2018 Buick LaCrosse

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MSRP: $29,565 - 43,470

2018 Buick LaCrosse Review

The 2018 Buick LaCrosse has excellent safety ratings, a top-notch cabin, and composed handling, yet it ranks in the middle of the large car class. This is because it has relatively low safety scores and a predicted reliability rating that’s good, but not comparable to many rivals.

8.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.0
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Great gas mileage
  • Refined and spacious interior
  • Cushioned ride
  • Smaller-than-average trunk

Is the Buick LaCrosse a Good Car?

The 2018 LaCrosse prioritizes passenger comfort while still maintaining good overall performance. Its roomy and luxurious cabin is packed with features, some of which you can’t get in many class rivals. The LaCrosse also has a smooth ride, nimble handling, and available powertrains that provide great fuel efficiency and quick acceleration. The LaCrosse also has great crash test scores. Simply put – the 2018 LaCrosse is a good car.

Should I Buy the Buick LaCrosse?

The LaCrosse has a much nicer interior than you'd expect at this price range, but that’s not the only trick up its sleeve. It can handle twists and turns with ease. In addition, the standard eAssist powertrain delivers impressive gas mileage, and the available V6 engine delivers great power.

Should I Buy a New or Used Buick LaCrosse?

The 2018 Buick LaCrosse was fully redesigned for the 2017 model year. There are two notable updates to the 2018 model year: a new standard powertrain and a new Avenir trim. Otherwise, there are no major changes. That means you could save money with the 2017 Lacrosse and get a very similar car. Any models prior to 2017 are significantly different from the current generation.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 Buick Lacrosse »

We Did the Research for You: 30 Reviews Analyzed

To help you decide if the Buick LaCrosse is the right car for you, we've gathered and analyzed 30 professional reviews. We've also included information about the LaCrosse's fuel economy, safety scores, features, and more to give you an idea of its strengths and weaknesses.

This 2018 Buick LaCrosse review uses applicable research and reviews from the 2017 and 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party manages the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Buick LaCrosse Cost?

The Buick LaCrosse starts at $29,565, which falls in the middle of starting prices in the class. The range-topping LaCrosse Avenir trim starts at $44,870. A mild hybrid powertrain comes standard in the LaCrosse, rather than a V6 like many competitors. You'll need to add on an extra $2,500 to get a more powerful engine.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Buick dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Buick deals page.

Buick LaCrosse Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Buick LaCrosse or Chevrolet Impala?

Both the LaCrosse and the Chevrolet Impala have a smooth, composed ride and many of the same features. The Impala has a slightly larger trunk area and a lower starting price, but the LaCrosse is a superior vehicle overall. It has a higher-quality cabin with nicer materials, superior base fuel economy, and a stronger available V6.

Which Is Better: Buick LaCrosse or Nissan Maxima?

Though the Nissan Maxima has a higher starting price, consider it over the LaCrosse if driver engagement is a priority. The Maxima has a muscular V6 engine, and its suspension allows it to maintain composure through twists and turns for a connected drive. Though both models feature first-rate materials in their upmarket cabins, the Maxima has less passenger space than the Lacrosse. If you're willing to trade space for engaging performance, choose the Maxima. If you want a more family-friendly vehicle that will put less of a strain on your wallet, choose the LaCrosse.

Compare the LaCrosse, Impala, and Maxima »

LaCrosse Interior

How Many People Does the LaCrosse Seat?

The five-seat LaCrosse has a roomy, quiet cabin. The front seats – which are power-adjustable in all trims – offer plenty of head- and legroom. However, they are a bit low, so it can be hard to find a good driving position. The back seats are spacious and provide ample headroom for tall adults, but they don't have much thigh support. Available comfort features include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

LaCrosse and Car Seats

There are full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the outboard rear seats, as well as an additional upper tether anchor on the middle rear seat.

LaCrosse Interior Quality

The LaCrosse has an upmarket interior featuring a modern style and first-rate materials. You'll find soft-touch surfaces anywhere you come into contact with. The cabin is so nice that you might be fooled into thinking there's a more expensive badge on the hood.

LaCrosse Cargo Space

Many large cars offer more trunk room than the LaCrosse’s 15 cubic feet. Some competitors offer as much as 20 cubic feet. Even though it's a bit small for the class, the LaCrosse's trunk is still shaped to accommodate wide items. You can haul long objects if you fold down the rear seatbacks. The load floor with the seats folded is higher than the trunk floor, so it's not possible to simply slide in your cargo. The LaCrosse doesn't have many small-item storage cubbies.

LaCrosse Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

All LaCrosse models come with an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

The system is easy to use thanks to large on-screen buttons and straightforward menus. Its high position on the dashboard means it isn't easy to reach from the driver's seat, and it is susceptible to glare from the sun. Most controls are set using the touch screen, so the dash has a clean, uncluttered appearance. Still, there are some physical controls to let you quickly change climate or audio settings.

