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2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review #4698901
03/18/18 05:49 PM
03/18/18 05:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 441
MN
TmanP Offline OP
TmanP  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 441
MN
So my Buick is at about 160,000 miles (I've but about 20,000 miles on it) and I thought I'd do a review of it for you all.
It's the mid-trim CXL, and is pretty well-equipped (automatic dual zone climate control, driver information center, leather wrapped steering wheel, heated leather, power drivers seat, alloy wheels, upgraded sound system, in addition to the standard power features like mirrors, locks, windows). For perspective, this was a $25,000 car brand new.

Here are some pics, apoligies for them being sideways.







The Good
-Comfort- this is where the car really excels. Seats are comfortable and suitable for long trips. Leather is of pretty good quality and uses "gathered stitching" which looks expensive.

-Highway MPG- driven normally on the Interstate (75 mph with the A/C on), it will consistently get 30 mpg; driven carefully, around 60 mph, it gets 32+ mpg. I like the car a lot; it truly is at home on the highway. It can eat up miles like nobody's business! It takes 75 mph to even reach 2000 rpm-it's loafing along at highway speeds.

-Ride quality- while it's less floaty than old Buicks, it still rides very soft. However, handling is better than expected. Roadfeel is decent and it feels very confident at speed. For long-distance driving, this is a good thing.

-3800- my favorite part of the car is the 3800 Series 3. Its 200 HP seems modest today but it has a solid 230 ft-lbs of torque. It has plenty of power for merging and acceleration is reasonable (8.5 sec or so 0-60). This isn't a car you rev for the fun of it, but it has fairly good power. And, as I mentioned, mileage is excellent.

-Quiet- it is exceptionally quiet (one of the quietest cars I've driven, if not the quietist), and has few creaks or rattles. One of GM's main points when selling the new Lacrosse was its "Quiet-Tuning", strategic sound deadening and reduction measures. It worked well.

-A/C and climate control- the A/C is superb. Its automatic functions work well (can set "AUTO 70 degrees" and never need to touch it, even for defrost) and I measured 36 degrees vent output on a 90 degree day. The fan is very quiet, even on high.

-Audio system- it has the midrange system offered, with six speakers. Bass is phenomenal; it's truly a great stock system.

-Design touches- there are a number of cool design touches: for example, the trunk release is built into both door lock buttons on the front doors- to pop the trunk, hold the top of the button (unlock) for a second or so. It's on the passenger side as well. And the cupholder can be folded into the center console to give more storage. And I really like the automatic headlights.

-Interior quality- it looks more expensive than it is; the interior has lots of fake wood and chrome trim. Most materials are soft-touch. The headliner is a very nice woven fabric. There is a classy "BUICK" sill plate for each front door. However, some commonly-used radio/climate buttons wore through, as is common for its era.

-Driver information center- I like having this info- distance to empty, average/instant MPG, timer, oil life, battery voltage and trip odometers, along with temperature and compass. The whole car (DIC, climate control, speedo, etc.) can be changed between English and Metric, and there are three languages to choose from.

The Average
-City MPG- driven in a typical suburban cycle, I'd expect low-mid twenties, worse for shorter trips. Here the Lacrosse's 3500 pound weight shows.

-Transmission- it's just a 4-speed auto, which is really all that's needed but another gear wouldn't hurt. It does shift very smoothly, though.

-Rear-seat legroom/headroom- not too much room back there, but it is adequate (comparable to Camry/Accord).

-Trunk space- decently large and very deep. The rear seats fold down for more room.

-Cost to own- it's been reliable, though I did need to replace a timing cover gasket and a few tie rod ends. A wheel speed sensor wiring harness got cut by a piece of road debris and needed replacement. And a friend got a hard plastic water bottle jammed into the airbag sensor under the passenger seat, which then required replacement. Otherwise, it's just been fluid changes/filters and a lightbulb. I changed the battery this winter, too.

The Bad
-"Driving engagement"- it's no sports car, and doesn't pretend to be one. This doesn't bother me, though. It is definitely designed for someone older than me.

-Rust- this is par for the course in MN, it's started to rust in certain spots.

-Glove box space- quite small and awkwardly shaped. It doesn't matter too much, though, because there is a generously sized center console.

