Buick LaCrosse Vs. Chevrolet Malibu

By Justin Cupler | September 19th, 2019

Family sedan shoppers in the Ft. Pierce area have plenty of options, including the 2019 Buick LaCrosse and 2020 Chevrolet Malibu. Which of these roomy sedans is the best bet for your family? Continue reading to find out.

 

Exterior

The Buick LaCrosse is a sub-luxury sedan, and it shows off its high-end status with a European-inspired design that includes sharp ridges on the hood, a swoopy roofline, and windswept body lines. It further shows off its luxury status with its shapely but restrained grille with a black insert.

 

On the outside, the Chevy Malibu boasts a sporty look for a midsize family sedan. It boasts a bold grille, sharp body lines, bold headlights, and a swoopy roof that add up to a unique look for the class.

 

The LaCrosse is a full-size sedan, so it is significantly larger than the Malibu. It shows off most of its size advantage in length and wheelbase, where it is 3.7 inches and 3 inches longer than the Chevy, respectively. This results in a significant weight increase, which negatively impacts its nimbleness.

 

Measurement Buick LaCrosse Chevy Malibu Difference
Length 197.5 inches 193.8 inches +3.7 inches
Width 73.5 inches 73 inches +0.5 inches
Height 57.5 inches 57.6 inches -0.1 inches
Wheelbase 114.4 inches 111.4 inches +3 inches
Ground Clearance
Curb weight 3,490 to 3,840 pounds 3,126 to 3,223 pounds +364 to +617 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Buick LaCrosse

  • More upscale appearance
  • Tons of standard and optional luxury bits

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Malibu

  • Smaller and nimbler
  • Sporty-looking midsize sedan

Interior

Inside, the 2019 Buick LaCrosse shows off its status as a sub-luxury sedan with a wood-trimmed dash, a large touchscreen, swoopy center console, and its electronic gear shifter. It also boasts plenty of desirable standard goodies, including leatherette upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, dual-zone automatic climate control, and ambient lighting.

 

The Malibu is well-equipped from its base trim, but it’s nowhere near the level of the Buick. Its list of standard features includes an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, premium cloth seating, and a USB port.

 

Though it is a smaller vehicle, the Chevy Malibu has roomier seats in most key measurements. In the front seats, it has an extra 1.7 inches of headroom, 3.3 inches of legroom, and 0.8 inches of shoulder room. In the rear seats, the Malibu wins with an additional 0.3 inches of headroom, 0.1 inches of legroom, and 0.5 inches of shoulder room. The Malibu even wins in cargo room, as it boasts 1.5 cubes of extra space relative to the 2.5-liter eAssist-equipped LaCrosse and 0.8 cubes more than the V-6-equipped Buick.

 

Where the Buick LaCrosse comes back to pass the Malibu again is interior comfort. It boasts well-padded seats with an optional massage feature, and Buick QuietTuning that uses additional sound-deadening materials, noise cancellation technology, and acoustic-laminated glass to keep noise to a minimum.

 

Measurement Buick LaCrosse Chevy Malibu Difference
Front headroom 38.4 inches 40.1 inches -1.7 inches
Front legroom 42 inches 45.3 inches -3.3 inches
Front shoulder room 57.7 inches 58.5 inches -0.8 inches
Front hip room 54.8 inches 54.1 inches +0.7 inches
Rear headroom 37.2 inches 37.5 inches -0.3 inches
Rear legroom 38 inches 38.1 inches -0.1 inches
Rear shoulder room 56.6 inches 57.1 inches -0.5 inches
Rear hip room 55.1 inches 53.4 inches +1.7 inches
Cargo room 14.3 (eAssist) to 15 cubic feet 15.8 cubic feet -1.5 to -0.8 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Buick LaCrosse

  • Serene cabin
  • Loads of standard and optional luxury
  • Wider seats

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Malibu

  • Surprising standard features at such a low price
  • Roomier in almost every seating spec

Performance

The 2020 Buick LaCrosse comes standard with a mild-hybrid powertrain with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Combined, this system pumps out 194 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque, which beats the Malibu’s standard 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder by 34 horses and 3 pound-feet, which makes its 0.9 seconds quicker to 60 mph than its base Malibu rival.

 

While it’s quicker and more potent than the Malibu, the LaCrosse loses a bit in fuel efficiency. Its fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg city, 35 highway, and 29 combined fall short of the Malibu by 4 mpg city, 1 highway, and 3 combined.

