2012 Buick LaCrosse Consumer Review: A better value

2012 Buick LaCrosse - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

39 Total Reviews

Premium I Group Sedan (3.6L V6 FFV AWD 6-speed Automatic)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
21 of 26 people found this review helpful
A better value
By thadp on


2012 Buick LaCrosse Premium I Group 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)


Buick has a winner with the 2012 Lacrosse.
BMW, Audi watch out.
The Lacrosse with GM incentives is a much better value than most other comparable sedans. The 303 HP V-6 can compete well with other comparable sedans.
Responsive, smooth and quiet engine with reasonable fuel economy.
Ride is comfortable, quite and smooth. Cornering is flat at high speeds and vehicle tracking is excellent with good steering response. A fun car to drive. On the negative side, first gear is much too low, a ratio, better suited for a four cylinder.
Side visibility hindered by door post.
High head rests hinders backing visibility.
The front bucket seats are too narrow except for a small butt person.

Best Features

Good engine responsiveness. Very good fit and finish. Greater back seat leg room than many other sedans. A very good value when using GM incentives to make a purchase.

Worst Features

Expand the trunk size to accommodate more luggage. Improve driver backing and side visibility. Make the front bucket seats wider, wider to better fit a normal person without the seat cushion turn ups that can irritate the side of your legs on a long trip. Change the transmission first gear ratio to eliminate the excessively high engine RPM with moderately aggressive launching from a standing start.
Recommend (21) (5)

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Comments (6) Post a Comment
By thadp
on 02/04/12 07:57 AM (PST)

PS-With further analysis of the concern with how the 2012 Lacrosse V6 transmission is geared it is now my conclusing that the problem is the shift pattern program causing the engine to reach excessively high RPM before it shifts into second gear. With only moderate throttle opening, the V6 Lacrosse does not up shift from first geat to second gear until it reaches 5000 RPM. This is an abnormal shift pattern that makes an otherwise great car feel less than normal in acceleration from a standing start to keep up with traffic flow. Buick dealers are aware of this situation but cannot change or correct it because it is how the transmission is programmed by Buick for reasons that cannot be satisfactorily explained. Owners of 2012 Buick Lacrosse vehicles should contact the Buick Customer Assistance Center by phone, email or letter expressing dissatisfaction with how the transmission shifts and request that Buick re-program the transmission shift pattern to eliminate this drivability problem.

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By wrb121
on 03/12/13 11:32 AM (PDT)

While I was on the phone with Buick's Customer Assistant person I searched for this problem and it brought me to this site. I too just purchased a new AWD Lacrosse and have been complaining about the high shift points. Of course, they told me this was "normal." The car is barely getting 20 mpg with 80% highway travel. I traded a 08 Impala LTZ in on this Buick and an now regretting it. If this is "normal" and the car will not get the advertised mpg, then the world needs to know about it. I have a 30 year background in automotive technology and Buick's attitude about this sucks. It is not an acceptable situation and I plan on pursuing it to the GM penthouse.

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By thadp
on 03/09/12 11:42 AM (PST)

Final PS: I?ve now visited another Buick dealer, third time, to resolve the transmission delayed shifting issue with my 2012 Buick Lacrosse. After test driving another Buick Lacrosse with V6 engine it is clear that the issue of not shifting from first gear to second gear until the engine reaches 5000 RPM with moderate throttle to keep up with traffic flow is how the Lacrosse transmission is programmed. The dealer rep. noted the extremely delayed shifting pattern but said and rightly so that there is nothing they can do to correct it. I?ve written several letters to Buick about this issue but have only received a phone call from GM Customer Service offering their condolences. I request that they forward this complaint to the Buick powertrain engineers for a fix but was told that they will not correct it. I have owned over twelve new cars over the years and currently own a Honda Odyssey and Chevy Impala as well as the 2012 Lacrosse. All of the other cars shift gears normally and at moderate engine RPM except for the Buick Lacrosse. This excessively high engine RPM before shifting gears makes the Lacrosse one of the poorest driveable cars I have ever owned. There is no technical or other reason to program the Lacrosse transmission shifting points so high making an otherwise nice car drive more like a race car than a smooth luxury family sedan. Buick?s decision NOT TO CORRECT THIS FLAW is evident that they care little about keeping customers and would rather lose present and potential customers than admit they make a mistake.

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By jabuya
on 03/09/13 06:05 AM (PST)

re: 2012 Lacrosse 6 speed automatic transmission. I agree. It shifts at way too high RPM. I own 3 other GM vehicles and they will all shift from 1st to 2nd at about 3,000 RPM and not at 5000+. It is absolutely KILLING the overall fuel mileage. I currently have just over 1,800 miles on my car and I'm only getting 19 mpg OVERALL mileage. That includes a 340 mile trip where I got over 28 mpg. This, overall, averages out to be about what the city mileage should be. When all the shift points are between 4000 and 5000 rpm you are only getting 5 mpg until it gets into 6th gear. I traded in a 2011 Cadillac CTS4 with the same engine and transmission that did not do this. My dealer says that there is nothing that they can do about it and is tired of hearing me complain. HEY BUICK, WAKE UP and reprogram the shifting points, PLEASE!

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By cherio
on 05/03/12 13:44 PM (PDT)

I agree with this comment. If you manual shift, you have control of this situation, but you have to remember to put it back in to drive so you don't forget and rev it up when you stop and accelerate again. They should have just made it a manual transmission. This is not a smooth drive at all. I wish I would have purchased a different brand of car. But I was so happy with my 2006 Lacrosse.

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By thadp
on 02/22/12 13:09 PM (PST)

PS-Now that I've owned the 2012 Buick Lacrosse for about six weeks, it is apparent that this otherwise nice car has one major flaw. The transmission shift pattern is so poorly engineered that it makes the Lacrosse with V6 engine less than a pleasure to drive. Multiple visits to the dealer with this complaint reveals that the excessively delayed gear change from first gear to second and through the other gears with just moderate acceleration is an engineering design flaw. The engine will race excessively to 5000 RPM before changing to second gear making the car seem like you are driving an old VW bus instead of a luxury sedan. If you are considering purchasing a pleasurable luxury sedan with good drivability don't purchase a Buick Lacrosse with V6 engine. You will be greatly disappointed with the drivability of the 2012 Buick Lacrosse.

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