2008 Buick LaCrosse Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 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 Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Buick LaCrosse

  • The 2008 Buick LaCrosse offers a calm and capable motoring experience for traditional Buick customers, but lags behind most other midsize and full-size family sedans when it comes to handling, cabin space, feature content and overall refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and quiet ride, powerful V6 and V8 engines in CXS and Super models, available seating for six.

  • Cons

    Lackluster handling in V6 models, noisy base V6, unsupportive seats, many low-budget interior materials, cramped rear legroom, stability control not available on base CX model, middling side-impact crash test results.

  • What's New for 2008

    The big news this year is the arrival a new La Crosse Super model with a 300-horsepower V8, sportier suspension tuning, and larger wheels and brakes. It's further distinguished from lesser LaCrosse variants by fender "portholes," unique front and rear styling and dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Too many annoying quirks

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Vehicle: 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

cloth interior holds lint impossible to vacuum. Rotors warped after 10,000 miles ( now buy expensive brakes and rotors, to fix. problems with the transmission clunking into drive. took to get fixed, they said it didn't exist. Still clunks into drive after being in reverse passenger locks quit working after 50,000 miles. gas mileage was great at first, now get no more than 20mpg on highway 16mpg town Supposed to come equipped with a radio that tells the name of the song. Nope. My 2006 Nissan van does that. The tire pressure gauge kept going off and the interior light on the gear shifter went out 10,000 miles. door seal leaks sometimes.



4 of 7 people found this review helpful

Worst investment i've ever made!!!!!

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Vehicle: 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

This car has caused me nothing but problems. The day after driving it off the lot my "service tires" light came on. When I had it checked out at the dealersship I was told the pressure sensor was cracked. The dealership refused to pay for the repairs claiming it was my fault. The tires wear too easily due to the faulty rear struts. The car rattles horribly like its going to fall apart, the doors are 2 low, always hitting my head getting in. Now the car whines like a dying cat & I have gone from replacing fluid monthly to daily. The keyless entry hasnt worked since the 3rd month of me having the car. I see im not the only 1 with these issues. Entire car should be recalled. Back to Ford for me




Good but could be better

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Vehicle: 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

This is my 5th Buick, but not my favorite. My '02 Buick Regal was more comfortable to drive. The front windshield is set at an odd angle. I lose my peripheral vision in certain instances (possibly due to sleek design - I checked the 2010 and it does not have this problem) and the self-darkening interior rear view mirror is not dark enough for cars that have high beams &/or maladjusted running lights. Otherwise it handles well and has good pick-up. Car has only 19,000 miles and so far, no major problems. Interior front passenger carpet keeps coming away from frame. I've had it in for repairs 5 times.




Good for the money

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Vehicle: 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

Got the 08 CX new as a Company Car Good: Very supportive seats. A lot of standard features for base model. Bad: Fuel mileage is horrible. I'm lucky to get 24 highway and avg 16 city. My Honda Odyssey gets better mileage and it is taller, heavier, and has more hp. Driver seat started squeaking at 20k miles-I only weigh 185lbs. Brakes went at 20k miles- almost all highway. I've never had brakes go anywhere near that quickly. Steering wheel made a clicking sound- several dealers couldn't find the problem. Left windshield wiper splashes water on right side and right wiper missed it. key fob died-even after repl. btry. A lot of minor annoying problems that were expensive and inconvenient to fix




Buick lacrosse

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Vehicle: 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

This is my 4th Buick, love the new design, my son said it doesn't look like a old person car like the ones in the pass. The car had 20,000 miles when I got it. Has a vibration problem had tires balance no help, call dealership they said new tires, don't thing that the problem, my old century and lasabre rides better than this and they had 185,000 miles. The driver seat is unsuportive has some give.




Dissappointed yet happy

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Vehicle: 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

I wanted to get the CXL because of some features it had, but did not want leather seats. So we had to get the CX in order to get cloth seats. Our 97 Century Limited had cloth seats (Buick let me down on this one). Mileage is dissappointing, 28 highway / 19 city. Our old Century got 30+ highway. But this LaCrosse is a very enjoyable and fun car to drive. It is comfortable, pleasant to look at, and despite my dissappointment with the leather seat issue, a really nice car. Guess we'll keep it til Buick comes up with one that will get 35 - 40 mpg! With the sleeker styling, I do keep brushing my head against the top of the door each time I get in.



Full 2008 Buick LaCrosse Review

What's New for 2008

The big news this year is the arrival a new La Crosse Super model with a 300-horsepower V8, sportier suspension tuning, and larger wheels and brakes. It's further distinguished from lesser LaCrosse variants by fender "portholes," unique front and rear styling and dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.

Introduction

The 2008 Buick LaCrosse is a decent midsize sedan operating at a disadvantage: Despite representing one of the new and improved GM product designs of late, it does battle in the highly competitive $25,000-$30,000 bracket of the family sedan segment. Import and domestic brand rivals keep getting faster, more agile and more upscale, while the Buick soldiers on with an aged platform, outdated drivetrains, and a staid design and image. As such, the LaCrosse typically doesn't make it onto the radar of mainstream midsize sedan shoppers.

