The Comfort Story

The CX is more comfortable than the higher trim levels I've driven, for one reason: the cloth seats. It's not the upholstery itself; it's the seat design. Both I and another editor found the leather driver's seat uncomfortable enough to be a deal-breaker. There was a preponderance of lumbar support, even when that adjustment was backed off all the way. I can usually find reasonable comfort in a test car; not that one. The CX's cloth seat isn't exceptionally comfortable — the front of the cushion could tilt down farther, and there's a lot of lumbar support here, too — but it's definitely workable. (Lumbar adjustment is optional on this seat, but we didn't have it.)

I was pleased with how comfortable the CX rides, for two reasons: First, it's a Buick, and the brand might easily have tried to make the LaCrosse something it's not — a sport sedan with an overly firm suspension — trying to appeal to the younger buyers it admittedly seeks. Buick didn't; it's comfortable, as I believe it should be. Second, I've driven the CXS trim level equipped with 18-inch wheels, and I thought it was too choppy. The CX's 17-inch wheels (steel is standard, but we had the optional alloys on our test car) made for a more comfortable and model-appropriate ride.

On the downside, these tires were very noisy, especially on grooved pavement, in an otherwise quiet car.

The LaCrosse's cabin quality is among the best GM has to offer. The cloth upholstery isn't a knockout, and some of our editors thought it seemed out of place on a supposed premium car, but I'm not sure faux leather is intrinsically better. The center control panel is far less busy and more ergonomic than the jumble of controls you get with the optional navigation system. Unfortunately, one reason for the reduced clutter is the deletion of buttons for the heated and ventilated front seats that came with the leather in our previous test car. The cloth seats sacrifice the feature.

    See also:

    2004 Buick Rainier Review
    The 2004 Buick Rainier leaves little doubt that an automaker can create two different vehicles with different characters from one platform. That's good news, considering all the automakers have ma ...

    Uniform Tire Quality Grading
    Quality grades can be found where applicable on the tire sidewall between tread shoulder and maximum section width. For example: ...

    Under the Hood
    The base engine in the Regal is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 182 horsepower. Buyers looking for more power can select the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's rated at 220 ...