What would make my LaCrosse CSX perfect

rodeman

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Growing up, my father purchased a couple of Buicks. He also had some Oldsmobile (which we always called the old mobile) as my grandpa drove one and so did every other "old" guy. That was back when I was a kid.

At 40, I purchased my first Buick, a LaCrosse. I had no interest in them up until now. I was looking at a Cadillac and couldn't justify the money on one but the Buick offered most everything the Cadillac offered, so I took a look and was hooked on what I saw.

You know how great this car is, but I can't give it 5 starts or 10 points or whatever you scale happens to be. It's missing just a couple of little things to get there, in my book. These are all interior, optional, enjoyment things, not related to powertrain or handling, etc.

1. Door side arm rests. I don't know who designed these things, but they are about 1.5 inches wide. My elbow barely fits on it. If I'm a petite woman with long arms, it might work, but as a 6'2" man with normal arms, the edge of the armrest sits on my funny bone and it ain't funny at all. Come on man, just another half inch or inch on this thing and it would be perfectly comfortable. It has some adequate padding, something most armrests are missing, so why didn't you design it wide enough to be used?

2. Center armrest cable access hole. On the drivers side of the center arm rest is a hole to lead your cable to your cell phone, your gps power, etc from. Why is this on the drivers side? I don't want that cable in my lap as I drive. Why not on the passenger side or better yet, in the front of the armrest. And how about making the hole just a little bit bigger so I can actually get the cable through it. I leave my phone in the cup holder all the time, so if I need it plugged in, I have the cable hanging out in my seat partially.

3. Center armrest again. How about just a little more length on the forward slide and a little more width. If you are not a heavy duty person, and you are "average" build like me, your arms just barely reach the armrest. Just a little more distance in all directions would be great.

4. Navigation system. I was torn on buying this but ultimately decided to have it as an option. I have a Garmin GPS that works great. It has lifetime map updates. Yea, I'd like to have that here. Come on, the price of the car should include lifetime maps, especially if I can get it form Garmin for $100. Lifetime traffic and weather would be nice too since my Garmin has that from the factory, well the traffic part it does. But I'd like to have the speed limit show up on the navigation.

I don't drive fast, and I have no speeding tickets in probably 10 years. But if Garmin can have their units display the speed limits, and they've been doing that for a couple of years now, why can't this especially since it's a brand new 2011 vehicle. Can't we please get that updated technology in this? There is no difference in loading the maps on the nav system with a DVD or doing it on the Garmin via the computer. They are all data files that get installed.

Plus, on the display between the speedometer and the tachometer, if I'm over the speed limit, or over it by a user-set amount, turn my speed red to identify that I'm in excess of the actual speed limit for the road. What a great little feature this would have been.

5. Speaking of the beautiful, color display on the dash, why the heck are the turn signals still mounted lights above this display? Why weren't they integrated in this display? It's integrated in my heads up display, so why didn't someone tell the designer "no, we are not putting in old school turn signals, you will integrate them into the high-end display." I don't get that? Every designer want's what he/she wants in it and sometimes they get blind to the fact that their choice is not really the right choice. Those turn signal lights sit behind the top of my steering wheel so I can't see them at all. If they were in the display, it would be no problem and my dash could be nice and clean.

6. Auto locking doors. I love that you can push the button on the door and lock it. But how about being able to tell the car to lock the doors automatically when the keys are 5 feet away or more? I have to lock the car in the garage so my kids don't get in it. It's a habit for me, but I'd love to be able to lock it without having to do anything but walk away. It knows when I approach and unlocks the doors for me, how about locking them.

7. 110 outlet in the back seat. Love this feature, even though I'm not sure I'll ever use it. I didn't buy the rear seat entertainment and we take the Acadia when we go on trips and have the kids with us. But why not put the 110 outlet in the same location as the rear seat cigarette lighter? It would be hidden from view, kids wouldn't play with it, you would never see it at all and if the little door is open to access it, the door doesn't stick out too much, so it wouldn't be a problem. Seems like someone just didn't think.

8. Cross hairs on the backup camera. Not as much of an issue here as it is on our Acadia, but the rear camera could use a red cross hair on it so you can see the center. I use it for backing up and that cross hair would help identify the center of the parking spot. I do love the lines that move to show my direction of travel when in reverse. That's awesome, but the little cross hairs would help too. On our Acadia, the camera is not even in the center of the car, its off to one side, so the cross hairs are even more valuable there.

