2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Buick LaCrosse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The TLX V6’s optional 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 TLX V6 offers an optional Surround View Camera 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.

Both the TLX and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems 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 Acura TLX is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

TLX

LaCrosse

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

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 Acura TLX is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

TLX

LaCrosse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

179 G’s

280 G’s

Hip Force

276 lbs.

282 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

229

368

Spine Acceleration

57 G’s

66 G’s

Hip Force

483 lbs.

851 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

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

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 6 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

The TLX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (206 vs. 194) than the LaCrosse’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura TLX 4-cyl. is faster than the Buick LaCrosse eAssist:

TLX

LaCrosse

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.3 sec

13.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.9 sec

22.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.8 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.5 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

134 MPH

130 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the TLX FWD V6 gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse FWD V6 (20 city/31 hwy vs. 20 city/30 hwy).

The TLX has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse FWD’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The TLX has a gallon more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse AWD’s standard fuel tank (17.2 vs. 16.2 gallons).

Transmission

The TLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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

TLX

LaCrosse

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.3 inches

The TLX stops shorter than the LaCrosse:

TLX

LaCrosse

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The TLX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Chassis

The TLX is 6.8 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the TLX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the LaCrosse Premium (74 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space

The TLX has .6 inches more front legroom and .5 inches more front hip room than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the TLX’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 TLX. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 9% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

The TLX’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 TLX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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.

Keyless Access System standard on the TLX 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 (optional Keyless Access System will also allow unlocking the passenger doors without taking your keys out). The Buick LaCrosse’s Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.

The TLX 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 TLX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The LaCrosse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The TLX’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

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 TLX’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the LaCrosse’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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

The TLX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the LaCrosse Sport Touring/Essence/Premium/Avenir. The TLX Advance 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 TLX owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the TLX will cost $365 less than the LaCrosse over a five-year period.

The TLX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the TLX will retain 48.4% to 50.83% of its original price after five years, while the LaCrosse only retains 23.54% to 40.34%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the LaCrosse because it costs $319 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the LaCrosse, including $127 less for a water pump, $127 less for front brake pads, $439 less for front struts and $755 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura TLX will be $357 to $2422 less than for the Buick LaCrosse.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Buick LaCrosse isn't recommended.

The Acura TLX outsold the Buick LaCrosse by almost two to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos