on a platform, shared with the Cadillac XTS and last 2Gen Lacrosse, that is several years old (and, IMO, the Impala was actually the best version of that platform). The next-Generation (2019) Impala, and the next-generation XTS will use the same platform the current Lacrosse uses (if GM doesn't cancel these vehicles altogether from poor sales).
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Old 09-13-17, 11:50 AM   #15
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All sounds like the system is annoying. Toyota Highlander got it right. You can turn if off. And you can delay the pause before it turns off.
No arguments there. I'd rather have a turn-off-button myself. But I usually base my buying decisions on more than just one or two issues...and, for the money (base versions start at less than 30K), the Lacrosse was simply seductive in the way it drives. I've also been very pleased with the service I get from my local GM shop.
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