2006 Buick LaCrosse Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Buick LaCrosse Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Buick LaCrosse Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Buick LaCrosse

  • The 2006 Buick LaCrosse may be powerful and quiet, but it needs sharper reflexes, more interior room and less forgettable styling to keep up in this segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and quiet ride, powerful 3.6-liter engine in CXS model, available six-passenger seating.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive handling, some low-grade interior materials, unsupportive seats, tight rear legroom, noisy base V6, stability control limited to CXS.

  • What's New for 2006

    For the 2006 Buick LaCrosse, head-protecting side curtain airbags and antilock brakes are now standard on all models.

Full 2006 Buick LaCrosse Review

What's New for 2006

For the 2006 Buick LaCrosse, head-protecting side curtain airbags and antilock brakes are now standard on all models.


Although it has little in common with the concept car by the same name shown at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, the 2006 LaCrosse has been given the task of reviving Buick's fortunes in the under-$30,000 price bracket among sedans. It's a direct replacement for the Regal and its budget-oriented Century twin, but a new engine, a higher-quality interior, a longer equipment list and a reworked suspension allow it to move uptown in image.

On the outside, the LaCrosse blends traditional Buick styling cues -- a softly curved hood and a vertical-slat grille -- with modern-day trends. The pull handles on the doors make the LaCrosse look like a contemporary of competing midsize sedans -- always a plus for a Buick car. Inside, designers have equipped the new sedan with a clean control layout, interlocking analog gauges and liberal amounts of wood grain trim. The LaCrosse also benefits from the same kind of "QuietTuning" that went into the Rainier, and to that end, it has plenty of sound-deadening material in all the key areas, acoustical laminate on the glass and tightened body panel gap tolerances.

The engine lineup includes a 200-horsepower, 3.8-liter (3800) V6 is the base engine. Exclusive to the CXS model is a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 that makes 240 hp and 225 pound-feet of torque. The Buick LaCrosse rides on the same front strut/rear tri-link suspension as its predecessor, but approximately 80 percent of the components were retuned to balance the supple ride quality that traditional Buick car buyers expect against the controlled handling that mainstream midsize sedan buyers expect.

In recent years, the Regal and Century ceased to be major players in the midsize sedan segment -- outside of rental car fleets, anyway. And compared to these cars, the LaCrosse is a few steps up in performance, quality and refinement. In spite of its all-new name, though, the 2006 Buick LaCrosse is built on an old platform. Alongside competitors like the Chrysler 300, the LaCrosse's handling characteristics are crude and its backseat cramped. Add in a short standard equipment list and it seems Buick is facing an uphill battle once again.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Buick LaCrosse is available in sedan form only in one of three trims -- CX, CXL and CXS. The CX includes the basics like cloth upholstery, a power driver seat, a six-speaker CD stereo and OnStar. The CXL adds leather upholstery, automatic climate control, a 60/40-split rear-seat back, uplevel exterior trim and alloy wheels. The CXS builds upon the CXL with a more powerful V6, a sport-tuned suspension and larger alloy wheels. Among the available equipment are a handy remote-start feature, rear parking assist, an MP3-compatible stereo and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

A 200-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 powers the CX and CXL models. Exclusive to the CXS model is a 3.6-liter DOHC V6. Aided by continuously variable valve timing, it produces 240 hp and 225 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models.


Side head curtain airbags are standard, along with OnStar and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. An optional stability control system is available only on the CXS. A reverse-sensing system is optional. In NHTSA crash tests, the Buick LaCrosse earned a five-star rating (out of a possible five) for its protection of the driver and front passenger in frontal impacts. The car also has a three-star rating for its performance in the side-impact test, though the vehicle tested did not have this year's standard side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Buick LaCrosse is offered in both five- and six-passenger seating configurations. The broad, flat seats are easy to slide into, but lack support for longer adults. A tilt steering wheel is standard on all models, and CXL and CXS models include a telescoping function as well. Rear-seat legroom is tight for adults. The dash design is simple with one long expanse of faux wood and an easily readable set of gauges right in front of the driver. The fake wood isn't bad, but competitors do it better. More troublesome are the cheap adjustable vents and the brittle plastic on the center console. All of the controls are within easy reach, but there are way too many small buttons of similar size. There is plenty of storage in the cabin, though, and the trunk measures a healthy 16 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

