Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Mercedes Benz C-Class VS 2013 Buick LaCrosse Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Mercedes Benz C-Class

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VS

2013 Buick LaCrosse

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-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 C-Class Sedan’s optional 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 C-Class Sedan has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints 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.

The C-Class Sedan offers optional PRE-SAFE Brake, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The LaCrosse doesn't offer crash mitigation brakes.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The C-Class Sedan offers optional Parktronic™ to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The C-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 C-Class Sedan and the LaCrosse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

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 C-Class Sedan is safer than the Buick LaCrosse:

C-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

159 G’s

187 G’s

Hip Force

349 lbs.

431 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

322

340

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

61 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

331

354

Spine Acceleration

46 G’s

55 G’s

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 C-Class Sedan is 1.3% less likely to roll over than the LaCrosse.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the C-Class Sedan has a standard 700 amp battery. The LaCrosse’s standard 438 amp battery and largest (V6) 512 amp battery aren’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 Mercedes C-Class Sedan 4MATIC’s reliability will be 35% better than the LaCrosse and the Mercedes C-Class Sedan RWD will be 51% better than the LaCrosse.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 9th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 9th.

Engine Comparison

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The C-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the LaCrosse:

Horsepower

Torque

C250 Sedan 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

201 HP

229 lbs.-ft.

C300 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

248 HP

251 lbs.-ft.

C350 Sedan 3.5 DOHC V6

302 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

LaCrosse 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

182 HP

172 lbs.-ft.

LaCrosse 3.6 DOHC V6

303 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the C250 Sedan is faster than the Buick LaCrosse eAssist:

C-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

10.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.6 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.5 MPH

81.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the C-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the LaCrosse V6:

C-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

2WD

V6/Auto

20 city/29 hwy

17 city/27 hwy

AWD

V6/Auto

20 city/27 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

The C-Class Sedan has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the LaCrosse eAssist’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The C-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 V6 are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Sedan stops much shorter than the LaCrosse:

C-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The C-Class Sedan Luxury’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 C-Class Sedan’s optional 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the LaCrosse V6’s optional 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The C250 Sedan handles at .90 G’s, while the LaCrosse pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The C250 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the LaCrosse (26.4 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the LaCrosse eAssist’s (35.3 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the LaCrosse V6’s (35.3 feet vs. 38.8 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Buick LaCrosse.

The C-Class Sedan is 1 foot, 4.2 inches shorter than the LaCrosse, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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With its coupe or sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class 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 C-Class Sedan. The LaCrosse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The C-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 down on the C-Class Sedan Keyless-Go the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote (remote must be aimed at door sensor); 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 C-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 C-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.

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

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

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the C-Class Sedan offers an optional Distronic, 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

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

C-Class Sedan

LaCrosse

Four Year

36% to 41%

32%

Two Year

54% to 56%

47%

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