The 2017 Buick LaCrosse was put in the ring alongside the 2017 Kia Cadenza, another full-size sedan competitor, by auto gurus over at the New York Daily News. Kia is a longtime stander in the economy class ring, but its Cadenza crosses it over into Buick’s higher end territory. And while the Korean model delivers a decent dose of style, the LaCrosse’s superior comfort, technology and overall fun-to-drive mentality carved it out ahead of its competitor.
LaCrosse takes the Cadenza to task
To put these sedans to the test, New York Daily News’ Kyle Campbell and Brian Leon spent a week this February with fully loaded versions of both the 2017 Kia Cadenza and the 2017 Buick LaCrosse.
“So in one corner, we’ve got the biggest sedan offering from a brand that does big sedans as well as anyone,” writes Leon, “And in the other, a spunky upstart with enough style to pass for a luxury car given a quick badge swap.”
Overall, the Cadenza scored a 7.9 rating from the duo, scoring points for its cheaper price and premium features but losing out when it comes to power, transmission, handling and overall brand recognition.
The 3.3-liter V6 eight-speed automatic Kia pumps out 290 horsepower with 253 foot-pounds of torque for a fuel economy rating of 23 mpg combined. Its safety test ratings have yet to be completed by the NHTSA and IIHS, but the 2016 model saw “Good” ratings across the board. The outside is stylish and a definite step-up from your typical Kia economy car and the interior provides good comfort, particularly on the higher end trims.
Similar from the curb, better from behind the wheel
According to the reviewers, it isn’t that the 2017 Cadenza is a bad car—it just isn’t on the same level as the 2017 LaCrosse
, which took home an 8.6 rating from the news source.
“Dropping roughly 250 pounds from the previous generation, the all-new LaCrosse out muscles its Korean competitor, boasting 310 horsepower and 282 lb.-ft, an increase of almost ten percent over the Cadenza in both categories,” explains Leon. “Buick has also swapped out the last generation’s automatic six-speed transmission for a smooth and efficient eight-speed offering.”
Driving technology features like automatic parking assistance, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and even a HiPer Strut suspension system for a smooth ride might seem common features on top-end sedans in 2017, but the LaCrosse’s available all-wheel drive system edges it ahead of the pack.
“Perhaps what impressed me most about the big Buick was its outright curb appeal, managing to look both understated and completely unique at the same time,” praises Leon. “While I wasn’t immediately sold on the C-shaped taillights, the front end echoes just the right amount of the Avenir and Avista concepts from the last few years of auto shows that we journalists so desperately wanted to see enter production.”
The 2017 LaCrosse features GM’s praised Intellilink infotainment interface, which provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity in addition to 4G LTE onboard Wi-Fi. The LaCrosse already has a 5-star rating from the NHTSA for 2017, in addition to being an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Fuel economy also ticks up from the Cadenza, coming in at 25 mpg combined for the more powerful vehicle.
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