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The reinvention of the Buick brand that began with the Enclave SUV entered its second act with the launch of the 2010 LaCrosse. This is the first truly international Buick; a car designed for Chinese market, where 80 percent of all Buicks are now sold, as well as here in America, where it's tasked with reversing Buick's 70-to-dead demographic.

We've been pleasantly surprised by the new LaCrosse: it performed well in our Car of the Year judging, and it beat Lexus' ES 350 in a recent comparison test. But we wanted to find out whether this was a car that delivered more than just a good first impression, which is why we're welcoming a 2010 LaCrosse CXS to the Motor Trend long-term test fleet.

The CXS is top banana in the LaCrosse lineup, boasting a 280-horse version of the 3.6-liter DI V-6 under the hood, and a comprehensively equipped interior that includes leather trim, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 11-speaker harmon/kardon sound system, satellite radio, and dual-zone automatic climate control in the $33,765 sticker.

2010 Buick Lacrosse Front Nose Profile Closeup

We're no fans of the glitzy chrome-plated 18-inch wheels that come standard on the CXS, so we spent $800 on the Touring Package, which gave us tasteful machine-finished 19-inch alloys with P245/40R19 Goodyear Eagle RS-A all-season tires, and continuously variable damping. We also ordered the nav and backup camera package ($1995), the big glass sunroof ($995), Xenon headlamps ($695), rear airbags ($350) and the head-up display ($350), bringing the total price to $38,950. That's still about five grand under a similarly equipped Lexus ES 350.

We've covered almost 4500 miles in the LaCrosse so far, and the thing about driving a Buick around L.A. is you don't see a lot of them. So the LaCrosse draws plenty of curious stares from car-savvy Angelinos. As far as we can tell they like the dramatic styling-certainly the reinterpretation of the classic Buick "sweep-spear" along the body side is like nothing else in the traffic. Those who've ridden inside have been impressed with the room and hushed ride.

This Buick stands out, but in a good way. Now we'll see if it stands up too.

source: motortrend

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