 

The LaCrosse’s optional engine is a 3.6-liter V-6 powerplant that pumps out 310 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. This launches the LaCrosse to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds. The 2020 Malibu’s optional engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque that launches it to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds.

 

The 2020 Malibu’s 2.0-liter turbo engine gives it superior fuel economy compared to the LaCrosse at 22 mpg city, 32 highway, and 26 combined. These ratings beat the LaCrosse by 2 mpg city, 3 highway, and 3 combined, combining efficiency and performance. The LaCrosse comes back to trump the Malibu with its optional all-wheel drive.

 

Buick LaCrosse Chevy Malibu Difference
Standard engine 2.5-liter eAssist 4-cyl 1.5-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower 194 hp at 6,300 rpm 160 hp at 5,700 rpm +34 hp
Torque 187 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm 184 lb-ft at 2,500 to 3,000 rpm +3 lb-ft
Transmission 6-spd automatic CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 7.3 seconds 8.2 seconds -0.9 seconds
MPG City 25 mpg 29 mpg -4 mpg
MPG Highway 35 mpg 36 mpg – 1 mpg
MPG Combined 29 mpg 32 mpg -3 mpg
Optional engine 3.6-liter V-6 2.0-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower 310 hp at 6,800 rpm 250 hp at 5,300 rpm +60 hp
Torque 268 lb-ft at 5,200 rpm 260 lb-ft at 2,000 to 5,000 rpm +8 lb-ft
Transmission 9-spd automatic 9-spd automatic
Driveline FWD (std)/AWD (opt) FWD
0-60 time 5.6 seconds 5.7 seconds -0.1 seconds
MPG City 20 mpg 22 mpg -2 mpg
MPG Highway 29 to 30 mpg 32 mpg -3 to -2 mpg
MPG Combined 23 to 24 mpg 26 mpg -3 to -2 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Buick LaCrosse

  • More powerful
  • Significantly quicker in its base model
  • Comfortable ride
  • Optional all-wheel drive

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Malibu

  • Thriftier in all trim levels
  • Sportier handling

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Buick LaCrosse has six trim levels – 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, Essence, Premium, and Avenir – with starting prices ranging from $30,495 to $45,795.

 

The Chevy Malibu is available in five trim levels: L, LS, RS, LT, and Premier. Starting prices range from $22,970 to $34,195.

2019 Buick LaCrosse Key Features and Pricing by Trim

1SV: $30,495

  • 2.5-liter eAssist four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Keyless ignition
  • Electronic parking brake
  • 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Bright bodyside moldings
  • Darkened black grille with body-color surround
  • Grille shutters
  • HID headlights with auto-on/off
  • LED accent lighting
  • Fog lights
  • LED taillights
  • Heated, power mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Puddle lights
  • Acoustic laminated windshield and front glass
  • Body-color door handles with chrome strips
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • USB ports
  • Eight-speaker audio system
  • Active noise cancellation
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Leatherette seating
  • Eight-way power front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Front and rear floor mats
  • Bright front sill plates
  • Buick QuietTuning technology
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Power windows with front one-touch-up/down glass
  • Power door locks
  • Remote ignition
  • Electronic gear shifter
  • Universal home remote
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Cruise control
  • Rear air vents
  • Ambient lighting
  • OnStar and Buick Connected Access
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
  • Teen Driver

Preferred: $34,595

  • All 1SV features, plus
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Cargo net

 

Sport Touring: $40,295

  • All Preferred features, plus
  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual exhaust outlets
  • Compact spare tire
  • 19-inch Midnight Silver aluminum wheels
  • Auto-dimming driver’s side mirror
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Rear spoiler
  • Body-color vents
  • Heated front seats
  • Driver’s seat and steering wheel memory
  • Perforated leather seating
  • Passenger seat power lumbar control
  • Wireless charging pad

 

Essence: $37,295

  •       All Preferred features, plus
  •       Auto-dimming driver’s side mirror
  •       Adaptive headlights
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Memory for driver’s seat and steering wheel
  •       Perforated leather seating
  •       Passenger side power lumbar
  •       Wireless charging pad

 

Premium: $39,595

  •       All Essence features, plus
  •       Head-up display
  •       Heated steering wheel
  •       In-vehicle ionizer
  •       Massaging rear seats
  •       110-volt power outlet
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert
  •       Lane-change alert
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Following-distance indicator
  •       Forward-collision alert
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Safety-alert driver’s seat

