2019 Buick LaCrosse vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 MKZ doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the LaCrosse and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Buick LaCrosse is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

21 lbs.

24 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

169/229 lbs.

167/333 lbs.




4 Stars

3 Stars

Chest Compression

-.8 inches

.3 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

195 lbs.

197 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

50 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick LaCrosse is safer than the Lincoln MKZ:





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

16 inches




Spine Acceleration

30 G’s

46 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


The LaCrosse’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MKZ’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 2 times as many Buick dealers as there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the LaCrosse’s warranty.


A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the LaCrosse’s reliability 22 points higher than the MKZ.

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 Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 1 place higher in reliability than Lincoln.


As tested in Car and Driver the Buick LaCrosse 4 cyl. hybrid gas is faster than the MKZ Hybrid 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid:




Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

9.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

22.4 sec

25.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

83 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

109 MPH

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 MKZ doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regardless of its engine, the LaCrosse’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lincoln only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the MKZ Hybrid.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick LaCrosse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MKZ with the 3.0 turbo V6 engine requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The LaCrosse FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


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

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the LaCrosse V6’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:


LaCrosse V6

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the LaCrosse Essence/Premium/Avenir offers optional 20-inch wheels. The MKZ’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the LaCrosse’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the MKZ (114.4 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the LaCrosse is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the MKZ.

The LaCrosse Premium handles at .84 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The LaCrosse Premium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the MKZ Premiere (26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the LaCrosse’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the MKZ’s (38 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Buick LaCrosse may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Lincoln MKZ.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the LaCrosse Premium is quieter than the MKZ AWD:




At idle

39 dB

44 dB


75 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The LaCrosse has 5.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKZ (102 vs. 96.6).

The LaCrosse has .5 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom, 1.3 inches more rear hip room and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the LaCrosse offers cargo security. The MKZ’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.


While the MKZ Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any LaCrosse can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.


The LaCrosse Premium/Avenir has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The MKZ doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

When the LaCrosse Sport Touring/Essence/Premium/Avenir is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The MKZ’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the LaCrosse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the LaCrosse will cost $525 less than the MKZ over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the LaCrosse is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the LaCrosse than the MKZ, including $987 less for a muffler, $176 less for fuel injection, $20 less for a timing belt/chain and $317 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick LaCrosse will be $2574 to $5766 less than for the Lincoln MKZ.

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

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