2019 Toyota Avalon vs. 2019 Buick LaCrosse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Avalon has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Avalon Limited/Touring offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Avalon Limited/Touring offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera 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 Avalon and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Buick is ranked 19th.

Engine

The Avalon’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 107 more horsepower (301 vs. 194) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 187) than the LaCrosse’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Avalon V6 is faster than the Buick LaCrosse eAssist:

 

Avalon

LaCrosse

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.3 sec

22.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.7 sec

8.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

132 MPH

130 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Avalon gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse:

 

 

 

MPG

Avalon

 

FWD

XLE 3.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

 

 

3.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

LaCrosse

 

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

20 city/30 hwy

 

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Avalon

LaCrosse

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

The Avalon stops shorter than the LaCrosse:

 

Avalon

LaCrosse

 

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Avalon Touring handles at .85 G’s, while the LaCrosse Essence pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Avalon has 2.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the LaCrosse (104.3 vs. 102).

The Avalon has .1 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity

The Avalon has a much larger trunk than the LaCrosse (16.1 vs. 15 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Avalon’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the LaCrosse’s useful trunk space.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Avalon. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

The Avalon’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.

Smart Key System standard on the Avalon allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Buick LaCrosse’s Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.

The Avalon Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The LaCrosse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Avalon owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Avalon will cost $70 to $2595 less than the LaCrosse over a five-year period.

The Avalon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Avalon will retain 47.15% to 48.78% of its original price after five years, while the LaCrosse only retains 23.54% to 40.34%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Avalon will be $1568 to $7535 less than for the Buick LaCrosse.

Recommendations

The Toyota Avalon outsold the Buick LaCrosse by almost two to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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