On the highway, the 2006 Buick LaCrosse rides smoothly and soaks up the bumps without transferring the impact to occupants -- the mark of any good full-size sedan. But there's no hiding the aging chassis when you hit a winding stretch of road, where the body rolls plenty and the steering feels numb. Although noisy, the base V6 in CX and CXL models offers decent power and good fuel economy. Still, we feel the CXS is a better choice, as its refined, overhead-cam V6 provides a broad power band.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great on long or short

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Vehicle: 2006 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

It rolls a bit through turns and across lanes during lane changes but it's suspension is a little looser which is great for bad roads. It has tons of head and leg room for big and tall people and the seats are very comfortable. Amenities are on-par for the class. It's much more stylish compared to Buicks of the past and you can tell their trying to capture the attention of younger generations, not just the 55+ crowd (no offense). I do mostly highway driving and combined mileage is about 24 mpg - not great but not terrible for a V6. Acceleration is good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I love my buick

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Vehicle: 2006 Buick LaCrosse CXL 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

This is one of the best cars I have ever owned. The quality is really good compared with my previous conception of the "American" car. My car has a 3800 Pontiac Engine they tell me. It gets around 30 mpg on the road if I stay at 70 mph. If I go 80 on the turnpike it doesn't seem to hurt mileage that much. The car has more than enough power for passing. If I want to leave a pesty driver in my dust I can do so with ease.

Bad gas milage and poor

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Vehicle: 2006 Buick LaCrosse CXL 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

I was told by the dealership that this car gets at least 22 miles to gallon, but after driving it for 3 months I have come to find out that I only get 16 to 18 miles to a gallon. What a disappointment. Plus, this car has zero pick up. I will probably trade this car in as soon as possible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Comforable and quiet ride

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Vehicle: 2006 Buick LaCrosse CXL 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

Have drive car 54000 mile with no problems. Very advanced handling and braking system. A pleasure to drive long distance in the front seat rear is a little tight for adults for more than couple of hours. Could have made rear seats and leg room more accommodating. take front the long front end of car or add couple inches to vehicle, Wish I had bought the lacerne. Love the heated seats in colder climates and cool mornings. Would like heated front window orwipers snow and ice collect under windshield wipers. Previous cars Buick Park Ave,Toyota Previa,GMC savannah. Gas mileage could be better(24MPG)200HP traded for power. High performance tires noticeable improvement in ride and handling.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Happy with lacrosse

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Vehicle: 2006 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

I just bought my 2006 LaCrosse about two weeks ago and am very satisfied with it. It's quiet, comfortable, smooth riding and obviously of good quality. The AM/FM/CD player has a nice tone with plenty of space for CD storage. The door locking key-fob is easy to use. Seats are attractive and cloth-covered and very comfortable on long drives.+

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Buick junk

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Vehicle: 2006 Buick LaCrosse CXL 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

My Buick Lacrosse has been a mechanical nightmare. I have had defective parts replaced consistently since I purchased it Thank heavens it was still under warranty. However, now all the seals in the rack and pinion steering need replaced at a cost to me of $900.00 This car is 3 years old!!!! I drove a ford Taurus for 175,000 miles with major repairs coming after 100,000 miles. I am fed up with this car, plan to replace it anything but a Buick. Oh, I also have water sloshing from one side to the other in my engine. I have a repeat complaint about this, to no avail. I am really a dissatisfied customer.

Talk About The 2006 LaCrosse

2006 Buick LaCrosse Discussions See all Started By

My Dad left me his 2006 Buick Lacrosse. Beautiful car. But I had the problems with the low beams not working and had to use the high beams to get home. My son replaced the relay for me and it worked f...

Tried to take delivery of a 2006 lacrosse. It wouldn't start, dead battery. Been back to dealer 5 times--bad ground, faulty parts--after 90 days with the car at the dealer 11 days, the car still die...

per gallon on the freeway - often more. The Lacrosse seems to run well. However, the tachometer goes up to 3,000 RPMs in city driving with a light touch on the gas pedal and then drops back down to ...

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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