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2018 Buick LaCrosse Review

The 2018 Buick LaCrosse ranks at the top of the large car class. The LaCrosse has excellent safety and predicted reliability ratings, composed handling, and a luxe interior with plenty of room and easy-to-use tech features.

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet and spacious cabin
  • Comfortable ride
  • Great fuel economy
  • Impressive safety scores
  • Sluggish four-cylinder engine




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Buick LaCrosse Overview

Is the 2018 Buick LaCrosse a Good Used Car?

Yes, the Buick LaCrosse is a great choice if you’re shopping for a used large car.

There are several highlights of the 2018 LaCrosse:

  • Roomy, quiet interior with five seats
  • Quality materials and upscale amenities like massaging seats
  • User-friendly touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Comfortable ride and balanced handling
  • Muscular V6 engine
  • Great fuel economy, especially with the four-cylinder engine
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Superb safety score and many available safety features

It does have a few drawbacks, but these aren’t enough to dash the sedan's overall appeal:

  • Less cargo space than many competitors
  • Poky acceleration with the four-cylinder engine

Other highly-rated options in this segment include the 2018 Kia Cadenza and 2018 Toyota Avalon.

Compare the LaCrosse, Cadenza, and Avalon »

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 30 Buick LaCrosse reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2018 Buick LaCrosse?

Based on listings for the 2018 Buick LaCrosse on our site, the average list price is $24,900, which is about average for the class. Prices range from $21,000 to $30,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Buick LaCrosse Cost to Own?

The LaCrosse’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $23,600, or $4,720 per year. That’s lower than average for a large car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New LaCrosse?

Pricing for the 2019 Buick LaCrosse starts at around $29,600, but it can exceed $45,000 in its highest trims. You can save a lot of money by sticking with a similar 2018 or 2017 model.

The 2019 model gains a Sport Touring trim with different grille and wheel designs. It’s worth noting that General Motors has discontinued the LaCrosse for the 2020 model year in the U.S. market.

Read about the new Buick LaCrosse »

Updates over this generation have been fairly minor. Buick added a four-cylinder engine option and a ritzier Avenir trim for 2018.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 LaCrosse »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Buick LaCrosse?

The 2018 LaCrosse has a great predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about LaCrosse reliability »

2018 Buick LaCrosse Recalls

At the time of writing, there are two recalls for the 2018 LaCrosse:

  • The rear brake calipers may contain air bubbles
  • The fuel pump may detach from its mounting bracket

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Buick LaCrosse safety recalls »

Which Used Buick LaCrosse Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Buick LaCrosse is available in five trim levels: 1SV, Preferred, Essence, Premium, and Avenir. The entry-level 1SV trim is a good choice for most shoppers because it comes standard with many convenience features like a touch screen and Apple CarPlay. Opt for the Premium or Avenir trim if you’re looking for advanced safety features.

  • Buick LaCrosse 1SV: The base 1SV trim comes equipped with a 194-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. Standard features include an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, eight speakers, a Wi-Fi hot spot, keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated side mirrors, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, Teen Driver, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • Buick LaCrosse Preferred: The uplevel Preferred trim gains satellite radio. It has a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, and it’s available with the four-cylinder engine or a 310-horsepower V6.
  • Buick LaCrosse Essence: The midrange Essence trim includes heated leather front seats and adaptive pivoting headlights. Both engine options are available, though the V6 can also be equipped with all-wheel drive.
  • Buick LaCrosse Premium: The well-equipped Premium trim comes with a heated steering wheel, ventilated and massaging front seats, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, and a head-up display. Engine options are unchanged from the Essence trim.
  • Buick LaCrosse Avenir: The top-tier Avenir trim is available only with the V6 engine, but with the option of front- or all-wheel drive. It gains a navigation system, an 11-speaker Bose stereo, a panoramic moonroof, a power rear sunshade, wood interior trim, a unique grille design, and 19-inch wheels.

Available features include an adaptive suspension, 20-inch wheels, parallel park assist, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

See 2018 Buick LaCrosse trims and specs »

What Does Buick's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Buick offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles receive a one-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty after the four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty expires. This warranty includes free maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles, and the original new-car powertrain warranty is extended to six years or 100,000 miles. Buick CPO models must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Buick’s warranty page carefully.

