2019 Buick LaCrosse vs. 2019 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the LaCrosse are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The A6 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the LaCrosse the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A6 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the LaCrosse 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A6. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A6 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the LaCrosse for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A6.

There are almost 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the LaCrosse’s warranty.

Reliability

The LaCrosse has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The A6 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the LaCrosse V6’s fuel efficiency. The A6 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick LaCrosse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The A6 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The LaCrosse has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The A6 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick LaCrosse V6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A6.

Chassis

The Buick LaCrosse may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 800 pounds less than the Audi A6.

The front grille of the LaCrosse uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The A6 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The LaCrosse uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The A6 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The LaCrosse has .4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the A6.

Cargo Capacity

The LaCrosse has a much larger trunk than the A6 (15 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The LaCrosse has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A6 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The LaCrosse Premium/Avenir has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The A6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The LaCrosse Premium/Avenir’s optional Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The LaCrosse is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The A6 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Buick LaCrosse outsold the Audi A6/S6 by 47% during 2018.

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

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