2019 Audi A6 vs. 2019 Buick LaCrosse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A6 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick LaCrosse doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A6’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the A6 and LaCrosse have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A6 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The LaCrosse’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A6 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A6. But it costs extra on the LaCrosse.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the A6 Prestige helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The A6 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The LaCrosse only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the A6 and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi A6 weighs 426 to 776 pounds more than the Buick LaCrosse. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The A6’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the LaCrosse’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 12 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 141 more horsepower (335 vs. 194) and 182 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 187) than the LaCrosse’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The A6’s 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 25 more horsepower (335 vs. 310) and 101 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 268) than the LaCrosse’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A6 is faster than the Buick LaCrosse V6:

 

A6

LaCrosse

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.5 sec

14.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.7 MPH

97.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A6 gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse AWD (22 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/29 hwy).

The A6 has 3.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse FWD’s standard fuel tank (19.3 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The A6 has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse AWD’s standard fuel tank (19.3 vs. 16.2 gallons).

Transmission

The A6 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A6’s brake rotors are larger than those on the LaCrosse:

 

A6

LaCrosse eAssist

LaCrosse V6

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The A6’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the LaCrosse are solid, not vented.

The A6 stops much shorter than the LaCrosse:

 

A6

LaCrosse

 

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A6 has larger standard tires than the LaCrosse (245/45R19 vs. 235/50R18). The A6’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the LaCrosse (255/40R20 vs. 245/40R20).

The A6’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the LaCrosse’s standard 50 series tires. The A6 Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the LaCrosse Essence/Premium/Avenir’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A6 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the LaCrosse. The A6 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the LaCrosse Essence/Premium/Avenir.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A6 is 1.3 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than on the LaCrosse.

The A6’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55% to 45%) than the LaCrosse’s (58.6% to 41.4%). This gives the A6 more stable handling and braking.

The A6 Prestige handles at .93 G’s, while the LaCrosse Premium pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A6 Prestige executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the LaCrosse Premium (24.9 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A6’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the LaCrosse’s (36.4 feet vs. 38 feet).

Chassis

The A6 is 3.1 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the A6 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The A6 has .1 inches more front shoulder room and .9 inches more rear headroom than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the A6. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A6 Prestige has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

The A6’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the LaCrosse’s (3500 vs. 1000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The engine in the A6 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the LaCrosse. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 21% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the LaCrosse Sport Touring/Essence/Premium/Avenir, the A6 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The A6’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The LaCrosse’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the A6 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the LaCrosse can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A6’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The LaCrosse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A6 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the A6 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The A6 has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the LaCrosse Sport Touring/Essence/Premium/Avenir. The A6 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the LaCrosse.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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