2020 Ford Fusion 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 Ford Fusion have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick LaCrosse doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Fusion’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 Fusion and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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 and available rear parking sensors.

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

Fusion

LaCrosse

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 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, results indicate that the Ford Fusion is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

Fusion

LaCrosse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

121

187

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

269 G’s

280 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

327

368

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

66 G’s

Hip Force

805 lbs.

851 lbs.

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

Warranty

There are over 48 percent more Ford dealers than there are Buick dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Fusion’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fusion first among midsize cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The LaCrosse isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

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

Engine

The Fusion Titanium’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 268) than the LaCrosse’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Fusion SE/SEL FWD 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse FWD V6 (23 city/34 hwy vs. 20 city/30 hwy).

The Fusion AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse AWD’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 16.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

The Fusion stops shorter than the LaCrosse:

Fusion

LaCrosse

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Fusion’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.

Chassis

The Fusion is 5.7 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the Fusion easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Fusion has .8 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity

The Fusion has a larger trunk than the LaCrosse (16 vs. 15 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Fusion’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 keeps your small valuables safer in the Fusion. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Buick LaCrosse is limited to 1000 pounds. The Fusion offers up to a 2000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Fusion’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 Fusion the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the LaCrosse can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion SE/SEL/Titanium’s exterior PIN entry system. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Fusion 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 Fusion’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.

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Fusion owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Fusion will cost $410 less than the LaCrosse over a five-year period.

The Fusion will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Fusion will retain 39.28% to 42.37% of its original price after five years, while the LaCrosse only retains 30.31% to 36.47%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fusion is less expensive to operate than the LaCrosse because it costs $573 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Fusion than the LaCrosse, including $259 less for a water pump, $41 less for a muffler, $15 less for front brake pads, $184 less for a starter, $232 less for a fuel pump, $661 less for front struts, $531 less for a timing belt/chain and $177 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fusion will be $7082 to $11379 less than for the Buick LaCrosse.

Recommendations

The Ford Fusion outsold the Buick LaCrosse by over 11 to one during 2018.

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

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