Overview & Reviews
During the course of two generations, the Buick LaCrosse has been a large, five-passenger sedan. That's really where the similarities end, though, as they are radically different cars indicative of much different eras for the Buick brand.
The first LaCrosse was the epitome of old Buick, in more ways than one. Bland to look at, blander to drive and with a cabin filled with subpar materials, it was a decade behind the times. Its large size and simple controls at least made it popular among senior car shoppers. The current-generation LaCrosse, however, is a far more modern, stylish and overall impressive automobile that is not only one of the better full-size sedans you can buy, but even gives certain luxury-branded large sedans a run for their money. Regardless of your age, it's definitely worth consideration.
Current Buick LaCrosse
The Buick LaCrosse is a large sedan that blends modern styling and surprisingly accomplished handling with traditional Buick traits like light-effort steering and a cushy ride. The base engine consists of a mild-hybrid setup dubbed "eAssist" that pairs a 2.4-liter 182-horsepower four-cylinder engine with an 11-kilowatt electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. Fuel mileage estimates for this roomy sedan are impressive, at almost 30 mpg combined. A 3.6-liter V6 with 303 hp is also available. A six-speed automatic is the lone transmission choice either way. Front-wheel drive is standard, though V6 buyers can also opt for all-wheel drive.
There are four trim levels: base, Leather, Premium 1 and Premium 2. Even the base is well equipped, with 17-inch alloy wheels, a power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, OnStar, Bluetooth, a USB/iPod interface and smartphone integration. Moving up through the trims provides an ever-growing standard features list -- a rearview camera, heated and ventilated front seats and xenon headlights among them -- culminating in the Premium 2, which counts 20-inch wheels and a navigation system among its standard niceties. Packages are available that add options that include blind-spot, lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems.
In reviews, we've been impressed by the LaCrosse's appealing dual nature. Those looking for a traditional, plush Buick ride will be pleased. At the same time, so will those looking for a more engaging full-size sedan, as the LaCrosse is surprisingly nimble and sure-footed given its size. It's not a sport sedan, but it is on par with the Lexus ES 350, and gives up nothing in ride comfort. Spirited acceleration makes the 3.6-liter V6 the obvious choice for those who demand some old-fashioned grunt from their big sedan, though the high fuel efficiency of the eAssist powertrain makes its sluggish acceleration a lot easier to tolerate.
The LaCrosse also impresses in non-dynamic respects. The backseat is roomy and comfortable, and the front seats offer firm support that's more German sedan than American land yacht. The dashboard design is sleek and sophisticated, and materials quality is good except for some rough plastic edges and superfluous chrome here and there. Buick's Intellilink electronics control is dominated by a large touchscreen that does a fairly good job of controlling infotainment tasks both simple (changing a radio station) and complicated (entering a navigation destination). One of our few complaints involves the 13-cubic-foot trunk, which is unusually small for this segment. The hybrid's trunk shrinks even more -- down to 10.8 cubic feet -- to accommodate the battery pack.
Used Buick LaCrosse Models
The second-generation LaCrosse debuted for 2010 and was offered in base CX, midlevel CXL and top-of-the-line CXS trim levels. Initially, there were two V6 engines offered: a 255-hp, 3.0-liter V6 and a 280-hp, 3.6-liter V6. Later that model year, a 182-hp, 2.4-liter inline-4 became the base engine, but it's quite underpowered and we'd avoid it. The smaller V6 was dropped the following year and the four-cylinder version gained a new electric power steering system. The eAssist hybrid replaced the base four-cylinder for '12.
These LaCrosse models sold prior to 2014 had slightly different exterior styling and Buick's previous-generation interior electronics controls that featured a great many buttons and could be confusing to use. Intellilink's smartphone integration features as well as electronic safety features like lane change alerts and rear cross traffic alerts were also unavailable prior to '14.
The first-generation Buick LaCrosse was produced for the 2005-'09 model years. Its basic platform was similar to that of a few other General Motors products, including the Pontiac Grand Prix. Its highlights were available six-passenger seating (with a front bench seat), a large trunk and a soft, isolated and quiet ride.
