Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,200 – $16,300*

2006 Buick LaCrosse

2005 Buick LaCrosse

2005 Buick LaCrosse

2005 Buick LaCrosse

  • Instruments/controls
  • Ride (CX, CXL)
  • Ride/handling (CSX)
  • Handling (CX, CXL)
  • Rear-seat comfort

LaCrosse generates more division among our testers than most cars. All agree that no model matches Honda Accord or Toyota Camry for overall value. Some testers say the CX and CXL models suffer outdated engineering and poor road manners, and that the CXS falls short of its sporty promise. Conversely, other testers like the CX and CXL for their traditional Buick room and comfort, and the CXS for its engine and handling.


Buick replaced its Century and Regal sedans for 2005 with a slightly larger version of their basic front-drive design. LaCrosse offered five-place seating with front buckets or six-passenger seating with a flip-and-fold front center seat. Three trim levels were offered: CX and step-up CXL use a 200-hp V6. The top-line CXS had a 240-hp V6. It came with a sportier suspension and 17-inch wheels vs. the others’ 16s. All used a 4-speed automatic transmission. Each LaCrosse had 4-wheel disc brakes. ABS and traction control were standard on CXS, optional on the others. An antiskid system was an exclusive CXS option. Curtain side airbags were optional on all; front torso side airbags were unavailable. CXL and CXS had leather upholstery. Optional on CX and standard on the others were a tilt/telescope steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a split folding rear seatback. Remote engine start and a sunroof were optional on all.

Yearly Updates

2006 LaCrosse
All LaCrosse models added safety features for 2006. CX and CXL models gained ABS that was previously optional. Also newly standard on all LaCrosses were curtain side airbags.
2007 LaCrosse
Buick’s midsize sedan was little-changed for 2007.
2008 LaCrosse
The 2008 Buick LaCrosse got interior and exterior upgrades as well as an available V8 engine. New for 2008 was the high-performance LaCrosse Super with a 300-hp 5.3-liter V8, sport suspension, and unique trim.
2009 LaCrosse
The 2009 Buick LaCrosse received a few new features, including standard heated power mirrors and an available wireless cell-phone link. The CXS model was discontinued.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

A pair of engines were available in LaCrosse. CX and CXL used a 200-hp 3.8-liter V6. CXS had a 240-hp 3.6-liter V6. Both engines teamed with a 4-speed automatic transmission. New for 2008 was the high-performance LaCrosse Super with a 300-hp 5.3-liter V8, sport suspension, and unique trim.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/231
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 230
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/217
Engine HP 240
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.3/325
Engine HP 300
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 323
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


Road Test

Both LaCrosse engines furnish brisk takeoffs, but the 200-hp engine in CX and CXL lacks passing muscle. CXS’ 240-hp engine is stronger at all speeds and did 7.1 sec 0-60 mph in our tests. The automatic transmission is smooth with either engine. A test CXL averaged 21.1 mpg; a CXS averaged 18.3, both in mixed city/highway driving on the recommended regular unleaded fuel.

Ride and handling were average. CX and CXL were comfortably absorbent, though they had a tendency to wallow over bumps at highway speed. Around corners, these models showed notable body lean and overboosted steering. The CXS’ sport-tuned suspension sharp bumps more than the other models, but it compensated with more composed handling.

All models tested were quiet, with wind rush noted at 65 mph and body drumming over coarse pavement. Some testers said the 240-hp V6 rivaled top import brands for smoothness, others were hesitant to put it in the same league with perennial favorites Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The quality of LaCrosse’s interior materials impressed, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces and solid assembly.

Seat comfort was generally good, with the fronts providing decent lateral support and adequate head and leg room for all but the very tall. The rear seat was praised for its leg and toe space, admonished for its lack of thigh support. Cargo space and loading were hampered by a narrow opening and structural beam located behind the rear seat. In-cabin storage was good, however.


Model Tested: 2005 Buick LaCrosse CXL w/6-pass. seating

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 8
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 5


Value - 6

Total: 59


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
110.5 198.1 73.0 57.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.0 17.5 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.4 37.2 42.3 37.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 LaCrosse 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Brake noise
Description: The front brakes may get noisy in stop-and-go traffic because a film develops on the brake rotor. Redesigned brake pads eliminate the problem by continually scraping the film away. (2005)
Fuel gauge
Description: The engine may not start or may stall because the tank is empty yet the gauge shows fuel remaining, or the fuel gauge will not show full after refilling due to sulfur corrosion of the fuel level sender and, if after treating with Fuel System Cleaner PLUS the problem remains, the sender may need to be replaced. (2004-06)
Audio system
Description: Radio reception may be poor or have static because the rear window defogger may have invisible cracks in the grid lines. (2005)
Rear axle noise
Description: Noises from the rear of the car, when there is about a quarter-tank or less of gas, are due to the fuel pump pulling in air. There is a redesigned pump to fix this. (2005)
Description: The lumbar support for the driver’s seat may not work because a cable pulls loose. (2005-06)
Steering noise
Description: There may be a clunk in the steering that can be felt and heard during slow speed turns due to a problem with the steering intermediate shaft which must be replaced. (2005-07)
Transmission leak
Description: The transmission (model 4T80-E) may leak and/or slip in gear due to a worn bushing on the clutch housing that allows fluid to build up and leak at the axle seal. (2004-08)
Water leak
Description: Water may leak from the A-pillar (between windshield and door) due to a seam that was not properly sealed or onto the floor from the fresh air intake grille or the water deflector under the cowl needs to be replaced with an improved component. (2005)
Windshield washer
Description: Windshield washers may not work properly due to problem with hose routing, Y-fitting or pinches. (2005–07)
Electrical problem
Description: The PCM was being replaced for a defective chip under a voluntary emissions recall because it affected the fuel pump and EGR system. (2005)
Electrical problem
Description: If the OnStar system quits or won’t come on (no power), but comes back to life if the fuse is removed for five minutes, the vehicle communications interface module must be replaced or else the problem will recur. (2005-06)
Electrical problem
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2004-07)

Recall History

2005 LaCrosse
Description: Some vehicles may have a bent brake pedal arm pin, causing the brakes not to apply when the pedal is pushed. Dealer will install a new brake pedal pushrod bushing and retaining clip.
2005-06 Lacrosse w/aftermarket leather seats
Description: Testing has indicated that the aftermarket leather seat covers can cause the passenger sensing system to malfunction. If the passenger sensing system malfunctions, the front air bag on the passenger side may be disabled when it should be enabled, or enabled when it should be disabled. GM will purchase these vehicles for the full price paid for it (not exceeding the fair market value at the time it was bought), including taxes and fees, if the vehicle is returned to GM’s possession by January 31, 2007. Through January 31, 2007, GM will also pay for the removal of any aftermarket accessories that may have been installed and return them to the customer.
Description: The fuel tank is missing the adhesive layer that bonds the barrier layer to the outer shell of the fuel tank. With this condition, fuel and/or fuel vapors could seep out between the layers, increasing the risk of a fire. Dealers will inspect the serial number on the fuel tank and replace the fuel tank if necessary.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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