Buick LaCrosse vs. Hyundai Azera

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 27, 2015

Shoppers who aren't ready to take the plunge into the luxury market will find a lot to like on the rung just below it. The full-size Buick LaCrosse and Hyundai Azera offer supreme comfort and indulgent features at a price that stops short of the high-end brands.

See a side-by-side comparison of the LaCrosse & Azera >>

As expected in this class size, buyers get plenty of interior room, a relaxing ride and pleasant appointments. But what else do these competent cruisers deliver?

Classy LaCrosse

Buick has imbued the LaCrosse with an upscale feel that's especially evident inside. The dash and door panels are gracefully designed and trimmed in high-quality materials. Soft blue ambient lighting makes the whole affair seem especially elegant. As in previous years, the LaCross is eerily quiet under way.

The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist is designed for economy and certainly achieves it. So equipped, the LaCrosse returns 36 mpg on the highway and 29 in combined driving. For performance more in line with the car's luxury aspirations, Buick offers a 3.6-liter V6 with a stout 303 horsepower. All models exhibit precise handling and a well-controlled ride at speed.

Loaded Azera

The Azera comes in a single trim level, which makes sense since it's loaded with equipment right out of the box. Every example carries luxuries like leather seating with heat in front and back, a 10-speaker audio system with HD radio, navigation, and a chilled glovebox. The sole engine, a 3.3-liter V6 with 293 horsepower, gets the Azera up to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, a fine performance that matches the V6 LaCrosse.

The Hyundai excels on the highway, where it cruises with quiet confidence and plenty of power in reserve for quick bursts of acceleration. With so many comforts on board, passengers should have no trouble enjoying a long trip.

The Best of Both

The LaCrosse could easily wear a luxury-brand badge without raising eyebrows, and the eAssist engine provides excellent efficiency without requiring buyers to pay extra for a full-blown hybrid setup. For its part, the Azera makes almost everything else on the market seem stingy by virtue of its incredible load of standard features.

Our Verdict: Buick LaCrosse

Plush and capable, the LaCrosse comes closer to ideal of an affordable luxury car.

Take a closer look at the Buick LaCrosse >>

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Azera >>

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.