Last post on Aug 02, 2011 at 4:53 AM
You are in the Buick LaCrosse
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Buick LaCrosse, Sedan
#713 of 2335 Buick LaCrosse vs Lexus ES330
Sep 01, 2004 (6:09 pm)
Mrs. Rogers and I are looking to replace her 1998 Regal LS with 99K miles. She is interested in both the LaCrosse and the Lexus ES330. Some people bad mouth the Buick for only having a four speed transaxle vs the Lexus five speed. If you look on the Edmunds Lexus ES330 board, there is a whole area devoted to transmission problems with the 2002 through 2005 Lexus ES five speed. I think a smooth four speed is preferable to an indecisive five speed. The Lexus dual overhead cams only yield about one mpg (29 vs 28 highway) over the Buick overhead valve design. To the best of my knowledge, Buick has never had the sludge problems that Lexus has had with their V-6. The LaCrosse is based on a Century, but the ES330 is based on a Camry so I don't see a big difference. The invoice of the CXL that my wife likes is only $25,346. The Lexus she likes has an invoice of $28,755. I am not sure that the Lexus is worth the extra money. Maybe a twenty four hour test drive of both cars will help us make a decision.
#714 of 2335 4/5-speed transmissions
Sep 03, 2004 (6:16 am)
Concerning the discussion of the LaCrosse having just a 4-speed transmission:
I'm a little confused about what constitutes a 4 or 5 speed transmission.
I owned a 1996 Regal, which was marketed as a 4-speed. It had 4 gears, then a torque-converter lockup position that gave it a fifth ratio -- you could feel it engage, and see the RPMs drop another 200 or so at 70 mph.
I now have an Accord, marketed as a 5-speed. But from what I have read, it's engineered the same as the Regal -- four gears, followed by a fifth "position," i.e., torque-converter lockup.
Two cars, two transmissions, both operating the same way, with one marketed as a four-speed, the other a five-speed. If the Accord can be called a five-speed, why not the new LaCrosse? (Assuming it will have four gears and a lockup position like the current Regal)
#716 of 2335 Bring on the Zeta
Sep 03, 2004 (5:43 pm)
The new Zeta platform sounds real cool. Buick needs a RWD car(s). I hope all these ideas come to fruition, but if they do, I don't have much faith in GM being able to properly execute a good car.
Sep 04, 2004 (8:03 pm)
Can't wait for the Lucerne - let's just hope it doesn't look like the LaCrosse! Buick really seems to be going through an identity crisis. :-\
Sep 05, 2004 (11:11 pm)
" Can't wait for the Lucerne - let's just hope it doesn't look like the LaCrosse! Buick really seems to be going through an identity crisis. :-\ "
Like Mercury was/is. Hopefully Buick can get its sales up so it doesn't slump down to Mercury's level and, even worse, Oldsmobiles level. But I'm guessing the future products Buick is offering will probably help it somewhat. Even the LaCrosse, even though it's not too groundbreaking, will get some buyers who want a comfortable American vehicle and could care less about all of the fancy features other cars have. I could see where this car would be perfect for my Grandparents who would probably want something simple they could use to drive to the store or their families' homes.
But only time will really tell what Buick's future will be like.
#719 of 2335 Re: 4/5-speed transmissions [austinman7]
Sep 18, 2004 (10:31 am)
If your particular Accord has a 5-speed trans, then it has five different forward gear ratios. Torque converter lockup does not count as an additional ratio. Honda does have both 4 and 5-spd transaxles. But their 5-spd trans is not simply a 4-spd trans with a torque converter clutch. In fact, both their 4 and 5-spd boxes have clutches.
The torque converter clutch simply locks the converter's impeller (output from the engine) to its turbine (input to the trans). When the clutch is not engaged, the converter is a type of fluid coupling with the trans turning slower than the engine, even if only a little. Enging RPM drops a little when the torque converter clutch is engaged because the converter no longer is allowed to slip. There's now a direct physical connection.
Some transmissions may, in fact, lockup the torque converter in more than one gear! For instance, in a 4-speed trans, the torque converter clutch might be engaged in third gear in specific situations, as well as fourth. This still would be a 4-spd trans, not a 6-speed trans.
If I remember correctly, the Lacrosse is using GM's 4T60E transaxle, which has only four forward gears, and so is only a 4-spd trans. The Honda 5-spd, again, does indeed have five forward gears, not four.
Hope that helps.
Sep 18, 2004 (1:07 pm)
I have seen a couple on the road. Two red and one in white opal. The white one looked very sharp. I am looking forward to driving one. They look better in person, but do not stand out much.
#722 of 2335 jzglinicki re: 4/5 speed transmission
Sep 23, 2004 (5:43 pm)
Thanks for your comments. I already understood the technology of the fluid coupling in the torque converter and the lockup clutch mechanism, but your description was interesting nonetheless.
However, my question about the Accord transmission remains unanswered. I talked with a technician at my dealership today and he couldn't answer the question. He faxed me a transmission system description, which references 5 "speeds" forward and a lockup mechanism. It's also a very complicated document.
Anyway, this is not a forum about Accords, but about the new LaCrosse!
I thought this thread had died. Almost two weeks went by between recent messages.
Does anyone know when LaCrosses will be available at dealerships? I liked my '96 Regal and may migrate back to Buick if this new one is a decent car.