Buick has revealed the pricing for its 2012 LaCrosse, which includes standard eAssist hybrid technology; it will start at $30,820. That entry price is $2830 higher than that of a base 2011 LaCrosse, but consider that the price of adding eAssist. The hybrid bits consist of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 15-kW electric motor, and it’s worth mentioning that the electric motor cannot power the car on its own. On upper trim levels, a non-hybridized 303-hp, 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 can be had for no extra cost. Buick’s goal with the eAssist system was for it to be as transparent as possible while boosting fuel efficiency significantly. We drove a developmental LaCrosse with eAssist this past spring, and found that indeed, the mild hybrid system drew no attention to itself whatsoever, and Buick predicts the LaCrosse will achieve 37 mpg on the highway.

Also included in the hefty price increase over last year’s model are standard dual-zone climate control, 17-inch aluminum wheels, color driver-information screen, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Buick IntelliLink, which connects a mobile device to an eight-inch touch screen in the dashboard, will arrive later this year and will be made standard equipment. Expect the 2012 Buick LaCrosse to hit dealerships later this summer.

By Alexander Stoklosa