For the foreseeable future, the LaCrosse will remain the flagship of the Buick lineup, so at first glance, it might seem peculiar that General Motors is adding a seemingly modest inline-four cylinder engine to the sedan’s powertrain list. However, at the time the LaCrosse was being developed in 2007-2008, gasoline prices in the United States had spiked to their highest levels ever, topping $4 per gallon. General Motors product planners were understandably working on the assumption that fuel prices would remain high and continue an upward trend in the coming years.
Although Buick officials won’t say so explicitly, another factor that likely played into the decision to offer the 2.4-liter EcoTec four-cylinder engine was the underwhelming response to the new 3.0-liter direct injected V6. While the new smaller V6 is a smooth runner and produces similar power to the company’s earlier 3.6-liter port injected V6, it was lacking in torque compared to its larger counterpart and actually got slightly inferior fuel economy. We recently had the chance to sample the new four-cylinder-powered LaCrosse CX in rural Virginia. Read on to find out if less is indeed more when it comes to Buick’s handsome sedan.