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2012 Buick LaCrosse

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$5,814 — $17,910 USED
7
Photos
Sedan
5 Seats
21-30 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 7 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Interior quality
  • Comfortable ride
  • Quiet cabin
  • Elegant styling
  • Well-executed navigation system

The Bad

  • Small trunk
  • Crowded controls
  • Mushy brakes
  • Backseat too low to the floor
  • Numb highway steering
2012 Buick LaCrosse exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Buick LaCrosse
  • New 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with eAssist hybrid technology gets 36 mpg highway
  • More powerful 3.6-liter V-6
  • Available AWD
  • Available Buick IntelliLink integrates internet radio from smartphones
  • Available rear DVD screens

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2012 Buick LaCrosse Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

Although it shares aspects with the Chevrolet Malibu, the five-seat Buick LaCrosse is intended to compete with premium or near-luxury models like the Volkswagen Passat. It was designed in the U.S. and China, where Buick has a significant presence. Buyers can choose from a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with fuel-saving eAssist hybrid technology or a 3.6-liter V-6.

(Skip to details on the: LaCrosse eAssist)

New for 2012
The LaCrosse’s available 3.6-liter V-6 is now rated at 303 horsepower — an increase of 23 hp — and it can also run on E85 ethanol instead of regular gas. Additional newly available features include dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a high-resolution color driver information center, an 8-inch touch-screen radio and a USB port. Available is Buick’s IntelliLink, which uses Bluetooth or the USB port to pair a smartphone to the touch-screen stereo and stream music from Pandora Internet Radio or Stitcher SmartRadio.

Exterior
Though it’s a midsize sedan, the LaCrosse is a bit larger in all dimensions than the Malibu and a few hundred pounds heavier. The grille is large and bold, and a distinctive accent line runs along the side from headlight to taillight. It’s a stronger statement than the previous generation, but Buick hasn’t redefined itself to an extent that will turn off traditional buyers. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 17-inch wheels; 18- and 19-inch wheels available
  • Available fog lights
  • Ava...

Vehicle Overview

Although it shares aspects with the Chevrolet Malibu, the five-seat Buick LaCrosse is intended to compete with premium or near-luxury models like the Volkswagen Passat. It was designed in the U.S. and China, where Buick has a significant presence. Buyers can choose from a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with fuel-saving eAssist hybrid technology or a 3.6-liter V-6.

(Skip to details on the: LaCrosse eAssist)

New for 2012
The LaCrosse’s available 3.6-liter V-6 is now rated at 303 horsepower — an increase of 23 hp — and it can also run on E85 ethanol instead of regular gas. Additional newly available features include dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, a high-resolution color driver information center, an 8-inch touch-screen radio and a USB port. Available is Buick’s IntelliLink, which uses Bluetooth or the USB port to pair a smartphone to the touch-screen stereo and stream music from Pandora Internet Radio or Stitcher SmartRadio.

Exterior
Though it’s a midsize sedan, the LaCrosse is a bit larger in all dimensions than the Malibu and a few hundred pounds heavier. The grille is large and bold, and a distinctive accent line runs along the side from headlight to taillight. It’s a stronger statement than the previous generation, but Buick hasn’t redefined itself to an extent that will turn off traditional buyers. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 17-inch wheels; 18- and 19-inch wheels available
  • Available fog lights
  • Available side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Available adaptive damping suspension

Interior
The interior is modernized with features such as ambient LED lighting and USB connectivity. It doesn’t trade the classic interior for anything too edgy. There are high-quality materials and contrasting-color stitching. The backseat truly has room for three passengers. Optional interior features include:

  • Navigation system
  • Dual-display backseat DVD entertainment system
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Harman Kardon surround-sound system
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Power rear sunshade

Under the Hood
The LaCrosse comes with one of two engines: a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist hybrid technology or a 303-hp, 3.6-liter V-6. Both are direct-injection designs, a relatively new development in gasoline engines that portends good gas mileage for the engines’ size and power. Mechanical features include:

  • Both engines can run on regular gas, and the V-6 can use E85
  • Standard six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive standard; all-wheel drive available with V-6

Safety
The LaCrosse has front- and side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags that cover both rows of seats. Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control are also standard, as is OnStar communication system with six months of free service. Optional safety features include:

  • Adaptive headlights
  • Blind spot warning system

LaCrosse eAssist
In the LaCrosse eAssist, Buick engineers paired a 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder with an advanced lithium-ion battery pack and a 15-kilowatt electric motor. The result is EPA-estimated gas mileage of 25/36 mpg city/highway. This technology enables regenerative braking, electric-power assist during acceleration, fuel cut-off during deceleration and a stop-start function for the gas engine. The LaCrosse eAssist also has improved underbody aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance tires and unique electronically controlled shutters in the lower grille that close at higher speeds to direct more air over the car. Back to top

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.7
60 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.8)
Comfort
(4.9)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Simple and American Luxury in Style

by Jerome & Shari from Washington Court House, OH on November 10, 2019

This was the vehicle my wife wanted, and we got it! It’s very comfortable, stylish, and an attention-grabber when we roll down the street. Looking and feeling great about our quality used purchase! Read full review

(5.0)

Very pleased with my Lacross

by Joe H from St. Augustine, Fleher49@aol.com on June 21, 2019

Great running car. No problems since the first day I purchased March 2012. Very sharpe looking vehicle with a smooth ride. I will not trade or sell for any other vehicle. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Buick LaCrosse currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Buick

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 100,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)

  • Powertrain

    6 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 LaCrosse Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The LaCrosse received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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