There were three trim levels for most of the original LaCrosse's run: CX, CXL and CXS. The Super model joined the lineup in 2008. The CX and CXL were powered by GM's venerable 3.8-liter, 200-horsepower V6, while the CXS got a 3.6-liter V6 good for 240 hp, and the Super was motivated by a 5.3-liter small-block V8 providing 300 hp. All engines routed their power to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission.
The CX came with basics like air-conditioning and full power accessories, while the CXL stepped up to leather upholstery, automatic climate control and more upscale exterior trim. The CXS added the peppier V6, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a quicker steering ratio and a split-folding rear seat. The top-of-the-line Super featured a broad-shouldered V8, a sport suspension, unique front and rear styling and dual chrome exhaust outlets.
In reviews, our editors found the first-generation Buick LaCrosse to be a mixed bag. On the plus side, the car offered Buick's traditional soft, quiet ride, and acceleration was fine, particularly with the Super's V8, a rarity in a front-drive luxury car. The gauges were easily read, and storage space was ample thanks to the roomy 16-cubic-foot trunk.
However, we thought the soft seats unsupportive on longer drives, and found the car's faux wood trim and standard "mouse fur" upholstery a bit hokey. Furthermore, there was an abundance of cheap plastics on the center console, and the backseat offered rather tight accommodations for a car this size. As you might expect, the LaCrosse was "LaConfused" when driven through corners with any gusto, displaying significant body roll and lazy steering response. The four-speed automatic was another liability, as competing cars typically offered more efficient five- and six-speed units.
Notable changes during the original Buick LaCrosse's run began in 2006, when head-protecting side curtain airbags and antilock brakes became standard on all models. The Super joined the lineup for 2008, while Bluetooth was added (and the CXS model dropped) for 2009, the last year of production.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 533.00
Loved it until... - 2010 Buick LaCrosse
By Mark from Franklin - January 22 - 8:30 am
Overall the style, ride and comfort is awesome. Then came the repairs! It started with an issue regarding the sun roof. Out of no where it would not fully close. I noticed it on the highway at greater speeds than on city streets. No leaks but whistling. Brought it to the dealer and they "reset" the computer stating it was misreading alignment in sensors. Problem solved...sort of. 3 times this happened along with them reseating the entire sun roof unit. It happened again after the reseating and then they stated the next try possibly costing me $$ because they needed to bring in a GM consultant at a cost. After MANY back-and-forths we agreed to let him at least look at it before deciding on a course of action. He said that they didn't follow the service bulletin properly and pointed out the instructions state to remove glass from frame BEFORE reseating sensors, aligning the frame then reinsert glass. OOPS! Can't make this up. All is fine. The above was not the "car's" fault but the stooges working on it. The straw that broke the camel's back? At 59K miles (still under warranty thankfully) it required a Catalytic Converter on Bank 1. Here I am at 96K miles and I need the same Cat replaced and it is NOT under warranty! $1K! Also - Rear Hub & Bearing at 70K miles!, Front hub & Bearing at 80K miles, and the brakes seem to need replacement a whole lot more often than my Lincoln. Going back to Lincoln...thanks for nothing Buick!
niece style - 2012 Buick LaCrosse
By sonny - January 19 - 12:29 pm
good rideing car,handling is good,
When bettercars are built Buick will build them! - 2015 Buick LaCrosse
By Harold T Williams - December 30 - 12:31 pm
Great ridding, quiet, good performance, nice fit of all body panels, great paint, great handling really like the fold down rear seats, makes up for the small trunk space, impressive interior, heads up display in windshield great feature, short turning radius a plus. On the down side, poor job on the steering wheel adjustment, needs more telescopic ability, speedometer is hard to read if wheel is adjusted to my liking. Cannot see the hood, makes it hard to judge distance when parking, front of car will not clear all curbs, easy to damage front of car on these tall curbs and parking blocks. I have owned a 95 Buick Road master and a 2007 Lacernne in recent years and I believe this LaCrosse is going to beat the quality, fuel mileage and performance of both the other Buick's.
