Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Audi A4 VS 2013 Buick LaCrosse Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Audi A4

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2013 Buick LaCrosse

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A4 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 A4 has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the A4 and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

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 Audi A4 is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

242 lbs.

431 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Hip Force

790 lbs.

959 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

4 Stars




Spine Acceleration

50 G’s

55 G’s

Hip Force

648 lbs.

950 lbs.

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

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the A4, with its five-star roll-over rating, is 2.8% less likely to roll over than the LaCrosse, which received a four-star rating.

Warranty Comparison

The A4’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the LaCrosse’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Audi pays for scheduled maintenance on the A4 for 1 year and 5000 miles. Audi will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Buick doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the LaCrosse.

Reliability Comparison

The Audi A4’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.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the A4 has a 150-amp alternator. The LaCrosse’s standard 120-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the A4’s reliability will be 38% better than the LaCrosse.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 16th in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 17th.

Engine Comparison

The A4’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 29 more horsepower (211 vs. 182) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 172) than the LaCrosse’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Audi A4 is faster than the Buick LaCrosse 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.2 sec

10.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.3 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.2 MPH

81.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A4 gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse:




2.0 turbo 4 cyl./CVT

24 city/31 hwy

17 city/27 hwy



2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

22 city/32 hwy


2.0 turbo 4 cyl./6-spd Auto

20 city/30 hwy

17 city/25 hwy


Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the LaCrosse:



Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.5 inches

The A4 stops much shorter than the LaCrosse:



70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the LaCrosse (255/35R19 vs. 245/50R17).

The A4’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 A4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the LaCrosse V6’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The A4 2.0T Sedan Quattro handles at .91 G’s, while the LaCrosse pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A4 2.0T Sedan Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the LaCrosse (25.9 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Audi A4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 500 pounds less than the Buick LaCrosse.

The A4 is 11.8 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The A4 has 2 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear headroom than the LaCrosse.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the A4 offers cargo security. The LaCrosse’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the A4. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

The A4’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 down on the A4 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the LaCrosse can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The A4 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 A4’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 nozzles are standard on the A4 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 Prestige offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the A4 Prestige offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the A4 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the A4 with a number “5” insurance rate while the LaCrosse is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The A4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the A4 will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the LaCrosse.



Four Year

37% to 38%


Two Year

53% to 55%


According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A4 is less expensive to operate than the LaCrosse because it costs $238 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the A4 than the LaCrosse, including $218 less for an alternator, $252 less for a fuel pump and $215 less for a timing belt/chain.

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