Buick’s newest Hybrid can achieve 50 mpg

When things were going rough for General Motors, the appeal of the Buick brand in the Chinese market pretty much saved the brand from meeting the same fate as Pontiac. Since then, GM has been giving the Chinese market a lot of attention. The Buick Envision is being built there, and now it looks like the Chinese market will get first dibs on the Buick LaCrosse HEV that just made its global debut at the 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai. In addition, Buick also released the new “Buick Blue” logo, which is prominently displayed on the LaCrosse HEV’s rear deck lid.

GM’s Executive Director of Global Propulsion Systems, Larry Nitz, said, “GM’s leadership in electrification technologies, now and in the future, are coming to Buick in China. In fact, over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and extended-range electric vehicles.”

Buick has already introduced other eco-friendly models like the LaCrosse eAssist and the LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid, and now it’s clear that Buick is on a “green” mission, with the LaCrosse HEV being the first step of many. The LaCrosse HEV has the same style and design cues as the all-new Lacrosse here in the U.S., but it features a specific powertrain and some other electric goodies that help it achieve excellent gas mileage. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and take a look at Buick’s newest hybrid vehicle.

Continue reading to learn more about the Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle.

  • 2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Displacement:
    1.8 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    36000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle Exterior
- image 673254

As you can see from the images, the LaCrosse HEV is practically identical to the standard LaCrosse here in the U.S. It features the same new grille that was inspired by the Avenir and the gorgeous sculpted hood. It even has the little vents on the fenders and the chrome cladding strip on the doors. In fact, the only real difference on the outside is Buick’s new “Buick Blue” logo and the “HEV” badge it is connected to on the rear deck. Considering it has all of the standard car’s good looks, but an energy-efficient drivetrain, it should do pretty well on the Chinese Market.

Interior

2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle Interior
- image 673255
The cabin gets the same Avenir-inspired cabin that we saw when the 2017 LaCrosse debuted here in the U.S.

Inside, the cabin gets the same Avenir-inspired cabin that we saw when the 2017 LaCrosse debuted here in the U.S. The wraparound dash features lots of little curves and a unique padding structure that gives the car a comfortable but luxurious feel. On the U.S. model, the car receives wood trim on the passenger side of the dash and the inserts on the center console and door trims, but this model has something a little different going on. The insert on the passenger side of the dash looks to be an ash-colored wood, with the grain running horizontally to give the cabin a wider feel. The same inserts are used on the doors around the door handle. The trim inserts on the center console, and around the infotainment display are painted flat black.

The seats, the door pull handles, the padding on the center console, and the padding on the lower portion of the dash are all wrapped in white leather. It looks a little more upscale than what you would expect from an American brand. Like the U.S.-bound LaCrosse, the LaCrosse HEV also has Buick’s latest IntelliLink system with an eight-inch display and phone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also gets the other goodies from the base LaCrosse like an acoustic-laminated windshield and front side windows, triple-sealed doors, and noise-path sealing.

Drivetrain

2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle Exterior
- image 673251
LaCrosse HEV is powered by a 1.8-liter SIDI engine that is connected to an electric variable transmission and a 1.5 kWh, high-performance lithium battery unit

This is the department where the LaCrosse HEV differs from what we’ve seen here in the U.S., plus it represents the heart of SAIC-GM’s “Drive to Green” strategy. The LaCrosse HEV is powered by a 1.8-liter SIDI engine that is connected to an electric variable transmission and a 1.5 kWh, high-performance lithium battery unit. Buick has yet to divulge any specifics as far as power output goes, but we do know that it can achieve a fuel economy of 4.7-liters per 100 km, which translates to just a hair over 50 mpg on the U.S. fuel economy scale. For comparison purposes, the 2016 LaCrosse here in the U.S. gets just 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The non-hybrid 2017 LaCrosse is expected to do a little better in the fuel economy department, but you can bet it won’t get as high as 50 mpg.

Since we lack official power output figures, it’s no surprise that GM has yet to release much as far as performance figures go. It did mention that the LaCrosse HEV can hit the 62 mph sprint in 8.9 seconds. It’s not anywhere near as good as the six-second run we expect the standard LaCrosse model to make, but it’s pretty good for a hybrid. To help achieve better fuel economy, the HEV is equipped with an electronic climate control compressor, electronic power steering, exhaust thermal energy recycling, and active grille shutters that open and close electronically to maximize efficiency. Needless to say, we’ll leave more about the LaCrosse HEV in the future, so stay tuned for future updates.

