July 1, 2005
Known as the LaCrosse in the United States, the Allure walks a careful line between Buick’s traditionally older customer demographic, and the younger buyers GM is hoping to woo away from the competition. Its styling is middle-of-the-road and its interior is roomy and comfortable, but the top-line CXS’ higher-performance engine and tighter suspension are light years away from the port-holed land yacht your grandfather drove.
The Allure comes in three models. The base CX and mid-line CXL are very similar: both offer a 3.8-litre ‘3800’ V6 engine, and while both come standard with front bucket seats, both can be optioned with a 55/45 divided front seat that turns them into six-passenger sedans. Both come with air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes, cruise control, power windows and locks with keyless entry, 16-inch wheels, tilt wheel, 6-way power driver’s seat and six-speaker CD stereo system.
The CXL also includes a theft alarm, remote starter, aluminum wheels, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, driver information centre, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, and 60/40 folding rear seatbacks as standard equipment (all of which are available as options on CX).
The top-line CXS contains a 3.6-litre DOHC V6 engine that, due to its variable valve timing, makes more horsepower than the larger-displacement 3.8-litre on the lower lines. To this, CXS also adds traction control, ABS, Magnasteer magnetic speed-sensitive variable-assist steering, fog lights, 17-inch wheels, and leather heated seats with 6-way front passenger power adjuster.
Three Convenience Packages are available. The Silver Package includes a factory-installed remote starter, remote interior climate control adjustment, multi-language driver information centre, dual zone automatic conditioning, theft-deterrent system, leather-wrapped wheel with radio and temperature controls, tilt and telescopic column, illuminated vanity mirrors and cargo net.
The Gold Package, available on the CXL, includes a universal transmitter, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual heated mirrors, rear parking assist and rear passenger reading lamps. The Platinum Package, available on the CXS, adds the Gold Package features along with a chrome trim package and 17-inch chrome aluminum eight-spoke wheels.
The Allure is extremely comfortable, with no driver fatigue or passenger discomfort even after a long day’s driving. That’s refreshing in that you usually have to spend considerably more to get such ergonomics. Generous use of “quiet-tuning materials”, such as laminated “quiet steel” panels and foam-filled structural gaps, make the Allure remarkably quiet. Interior materials and fit-and-finish are extremely good for the price. This may be Buick’s entry-level vehicle, but there’s nothing low-end about it, save for a relatively reasonable price.
be Buick’s entry-level vehicle, but there’s nothing low-end about it, save for a relatively reasonable price.