2019 Mercedes E-Class Sedan 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 Mercedes E-Class Sedan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Buick LaCrosse doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The E-Class Sedan’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.

The rear seatbelts optional on the E-Class Sedan inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The E-Class Sedan offers an optional Surround View System 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.

The E-Class Sedan’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Sedan and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the E-Class Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2018, a rating granted to only 28 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The LaCrosse was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

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 E-Class Sedan’s reliability 63 points higher than the LaCrosse.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

Engine

The E-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the LaCrosse:

 

Horsepower

Torque

E 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

E 450 4MATIC Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

AMG E 53 Sedan 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

429 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

LaCrosse 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

194 HP

187 lbs.-ft.

LaCrosse 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

268 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the E 300 Sedan is faster than the Buick LaCrosse eAssist:

 

E-Class

LaCrosse

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.2 sec

13.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.7 sec

22.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.9 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

86 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the E-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse:

 

 

E-Class

LaCrosse

 

2WD

300/Auto

22 city/30 hwy

20 city/30 hwy

V6/Auto

AWD

300/Auto

21 city/29 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

V6/Auto

The E-Class Sedan 300’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The E-Class Sedan 450/AMG 53’s standard fuel tank has 4.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse AWD’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 16.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the E-Class Sedan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the LaCrosse:

 

E-Class

AMG E 53

LaCrosse eAssist

LaCrosse V6

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

14.6 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

14.2 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

The E-Class Sedan’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 E-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the LaCrosse:

 

E-Class

LaCrosse

 

70 to 0 MPH

154 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the E-Class Sedan has larger standard tires than the LaCrosse (245/45R18 vs. 235/50R18).

The E-Class Sedan’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 E-Class Sedan’s optional 275/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the LaCrosse Essence/Premium/Avenir’s optional 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the E-Class Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The E-Class Sedan has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The E-Class Sedan’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-Class Sedan’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the LaCrosse (115.7 inches vs. 114.4 inches).

The E-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.2% to 45.8%) than the LaCrosse’s (58.6% to 41.4%). This gives the E-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The E-Class Sedan 4MATIC handles at .92 G’s, while the LaCrosse Essence pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The E-Class Sedan 4MATIC executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the LaCrosse Premium (25.1 seconds @ .77 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis

The E-Class Sedan is 3.7 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the E-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC is quieter than the LaCrosse Premium (38 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space

The E-Class Sedan has .1 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the E-Class Sedan’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The LaCrosse’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the E-Class Sedan’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the E-Class Sedan 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 Mercedes service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 18% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the LaCrosse Sport Touring/Essence/Premium/Avenir, the E-Class Sedan has standard driver and 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 E-Class Sedan’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 E-Class Sedan 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 E-Class Sedan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The E-Class Sedan’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.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E-Class Sedan to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The E-Class Sedan’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the LaCrosse’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the E-Class Sedan has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

Model Availability

The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Buick LaCrosse isn’t available as a coupe, convertible or station wagon.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes E-Class Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The E-Class was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The LaCrosse has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Buick LaCrosse by almost three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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