Buick has one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. According to our analysis, only Kia and Mini have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the LaCrosse?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 LaCrosse an overall safety rating of five out of five stars. The LaCrosse earned also five stars in the rollover, side crash, and frontal crash tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the LaCrosse a top rating of Good in five crash tests. Models equipped with forward collision warning received the lowest rating of Basic for front crash prevention, while models with automatic emergency braking received a top rating of Superior. Properly equipped LaCrosse models received the lowest rating of Poor for how well their headlights illuminate the road ahead.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • rear parking sensors
  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set limits on speed and audio volume for secondary drivers)

Available advanced safety features:

  • adaptive pivoting headlights
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • lane departure warning
  • lane keep assist
  • forward collision warning
  • adaptive cruise control
  • automatic emergency braking
  • hands-free parallel park assist
  • head-up display
  • Safety Alert Seat (vibrates to warn the driver of potential hazards)

See LaCrosse safety scores »

2018 Buick LaCrosse Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Buick LaCrosse or 2018 Nissan Maxima?

The 2018 Nissan Maxima is a rather sporty option in this segment. The Maxima comes fitted with a powerful V6 engine, and it feels light and agile for a large car. Like the LaCrosse, the Maxima also has quality cabin materials, an easy-to-use infotainment system, and great safety scores. Overall though, the Buick is the better pick for most shoppers. It has a roomier back seat, a smoother ride even over rough pavement, and a higher predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: 2018 Buick LaCrosse or 2018 Chrysler 300?

The 2018 Chrysler 300 is a bit of a muscle car dressed in a sedan body. The Chrysler packs powerful V6 and V8 engine options. It has a simple infotainment system as well, and used models often cost less. That said, the 300’s ride and handling aren’t as polished as the LaCrosse’s, and it trails the Buick in safety and predicted reliability ratings. Unless you need V8 power, the LaCrosse is the better option.

Compare the LaCrosse, Maxima, and 300 »

2018 LaCrosse Performance

How Does the 2018 Buick LaCrosse Drive?

The Buick LaCrosse is quite relaxing to drive. Its suspension yields a cushioned ride, even over rough and uneven road surfaces. The sedan remains stable around tight turns, and its steering feels light and responsive. The LaCrosse's brakes slow down the car confidently as well. This Buick is available with an adaptive suspension, which can quickly adjust the car’s shock absorbers as road conditions change. That said, we suspect that most drivers will find the standard setup to be more than comfortable.

Buick offers the 2018 LaCrosse with two engine options. The standard four-cylinder engine is paired with a small electric motor (eAssist). This powertrain gives the LaCrosse adequate zip for driving around town but provides meager acceleration on the highway. The available V6 is a better match. It effortlessly hauls the LaCrosse up to speed, and its nine-speed transmission fires off smooth yet prompt gear changes. An engine stop-start system comes standard on all models. It can’t be disabled, but it’s pretty unobtrusive, so you may not notice it.

  • Base powertrain: 194-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Available engine: 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmissions: six-speed automatic (four-cylinder only); nine-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Buick LaCrosse Get Good Gas Mileage?

The LaCrosse gets good fuel economy for a large car.

  • Four-cylinder: 25/35 mpg city/highway
  • V6, FWD: 21/30 mpg
  • V6, AWD: 20/29 mpg

Read more about LaCrosse performance »

2018 LaCrosse Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 LaCrosse Seat?

The Buick LaCrosse is a four-door sedan with five seats. The front seats are softly padded and supportive, and they provide ample head- and legroom, even for taller drivers and passengers. The rear seats are similarly comfortable and spacious for adults.

The LaCrosse’s interior has handsome styling, with many soft-touch plastics and upholstered surfaces. Not all critics are impressed by the wood veneer accents, which some say appear cut-rate. One of the Buick’s best assets can’t be seen or heard: Its cabin remains library-quiet, even at highway speeds, and it filters out almost all road and wind noise.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather upholstery
  • heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Buick LaCrosse?

The LaCrosse has two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. For ease of use, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the setup its second-lowest rating of Marginal because some of the anchors are deep within the seat cushions and difficult to attach.

2018 Buick LaCrosse Features

The LaCrosse comes standard with an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system. This system has user-friendly menus, and it responds quickly to inputs. However, it can be tough to see in direct sunlight. On the plus side, it includes the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto programs, which allow users to integrate their iPhone and Android apps on the display. You don’t have to use the touch screen to adjust every function, either. There are a few buttons and knobs underneath that manage the audio and climate controls.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a USB port, eight speakers, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Available infotainment features: a navigation system, HD Radio, satellite radio, an 11-speaker Bose stereo, and a wireless smartphone charging pad
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, and remote start
  • Other available features: a panoramic moonroof and a power rear sunshade

See 2018 Buick LaCrosse specs »

Read more about LaCrosse interior »

2018 Buick LaCrosse Dimensions

Buick LaCrosse Cargo Space

The LaCrosse has 14.3 cubic feet of trunk space when paired with its four-cylinder engine and a slightly larger 15 cubic feet of space when equipped with the V6 engine. Most alternatives in the large car class offer more cargo space, including the 2018 Chevrolet Impala and 2018 Ford Taurus.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Buick LaCrosse Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 6 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,490 to 3,840 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Buick LaCrosse Built?

Buick built the 2018 LaCrosse in Michigan.

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