In an attempt to boost its visibility in the marketplace, Buick has reached back into the 1950s and resurrected its premium "Super" moniker for a new V8-powered variant of the LaCrosse. While all 2008 models benefit from a freshened, reshaped "waterfall" grille, the top-drawer Buick LaCrosse Super is engineered by the GM Performance Division and features unique styling with exclusive portholes on each side and a deck lid spoiler out back. Chrome-tipped dual exhaust and 18-inch wheels offer further evidence of the enhanced hardware that lies underneath: a powerful 5.3-liter V8 packing 300 horsepower along with upgraded suspension and brakes to match. Lesser LaCrosse models continue to use a pair of V6s: an aging 3.8-liter 200-hp V6 (CX and CXL) and a more modern 3.6-liter DOHC V6 putting out 240 horses (CXS).

Inside, the 2008 Buick LaCrosse is a mixed bag. Its acceptable fit and finish and pleasing blend of wood and chrome trim are offset by cheaper plastic pieces. Seating comfort and rear passenger room are marginal, and the overall combination probably won't hold much appeal except for more traditional customers. For them, the quiet cabin environment, lively engine performance (at least in the CXS and Super) and smooth ride quality will probably add up to an acceptable package. Others looking for a truly premium experience will be less impressed by the LaCrosse's compromised interior, uninspiring handling and lack of high-tech features. Before committing to this Buick, we suggest these shoppers check out the many better-performing alternatives, including the Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable, Hyundai Azera, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon/Camry, Volkswagen Passat and even GM's own Saturn Aura.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Buick LaCrosse is a midsize family sedan offered in four trim levels: CX, CXL, CXS and Super. Five-passenger seating is standard, but an available front bench seat in the CX and CXL increases capacity to six.

The base CX comes well equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, a power driver seat with memory, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker CD stereo with satellite radio, fully powered accessories and remote vehicle starting. The more upscale LaCrosse CXL adds alloy wheels, leather upholstery, wood-grain trim, heated front seats and a driver's power lumbar adjustment. Further upmarket, the fully equipped CXS provides a smoother and more powerful V6, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a quicker steering ratio and a split-folding rear seat. Many of the CXS model's features are available on the CX and CXL. Other noteworthy options include a sunroof, rear parking assist, a power front passenger seat and an upgraded nine-speaker audio system with an MP3-compatible CD player. An in-dash CD changer is available as well, but popular high-tech features like a navigation system and Bluetooth are not.

The new top-of-the-line Buick LaCrosse Super offers most of the above features as standard equipment. In addition, the Super has V8 power, 18-inch wheels, a further upgraded suspension, larger brakes and leather seating with unique woven inserts. The only options on the LaCrosse Super are a sunroof and CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The LaCrosse CX and CXL are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 200 hp and 230 pound-feet of torque, while the CXS is equipped with a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 good for 240 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. More enthusiastic drivers will want to head straight for the new LaCrosse Super, with its 5.3-liter V8 pumping out 300 horses and 323 lb-ft of torque.

All models are front-wheel drive and make do with an antiquated four-speed automatic transmission -- a liability in a class where rivals offer modern five- and six-speed automatics, as well as continuously variable units. Fuel mileage ratings are respectable but not class-leading. The CX and CXL have 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway estimates, while the CXS comes in at 17/25 and the Super rates 16/24.

Safety

The 2008 Buick LaCrosse features standard full-length side curtain airbags, OnStar communications and antilock disc brakes. Front-seat side airbags are not available. A stability control system is standard on the more powerful CXS and Super models, and optional on the CXL. The base CX comes with traction control only.

In frontal-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Buick LaCrosse earned five stars out of five for driver and front-passenger protection. In NHTSA side-impact tests, the LaCrosse received just three stars for front-occupant protection (a low rating in this class) and four stars for the rear seat. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the LaCrosse achieved a best-possible "Good" rating for frontal-offset crash safety, but only a "Marginal" rating in that agency's side-impact crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

For those who need to carry more people, the five-passenger LaCrosse is also offered in a six-passenger seating configuration. Its broad, flat seats make ingress and egress easy, but lack support for taller adults. Rear-seat legroom is tight for larger individuals, too. The dash design is clean and elegant, with a long expanse of faux wood trim sweeping across its length, interrupted only by a simple gauge cluster directly in front of the driver. Tasteful chrome accents along the dash and around the gear selector add a splash of style. Although the leather upholstery is soft, the plastics used for the door panels, console and most controls have a low-rent appearance and feel. To its credit, the cabin offers lots of storage bins and cubbies, and the trunk volume measures a generous 16 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Like its Regal and Century predecessors, the Buick LaCrosse was engineered to offer an agreeable balance between a supple ride and confident handling. On the highway it rides smoothly and soaks up bumps with little drama, as you'd expect a midsize family sedan to do. But the sedan's handling capabilities leave much to be desired. The retuned 2008 Buick LaCrosse Super is a step in the right direction with its revised suspension, but other models exhibit excessive body roll and generally numb steering.

Although noisy and unrefined for this class, the standard V6 in CX and CXL models offers adequate power and decent fuel economy. But the more refined CXS is a better choice with its smoother overhead-cam V6. Asphalt-burners will want to slide behind the wheel of the new V8-powered Super, but bear in mind that the old-school V8 has a gruffer delivery than the more modern V6 in the CXS.

Talk About The 2008 LaCrosse

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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