2019 Buick LaCrosse vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan

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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Both the LaCrosse and the C-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, driver 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.

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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan:



C-Class Sedan


5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

21 lbs.

62 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

169/229 lbs.

421/449 lbs.




4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

-.8 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

44 lbs.

219 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 flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick LaCrosse is safer than the Mercedes C-Class Sedan:



C-Class Sedan


Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Spine Acceleration

66 G’s

67 G’s

Hip Force

851 lbs.

949 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

30 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

653 lbs.

769 lbs.

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


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

The LaCrosse’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the C-Class Sedan’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Buick pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the LaCrosse. Buick will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the C-Class Sedan.

There are over 5 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the LaCrosse’s warranty.


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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

The battery on the LaCrosse is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the LaCrosse’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The C-Class Sedan’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.


The LaCrosse’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 55 more horsepower (310 vs. 255) than the C 300 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the LaCrosse with its standard engine FWD gets better fuel mileage than the C 300 Sedan with its standard engine RWD (25 city/35 hwy vs. 23 city/34 hwy).

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

Regenerative brakes improve the LaCrosse eAssist’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick LaCrosse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The C-Class Sedan requires premium, 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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the LaCrosse has larger standard tires than the C-Class Sedan (235/50R18 vs. 225/50R17). The LaCrosse Essence/Premium/Avenir’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Sedan (245/40R20 vs. 225/40R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the LaCrosse has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the C-Class Sedan. The LaCrosse Essence/Premium/Avenir’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the C-Class Sedan.

The LaCrosse V6 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the C-Class Sedan; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the C-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the LaCrosse’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the C-Class Sedan (114.4 inches vs. 111.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the LaCrosse is .9 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Sedan.


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

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the LaCrosse a Mid-size car, while the C-Class Sedan is rated a Compact.

The LaCrosse has 12 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-Class Sedan (102 vs. 90).

The LaCrosse has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-Class Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The LaCrosse has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Sedan (15 vs. 12.6 cubic feet).


The LaCrosse has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The C-Class Sedan has no towing capacity.


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 C-Class Sedan doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the LaCrosse is less expensive to operate than the C-Class Sedan because it costs $36 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the LaCrosse than the C-Class Sedan, including $231 less for a water pump, $864 less for a muffler, $99 less for a starter, $145 less for fuel injection and $357 less for a fuel pump.

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

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