Prices

Since Buick is keeping some secrets about the car for now, it’s no surprise that we have yet to hear pricing details. Here in the U.S. the base model, 2017 LaCrosse is expected to fetch about $32,000. The current, 2016 LaCrosse eAssist model claims $34,500, so expect this HEV to fetch somewhere around $36,000 before taxes, options, and delivery.

Competition

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

2017 Lincoln MKZ High Resolution Exterior
- image 655948

The Lincoln MKZ just got a decent overhaul for the 2017 model year, and is available in hybrid form, so it is a prime competitor for the LaCrosse HEV. For the 2017 model year, the Lincoln MKZ hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter GTDI that is paired with an electric motor. Unlike other MKZ trims, however, the hybrid is limited to just front-wheel drive. The 2.0-liter engine develops 188 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via and electronic CVT transmission. The on-board battery pack is of the lithium-ion type and is rated at 1.4 kWh. For 2016, the MKZ hybrid was said to achieve 41 mpg in the city and 39 mph on the highway. Pricing for the 2017 MKZ hybrid isn’t yet available, but the 2016 model starts out at $35,190, so expect a slight price increase with the release of the 2017 model year.

Read our full review on the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid here.

Lexus ES Hybrid

2016 Lexus ES High Resolution Exterior
- image 627424

The Lexus ES is also offered in hybrid form and offers up a combined fuel economy of 40 mpg from its 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and a high-output, permanent-magnet, electric-drive motor. Total system output is rated at 200 horsepower, which seems about right for hybrid sedans in this segment. The ES Hybrid can hit the 60-mph sprint in 8.1 seconds with a top track speed of 112 mph. Power is routed to the front wheels via an electronically controlled, CVT transmission. As of the time of this writing, the Lexus ES Hybrid starts out at $40, 920 before taxes, options, and delivery.

Read our full review on the Lexus ES Hybrid here.

Conclusion

2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle Exterior
- image 673253

This latest hybrid from Buick is a pretty big deal for the Chinese market, as it just builds on the brands electrification portfolio that already contains fuel-efficient options like the LaCrosse eAssist and the LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid. The crazy part is that it manages to achieve better fuel economy and better performance than other hybrids on the market like the Lexus ES Hybrid and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. It’s also no surprise that this model broke cover in China either, considering the Chinese market seems to express more interest in hybrid vehicles than we do here in the U.S. Both the Buick LaCrosse HEV and the Buick Avista Concept will be making another appearance at Auto China 2016 in Beijing on April 25th, at which time we may receive more information about Buick’s newest Hybrid vehicle. That said, stay tuned for future updates on this exciting model.

  • Leave it
    • Performance could be better
    • May not come to the U.S.

Press Release

The all-new Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) made its global debut today at the 2016 Buick Day event in Shanghai, where the award-winning Buick Avista concept was also shown for the first time in China.

2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle Exterior
- image 673251

Both models will be appearing on the Buick stand at Auto China 2016 in Beijing, which begins on April 25.

“GM’s leadership in electrification technologies, now and in the future, are coming to Buick in China,” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Global Propulsion Systems, at the event. “In fact, over the next five years, we will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles in China, including several models for Buick. That includes full hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles.”

Buick LaCrosse HEV supports Drive to Green strategy

A major component of SAIC-GM’s Drive to Green strategy, the LaCrosse HEV adopts the same design language and technological advances as the recently introduced all-new LaCrosse, along with segment-leading hybrid powertrain technologies.

The LaCrosse HEV is powered by a 1.8L SIDI engine that is paired with an electric variable transmission and a 1.5-kWh high-performance lithium battery unit. Its green pedigree is supported by numerous advanced technologies such as an electronic climate control compressor, electronic power steering, exhaust thermal energy recycling, and active grille open and close that maximize its efficiency.

2017 Buick LaCrosse Hybrid Electric Vehicle Exterior
- image 673252

The LaCrosse HEV offers comprehensive fuel economy of 4.7 L/100 km. This represents a 35 percent decrease in fuel consumption from the LaCrosse with eAssist that is powered by a smart hybrid powertrain, yet the LaCrosse HEV sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds.

SAIC-GM also released the all-new “Buick Blue” logo for the brand’s green product lineup at Buick Brand Day. The introduction of the LaCrosse HEV and “Buick Blue” logo represents Buick’s focus on upgrading its conventional powertrains and promoting green technologies.

Buick earlier introduced eco-friendly models in China that include the LaCrosse with eAssist and LaCrosse Eco-Hybrid.

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