The Buick LaCrosse was a welcomed replacement for the outdated Century and Regal sedans, but it still fell far below class leaders. It has a comfortable and quiet ride, as well as responsive handling. There's good attention to detail in the front cabin, but the rear seat is very tight. The 3.8-liter V6 in our tested CXL version was coarse and fuel economy was unimpressive.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Front side air bags available, standard from 2010; rear available from 2010. Head protection air bags available from 2005, standard from 2007. ESC available from 2006, standard from 2010.
Road Test

The Buick LaCrosse was a welcomed replacement for the outdated Century and Regal sedans, but it still fell far below class leaders. It has a comfortable and quiet ride, as well as responsive handling. There's good attention to detail in the front cabin, but the rear seat is very tight. The 3.8-liter V6 in our tested CXL version was coarse and fuel economy was unimpressive.

Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.6-liter V6 (240 hp)
  • 3.8-liter V6 (200 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2005 Buick LaCrosse owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"Not actually sure if the bushings were the problem, but the sway bars were broken and damaged. Didn't expect that at 78,000 miles"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX Unsure)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"significant noise related to bubbles produced in power steering fluid"

Ronald W., CO (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"Dealership informed me that the plug where fluid is added was missing/cracked"

Anonymous, CO (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"Leaking Rusted resonator replaced"

Richard E., OH (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL Unsure)

"Leak in the power steering port. Had the rack and pinion worked on. Sway bar was broken. Tech said it was common to buick/GM"

Anonymous, CO (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"Broken sway bar assembly"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.6-L V6)

"rack and pinion replaced 3 times"

William M., NY (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"power steering unit would turn wheels to the right, but not left. cost over $1400 to change the unit"

Anonymous, ON (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Outside driver door handle broke off Lower control arm bushings & outer tie rod ends worn out"

Anonymous, KS (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Clunking when turning the car left or right"

Dion J., CA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Problem found during annual vehicle inspection prior to annual registration"

Anonymous, MO (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS Unsure)
Tie rods

"Tie rod on driver side was close to catastrophic failure according to my mechanic"

Stephanie H., CA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"This is an ongoing issue with '05 LaCrosse. I have had both tie rods replaced and more than once over the cars life. Struts were recently changed due to age"

Anonymous, IN (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Wheel balance

"pot holes and poor road conditions contribute to alignment issues"

Ronald W., CO (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"FRONT SWAY BAR BROKE OFF AT LEFT SIDE"

Dennis J., WI (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Tire wear is uneven

"frt. tires wear on outside tread"

William M., NY (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"LEFT REAR WHEEL BEARING FAILED AT 76000 MILES. ANOTHER IS NOW NOISY"

Dennis J., WI (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Noisy front wheel hub on the driver's side. Replaced both the left and right side"

Jerry W., ON (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"Low beam headlight would quit working. High beam still worked"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"One headlight failed and was replaced. One rear signal light failed and was replaced"

Robert B., TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"Low beams frequently stopped working at night. Had to replace a relay to fix. This has been an on-going problem with the Buick LaCrosse though several model years. Doesn't affect the high beams"

Charles M., CA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Module for low beams failed"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Intermittent failure of headlights"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure Unsure)

"Headlight bulb burned out"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.8-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"The right rear turn signal went out and was replaced"

Robert B., TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"Driver's power seat motor failed, so that the driver's seat could not be adjusted in any direction (front, back, up, down)"

Edward R., TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)
Wiper motor or washer

"Windshield washer broken, non-functional"

Edward R., TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"Actually related to wiper mechanism under cowl. Linkage seizes up and overloads motor. Linkage has seized twice and has burned out 1 motor so far"

Jeff B., ON (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)
Body control module

"crackling noise form the module. The turn signals no longer make a sound when on"

Anonymous, NC (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Interior lights

"problem is the dash lights. some of the time they do not come on. Non use of gauges"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"Problem w interior lites, then with headlights...dangerous driving home at night. Turned out to be some kind of sensor malfunction with the computer"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel cap

"The dash warned me to check the fuel cap. It was inconsistent. It was on one day, changed to check engine, and then was gone after i refueled"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure Unsure)

"I forgot to put the fuel cap on after filling the car with gas. It allowed air to mix with the gas and caused the check engine light to go on. I had to take it in to reset the electronics or computer"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure 3.6-L V6)
Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Vacuum valve needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure 3.8-L V6)

