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Guide to Green Cars > The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide > Buick

2012 Green Car Buyer’s Guide, Buick

2012 model year highlights from Buick: the LaCrosse and Regal (With eAssist). 

GUIDE TO GREEN CARS, Summer 2012

Compiled by Megan E. Phelps, John Rockhold,
Hannah Kincaid, Emily Glover,
Bradley Berman and Zach McDonald
 

See "What the Numbers Mean" in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012 for a full description of the metrics we collected for each model.

Buick LaCrosse

Mild Hybrid, Sedan 

Buick-LacrossePrice Range: $31,000 – $34,300
City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 25/36/29
Annual Fuel Cost: $1,950
Air Pollution Score: 6
Greenhouse Gas Score: 7
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: 44/Above Average
Safety Ratings: IIHS Top Safety Pick; 5-star NHTSA rating
Space: 101.6 cu. ft. p.v./seats 5
Drive Score: 3
Similar Used: Redesigned for 2012

Good to Know: 

  • The 4-cylinder version of the 2012 LaCrosse comes standard with eAssist, a fuel-saving, mild-hybrid system.
  • GM’s “eAssist” is one example of “mild hybrid” technology. It completely shuts off gas to the engine when it’s not needed. A small motor and an extra battery restart the engine as soon as you take your foot off the brake.
  • The LaCrosse with eAssist is among the most fuel-efficient large sedans on the market. It is 25 percent more fuel efficient than the previous 4-cylinder version, and nearly 40 percent more efficient than the V6 model. The V6 model offers 23 more horsepower than the eAssist version.
  • Over the past decade, the average age of a Buick buyer has dropped from 72 years old to the late 50s.

What the Press Says: 

  • “The system works so smoothly few will notice. ... There will be customers who never realize exactly how gasoline-frugal their car is or that this car is acting like a hybrid in many ways.” — Cars.com  
  • “The eAssist driving experience is best described as ‘transparent.’ ... You barely notice the engine shutting down during stops and it restarts without the shudder typical of some hybrids when the light turns green.” — Kelley Blue Book 
  • “The bottom line here is that the eAssist LaCrosse is an impressively fuel-efficient five-passenger luxury car.” — Green Car Journal 

Buick Regal (With eAssist)

Mild Hybrid, Sedan 

Buick-RegalPrice Range: $29,900 – $30,700
City/Hwy/Combined MPG: 25/36/29
Annual Fuel Cost: $1,950
Air Pollution Score: 6
Greenhouse Gas Score: 7
ACEEE Green Score and Class Ranking: 44/Above Average
Safety Ratings: IIHS Top Safety Pick; N/A
Space: 98.61 cu. ft. p.v./seats 5
Drive Score: 3
Similar Used: eAssist option is new for 2012

Good to Know: 

  • eAssist shuts off the engine when it’s not needed — such as when coasting or stopped at a red light. The system uses a small lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor to boost power and smoothly restart the Regal’s engine.
  • General Motors discontinued the previous year’s cheaper, 4-cylinder model because of the eAssist model’s superior fuel economy.
  • eAssist provides about 20 percent improvement in fuel economy at a price premium of roughly 10 percent.
  • The eAssist Regal is outperformed by some mid-size hybrids in its class in both power and fuel economy. Still, the Regal with eAssist is among the most efficient and affordable non-hybrid upscale sedans.
  • For 2013, Buick will offer eAssist standard in the 4-cylinder, base-model Regal.

What the Press Says: 

  • “The 2012 Buick Regal sedan is definitely not your grandmother’s Regal. In fact, Buick has built a mid-size sport sedan so sleek, so alluring, it has on numerous occasions inspired attempts among our test staff to steal the car away for an extra night or two.” — Kelley Blue Book 
  • “Like the LaCrosse, the Regal eAssist uses a small, 15-horsepower electric motor to give assistance during acceleration, and when combined with things such as regenerative braking and automatic start/stop, it means a substantial increase in fuel economy. It’s not exactly as impressive as the Ford Fusion Hybrid, but still quite good when you consider that the standard Regal only musters up 19/30 mpg ratings.” — AutoblogGreen  

More 2012 green cars: Find details about many more green cars from other automakers in The Ultimate Green Car Buyer’s Guide, 2012.

Photos from Buick 





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