The LaCrosse is a sophisticated and thoroughly modern sedan. Quiet, roomy and luxurious, it offers responsive handling and a steady ride, qualities not normally associated with past Buicks. However, the cockpit is a bit narrow, the dashboard is busy, and styling restricts visibility and access. For 2012, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a light hybrid system replaced the underpowered 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine.
Alerts
There are 3 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
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
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 LaCrosse is a sophisticated and thoroughly modern sedan. Quiet, roomy and luxurious, it offers responsive handling and a steady ride, qualities not normally associated with past Buicks. However, the cockpit is a bit narrow, the dashboard is busy, and styling restricts visibility and access.

For 2012, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a light hybrid system replaced the underpowered 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine. This improves acceleration, while returning an impressive 26 mpg overall. The refined 3.6-liter V6 is smooth and delivers plenty of power.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , 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
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (182 hp)
  • 3.6-liter V6 (303 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Buick LaCrosse owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

CD player

"cd got stuck"

Jose H., TX (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Radio

"Sometimes the only thing that will play is static. Doesn't matter if it's radio, CD, or aux. sometimes it's fine, no rhyme or reason"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Total Display Unit with Radio had to be replaced because it did not work"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

"Radio started changing stations on its own. It was replaced, then the screen was not as bright as it should be. The service department is still working on this problem"

John S., TN (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The display is for the navigation system"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Does not work because display/radio unit had to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"sometimes it double tracks"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"Display would show only an arrow, pointing in the wrong direction. No streets or anything else, even on an Interstate"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"Had a chip failure which caused the navigation to stop. Also had an issue with the key being recognized by the car which prevented it from starting"

James M., IN (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-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

"Right hand Xenon headlight/power supply failure"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"Water leaked inside of the headlight. The Dealer replaced the headlight under warranty"

Britt C., TX (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

"Passenger side monitors are wired backward so the front tire shows as the rear on the dash screen and vice versa"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"valve stems just needed to be reprogrammed - took 5 minutes"

John R., MO (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heated or cooled seats

"Passenger seat heated unit keeps going off after about 3 minutes"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Buick LaCrosse None Unsure)
Interior lights

"When opening a door the interior lights might or might not come on. This is the only car that Buick knows of with this problem"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Keyless entry

"Key fob has flip-out ignition key. The key had been sticking part way regularly, and the last time I flipped it the rest of the way out, the key fell out on the ground. The theft prevention won't let the car start if the key is not in the fob, so I h"

John R., MO (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The system quit working and a new door handle had to be installed and system reprogramed"

Larry L., FL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"Periodically, the entire electrical system shuts down, preventing us from unlocking the car. Occurs randomly. During this time, the car is "dead", with no lights or any other electrical activity. Since it has electronic ignition, you're stuck"

Steve B., CO (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 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

"nod need to discuss"

R K., CT (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"Water leaks into trunk, gasket replaced, water still leaks. Tires slowly lose air pressure repeatedly"

Michael L., PA (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The weather-stripping had a hole allowing water into the cabin"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"When this new car was delivered to me one of the rear shock absorbers was leaking oil all over my driveway. It took two visits to get it fixed"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Rattle when starting, squeeks when turning. Dealerships have not found causes"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Wind noise

"the noise starts when I roll down the windows front and back... I can not keep front and rear windows open when I drive. the noie is very loud"

R K., CT (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 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

Master cylinder

"The master cylinder had to be replaced in Feb 2017"

Walter S., CT (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Squeaking

"Right front wheel bearing went out @ about 45,000, four years old"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"When the car is started and first moved (frontward or backward) there is a loud and VERY ANNOYING squeaking or squealing noise coming from one or more of the wheels. It lasts several minutes before quieting down. I have reported this numerous times to the dealer and nothing is done. This issued started shortly after delivery"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"Replace brake pads"

Anonymous, WI (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"The silver decorative trim at the rear of the vehicle wore away"

Anonymous, MI (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"paint coming off of lower part of all 4 doors"

Dennis D., MI (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"This year 2017, in April I had to have a rusty section removed,repaired and painted near the left rear door"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"loose kick plate"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-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

Wheel bearings

"Had to replace wheel bearing at 34k miles"

Tyler P., CO (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"The car was making the noise associated with wheel bearing failure. The dealership replaced the wheel bearings for one side but now the same noise has recurring"

Brock H., MI (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Experienced a grinding sound. Both front bearings went bad. Diagnosed by dealership immediately and fixed under warranty. Runs perfectly now"

David J., OH (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-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 leaks

"fluid line small leak"

Anonymous, CO (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Slipping transmission

"Buick was slipping in 1st gear. I had to have the service department work on it twice. Also had to have leak checked twice, it seems to be ok now"

Ronald M., SC (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Transmission computer

"When shifting to a lower gear to accelerate the transmission will sometimes delay the shift or pause between gears rather than selecting a lower gear immediately. This cam be dangerous when trying to get through an intersection"

Gregory H., IN (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Pipes

"All the 4 cyclinder tail pipes are too short. The result is a constant smudge and exhaust mark on the rear body. Common on all 4 cyclinders. Told GM dealer twice...no response. Ugly"

David W., AL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Other/unsure

"Tire air pressure sensor.Now fixed"

Anonymous, IN (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"This encompasses the entire unit; after a bout of extremely cold weather, nothing worked, no voice commands the phone didn't pair, then the volume slider would just appear on the screen without me touching anything to prompt it to. Also it froze on m"

Jo-Ann K., PA (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"failure of compressor and replacement required"

Anonymous, MN (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"The electronics went out in the compressor"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"There is an outstanding TSB on my car about the climate control having issues with mold buildup. My car reeks when I first turn it on in warm weather and I have to open all of the windows to flush the air out of the car"

Gregory H., IN (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-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

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Need a new battery, this was the second new battery, it was not covered under warranty"

Larry L., FL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"Battery failed at 29 months, disabling car"

Christopher W., CO (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"Timing chain cover had a leak"

Eric S., UT (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Engine knock or ping

"Wife had issue that she could not accelerate and had shaking in wheels, she cannot remember what it was"

Michael M., NJ (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Water pump

"Water pump went bad was covered under warranty"

Larry L., FL (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)

"For a car with so many warning lights & bells, there was no warning of a problem. 2 times in a week the car continued to make a (shortlived - maybe 10 to 20 seconds)humming/running sound after I shut off the ignition. Then 1 day after running a few short errands as I returned home bells were ringing and messages were appearing 0n the dashboard that the car was overheating!!! engine heat indicator was all the way over to HIGH!! I was afraid it would blow. I had scanned the dash while driving"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-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

Doors or sliding doors

"drivers side door molding worn and torn"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-L V6)
Seat controls - movement

"Replaced track - roller bearings loose"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 3.6-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.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"I lost a passenger/front wheel bearing"

Matt B., ME (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"The transmission would stop shifting at times while driving. For example, the car would not shift into gear to move after stopping at a traffic light. Not sure of the exact problem, but the dealership said that the entire transmission needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Buick LaCrosse None 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

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

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.

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