9. Memory seats. This is a first for me. Every car that I've had that has memory seats has worked differently than this vehicle. On all my other vehicles, when you unlock your door, with the key fob, the seats and mirrors go to the correct position. But on this car, that doesn't happen. You have to hold the number 1 or number 2 down until everything has stopped moving. Why go back to the stone ages with this? If you can't determine if I have key fob 1 or 2 in my pocket as I arrive to the car, that's ok. At least let me push the button 1 one time and have everything go to where I set it to.

I don't know if anyone from GM or Buick reads these forums, but I'd like them to see my comments. Your's may be similar or wildly different. Don't get me wrong. I love this car and am extremely happy with it. I've had 4 different people come up to me in mall parking lots and ask about it and I have had a couple of people driving Lexus and other luxury vehicles kind-of-stare and check out the car as we wait for the green lights at the interstate on ramps to light up for us. So I'm thrilled with this vehicle and would consider a Buick SUV to replace the Acadia if anything happened to it. But man, how did we miss the boat on these couple of things? I'm sure there are other little ones, but these really would make the car a perfect vehicle for me.

John
 

jimbo56

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I might add:

10. Headrest. It's tilted way too forward. If you move your head back just a little, you'll hit the headrest. I know it's there to prevent whiplash in case of an accident, but c'mon - is it necessary to have it pushed up so far?

11. Playing music through the nav system connected via USB to an iPod. The only way an album or playlist plays is either alphabetically or in shuffle mode. You cannot listen to songs in the proper order. A software fix could correct this, but I don't expect it anytime soon.

I, too, love my car despite the fact it isn't 100% perfect. In the year I've had it, probably at least 3 dozen people (almost all complete strangers) have complimented me on how great the car looks. I've had 2 Lexus cars and have never gotten even one compliment from a stranger about it. The Buick definitely has more style and does have a lot of great features, but the ergonomics on the Lexuses were better.

BTW (and off-topic), I see you have an Acadia. How do you like it? I have a 2003 GMC Envoy, and when it comes time to replace it I will be considering the Acadia.
 

H_Charles

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I'm in a similar boat coming up quick on age 40, haven't driven anything non-German for about 20 years.

The ergonomics of the center console and armrests are atrocious. Not much to do about it -- it is what it is. I'm wondering if having this designed in China played a role here- perhaps different empahsis on their use there?

I think you can set your doors to autolock after you get out of the car. Check the configurations menu. Not sure about the memory seat -- I know there are a lot of faulty modules on these cars in this regard.

Overall, I think Buick did a great job with the interior design, features and ergonomics. I haven't found the perfect design for everything yet (if you think Buick has design issues with tech and features, go spend a day with BMW's I-Drive or try figuring out how to open the windows in my wife's old Land Rover Discovery!).

Definitely room for improvement, but so is just about every car. When I start to get annoyed at stuff like the 1980s display for the radio on my non-nav car, I also remember that this is a heck of a lot of car at this price point.
 

rodeman

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I've essentially never owned anything but a GM branded vehicle. My father spent nearly 50 years working for Delco Electronics/Delphi and we always purchased GM.

We had every vehicle I can think of and purchased a new one every year due to the employee discount being so strong and the residual value of the car being above what the employee price was after year 1. After 9/11 you couldn't do that any more and the employee discounts went away to nearly nothing. So not it's like everyone else. You buy a car, try and get the best price and keep it for 10 years.

Some interesting ones:
Baretta
Grand-Am with the quad 4 engine
Any Oldsmobile
Never a Cadillac - never spent that kind of money
IROC
Luimna

I remember a Pontiac we owned had a head rest that went up and down and extended forward and back. Perfect to break your neck in a rear-impact accident.

Jimbo, I'm with you on your couple of others suggestions. I wish the bluetooth would let you play music automatically without the need to connect, as that would eliminate much of this and I think the bluetooth is spot on with this vehicle. It's never failed.

As for the Acadia. We love it. Had a Trailblazer EXT for nearly 10 years. I've got two small kids, 3 and 4 so they sit in the middle seats and on the Trailblazer, that was a bench seat. There was no way to tilt the seats down to get someone into the back when you used the latch system on your child seats. My inlaws live next door so if we went to dinner or somewhere, they drove seperately or my wife and father-in-law climbed in the back, through the rear hatch. 73 year old man climbing in the back was funny but not necessary.

The Acadia has captains chairs and the seats slide forward and back. So there is extra room in the back. Now, on a short run to a restaurant, my wife and father in law can get in the back easily through the door. On long trips we move the car seats back there and we are all set.
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jimbo56

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Just read that GM will be phasing out the Acadia. Looks like they want to push the lower-end buyers into the Chevy Traverse and the upper-end buyers into the Buick Enclave (they're all built on the same platform). I'm not too crazy about the looks of the Traverse and the Enclave, while very luxurious, looks too much like a soccer mom's car. I really like the styling of the Acadia - kind of rugged with lots of creature comforts. On the bright side, I might be able to get a better deal on one when I'm ready to get rid of the Envoy.
 

jimbo56

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Jimbo, I'm with you on your couple of others suggestions. I wish the bluetooth would let you play music automatically without the need to connect, as that would eliminate much of this and I think the bluetooth is spot on with this vehicle. It's never failed.