-No steering wheel audio controls (these were optional).


All in all, it's been a great car and a pleasure to drive, especially on long trips. Hope this helps/interests someone.


2012 Toyota Camry 2.5 30,000 mi
2015 Chevy Silverado LT Z71 5.3 V8 30,000 mi
2010 Toyota Sienna 3.5 V6 150,000 mi
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4698910
03/18/18 05:58 PM
03/18/18 05:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,315
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,315
NJ
Sounds like a Buick!

How is it holding up? The driver seat looks great! So many leather driver seats I see on older cars are all chewed up.

Last edited by Leo99; 03/18/18 05:59 PM.

Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4698935
03/18/18 06:28 PM
03/18/18 06:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 283
Alberta
carviewsonic Offline
carviewsonic  Offline
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 283
Alberta
Great review! My Park Ave's would have much the same review from me.... Great cars for my family, reliable and inexpensive to maintain as well.


'18 Impala
'03 Park Avenue
'05 Park Avenue
'07 Honda Accord
'09 VStar 1300
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: Leo99] #4698952
03/18/18 06:41 PM
03/18/18 06:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 441
MN
TmanP Offline OP
TmanP  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 441
MN
Originally Posted By: Leo99
Sounds like a Buick!

How is it holding up? The driver seat looks great! So many leather driver seats I see on older cars are all chewed up.


It's holding up very well, much less wear than you'd expect. I get compliments on the car's interior from people that ride with me, they can't believe it's as old as it is or has as many miles as it does.


2012 Toyota Camry 2.5 30,000 mi
2015 Chevy Silverado LT Z71 5.3 V8 30,000 mi
2010 Toyota Sienna 3.5 V6 150,000 mi
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4698985
03/18/18 07:16 PM
03/18/18 07:16 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,106
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Trav Offline
Trav  Offline
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 20,106
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Nice cars with a good engine and they were reliable, just the ticket for a DD.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4699014
03/18/18 07:39 PM
03/18/18 07:39 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,185
Campbellsville, KY
Alex_V Offline
Alex_V  Offline
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 1,185
Campbellsville, KY
I've driven and worked on numerous '95-'05 GM's with the 3800 and they all have a good presence on the road and get better mileage than some 4 cyl. cars. The 3800 truly doesn't really have to try to pull these large cars along.


I like Chevy and Valvoline.

'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 113K
'85 GMC C3500, 454, 130K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 169K
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4699068
03/18/18 08:24 PM
03/18/18 08:24 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 718
Canada
i_hate_autofraud Offline
i_hate_autofraud  Offline
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 718
Canada


I like these GMs too. But watch out for the 4T65E transmission, it should get a fluid and filter change, filter being the bottleneck.

1) Don't ever get a transmission "flush".

2) 2006 was about the year GM was using cheap square magnets in the oil pan for which they have a TSB out. Get a ceramic
ring magnet 3" diameter to put inside the pan right under the diff gears (right side of oil pan.

3) Never tow anything with the car.

4) after Tranny fluid change, drive car 5-10 miles in stop and go traffic and check fluid level in Park,
level will typically drop, add more ATF until at max on the dipstick.

5) Get a pal with a good scanner that can pull up Tranny OBD codes, note them and clear, tranny codes
don't set the dash light, P1811 among other codes, force the tranny into hi oil pressure condition that can
jam the torque converter lock-up making the car undriveable. Torque converter then has to be replaced.

6) with 2006 you dodged a GM bullet, earlier 4T65E trannies had 4th gear shafts with splines that weren't
heat treated, so they ripped off leaving cars stranded!

7) Am I dissing GM? Not really, if they spend $2 more on these trannies and the newer 6 speeds, they'd be way
more reliable, we deserve it, we're customers!

Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4699072
03/18/18 08:25 PM
03/18/18 08:25 PM
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 718
Canada
i_hate_autofraud Offline
i_hate_autofraud  Offline
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 718
Canada

Hey! your engine pic is really clean! are these pics from when you got it or did you detail the motor?
Nice!

Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: i_hate_autofraud] #4699091
03/18/18 08:38 PM
03/18/18 08:38 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,579
wv
krismoriah72 Offline
krismoriah72  Offline
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,579
wv
I was curious and looked up the prices on craigs.. less miles than yours same year for $4500- $5500.. sounds like a great car for the money.

Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4699142
03/18/18 09:10 PM
03/18/18 09:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 441
MN
TmanP Offline OP
TmanP  Offline OP
Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 441
MN
I try and detail the engine once a year or so to keep it looking good. Just a hose, some tinfoil to cover the alternator, fuse box, etc and some Simple Green or something. It's pretty easy.

Yeah, they are really quite affordable and are a good value for the money. I'd recommend to anyone in the market.


2012 Toyota Camry 2.5 30,000 mi
2015 Chevy Silverado LT Z71 5.3 V8 30,000 mi
2010 Toyota Sienna 3.5 V6 150,000 mi
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4699167
03/18/18 09:38 PM
03/18/18 09:38 PM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 508
Southern Indiana
Mantooth Offline
Mantooth  Offline
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 508
Southern Indiana
This thread caused me to pull two neck muscles.


'14 Durango AWD 3.6,(mine) Hav ProDS 5w30/Napa Gold
'15 Journey AWD 3.6, (wife's) Napa Syn 5w20/Napa Gold
'01 F250 4x4 7.3PSD, 126k, M1 TDT 5w40/MC

Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4699322
03/19/18 05:18 AM
03/19/18 05:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,748
N.Ohio
Lubener Offline
Lubener  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,748
N.Ohio
Surprised the tranny hasn't given up yet. Biggest piece of junk on the road.


The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: Lubener] #4700117
03/19/18 07:45 PM
03/19/18 07:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 590
On the road Midwest
Ihatetochangeoil Offline
Ihatetochangeoil  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 590
On the road Midwest
Originally Posted By: Lubener
Surprised the tranny hasn't given up yet. Biggest piece of junk on the road.


Let me offer an opposing viewpoint; it has a 4t65e transmission, the same as in my Lesabres, my Impala, and my previous Lesabres which I've driven since late 90's. Change the fluid & filter every 30-40K. I've driven these cars over 700K trouble free miles without any transmission issues.

The 4t65e transmission can be beefed up and withstand 600+ HP. World record 8.65 quarter mile with a twin turbo'd 3800 and a 4t65e transmission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1IBLusB3VM

BTW, nice looking car!!!



2003 Lesabre
2004 Lesabre
2004 Impala
If ur NOT doing UOA then you're throwing away good oil or your engine is already damaged. Choose.
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: Ihatetochangeoil] #4700197
03/19/18 08:56 PM
03/19/18 08:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,748
N.Ohio
Lubener Offline
Lubener  Offline
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,748
N.Ohio
Originally Posted By: Ihatetochangeoil
Originally Posted By: Lubener
Surprised the tranny hasn't given up yet. Biggest piece of junk on the road.


Let me offer an opposing viewpoint; it has a 4t65e transmission, the same as in my Lesabres, my Impala, and my previous Lesabres which I've driven since late 90's. Change the fluid & filter every 30-40K. I've driven these cars over 700K trouble free miles without any transmission issues.

The 4t65e transmission can be beefed up and withstand 600+ HP. World record 8.65 quarter mile with a twin turbo'd 3800 and a 4t65e transmission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1IBLusB3VM


I am talking stock. Many units can be beefed up to handle that HP..The stock 4T65E is barely able to handle the torque of a 3800. Tow a trailor and the units cannot handle the stress. Why do you think there are so many "mods" available to improve these weak units.

Last edited by Lubener; 03/19/18 08:59 PM.

The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: 2006 Buick Lacrosse 160k mile review [Re: TmanP] #4700431
03/20/18 08:01 AM
03/20/18 08:01 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 395
Southern VA
klt1986 Offline
klt1986  Offline
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 395
Southern VA
Thanks for the review. I have always thought those were some perfect cars for a long trip!


Wife: 08 Honda CR-V 4WD, M1 5W-20
Me: 11 Toyota Tundra DC 4WD 5.7L, PP 5W-30
Me Work: 06 Ford Explorer 4WD 4.0L, Pennzoil 5W-30
Son: 14 Toyota Corolla S, M1 AFE 0W-20
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