2020 Mercedes E-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Buick LaCrosse

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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 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 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 lane departure 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 Mercedes E-Class Sedan is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

E-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

177

220

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

180

320

Neck Stress

105 lbs.

195 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

232/126 lbs.

346/354 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 Mercedes E-Class Sedan is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

E-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

132

187

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

149 G’s

280 G’s

Hip Force

223 lbs.

282 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

215

368

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

66 G’s

Hip Force

594 lbs.

851 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

11 inches

15 inches

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the E-Class Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The LaCrosse was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 2 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

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The E 350 Sedan’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 61 more horsepower (255 vs. 194) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 187) than the LaCrosse’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The E 350 Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 268) than the LaCrosse’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6. The E 450 4MATIC Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 52 more horsepower (362 vs. 310) and 101 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 268) than the LaCrosse’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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

E-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

23 city/32 hwy

20 city/30 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./9-spd. Auto

22 city/30 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

3.6 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

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

E-Class Sedan

E 450 4MATIC Sedan

LaCrosse eAssist

LaCrosse V6

Front Rotors

13.5 inches

14.2 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 Sedan

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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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

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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

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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.

Passenger Space

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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

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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

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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 fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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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.

Keyless-Go standard on the E-Class Sedan 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 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.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

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.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the LaCrosse because it costs $237 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Sedan than the LaCrosse, including $91 less for front brake pads, $463 less for front struts and $20 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/21

The E 450/E 53 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The LaCrosse has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the Buick LaCrosse by almost five to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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