Almost universally, experts have praised the 2009 Buick LaCrosse and its balanced V-6—and nearly all agree that the Super trim and its V-8 is extraordinary.
In CX or CXL trim, the 2009 Buick LaCrosse is powered by a 200-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6. Kelley Blue Book wrote about V-6-powered cars that they may not be built to be sports cars, but daily drivers should find the power more than adequate for daily commutes. Consumer Guide went deeper, noting that the V-6 has good takeoff power, but lacked the grunt to pass in certain situations.
Autoblog starts in on the Super edition, by noting that its 300-hp 5.3-liter V-8 was a "major power boost" for the sedan. Car and Driver takes it further by noting that the Super's V-8 is currently found underhood the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo SSs and Pontiac Grand Prix GXPs that were torque steering "toward ditches and road signs near you." Edmunds advises that for drivers looking for supreme power, they should consider the V-8, even though the V-6 is smoother. The V-6 may be a quieter ride, but the V-8 can shut off fuel to four of its eight cylinders while cruising to conserve fuel.
Every Buick LaCrosse is equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, wrote Cars.com. Consumer Guide added more by saying that the transmission is smooth, but requires a "deep stab" at the throttle to execute a pass. Edmunds wrote that the four-speed unit was a liability overall, and added that many other competitors offer five- or six-speed autoboxes now as standard.
Fuel economy for the CX and CXL models is respectable at 17 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, Edmunds wrote. Super models come in slightly lower at 16/24, but Consumer Guide warns that V-6 models run on regular, while V-8 models run on more expensive premium-grade gasoline.
Drivers may notice that the LaCrosse specializes in a more comfortable ride, but not necessarily great handling. The base suspension setup swallows bumps on the roads, but tends to bound and pitch over ruts and bumps at highway speeds, wrote Consumer Guide. In the city, the car's big body rolled and swayed back and forth when accelerating or braking, according to the Detroit News. The paper went further, adding that it's comfortable and reassuring, but not super, and that the ride was soft and "squishy." (Their word, not ours.) Edmunds added that the sedan soaks up bumps, like you'd expect from a mid-size sedan, but noted that the handling wasn't particularly good.
LaCrosse models trimmed in the Super edition have a reworked suspension for better response and a firmer ride, but not without sacrificing much comfort. Autoblog noted the uprated Bilstein monotube struts and upgraded brakes, and Edmunds called the trim a step in the right direction. Automobile went further by writing that the LaCrosse sedan was still hyper-focused on providing more comfort than speed, and that by adding small touches like the suspension, steering rack, wheels, and bigger brakes, that the LaCrosse still kept its focus on over-the-road speed than superlative track lap times.