- Loads of equipment comes standard
- Roomy cabin
- Extremely quiet interior
- Standard V-6 engine is robust but not smooth
- Only a four-speed automatic transmission
- Ho-hum exterior styling
The 2009 Buick LaCrosse is a nicely equipped American luxury sedan that comes in two very different flavors.
The Buick LaCrosse moves into the 2009 model year with minor changes that bring it more into alignment with its competitors. The LaCrosse was never intended to compete with the entry-level luxury sport sedans from Europe; it appeals especially to older drivers in need of a little extra comfort and quiet.
The 2009 Buick LaCrosse is available in three trims: the CX, CXL and the LaCrosse Super. The CX and CXL sedans come with a proven 200-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 engine, and the LaCrosse Super is loaded with GM’s small-block 5.3-liter V-8 that pumps out 300 horsepower. All trims are limited to a four-speed automatic transmission.
The LaCrosse Super is the power lifter of the group, with a hugely entertaining engine turning the otherwise ordinary LaCrosse into a road-clawing machine. The big V-8 engine can propel the LaCrosse Super to 60 mph in under six seconds, yet has active fuel management, which deactivates four cylinders at cruising speed to save fuel.
The Super can be recognized on the outside by its hood "portholes," as well as a new waterfall grille, hood, and front fascia. Inside, the LaCrosse Super features a more bolstered seat covered in a woven embossed leather, as well as wood-grain-appearance accents on the instrument panel, center console, door, and gear shift knob. The Super also gets exclusive instrument cluster graphics, new front sill plates, and a silver finish on the instrument panel.
The chassis of the 2009 Buick LaCrosse Super is firmer and more responsive, while at the same time retaining the comfortable ride that traditionally has been one of the Buick's hallmarks. The LaCrosse Super features 18-inch wheels, as well. It feels great on the road compared to a non-Super LaCrosse.
Overall, the V-6 LaCrosse models offer good value for those who don't ever encounter curvy roads. Ride quality is top-notch, with that pillowy feel few cars today still offer—although it's not at all queasy like many of the rides of the past—and the interior is among GM's quietest.
The CX and CXL are the boulevard cruisers that feature loads of standard equipment. The LaCrosse CX has a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel, a theft-deterrence system, illuminated vanity mirrors, and a driver information center personalization. For 2009, the CX adds painted 16-inch aluminum wheels. The CXL has an available universal home remote, an available sunroof, and standard heated driver and front passenger seats. All LaCrosses feature XM Satellite Radio, remote start, a telescoping steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control.
For 2009, a number of changes to the Buick LaCrosse focus on safety and convenience. For the first time, heated side mirrors are standard on all trim levels, and Bluetooth hands-free is available for all models. For buyers who want the versatility of carrying larger items, a split folding rear seat is available.