What Changed for 2008:
- New Buick LaCrosse Super model with a 300-hp V-8 engine
- Updated front-end styling
- Standard remote vehicle start system
- Standard XM satellite radio
- Telescoping steering wheel column
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel with stereo controls
- Dual-zone climate control
- Four new colors
The LaCrosse joined the Buick lineup in 2005, replacing both the Regal and Century to become the brand's sole midsize car offering. New to the LaCrosse lineup for 2008 is the LaCrosse Super, featuring a 300-hp 5.3-liter V-8 engine and unique exterior styling, including stylized portholes at the rear edges of the front fenders. Both the Super moniker and the portholes harken back to a time and place in Buick's history: the Super was part of Buick's model lineup from 1940 until 1958, and the new LaCrosse Super (along with the Lucerne Super) marks the first use of the Super nameplate in 50 years.
Along with the Super, the 2008 Buick LaCrosse is sold in CX, CXL and CXS trims. The LaCrosse CX's standard equipment list has been expanded for 2008 to include power windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry with remote vehicle-start feature; dual-zone climate control; OnStar; XM satellite radio; traction control; and a CD player. The LaCrosse CXL adds leather-trimmed seats (heated in front), a split/fold rear seat, and alloy wheels. The LaCrosse CXS gets a smaller but more powerful V-6 engine. The LaCrosse Super adds a V-8 engine; unique seats and interior trim; rear park assist; a trunk spoiler; and electronic stability control.
LaCrosse CX and CXL models are powered by Buick's 3.8-liter V-6 engine, which produces 200 hp at 5200 rpm and 230 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. The LaCrosse CXS comes with a 3.6-liter, 24-valve DOHC V-6 engine that puts out 240 hp at 6000 rpm and 225 lb.-ft. of torque at 2000 rpm. The LaCrosse Super features GM's LS4 V-8 engine, a 5.3-liter unit rated at 300 hp at 5600 rpm and 323 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. Buick says this engine will propel the LaCrosse Super to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/29 mpg highway for models equipped with the 3.8-liter engine; 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway for the 3.6-liter V-6 engine; and 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the V-8-equipped LaCrosse Super. Premium fuel is recommended (but not required) for the LaCrosse Super. All three engines drive the front wheels through a 4-speed automatic transmission.
All 2008 Buick LaCrosse models come with anti-lock brakes; front air bags; side curtain air bags; traction control; and a tire-pressure-monitoring system. Electronic stability control is optional on the LaCrosse CXL and CXS, and standard on the LaCrosse Super. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the 2007 Buick LaCrosse (which is structurally identical to the 2008 model) received a perfect 5-star rating in the frontal crash test. Ratings for side-impact protection were 3 stars for front-seat occupants and 4 stars for rear-seat occupants. In the rollover test, the LaCrosse received a 4-star rating.
The 2008 Buick LaCrosse Super's 5.3-liter V-8 engine features GM's Active Fuel Management system, which deactivates four of the engine's eight cylinders under light loads (such as low-speed cruising) to conserve fuel. Buick also tuned the Super's suspension and braking systems to take advantage of the V-8's power while maintaining the LaCrosse's smooth ride. The LaCrosse Super additionally features special Bilstein monotube struts, a high-precision steering gear and larger brake rotors.