Buick LaCrosse Years to Avoid: Avoid These Model Years


The Buick LaCrosse is a mid-size sedan that has enjoyed popularity for its comfort, style, and performance. However, not all model years are created equal. For potential buyers, knowing which years to avoid can save time, money, and frustration. This article delves into the history of the Buick LaCrosse, identifies problematic years, discusses common issues, and suggests better alternatives, providing a thorough guide for anyone considering this vehicle.

History and Evolution of the Buick LaCrosse

Early Years (2005-2009)

The Buick LaCrosse was introduced in 2005 as a replacement for the Century and Regal models. Initially, it was well-received for its smooth ride and upscale interior. However, early models faced criticism for lackluster performance and outdated technology. Despite these drawbacks, the LaCrosse established itself as a reliable choice in the mid-size sedan market.

Mid-Generation Updates (2010-2013)

In 2010, the LaCrosse underwent significant updates, including a refreshed exterior design and improved technology features. These changes aimed to attract a younger demographic and compete with other luxury sedans. The 2010-2013 models saw improvements in performance and comfort, but some issues persisted, particularly with electronics and transmission.

Recent Models (2014-2019)

The most recent generation of the LaCrosse, starting in 2014, brought modern innovations and a more refined design. Enhanced safety features and advanced infotainment systems made these models more appealing. However, reliability remained inconsistent across the years, with certain models still experiencing notable problems.

Identifying Problematic Years

Criteria for Determining Problematic Years

Determining which years to avoid involves examining common issues, recalls, and consumer complaints. Problematic years typically have higher rates of mechanical failures, electrical problems, and safety concerns. Owner reviews and expert ratings provide valuable insights into these recurring issues.

Detailed Analysis of Specific Years to Avoid

2008 Buick LaCrosse

The 2008 model is notorious for its electrical issues and transmission failures. Owners have reported frequent problems with the car’s wiring and control modules, leading to costly repairs and frustrating downtime. Additionally, transmission malfunctions are common, impacting the overall driving experience.

2011 Buick LaCrosse

The 2011 LaCrosse suffers from engine problems and faulty electronics. Many owners have experienced issues with the car’s engine stalling or failing to start. The infotainment system and other electronic components often malfunction, reducing the vehicle’s reliability and increasing maintenance costs.

2015 Buick LaCrosse

In 2015, the LaCrosse faced numerous complaints about brake problems and suspension issues. These defects not only affect the vehicle’s performance but also pose significant safety risks. Recalls were issued for these problems, but many owners still faced difficulties even after repairs.

Common Issues in Problematic Years

Mechanical Problems

Mechanical issues are prevalent in the problematic years of the Buick LaCrosse. Engine failures, performance issues, and transmission troubles are common complaints. These problems often lead to expensive repairs and frequent visits to the mechanic.

Electrical and Electronic Issues

Electrical malfunctions are a major concern for Buick LaCrosse owners. Infotainment systems, battery problems, and wiring issues frequently arise, causing inconvenience and additional repair costs. These electronic failures can significantly impact the driving experience.

Safety Concerns

Safety concerns are critical when assessing problematic years. Airbag deployment failures and brake system malfunctions have been reported, posing serious risks to drivers and passengers. Ensuring these systems are functioning correctly is essential for vehicle safety.

Alternatives and Better Model Years

Recommended Years with Better Reliability

For those considering a Buick LaCrosse, certain model years offer better reliability. The 2012, 2014, and 2017 models have fewer reported issues and higher owner satisfaction. These years feature improved technology, enhanced performance, and greater overall reliability.

Tips for Purchasing a Used Buick LaCrosse

When buying a used Buick LaCrosse, it’s crucial to perform thorough research. Check the vehicle’s history report, look for any past recalls or repairs, and conduct a pre-purchase inspection. These steps can help identify potential problems and ensure a sound investment.

Comparison with Similar Vehicles in the Same Class

Comparing the Buick LaCrosse with other mid-size sedans can provide additional perspective. Competitors like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion offer similar features with varying levels of reliability and performance. Evaluating these alternatives can help buyers make an informed decision.


In summary, while the Buick LaCrosse is a popular choice for its comfort and style, certain model years should be approached with caution. By understanding the history, identifying problematic years, and knowing common issues, potential buyers can make more informed decisions. Always conduct thorough research and consider all factors before purchasing.

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