Read more about interior »

LaCrosse Performance

LaCrosse Engine: New Mild Hybrid

Buick gave the LaCrosse a new eAssist powertrain for the 2018 model year. This standard setup includes a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that work together to give the sedan brisk acceleration when pulling away from a stop. An optional V6 engine has more grunt and feels stronger at high and low speeds. An automatic transmission is standard. A stop-start system – which helps save gas at stoplights – is standard with both powertrains. You likely won't even notice when it’s at work, as it's much more refined than similar systems in competitors.

LaCrosse Gas Mileage: Skip Trips to the Pump

The base LaCrosse with the eAssist powertrain is one of the most fuel-efficient large cars you can buy. In fact, only the Toyota Avalon Hybrid beats the LaCrosse's gas mileage of 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Even with the V6 engine, the LaCrosse still uses less fuel than most competitors.

LaCrosse Ride and Handling: Balanced Handling

The LaCrosse is primarily tuned for comfort over bumpy streets, but it still holds its own around corners. The suspension gives you an incredibly cushioned ride. An available adaptive suspension allows you to choose from Normal or Sport driving modes. This sedan still keeps its composure through turns and is fairly fun to drive, though it's certainly not a sports sedan. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available in the upper trims.

Read more about performance »

LaCrosse Reliability

Is the Buick LaCrosse Reliable?

The 2018 LaCrosse has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That is average for the industry.

Buick LaCrosse Warranty

The 2018 Buick LaCrosse is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

LaCrosse Safety

LaCrosse Crash Test Results

The LaCrosse earns top-tier safety scores, with five out of five stars in every National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash test. Most large cars do well in crash testing, though few get top scores in every category like the LaCrosse does. The LaCrosse also gets the highest rating of Good in all crash safety tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

LaCrosse Safety Features

A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are the LaCrosse's only standard safety features. Higher trims add many more safety systems, like rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, active park assist, and Buick's Safety Alert Seat, which vibrates to alert the driver of potential hazards.

Read more about safety »

Which Buick LaCrosse Model Is Right for Me?

Most buyers should stick with the base model because it has a low price and the best balance of features. Stepping up to the Preferred trim doesn't add much for the several-thousand-dollar price increase. You'll need to buy an Essence model if you want leather upholstery. A new-for-2018 range-topping model, the Buick LaCrosse Avenir, is also available.

The LaCrosse comes standard with a four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. A V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission is available in all but the base trim for $2,500. All-wheel drive can be added to V6-powered Premium models.

Buick LaCrosse (Base)

The entry-level LaCrosse (1SV) starts at $29,565 and comes standard with leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors.

Buick LaCrosse Preferred

The Preferred trim is priced at $33,670. It adds satellite radio, and a power tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel.

Buick LaCrosse Essence

With the $36,370 Essence trim, you get leather upholstery, heated front seats, and wireless smartphone charging. A few packages are available in the Essence model. The Driver Confidence 1 package ($445) adds rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. The Sun and Shade package ($1,550) comes with a panoramic moonroof and a rear-window power sunshade. The Sights and Sounds package ($1,145) gets you navigation, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, and HD Radio. Adaptive suspension is available in the Dynamic Drive package ($1,625).

Buick LaCrosse Premium

The Premium trim is priced at $38,670 and is equipped with massaging and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and Buick's Safety Alert Seat, which vibrates to alert the driver of potential dangers. The Driver Confidence 2 package ($1,690) comes with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and active park assist. The Sun and Shade, Sights and Sounds, and Dynamic Drive packages are all available in the Premium trim at the same price as they are in the Essence model.

Buick LaCrosse Avenir

The new-for-2018 Avenir trim starts at $44,870 and features a standard 3.6-liter engine, a navigation system, an 11-speaker Bose audio system, a panoramic moonroof, a rear-window power sunshade, and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. The Driver Confidence 2 package and the Dynamic Drive package are also available.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Buick dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Buick deals page.

See 2018 Buick LaCrosse specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Buick LaCrosse stands firm among competing large cars. It has an upscale, spacious cabin and performance that blends comfort and athleticism.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The LaCrosse is no longer just another entry in a full-size sedan segment hemorrhaging sales, but rather an honest-to-goodness luxury sedan that backs up Buick's premium intentions better than anything else in its lineup." -- Autoblog (2017)
  • "Though Buick has tried for several years to reestablish itself as a luxury automaker, this is the first model that legitimately makes the grade. In addition to its classy styling and high-quality, well-equipped cabin, the new LaCrosse offers the refinement, poise and sophistication you expect from the best luxury cars." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The last LaCrosse was a roomy family sedan with upscale trim and luxury features, but the new one takes all that up a notch while adding the option of a sportier feel." -- Consumer Guide (2017)
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