Product Reviews

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The Buick LaCrosse was a welcomed replacement for the outdated Century and Regal sedans, but it still fell far below class leaders.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 2 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
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
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
  • 3.8-liter V6 (200 hp)
  • 5.3-liter V8 (300 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Buick LaCrosse owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

“Loss of low beam headlight. Paid to replace bad module before GM recall”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Since 11/25/14, a recall associated w/ the headlamp driver module (HDM) which may not operate properly. Recently, our low-beam headlamps have both gone out. Buick needed to drop bumper to replace ($165). Cost to be reimbursed when fix is known”

James O., CT (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Head lights malfunction. Dealer awaiting parts for correction”

Anonymous, KS (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“buick appears to have a bad relay for low beam. I have replaced this relay 4 tyimes, and one relay nearly heated enough to break into flames”

Randal C., AZ (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“control module went out; but more importantly headlight replace requires the removal of front bumper a 2 plus shop labour hour, three headlight replacement in seven years, $ 600.00 plus cost, Please in future test of vehicles check for cost of ligh”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Low beams suddenly went out while driving at night. Had to replace HD module”

Donald G., FL (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Manufacturer recall for lights and ignition switch”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Buick LaCrosse Unsure 3.8-L V6)

“some of the Interior dashboard lights go off intermittently when driving”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Buick LaCrosse Unsure 3.8-L V6)

“NOT ALL DOORS WILL LOCK OR UNLOCK WITH THE REMOTE OR THE DOOR LOCK IN THE CAR”

Anonymous, TN (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“All 4 Lock actuators have failed. One at a time”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“All 4 door lock modules went bad. would not lock or unlock doors $1,100.00 to fix”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Two Keyless Transmitters had to be replaced. Left rear and left front door lock actuators had to be replaced. Cost of repairs $932.56”

Andres L., FL (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“had to replace two elec door look actuators”

Dave H., LA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“FOB rarely works”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

“Loss tire pressure monitor initially on one wheel then all wheels..System is inoperative. Estinated cost to replace bad sensor $200!!”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Service tire monitor system warning light appears. Serviced by dealer 3 times”

Anonymous, KS (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Reprogram”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Tire pressure monitor has got to be faulty”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 5.3-L V8)

“Tire valve was faulty; dealt with it twice, replaced it twice. 2nd time was with new tire purchase”

Anonymous, WI (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Very irritating to see the warning light come on the dash & one of the tires comes up with dashed when looking at the display. Since it shows dashes for 1 tire I have to go into the dealer for a reset - very annoying”

Sandy W., MI (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“The in wheel sensors failed giving and causing the warning light to be on all the time”

Edward B., NY (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Warning lights

“Intermittent air bag warning light”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“replaced two rear tail light bulbs”

Dave H., LA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

“My heated/cooled driver's seat has quit working totally. The dealer tells me it's about $400-500 to repair - guess I'll just have to live without it. The passenger side is still working - too bad for me!”

Sandy W., MI (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

“Screen goes blank at times and cannot read it. Passenger seat indicator show air bags of when passenger is in the seat. Flashes back and forth between on and off”

William B., MI (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“The dashboard lights go off or go very dim at times”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“I sometimes cannot read the DCC because it is too dim or does not appear”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

“Screen goes dark for short periods, but comes back on after a short period”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Radio

“Clock, lighted system, and volume control problems”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Fuel leaks

“After timing belt was replaced, fuel scent at startup in the passenger compartment. 1 fix attempted, partly fixed problem. 2nd fix scheduled. Possibly, mechanic caused problem when replacing timing belt”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Oil leaks

“Oil just seems to disappear. It doesn't smell like its burning, there's no blue smoke coming from the tailpipe, the tailpipe doesn't have any residue, there are no oil patches in the car's usual parking spot but it loses oil somehow. I have to clos”

Robert L., GA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

“It may not be a leak, rather it uses oil. Doesn't seem to burn it, but somehow the oil level requires topping off between oil changes”

Robert L., GA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“It may not be a leak, rather it uses oil. Doesn't seem to burn it, but somehow the oil level requires topping off between oil changes”

Robert L., GA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Engine mounts

“Over several months there was a noise that my repair people found difficult to identify, but finally it was discovered a problem with the engine mount -- or so I was told. Since that repair, close to a year ago, everything is fine”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL Unsure)

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

Doors or sliding doors

“Remote does not open rear door on driver side”

John F., MD (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Locks and latches

“part of the automatic locking system does not work”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

“3 recalls in 12 months: 1st was regarding key fob/ignition switch, then Buick had to recall the 1st recall because they botched it, then the headlight recall & meanwhile the driver door handle completely came off when I went to open the door”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 5.3-L V8)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“The tailgate locking system unlocks itself”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 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

“AC compressor went out and was EXTREMELY expensive. $640”

Charles B., OK (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)
Automatic climate control

“Sticking of the upper/lower vent mechanism”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Heater system

“"Heater Core" had to be replaced. Dealer charge was $1100 (since warranty was expired), mostly labor”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

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

“Heard sounds coming from the power steering. The service found two leaks. It cost $1400 to repair”

William W., CA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“whining noise required replacement of pump”

Marvin S., GA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

“Front wheel bearings on both sides went bad at about 65000 miles”

Anonymous, IN (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

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

What Owners Say

“one cylinder was not operable because of reduction of electrical output. In addition to replacing the necessary to correct that problem, I also had to replace spark plug wires”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

“Ignition coil cracked and car suddenly died, engine, steering, brakes. On a high-speed road this could have been disastrous”

Anonymous, PA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“One coil burned out and was replaced”

Jay G., CT (2008 Buick LaCrosse Unsure 3.8-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

“Water pump had to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“There is a water leak in the drivers side window. The same leak is in the same spot in the second lacrosse I own. It is a drip only, but it is annoying”

Mary I., OH (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

“The sun visor rattles when down, the dash trim rattles a higher speeds”

Robert L., GA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Regular brake failure

“NEED TO HAVE THE BRAKES REPLACED EVERY 8 TO 9 MONTH EVERY SINCE WE HAD IT”

Anonymous, TN (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“New rotors that the GMC dealer installed had to be replaced after 25000 KM due to rusting”

Anonymous, NB (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Trin on driver side came loose”

John F., MD (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

“Paint faded looks oxidized and not shiny in areas”

Anonymous, MA (2008 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 sensor or solenoid

“Shift solenoid /control did not function properly after 75000... miles and was replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)
Gear selector or linkage

“Transmission control cable linkage rusted off, making the vehicle go in reverse when Drive was selected”

Anonymous, NB (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

“Had an express oil shop flush the transmission and it left debris in the gears. I had to take the car to a certified transmission shop for them to put in a transmission kit. It is working ok now”

Anonymous, TN (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

“surging.vacumn leak in trans.body.necessary to r@r transm”

Marvin S., GA (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Muffler

“Resonator needed replacement”

Anonymous, WI (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Thermostat

“Thermostat was not allowing full-temperature operation setting an engine code. Manufacturer procedure mandated changing of thermostat as well as engine temperature sensor. Changed coolant as well”

Jerry J., WA (2008 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

“Multiple issues with the check engine light and the purge solenoid, charcoal canister, etc. the check engine light is frequently on in this vehicle”

Mary I., OH (2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 3.8-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 belt failed. Drive train was under warranty, so the belt was replaced. If out of warranty, would have cost $$$$”

Anonymous, MI (2008 Buick LaCrosse CXL 3.8-L V6)

Drive System

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

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