Fort Worth: There’s big news for the 2012 Buick LaCrosse

The big news for the 2012 model year Buick LaCrosse sedan is the introduction of a new standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with eAssist and a newer, more powerful and more efficient version of the direct-injected, E85-capable 3.6-liter V6 unit that sits atop of the range.

The entry-level LaCrosse with GM’s micro-hybrid eAssist technology is expected to deliver 25 percent better highway fuel economy than the current base model with the 182HP 2.4-liter four-pot, but not without a penalty at the showroom as prices start at $29,960 before an $860 destination charge for a total of $30,820. That’s an increase of $2,830 over the current 2011 LaCrosse CX.

General Motors said the 2012 LaCrosse with eAssist delivers up to 37 mpg highway fuel economy compared to 30mpg of the 2011 model year sedan with the four-cylinder engine. The same hybrid powertrain will also make its way into the 2012 Buick Regal later this year.

The 2012  also brings an updated version of the LaCrosse’s range-topping 3.6-liter V6 engine with variable valve timing and direct-injection technology. According to the Detroit automaker, the front-wheel-drive 3.6-liter model is rated at 303-horsepower and 264 lb-ft (358 Nm) of peak torque, an improvement of 23HP and 5 lb-ft respectively over the 2011MY LaCrosse’s V6. Pricing for the top-end V6 models has not yet been announced,

Standard features include dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Later in the year, the LaCrosse eAssist will come with standard Buick IntelliLink, which uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a new 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It will enable streaming stereo audio from the phone through services like PANDORA and Stitcher, as well as full control of a paired device through the touchscreen display or steering wheel mounted buttons.

Come in and take a look at it yourself…I can describe it, but driving is definitely believing.