Buick vehicles have been around since the early 1900s but are still a solid choice for car buyers today. The Buick LaCrosse is a mid-size sedan first produced in 2004 and currently in its third generation. Although this former household name may be overlooked by many people today, Buicks can boast a reputation as an affordable, safe, and refined vehicle. However, every model and year of Buick will have pros and cons. In this quick review, we’ll go over the best Buick LaCrosse years to purchase and the worst Buick LaCrosse years to avoid.
The Short Answer: Avoid The Buick LaCrosse 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011 Models.
These models have a higher incidence of major and minor reported issues, including transmission failure, the engine stalling or not starting, and the car’s low beams going out altogether. A few significant recalls can also be a safety hazard if not addressed quickly and efficiently. Read on to learn which model years are the best ones to buy and which ones to avoid.
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Which Year Models of Buick LaCrosse are Safe to Buy Used?
The LaCrosse has taken the top spot as Buick’s flagship mid-size vehicle replacing the Century and Regal in North America since 2005. It was also briefly sold in Canada as the Buick Allure. The LaCrosse was redesigned in 2010 and 2017 until American production ceased in 2019. However, Buick still manufactures the LaCrosse today for the Chinese market.
While some Buick LaCrosse model years are better than others, most used LaCrosse vehicles should be relatively reliable and excellent cars to purchase.
Based on our research, we recommend the following Buick LaCrosse year models as being the best ones on the market to look for:
THE MOST RELIABLE YEAR FOR THE BUICK LACROSSE
Of course, different years have different features and issues to be aware of and if you are wanting to purchase one of these, you will want to know the most reliable year of Buick Lacrosse to check into.
- 2007 Buick LaCrosse
- 2009 Buick LaCrosse
- 2012 Buick LaCrosse
- 2013 Buick LaCrosse
- 2014 Buick LaCrosse
- 2015 Buick LaCrosse
- 2016 Buick LaCrosse
- 2017 Buick LaCrosse
- 2018 Buick LaCrosse
- 2019 Buick LaCrosse
These LaCrosse models have been proven safe and investment-worthy as used vehicles. They have relatively few consumer complaints, have little to no major recalls, and should be considered an excellent option for car buyers on the market for a used Buick.
In particular, the newest LaCrosse models before production ceased (2015-2019) had a very impressive track record of less than five consumer complaints from carcomplaints.com. If you are looking for a used LaCrosse and can afford one of these models, you should be very satisfied with your ownership experience.
Next, we will take a look at which Buick LaCrosse years to avoid.
Which Buick LaCrosse Years to Avoid?
On the other hand, a few different model years of the Buick LaCrosse have been proven unreliable, subject to too many recalls, and overall costly to their owners. Luckily, consumers can easily avoid buying a LaCrosse from these model years by simply looking at owner reports on a website like carcomplaints.com. These reviews give us a better idea of which model years to avoid and which ones are safe to buy.
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Based on these reports, we recommend avoiding the following Buick LaCrosse year models:
- 2005 Buick LaCrosse
- 2006 Buick LaCrosse
- 2008 Buick LaCrosse
- 2010 Buick LaCrosse
- 2011 Buick LaCrosse
Consumers who buy one of these LaCrosse models should expect various problems, including engine and transmission problems, electrical issues, and issues with the instrument panel. With concerns like these, buyers should beware of making such a poor investment.
For example, the most common complaint in the 2005 LaCrosse model was problems with the headlights, including the low beams flickering or going out completely. This can be a severe and dangerous issue, although it is not too expensive to repair. This problem was covered by a recall and persisted into the 2006 model year.
On the other hand, transmission failure is one of the most expensive issues you can encounter with any vehicle. And unfortunately, the 2010 Buick LaCrosse received several complaints about this issue, with an average cost to repair of $3,900. Similarly, the 2010 model was riddled with other severe and costly engine problems, such as the engine stalling or not starting.
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Compared to other vehicles, the Buick LaCrosse seems to have avoided most major recalls, and most model years are only subject to 1 or 2 minor issues under recall. However, there have been a few serious recalls, such as an ignition switch issue potentially causing airbag deployment to fail in the event of an accident. This defect was present in the 2005-2009 Buick LaCrosse models and should be addressed immediately if it has not done so already. Recalls should always be repaired as soon as possible, and when buying a used vehicle, it is crucial to check the recall notices and repair history of any previous owners.
So out of all the Buick LaCrosse models, which is the one that should be avoided the most? It appears that the very first model (2005) of the LaCrosse was the worst, with the highest number of consumer complaints and being subject to 5 recalls. So out of all the Buick LaCrosse years to avoid, you will probably want to avoid a 2005 model. But as with any used vehicle, be sure to obtain a thorough inspection from a certified mechanic before your purchase.
Common Buick LaCrosse Problems
The Buick LaCrosse isn’t known for retaining its value over time, but it does offer decent reliability ratings. Many of its reliability issues are relatively minor.
- Illuminated engine light: One of the most common complaints about the LaCrosse is its check engine light. While the check engine light can warn you of potential issues your vehicle is facing, the LaCrosse’s engine light was reportedly too sensitive. According to reports, the check engine light would come on even with a loose or worn gas cap.
- Faulty door lock actuator: Many owners also complained about the doors of the LaCrosse and its tendency to become stuck. This prevents passengers from opening the door from both sides.
- Steering issues: Although this was a minor issue, several owners have reported hearing clunking noises while steering their LaCrosse. Furthermore, it’s a widespread problem reported for the 2005 to 2014 model years. In addition, fixing this issue will cost you around $250-$1,000.
- Power steering hose leaks: Owners of 2005-2010 Buick LaCrosse complained about leaks in the power steering hose. Reports claimed fluids leaked into the cabin, under the vehicle, and an unmistakable smell of hydraulic fluid.
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