love this car - 2011 Buick LaCrosse
By jackie giaccetti - December 28 - 11:02 am
I love everything about this car with one exception. It has terrible blind spots! I have the blinds spot alert which is great for sides but the side bar between front windshield and side windows is still hazardous as i found out 2 days ago. Totalled my cat and even though i love the car overall, i am hesitant to get another one just for that reason
My first Buick, not my Dad's car - 2014 Buick LaCrosse
By M.King - December 10 - 10:57 pm
Well, after owning several foreign cars including BMW, Mercedes...upper scale american, Lincoln, Cadillac... I was trying hard not to like this car, it's a BUICK! I was so wrong, in love with this car! It handles well, plenty of pep and has just as many if not more gadgets than some of the foreign cars I've had. Gas mileage is a shocker...great on the interstate! I get a lot of compliments even. I absolutely love a Mercedes S class but for the difference in money the Buick holds its place in luxury feel. And maintenance is half the cost also. If you want all the toys and a comfortable car do not miss the Lacrosse when shopping for your next car. Get all options and you'll love your purchase. The only option mine lacks is back seat dvd , single, didn't need it. But enjoy the car immensely! Happy hunting..
rear brake seizure! - 2013 Buick LaCrosse
By mel - November 26 - 1:10 pm
I bought this car in Jan this year. Pros include handling, the 3.6 performs very well, awd seems to work as it should, I average about 22 mpg with a best of 27mpg on a trip. Cons, trunk is tiny, brakes do not like weather, I had to accelerate hard in reverse to get brakes to release, since then the Buick dealer did perform a brake service that they are supposed to charge the customer $120.00 for free. However, this did not help. This car is embarrassing to drive with the brakes squealing almost continually. I did contact Buick and they pushed it back on the dealer, they obviously feel that safety is something that the owner should pay for! The dealer told me that they have had other Lacrosse's towed because of this issue. This will be the last GM vehicle I buy because of the lack of response to this serious issue. My kid is learning to drive and is scared of this car. Fortunately for her I also bought an Accord that she loves to drive!
Nothing but problems! - 2011 Buick LaCrosse
By Shawn Wade - November 11 - 10:15 pm
I like my Buick Lacrosse, when it works! I purchased this car in Aug. 2010. This is my first and last American made car.The check engine light was on by the 1st oil change (Feb 2011). In May 2011, they had to replace the Catylic Converter. In Sept 2011, they replaced the sunroof switch. In March 2012, I had to replace the cabin filter and they had to re-charge the battery. In Aug 2012, they replaced a speed sensor. In Sept 2012, they replaced the battery. In November 2012, the check engine light was on again but they couldn't figure out why and cleared the code. In August 2013, the battery was dead again. Instead of them figuring out what the "real" problem is, they replaced the battery again. Yesterday (11/11/15), the car stopped while I was on the highway. The transmission needs repairing. This time, the dealer is saying I did something wrong! Like what, drive my car?!?! I agree with the prior post...Lacrosse Lemon!
best bang for the buck - 2015 Buick LaCrosse
By edward - September 29 - 6:17 pm
Only two occasions - 2015 Buick LaCrosse
By Lowbudgetguy - September 26 - 10:53 pm
Thought after looking at used pre owned cars just get a 2015 Buick Lacrosse. I have the cheapest version car is incredible in smooth ride. Being it's the luxurious version of Buick this vehicle powered with four cylinder other cars as new Maxima and Chrysler 300 don't have 'em. It does get good fuel economy for a large car as Lacrosse so stylish at best. I love the logic quality materials but one thing as said about two occasions the rear headroom and visibility is horrible other than a cheap car purchased. The car is nice but seems the controls are bit difficult at times other than that like this car it's affordable getting this vehicle might keep for couple months after my leased be up on something else.
2010 lacrosse history - 2010 Buick LaCrosse
By Robert Carroll - September 26 - 7:27 am
Own The car since 2010 had 400 miles, warranty work done so far is tires replaced (they were out of round), steering corrected after multiple complaints about noise when turning, body work due gulp paint mismatch on front and rear bumpers, rotors turned multiple times due to warping, @ 51000 replaced rotors after warranty expired no problems since, @ 80000 water pump replaced, @ 89000 ac compresser and condenser replaced because descident bag opened expensive fix, @ 92000 power steering started leaking car currently in shop to diagnose.