VMR Canada
Comfort:  B+ Performance:  C Reliability:  A- Overall Value:  B+

Buick Allure2006 Buick LaCrosse

2005-2009

The 2005-2009 Buick Allure (LaCrosse in the U.S.)  has proven to be a comfortable, reliable and competent automobile in the mid-size segment.  Think of it as a better looking, better driving successor to the older Century/Regal models -- because that's exactly what it is.

The base CX model behaved most like the earlier Century/Regal.  Somewhat softly sprung, it delivers a good ride but less than crisp handling.  The CX uses the old GM 3.8L overhead valve V6. It is definitely "old school" but it is a simple (relatively speaking), smooth, and very reliable engine.

Next up the model ladder is the CXL, which added luxury features such as leather, a split folding rear seat, upgraded trim, and automatic climate control.  It also uses the 3.8L V6.

Strengths

Weaknesses

Style - exterior

Reliability

Ride

High speed handling (CX,CXL)

Interior presentation

The top of the line model, the CSX, is both more luxurious and sportier than the other models and brings such features as an upgraded suspension, traction control, anti-lock brakes and a new generation overhead cam V6 to the table.

Exterior

Allure's exterior styling is smooth and flowing with an upscale look.  The CXL and CSX offer plenty of chrome, something just about everyone is doing these days.

Interior2008 buick lacrosse dash

Inside is pleasant enough, but you could easily imagine yourself sitting in an Impala.  The faux wood looks exactly that, and the whole presentation is a bit of a letdown.  It's not bad, just not quite up to what the exterior promises.

Room/Comfort

Seating for four is comfortable, but rear seat leg room gets a bit tight if the front passengers have their seats pushed back.  The CSX's buckets are somewhat more supportive than those found in the lower trims. 

An optional front seat center convertible armrest/console setup (lifted from Ford's Taurus) provides for an additional passenger up front, but there's no comfort to be found there.

Ride/Handling/Performance

The 3.8L V6 in the CX and CXL works unobtrusively and provides adequate power at 200hp.  The 3.6L V6 in the CXS produces 240 horsepower and is similarly smooth and quiet, while providing noticeably quicker passing acceleration.  Both engines get a bit thrashy when pushed, though.  A four-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting chores smoothly.

 

Fuel economy is near the top of its class for mid-sized six-cylinder sedans.

Handling is clearly of second concern to a smooth, quiet ride in the LaCrosse, and that's ok.  The CXS, with its tighter suspension, wide 17-inch alloys (16-inch on the other two) and quicker steering gives up just little "smooth" for a much more responsive driver experience.

Reliability

Reliability has generally been very good, especially on all the major components.  The Series III 3.8L V6 is well known as a robust and reliable engine--as well it should be as its basic design reaches all the way back to the early sixties.

Our reliability survey reveals some minor front end issues and occasional minor electrical annoyances. 

Service costs weigh in about average, as do most GM models.  While low-cost service for any newer vehicle today is impossible to find, the LaCrosse does well for this class.

Model Year Changes

2005: New model

2006: Side airbags, traction control, and ABS now standard on all versions

2007: Steady as she goes, few minor detail changes

2008: Freshened styling, slightly richer interior, new Super model with 300hp V8

2009: Last year for this design, CXS discontinued, 3.6L V6 no longer available

Safety

Four wheel disc brakes with ABS are standard on the CXS and optional on the CX and CXL.  Two dash mounted front air bags are standard, while side curtain airbags for the front passengers were an option. StabiliTrak and an Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist feature were also optional.

Conclusion

The Allure is an excellent choice for those seeking a reliable, comfortable ride with sleek, contemporary styling.

 

Vehicle

Specifications

Vehicle Type FWD, Mid-size 4dr Sedan

Passenger capacity: 5/6

Base Price (2005)

CX: $25,200 CXL: $27,865 CXS: $33,265

Length: 503cm (198.1")  WB: 281cm (110.5")

Engine(s)

3.8L ohv V6 200hp@5200 rpm; 230ft lb torque@4000rpm

3.6L dohc 24valve V6, 240hp@6000rpm; 225 ft lb torque@2000rpm

Fuel Consumption  (L/100km)

3.6L: 12.4 city 8.0 hwy

3.8L: 11.9 city 7.3 highway

NHTSA Crash Ratings

Frontal Driver * * * * *

Frontal Passenger * * * * *

Side Driver * * *

Side Rear Passenger * * * *

Rollover Rating * * * *

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