Buick’s volume-selling luxury model was called the Allure in Canada when it replaced the Regal and Century for the 2005 model year. Elsewhere it was known as the LaCrosse—a word which many French Canadians know as an unfavorable slang with various meanings.
Whatever it was called, the Allure offered up value-priced luxury in typical Buick fashion. This was no Mercedes or BMW, but for not a whole lot of money, the Allure offered drivers plenty of space, comfort and relaxation.
Look for this sedan with several engine options and trim levels to match a variety of needs. CX and CXL were low and mid-range models, respectively, and powered by GM’s staple 3.8-litre V6 engine. Top-line CXS models got a newer 3.6 litre, 240-horsepower mill. This was canned for 2008, and a 5.3 litre, 300-horsepower V8 became available on the high-performance Allure Super.
Four-speed automatics and front-wheel drive were standard on all models. Look for features like automatic lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, OnStar, premium audio, remote entry with remote start, heated leather, a sunroof and plenty more.
What Owners Like: Typically, Allure owners say decent levels of performance, relatively good fuel economy, comfort and styling drew them in for a test-drive, while a decent price and overall value helped seal the deal. Other owners note a safe and sturdy feel to the Allure’s highway drive.
What Owners Hate: Some owners wish for a softer suspension, noting the Allure doesn’t ‘ride on a cloud’ and transmits a fair bit of road feel back into the car. Ditto road noise. Other owners complain of tight rear-seat quarters, and wish for the enhanced performance and fuel economy that could have been provided by a six-speed automatic.
Common Issues: Hitting the road for a test-drive? Certain Allure models were affected by an issue with the intermediate shaft—a part related to the steering system. Buick mechanics should be familiar with the issue if the model you’re driving ‘pulls’ to either side or makes any unwelcomed clunking or popping noises. A full check of the front end and brakes for premature part wear is also advised.
Have the model checked for coolant leaks, too. Some owners have reported a mysterious coolant leak on their Allures, which could be caused by bad engine gaskets or hoses used by the cooling system.
Double check for proper operation of the remote locks and start, if so equipped. A check for proper operation of the radio, power seats and climate control system is also advised.
Finally, be sure to inspect the paint for signs of premature wear or peeling clearcoat, and note any excessive squeaking or rattling in the interior. If either is present, be sure to call it into pricing negotiations.
Note that from about 2007 onwards, the major issues mentioned above seem to have been corrected.
The Verdict: For luxury on a budget, the Allure seems to have delivered—just mind the front end and be weary of coolant leaks.