"Had to replace catalytic converter, but the car IS 10 years old. So maybe that isn't a big deal. Not sure"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Check engine light on. scan test ECM P0420 Bad Cat converter P0128. Thermostat stuck open"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"I replaced 3 components related to smog or air pump. Set off check engine light. but no impact on performance. Needed to replace to pass inspection. Read that it is a common problem with GM vehicles. Pump is located in area prone to collecting mo"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

"It is believed that a bad #2 coil is causing my car to misfire"

Anonymous, NV (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.8-L V6)
Fuel injection system

"I had to replace two fuel injectors"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.8-L V6)

"Engine wouldn't start on 2 tries. On 3rd try, there was a loud clattering noise in the engine. On 4th try, I pumped the accelerator a lot and it finally started. Serviced by dealer and an oxygen sensor was replaced"

Anonymous, MO (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure Unsure)

"Car began hesitating. Dealer could not find cause. Got worse and worse until the car stalled on the freeway. Non-dealer mechanic troubleshot and replaced mass air flow sensor. Fixed"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"not working"

Anonymous, WI (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

"Probably 4 leaks that were all located at different places and fixed"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.8-L V6)

"I've had 3 blower motors installed. One was a more or less immediate replacement within 6 months of the previous motor"

Anonymous, OH (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.8-L V6)
Electrical failure

"Fan blower motor control module quit"

Anonymous, KS (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"air conditioning 1,400.00 tofix"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.6-L V6)

"leak in hose? repaired"

Robert R., MI (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL Unsure)

"no heat my be the trmostat"

Anonymous, ON (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

"Had to replace normal wear and tear"

Nancy F., NE (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure 3.6-L V6)

"warping due to too much downhill braking ,which overheated the rotors and caused the warping. Switched to changing gears to stop freewheeling and the excess need for braking"

John C., PA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Antilock system (ABS)

""Check anti lock Braking System" light would come on randomly. Never lost braking"

Anonymous, KS (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.6-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Actually the brakes seemed to need attention more often than " normal" compared to other vehicles I have owned"

Anonymous, MA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.6-L V6)

"Normal brake wear"

Anonymous, GA (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure Unsure)
Premature brake wear

"Warped rotors several times in the last three years, caused by too much downhill braking by my wife. Changed braking procedures, now no problem"

John C., PA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

"Transmission case wrong size this allows first gear to not engage when down shifting causing hard shit to second when start up. Work around down shift manually to first then as car starts moving shift up to D"

Mark S., TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"the transmission line was leaking"

Leonard D., CA (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Torque converter occasional slippage. Won't do it when dealer drives it. Mechanics say that the Check Engine light must come on to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem"

Anonymous, IN (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"I was disappointed that the transmission failed. I also had another GM product that the transmission also failed. My Ford and Toyota products have been the best. I will not buy another GM product in the future"

Anonymous, NC (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Experienced rough shifting. Had it checked and it needed a rebuilt transmission"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

"Transmission would not shift gears properly and required a major rebuild"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

"Along with a leaking water pump, the intake manifold gaskets were leaking as well"

Anonymous, MN (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

"Leak caused overheating, reduced power, engine check light"

Anonymous, TX (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Water pump

"Small coolant leak with the water pump; gaskets were leaking"

Anonymous, MN (2005 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Side window cracked crosswise but stayed intact"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Locks and latches

"Unable to open driver's door on occasion - the release mechanism inside the door gets stack"

Jerry W., ON (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Windows

"Drive side window locked"

Anonymous, IL (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure Unsure)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

"coil went bad, drove car to shop. This caused a large amount of raw gas to enter the catalytic converter - needed to replace 750.00"

Anonymous, PA (2005 Buick LaCrosse Unsure Unsure)
Exhaust leaks

"I am impressed that the 12-year-old muffler is still functioning, though the resolator did develop a rusty leak"

Richard E., OH (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL Unsure)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Accessory belts or pulleys

"The failing main tensioner pulley was making so much noise that the mechanic I asked for a second opinion on the timing chain couldn't hear it. The dealer didn't mention it, so I presume they just gave me the book price from the computer code and did"

D G., MI (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.6-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Coolant pump seized, breaking serpentine belt"

William R., FL (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.6-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

"Timing chain errors started at only 78,000 miles. I saw on line that some owners were given consideration for the premature failure, but GM blew me off. The dealer is estimating up to $2,800 for repair, which is most of the Black Book trade value. I"

D G., MI (2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS 3.6-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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