A buddy of mine just bought a Chevy Camaro with bluetooth/iPod connectivity. The bluetooth connection was solid, but the sound was really poor compared to the USB connection, which was much better. BTW, the Harman Kardon system in the LaCrosse sounds way better than the upgraded Boston Acoustics stereo in the Camaro. I've read some complaints on this forum that the HK system was just OK, but for my money I'll say it's the best factory sound system I've ever had in a car. If you ever play a DVD with 5.1 channel sound through the HK system, the sound is amazing.

Which makes me think of another thing that could be improved upon: how about a graphic equalizer and preset sound fields for the audio system? Although I'm real pleased with the HK system, the ability to tweak the sound a little might come in handy.
 

H_Charles

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A buddy of mine just bought a Chevy Camaro with bluetooth/iPod connectivity. The bluetooth connection was solid, but the sound was really poor compared to the USB connection, which was much better. BTW, the Harman Kardon system in the LaCrosse sounds way better than the upgraded Boston Acoustics stereo in the Camaro. I've read some complaints on this forum that the HK system was just OK, but for my money I'll say it's the best factory sound system I've ever had in a car. If you ever play a DVD with 5.1 channel sound through the HK system, the sound is amazing.
quote]

The Boston Accoustics system in the Camaro just isn't as nice a system. Accoustically, the LaCrosse is easier work with as well, with a more symmetrical and larger cabin.

I'd put it near the top of my list. The Mark Levinson system Lexus offers is king in my book, but it cost way more.
 

jimbo56

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I'd put it near the top of my list. The Mark Levinson system Lexus offers is king in my book, but it cost way more.

I've owned a couple of Lexuses, but could never afford the Mark Levinson audio. Actually, the standard audio on the Lexus sounds pretty good, although the HK on the LaCrosse is a step up. I'm sure the ML is a step higher still. But I have no complaints on the sound quality on HK. Just make sure you're listening to a CD or high-quality audio source and not FM or highly compressed XM.
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randyveach

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Getting back to the top things BUICK to do to make my car perfect... The front drink holders, they are hard to get to when your driving. I would put them where the gear shift is, and I would put the gear shift on the dash somewhere as buttons. That's right buttons. As fas as I'm concerned if I wanted a sporty car I would get a sports car (such as Mustang or Camero), but I wanted a luxury car. With state of the art electronics, push dutton drive could be made to work this time.
 

jimbo56

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Speaking of cupholders, how about a small LED light in the cupholder so you can see it better in the dark.

Also, a couple more things:

...an inside release for the gas filler door, and having the door on the drivers side

...an inside trunk release
 

Edoggy

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Can we add a decent foot well to this list! MY GOD!!! a car this size and i feel like i'm stepping on my own toes to drive the thing.
 

taverg03

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Some more for the list....
-a lockable glove compartment,
-retractable sunshade extensions on the visors,
-more front storage area
-CTS/Impala style, small outboard trunk pistons and more trunk space.
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jft69z

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Speaking of cupholders, how about a small LED light in the cupholder so you can see it better in the dark.

Also, a couple more things:

...an inside release for the gas filler door, and having the door on the drivers side

...an inside trunk release


Jimbo,

GM has a cupholder LED accessory available, but it isn't cheap...

http://www.gmaccessorieszone.com/Bu...Lighting/?src=buick&tx_gmshopb2b_pi1[type]=gm

The lack of inside trunk release has to be the biggest issue for me, what was their thought process on that one.... and the memory seat that seems to have a mind if its own. The ability to change the display brightness of the NAV/Radio system separate from the rest of the dash lights would a big plus also, especially for night mode. I know it's able to be done, my '11 Caddy CTS-V Coupe has that very ability and should have been included with the Buick. I'm not talking the standard day/night mode that changes the NAV from black (night) to the off-white (day) display, the Caddy lets you vary the brightness for the 2 modes with their own separate adjustable "slider" control that also changes the XM & AM/FM screen brightness as well.

That being said, I really like the car a LOT. Like the original poster, I was shopping for a Caddy STS at the time, but they didn't offer an AWD version with all of the options that my CXL had to offer. In fact, things like the back-up camera, HUD, Adaptive headlamps, ventilated seats and blind spot detection were not available options on any STS, either AWD or RWD, at any cost...go figure. This is my daily driver and with the western NY winters I preferred AWD.

