DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: Attractive in a bland sort of way, the Buick LaCrosse delivers a lot of features and one of GM’s nicest interiors south of Cadillac, but really falls short on the driving experience. This car flat-out drives weird. Once again, GM’s high-feature 3.6-liter V6 is flaccid unless you really get into the pedal, after which it turns thrashy; it’s the standard MO for this lump, but I never fail to be surprised at how sub-premium it feels. The ride is European-firm -- too firm, actually, and the steering is oversensitive at speed; tiny inputs cause the LaCrosse to dart all over the interstate. Add in a brake pedal with zero feel for half its travel plus massive A- and C-pillars that block large sections of traffic, and you end up with a thoroughly unenjoyable evening’s driving.

Yet for all those distractions, the LaCrosse delivers on its premium promise inside. Buick gave this sedan a gorgeous Jaguar-like band of wood that curves across the dash and down both doors, helping the interior feel both airy and cozy at the same time. Controls are straightforward and, more importantly, they deliver the goods. I’m specifically referring to the heated seats, heated steering wheel and remote start; I had the LaCrosse on a 15-degree morning and it warmed up fast, got the cabin comfortable and was ready to go before I left my house. Seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many cars disappoint when the weather turns extreme.

Still, the interior isn’t nearly enough to justify more than a cursory glance at the LaCrosse for most, especially with a $46,500 price tag attached; the Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300 are far nicer full-size cars to drive, the Toyota Avalon delivers an even more premium interior, and even within the GM family, the Chevrolet Impala offers more bang for the buck.  

ONLINE FEATURES EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: Yikes, I didn’t love this 2015 Buick LaCrosse Premium, but I didn’t dislike it as much as Andy, either.

The comfort/handling aspect is what I’ll call “new Buick.” No one really wants the floaters of the past, though they were quite cushy. This is more “firm but fair,” I’d say. I didn’t really find it darty or skittish like Andy did. It reminded me of the Regal, actually. The bumps were mostly muted, but it was definitely crisper than Buicks of yore. European handling is a good way to put it.

You will have to hammer the pedal to get any speed going, and the six-speed will downshift with any decent stab. I don’t dislike the engine, quite the contrary, but it seems to take nearly everything it has to move this nearly-4,000-pounder around. I did hear it in the cabin, but that was mostly because I was getting around slow traffic on the expressway. The brakes, though, were not very good. A Pontiac Montana minivan pulled out in front of me while I was doing about 45, I stopped before I hit her, but only by inches. I like hard, low travel brakes.

The interior is very nice, except for the leather wrapped around the radio knobs -- that was just weird. Like the suspension, I found the seats firm but fair. They’re not as Barcalounger as the old Buicks, but you can tell comfort was a priority. I agree with Andy that those A- and C-pillars are huge; I had to move my head to see around a curve in the road. The radio was easy enough to work, but even with the swipe and push style of control, it’s just not as smooth as it could be.

The look is fine. It’s not outstandingly bad or good. I laugh at those commercials because, yeah, I can’t tell it’s a Buick, it’s just every other sedan on the road. On the other hand, I’m looking at one online with Regal GS rims, it looks pretty good.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: My first thought on getting the keys to the Lacrosse was “Hey! This is perfect for the VFW fish fry I’m hitting Friday night!” which (sorry, Buick) says everything one needs to know about how I perceive the brand -- or at least the LaCrosse. The rare GNX aside, I will probably always think of Buicks as big, cushy cars for people who want big, cushy cars.

But why is that a problem? Keeping in mind that I’m the sort of guy who will go to a VFW fish fry from time to time, I think there’s a spot in the market for unapologetically floaty cars that don’t fit neatly into the German-defined sport/luxury equation.

Unfortunately, the LaCrosse can’t seem to make up its mind as to what it wants to be and it suffers for it. I don’t know that the ride was too firm; it was simply inconsistent. The car had no problem soaking up the impact of potholes, even large ones, but it struggled to provide a well-controlled ride on sustained stretches of poor-quality road. Find a bad section of highway and you’ll be bouncing and bucking around unpleasantly.

At the same time, the brakes felt like they came off a 1992 Roadmaster. I don’t expect every set of rotors to pack a carbon-ceramic bite, but I also don’t like having to push very near to the floor to get the brakes to respond. Like the brake pedal, the steering wheel didn’t really seem to be connected to anything, and that swimming feeling was made even worse by those stretches of bad roads.

These are things that Buick could, I think, tighten up (or loosen up, in the case of the suspension) without throwing out the current LaCrosse and starting from square one. The rest of the package suits its target audience. The LaCrosse is not a trim car by any means, but it doesn’t come off as bloated. Character lines running down its flanks recall a postwar Buick Super; perhaps the most notable styling feature, they help break up the car’s bulk and reduce the impact of its high beltline.

The interior is comfy, with fairly well-executed trims (like Andy, I thought of Jaguar immediately when I spotted that wraparound strip of veneer) and easily accessible entertainment and climate controls. Touch-sensitive temperature/seat-heater adjustment buttons seemed to work well, even without taking off my leather gloves. The rear seat can actually hold two humans of average size and the trunk is big enough to swallow two golf bags (I don’t golf, but I’m told this is important to potential Buick buyers).

It seems like automakers are afraid to take that “floating on a cloud” feel that used to be the mark of true luxury and run with it. To Buick’s credit, I can’t find the word “dynamism” anywhere in promotional materials for the LaCrosse. But I think the marque could really stand out by doubling down on cushiness here. Bring back those Barcalounger seats! Shameless comfort for all! After all, no one is buying a FWD-based 3,900-pound sedan for its Nurburgring time. 

Options: Driver confidence package #1 including sensor indicator, forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert lane departure warning, side blind zone with lane departure and headlamps, high intensity discharge with adaptive forward lighting ($2,125); driver confidence package #2 including adaptive cruise control and front automatic braking ($1,245); power moonroof with second-row skylight ($1,195); audio system including Buick Intellilink radio, navigation CD player, select Bluetooth streaming ($495).

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