2020 Volkswagen Passat 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 2020/08/03

The Passat has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Passat and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 lane departure warning systems and 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 Volkswagen Passat is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

Passat

LaCrosse

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

86/37 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, results indicate that the Volkswagen Passat is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

Passat

LaCrosse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

119

187

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.3 inches

Abdominal Force

136 G’s

280 G’s

Hip Force

247 lbs.

282 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

280

368

Spine Acceleration

61 G’s

66 G’s

Hip Force

627 lbs.

851 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 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 2020/08/03

The Passat’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the LaCrosse’s (7 vs. 6 years).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Passat for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the LaCrosse.

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 2020/08/03

The Volkswagen Passat’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the LaCrosse’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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 Passat’s reliability 27 points higher than the LaCrosse.

Engine

© 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 2020/08/03

The Passat’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 187) than the LaCrosse’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Passat gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse FWD V6 (23 city/34 hwy vs. 20 city/30 hwy).

The Passat has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Passat has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse AWD’s standard fuel tank (18.5 vs. 16.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/08/03

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

Passat

LaCrosse

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.8 inches

The Passat stops shorter than the LaCrosse:

Passat

LaCrosse

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

173 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

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 2020/08/03

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

For better maneuverability, the Passat’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the LaCrosse’s (36.4 feet vs. 38 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2020/08/03

The Passat is 3.9 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the Passat easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Passat has .4 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity

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The Passat has a larger trunk than the LaCrosse (15.9 vs. 15 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Passat. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Passat SEL’s trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/03

The Passat’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 Passat the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. 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.

The Keyless Access standard on the Passat SE/R-Line/SEL 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 Passat 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 Passat SE/R-Line/SEL’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Passat R-Line/SE/SEL to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

Both the Passat and the LaCrosse offer available heated front seats. The Passat SEL 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

© 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 2020/08/03

Insurance will cost less for the Passat owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Passat will cost $605 to $3980 less than the LaCrosse over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Passat is less expensive to operate than the LaCrosse because it costs $337 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Passat than the LaCrosse, including $107 less for front brake pads, $2 less for a fuel pump, $390 less for front struts, $219 less for a timing belt/chain and $440 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen Passat will be $7022 to $19955 less than for the Buick LaCrosse.

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 2020/08/03

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

Motor Trend selected the Passat as their 2012 Car of the Year. The LaCrosse has never been chosen.

The Volkswagen Passat 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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