It might seem strange for a Buick to be written about on a luxury car blog. After all, isn't Cadillac GM's luxury division? Isn't Buick positioned as "near-luxury?" Yes, that's all true, but considering that GM has set it's sights on Lexus with it's 2010 LaCrosse, it seemed appropriate to write about the new LaCrosse in this space. It seemed even more appropriate after getting a chance to spend a few minutes behind the wheel of the redesigned LaCrosse.

Our top-of-the-line CXS test vehicle was powered by the 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, which matches up to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Those 280 ponies make themselves immediately apparent--over-eager applications of the throttle can and will lead to wheelspin from the front tires. Squealing tires aside, the LaCrosse is almost eerily quiet at speed--almost no road noise or wind noise creeps in. Other luxury bona fides include a padded dash, a composed ride, and an upscale interior that looks very handsome and has quality materials.

Our CXS tester had a base price of just over $33,000 and was priced at $37,080, which puts it right in line with the Ford Taurus Limited price-wise. GM has the Lexus ES 350 in its sights, and the LaCrosse is priced in the same ballpark as that perennial best-seller.

It's not just about the price, of course. In order to out-sell the ES, the LaCrosse will have to win on its own merits. The good news for GM is that the LaCrosse is at least on par with the ES in terms of interior design and materials. It feels faster, too, at least by the seat of our pants. We'll wait til we have more time behind the wheel before we issue a final verdict, but the initial impression is that GM is on the right track with the 2010 LaCrosse.