 

Avenir: $45,795

  •       3.6-liter V-6 engine
  •       Nine-speed automatic transmission
  •       Dual-exhaust outlets
  •       17-inch compact spare tire
  •       19-inch Pearl Nickel-finish aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       Panoramic power moonroof
  •       Power rear sunshade
  •       Navigation
  •       11-speaker Bose Premium Centerpoint audio system
  •       High-definition radio
  •       Avenir floor mats
  •       Avenir script sill plates

2020 Chevy Malibu Key Features and Pricing by Trim

L: $22,970

  • 1.5-liter turbo 4-cyl engine
  • CVT
  • Automatic engine stop/start
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 16-inch aluminum wheels
  • 16-inch compact spare tire
  • Automatic-on/off halogen headlights
  • Power mirrors
  • Daytime running lights
  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system
  • 8-inch color touchscreen
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • One USB port
  • Premium cloth seating
  • Six-way manual front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Carpeted floor mats
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Driver-information center
  • Power windows with one-touch-down on all windows
  • Power door locks
  • Keyless open and ignition
  • Cruise control
  • Manual single-zone air conditioning
  • Trunk cargo anchors
  • Theft-deterrent system
  • Chevrolet Connected Access capable
  • OnStar
  • Rearview camera
  • Rear-seat reminder

LS: $24,095

  • All L features, plus
  • Acoustic laminated windshield
  • Compass
  • Outside temperature display
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Vanity mirrors
  • Teen Driver

 

RS: $25,095

  • All LS features, plus
  • Dual-outlet exhaust
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • Black grille with a chrome surround
  • Body-color power outside mirrors
  • Black front and rear bowtie emblems
  • Rear spoiler
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat
  • Body-color antenna
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Power driver’s seat lumbar
  • Rear seat armrest

 

LT: $27,495

  •       All LS features, plus
  •       17-inch aluminum wheels
  •       Heated power mirrors
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       LED taillights
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat
  •       Body-color antenna
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Heated driver and passenger seats
  •       Power driver’s seat lumbar
  •       Power windows with driver’s side express up
  •       Rear seat armrest
  •       Remote ignition
  •       SiriusXM radio
  •       Rear console vent
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       LED daytime running lights

 

Premier: $34,195

  •       2.0-liter turbocharged engine
  •       Nine-speed automatic transmission
  •       Dual-outlet exhaust
  •       19-inch aluminum wheels
  •       Heated, power mirrors with integrated turn signals
  •       Bright front sill plates
  •       Chrome door handles with chrome inserts
  •       Dual-pane sunroof
  •       LED headlights
  •       Tire-inflator kit
  •       Spare-tire delete
  •       120-volt power outlet
  •       Six-way power passenger’s seat
  •       8-inch color driver-information center
  •       Bose premium nine-speaker audio system
  •       Carpeted trunk mat
  •       Rear charge-only USB port
  •       High-definition color touchscreen
  •       Navigation
  •       Driver’s seat memory
  •       High-definition rearview camera
  •       Heated rear outboard seats
  •       Heated steering wheel
  •       Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       Interior ambient lighting
  •       Power front seat lumbar control
  •       Perforated leather seating
  •       Ventilated front seats
  •       Wireless charging pad

Who Should Buy the 2020 Chevy Malibu

Buyers on a tighter budget but still need a well-equipped family sedan with great pop and fuel efficiency can find this in the 2020 Chevy Malibu. Add to that its roomy cabin and trunk, and the Malibu can fit any family’s needs.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Buick LaCrosse?

The Buick LaCrosse is an excellent option for families who want to move into the luxury segment but also want to save money. This sub-luxury Buick sedan delivers tons of luxury in its base trim without jacking the price sky-high. Buyers seeking more luxury will find that in its range-topping Avenir trim.

 

Ready to see what the 2019 Buick LaCrosse can do for you? Stop by Garber Buick GMC serving the Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Fort Pierce today to take it for a spin and see what this family-friendly sedan can do for you. Whether you need a commuter car to get to work in Port St. Lucie, a sedan to drop the kiddos off at school in Vero Beach, or a vehicle to get to the in-laws’ house in Fort Pierce, the 2019 Buick LaCrosse can handle it. Can’t make it by today? Check out our online inventory page to see all our in-stock 2019 LaCrosse models, pick a few that fit your needs, and come test drive one at your convenience.