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8.5 years of 2008 Buick LaCrosse CX - long-term review

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Hey gang:


Long time no post.  I'm glad to see that a lot of the same names are still here.  I was going to post an extended review of my car on its 8th birthday and didn't get around to it.  So, now I'll post the update slightly after its 8.5th birthday.


My 2008 LaCrosse, which I bought after a lot of vetting on this forum between it and other W-body stablemates of the same year, has been a good car.  I can say that I am happy with the purchase.  It now (only) has between 50,000 and 60,000 miles, largely because of using public transit or renting cars.


The best feature about the LaCrosse is how it feels like a true to form Buick, with its very good build quality.  I also like its balanced silhouette and I like it more each day as I see the direction auto design has gone and is going.  I've actually gotten to liking the 4 doors, since I'm able to open them without putting a dent in an adjacent car in a parking lot.  (I do still eye the '06 and '07 Monte Carlos when I see a nice one). The all cast-iron 3800 V6 works fairly quietly to me, though some reviewers have called it "coarse," and can deliver that 30 mpg that's on the EPA sticker when babied on an easy interstate jaunt.  Most of all, I like the quality of the ride and how quiet it is, with a more nicely weighted feeling coming from the steering wheel, whether on the highway or on two lane roads.  I guess part of that is that this car also weighs 300 pounds more than its predecessor on the same chassis I owned prior.


The LaCrosse does have a few demerits.  The first one, which I believe I already mentioned some years ago, is that the Series III 3800 V6s have a TSB out on them about oil consumption.  My car does not go over their benchmark for being considered a problem child.  However, I don't like to have to add oil in between my ahead of schedule oil changes.  I'd say that the oil might be down 2 dots out of 5 on the dipstick operating range after about more or less 1,500 miles.  If this remains constant, I can live with that, but I don't like it.  The last car I had, with almost 300,000 miles, only used a quart of a quart if measured right before an oil change.  So what's the deal?  Buick nails it on the Series I 3800 engines, has intake manifold issues on select Series II 3800 engines, and has oil consumption issues on select Series III 3800 engines.  Meh.  The other demerits are the lack of a light in the engine bay and, while they have held up well and are supportive, the mouse fur velour seats could and should have been quite a bit nicer.


Nothing, thus far, has had to be repaired.  I'm crossing my fingers.  I have had a check engine light that comes and goes during the winter months over the last  couple of years.  I guess the car is telling me it wants to live in a warm weather climate.  The other is that the driver's power door lock is intermittently ornery with either the automatic locking feature or the fob.


Here are some photos of it within the last 6 months:


In a northern latitude:



In Palm Springs (when it was newer and under warranty):



in a northern latitude:



on the coast:



I seriously don't know what I'd buy if in the market today.  I've had the opportunity to drive the very last Chevy Malibu 2.5L 4, with the more notchback styling and Camaro-esque rear lamps, and loved it.  It's gone.  I've had the opportunity to drive the outgoing Buick Verano 2.4L 4 and loved it.  It's on its way out.  I do not like the new Malibu at all ... have you seen the kink in the rearmost window's C-pillar moulding?  It looks like a mistake.  Also, the visibility, based on test sitting, is less than optimal.  I thought the Verano would continue as Buick's answer to the Cruze.  Now it only looks like the Chinese market is getting it.  In looking at the spy photos, it looks more like a previous VW Jetta or Passat from the rear. 


As for other brands, which I hate to admit being open to, the Nissan Altima, in base form, gets stellar mileage (over 40 mpg) with its CVT, which feels surprisingly decent, and has a very easy to use instrument panel.  For some crazy reason, I am now liking the basic, bread and butter Ford Focus sedan, in SE form and with some options, and am hoping that the series of a few years they've reportedly had with automatic transmission lurching problems are behind them. 


How time flies!  Cheers ... and gears.




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Hey trinacriabob.  Nice to see you stop by and give an update on your LaCrosse.  W-bodies were decent cars but didn't have the best packaging.  Good to see that yours has been reliable for the most part.  Perhaps the 2018 Regal could be a contender if you decide to replace your LaCrosse.

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This is my second favorite W body. I like the last Cutlass coupe more.

I also prefer the 1st gen W-Body Cutlass Supreme coupe, sedan and convertible more (any year to boot-international series, 3.4 DOHC, 3.1 liter SFI sedan...any model or trim)  plus Ill add the 1989 Turbo Grand Prix coupe.


The 2nd generation W-Body 1997 supercharged Grand Prix sedan, Oldsmobile Intrigue and the Lumina Z34 Coupe are in 2nd place.


Rounding up in 3rd place would be the Lacrosse Super and the 2005 supercharged Impala SS.

Edited by oldshurst442
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