Chevrolet Impala vs. Buick LaCrosse

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 - March 15, 2017

GM's large sedans deliver what buyers expect in a traditional American car: room and comfort. Beyond those basics, the Chevrolet Impala boasts a dramatic exterior and plenty of features for the price. The newly redesigned Buick LaCrosse makes it's mark with a rich interior and refined road manners.

Which approach to full-size motoring impresses more?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Impala & LaCrosse»

What the Impala Gets Right

The Impala will accommodate five adults in comfort thanks to spacious rear leg room and wide door openings for easy exits. The formidable trunk will swallow 18.8 cubic feet of stuff. Passengers enjoy a smooth, quiet ride, even when the pavement turns rough. Upper trims levels get leather seats with contrasting piping and matching soft trim on the dash and door panels. The effect is striking looks appropriately premium.

The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 195 horsepower and returns an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. The optional 3.6-liter V6 provides 305 hp for markedly swifter performance. Most buyers will be more comfortable with the V6 in a car of this size.

What the LaCrosse Gets Right

This year's LaCrosse looks downright sexy compared to its conservative predecessors. The rear fender bulges and slopping roofline remind us of the couple-styled four-doors offered by European luxury brands.

Rest assured the LaCrosse can still seat five passengers in comfort. The trunk is larger than before (which solves our main gripe about the old model) and has a boxier shape that makes it easy to situate suitcases and golf bags. The horizontally oriented dashboard features a larger center touchscreen and swathes of convincing faux wood trim.

Every LaCrosse comes with a 310-hp, 3.6-liter V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. Top-trim models are available with all-wheel drive in place of the front-drive setup. The LaCrosse's steering and suspension have been reworked for greater stability and response. The new hardware makes the big sedan surprisingly roadworthy without interfering with ride quality.

Is the Redesigned LaCrosse Worth It?

Despite it's lower price, the Impala matches the LaCrosse in objective measures such as interior room and acceleration. The LaCrosse takes the lead in less tangible categories like quality and sophistication. Not all buyers will appreciate the Buick's finer points when the bottom line comes into focus.

Our Verdict: Buick LaCrosse

The LaCrosse has quietly advanced to the luxury class.

Take a closer look at the Chevrolet Impala »

Take a closer look at the Buick LaCrosse »

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. 


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