I was actually watching TV one Saturday night and going thru the Caddy website for the 10th time trying to build a vehicle with the options I wanted on the laptop when the Buick LaCrosse commercial came on. I thought, hmmmmm. Got on the Buick website for awhile, looked at what it had to offer, located the exact car I wanted with color & fully optioned at the dealership about 1 mile from my home. After going back and forth between the Caddy & Buick sites for quite sometime and comparing the two, Monday morning I went in, drove it and told them to have it ready by the afternoon. How's that for effective advertising!! I never had a Buick before but they sure did a nice job with this one as far as styling, options, etc. As far far as their target age group? Who knows, I'm almost 49.
 
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Hemarr

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A buddy of mine just bought a Chevy Camaro with bluetooth/iPod connectivity. The bluetooth connection was solid, but the sound was really poor compared to the USB connection, which was much better. BTW, the Harman Kardon system in the LaCrosse sounds way better than the upgraded Boston Acoustics stereo in the Camaro. I've read some complaints on this forum that the HK system was just OK, but for my money I'll say it's the best factory sound system I've ever had in a car. If you ever play a DVD with 5.1 channel sound through the HK system, the sound is amazing.

Which makes me think of another thing that could be improved upon: how about a graphic equalizer and preset sound fields for the audio system? Although I'm real pleased with the HK system, the ability to tweak the sound a little might come in handy.

I agree on the Harman Kardon system being the best sound system i have ever heard as a factory installed system. I'm 58 and have had many Buick's, My Favorite car always. The 2010 lacrosse CXS is my 6th Buick.
 

HMTJ6821

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Some more for the list....
-a lockable glove compartment,
-retractable sunshade extensions on the visors,
-more front storage area
-CTS/Impala style, small outboard trunk pistons and more trunk space.

One of the reasons specifically that I chose the LaCrosse was that it did NOT have the gas pistons for raising the trunk lid. On my three Buick Regals which had this design, I had to replace the pistons almost every year. Dust gets on the struts, which are outside of the trunk lid seal, and the dust digs grooves into the seals so that the gas leaks out. Not my favorite design.
 

Greg B.

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One of the reasons specifically that I chose the LaCrosse was that it did NOT have the gas pistons for raising the trunk lid. On my three Buick Regals which had this design, I had to replace the pistons almost every year. Dust gets on the struts, which are outside of the trunk lid seal, and the dust digs grooves into the seals so that the gas leaks out. Not my favorite design.

Odd, I had my '02 Olds Intrigue for 7 years with the same design and the struts always worked fine.
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HMTJ6821

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Re: Trunk Strut Failures

I must admit that, at the time I experienced the multiple failures year after year, I lived in Tucson, Arizona where the heat, the ozone, and the dust probably had a contributing factor. However, I still do not like the gas struts that are mounted outside of the trunk lid seal where they can be affected by these factors.
 

rodeman

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I live in Phoenix and love the power hatch on our acadia and have never had any dust related failures but I also never paid attention to it either.

On the LaCrosse the trunk opening is a disaster. If I have lhe largest suitcase I own in there I can not really put much more in there and I think the opening is too small.

One thing innate is the key fob design. I carry it in my pocket when I drive and every time the metal button is pushed and the key pops out. Cant you cut the height of that button down 1/2 to 3/4 and that would keep it from popping open every time. Better yet make it like a true switchblade. Press the button and the key pops up from the center of the key fob and comes out. Push the lower button and the key shoots back in again. I know that can be done.

Id like an electric review mirror so that it's powered like the left and right side mirrors. Ten if my wife drives it goes back to where I had it and better yet put it up to the headliner and get it off the glass all together. I like clean, wide open windshields. I know this can be done and I've written directly to gm execs before about this idea.

I agree on the drivers side gas tank. I hate walking around to fill up. Why wouldn't you put it on the drivers side every time?

I really like the new design of the glove box but a locking component would be nice. The arm rest also runs into my drink when I have two bottles of waterin the car and I slide the arm rest forward. I need it forward for my arm to be comfortable.
 

InfiniteImp

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One thing innate is the key fob design. I carry it in my pocket when I drive and every time the metal button is pushed and the key pops out. Cant you cut the height of that button down 1/2 to 3/4 and that would keep it from popping open every time.

If you have the push-button start (and therefore don't need to use the key) a simple fix recommended by another user is to take a small piece of double-sided tape and put it between the key and the place in the fob where the key blade makes contact when closed, that way pressing the button does not release the key but if you really need it in case of an emergency, you can pry it loose with a fingernail.

I did it about a month ago and the key has not poppoed out since. Elegant and simple solution.
 
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