2020 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2019 Buick LaCrosse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/18

The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ 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 MKZ’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 MKZ 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 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 all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

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

MKZ

LaCrosse

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

220

Neck Stress

200 lbs.

212 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 Lincoln MKZ is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

MKZ

LaCrosse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

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

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/18

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 MKZ’s reliability 38 points higher than the LaCrosse.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 3 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

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The MKZ has more powerful engines than the LaCrosse:

Horsepower

Torque

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

MKZ AWD 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

LaCrosse 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

268 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Lincoln MKZ 2.0 turbo is faster than the Buick LaCrosse eAssist:

MKZ

LaCrosse

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

12.9 sec

13.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.6 sec

22.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.1 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

4 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5.2 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

135 MPH

130 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/18

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

MPG

MKZ

FWD

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

42 city/39 hwy

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/31 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/27 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

17 city/26 hwy

LaCrosse

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl. Hybrid

25 city/35 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

20 city/30 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

The MKZ 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).

Transmission

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The MKZ Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The MKZ stops shorter than the LaCrosse:

MKZ

LaCrosse

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the LaCrosse (245/45R18 vs. 235/50R18).

The MKZ’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.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/18

The MKZ’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.

The MKZ AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the LaCrosse Essence pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The MKZ is 3.6 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the MKZ easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The MKZ has 2.3 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more front hip room than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity

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The MKZ has a larger trunk than the LaCrosse (15.4 vs. 15 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the MKZ’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 (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the MKZ. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the MKZ offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With an 8% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The MKZ’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 MKZ 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 MKZ’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 MKZ’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.

Intelligent Access standard on the MKZ allows you to unlock the doors, 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 MKZ’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 MKZ detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/18

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKZ 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 MKZ than the LaCrosse, including $92 less for a water pump, $82 less for front brake pads, $166 less for a starter, $9 less for a fuel pump and $474 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/18

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lincoln MKZ and the Buick LaCrosse, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lincoln MKZ outsold the Buick LaCrosse by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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