The 2008 Buick LaCrosse doesn’t usually come up first when people look into the competitive, midsize family sedan market. With more high-tech and agile models available, the Buick LaCrosse falls behind, even in spite of its redesigned exterior.
Body Styles: midsize sedan
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6, 3.6-liter V-6, 5.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Buick LaCrosse CX, Buick LaCrosse CXL, Buick LaCrosse CXS, Buick LaCrosse Super
This year, Buick comes out with a new model for the LaCrosse. The 2008 Buick LaCrosse Super sports a more powerful V-8 engine that distinguishes it from the other three models, which only use V-6s. The LaCrosse Super offers 300 horsepower and comes with 18-inch wheels and larger brakes. The exterior also looks different with its fender portholes and chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.
The 2008 Buick LaCrosse provides, above all, a traditional vehicle that looks classy in an old, refined, and unassuming way. All models feature the waterfall grille at the front; the silhouette of the car looks smooth and leaves behind sharp edges. The LaCrosse Super sits in a class of its own as GM adds exterior touches, such as side portholes and a deck lid spoiler. In addition, the Super includes a chrome-tipped dual exhaust and 18-inch wheels.
With cloth seats and a bucket front seat, the CX model features a six-way power driver’s seat that adjusts in every direction. In addition to these features, the CXL and CXS models include multilevel heating for driver and passenger seats. The seats come covered in leather and the driver’s seat has power settings for added lumbar support. With the Buick LaCrosse Super, all of these features come standard along with added height-adjustable settings for the driver and front passengers. All cars come with standard five-passenger seating; however, the CX and CXL have a bench seat in the front that increases the capacity to six. While it may be easy to enter and exit, tall passengers do not feel comfortable in the small rear seats.
The CX, CXL, and CXS all have six speakers for the CD player and AM/FM radio, and they all come with an XM satellite radio. Adding to this, the Super comes with two subwoofers for a total of eight speakers. However, more high-tech features do not come on this model, so if you want Bluetooth or a navigation system, look elsewhere.
Performance & Handling
The CX and CXL both contain a 3.8-liter, V-6 engine with 230 lb-ft of torque and 200 horsepower. The CXS, on the other hand, has a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine with 225 lb-ft of torque and 240 horsepower. However, the most powerful engine lies in the LaCrosse Super, which boasts a 5.3-liter, V-8 engine with 323 lb-ft of torque and 300 horsepower. All models use a four-speed automatic transmission, a step behind the more modern five-speed or six-speed automatic vehicles.
When it comes to suspension, the Buick LaCrosse handles the bumps. All models employ front drive, which provides less kick than in rear-drive sedans.
When it comes to safety, the Buick LaCrosse may not be a top pick. The LaCrosse has OnStar communications and anti-lock brakes. While it includes side curtain airbags, Buick does not offer front-seat side airbags. Buyers have the option of a control system on the CXL; this sort of stability comes standard on the CXS and Super models.
In crash tests, the results seem mixed. The Buick LaCrosse achieves five out of five stars for front-passenger and driver protection in frontal-impact crash tests. However, it receives a low rating for side-impact tests: only three stars for front-passenger protection. These ratings come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and mirror the results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS gives the LaCrosse a ?good? rating for frontal-offset safety—the highest mark—while it only receives a ?marginal? rating for side-impact crash tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Buick LaCrosse CX: 17/28 mpg city/highway
Buick LaCrosse CXL: 17/28 mpg city/highway
Buick LaCrosse CXS: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Buick LaCrosse Super: 16/24 mpg city/highway
- Quiet ride
- Smooth transmission
- Six-passenger seating available
You Won't Like
- Cramped rear legroom
- Unsupportive seats
- Low-budget interior materials
A traditional car with a smooth, quiet ride, but it lacks high-tech options and interior space.
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