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2015 Buick LaCrosse vs. 2015 Buick Regal: What's the Difference?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2015

If you're interested in a Buick sedan, you might be curious about the differences between the LaCrosse and the Regal. Both models are about the same size, and their prices are surprisingly similar too, so what exactly separates the 2015 Buick LaCrosse from the 2015 Buick Regal? We've compared the two sedans in several key areas in order to show you all the key distinctions -- and all the similarities.

Exterior

From the outside, it's easy to confuse the LaCrosse and the Regal. When the two sedans are next to each other, you'll see some obvious differences, such as the LaCrosse's larger size, the Regal's unique door-panel design and the LaCrosse's more pronounced rear wheel arches. But if you're seeing the two cars separately, you may not notice those differences. Instead, you'll probably notice similar grilles, similar headlight and taillight designs, and similar overall profiles. Indeed, the shared design language is probably the main reason these two sedans are so frequently mistaken for one another.

Interior

The LaCrosse and the Regal are more different on the inside than they are on the outside. One major reason is interior room, as the LaCrosse is larger than the Regal, especially when it comes to rear-seat legroom and hip room. The LaCrosse also touts more trunk space. And then there's the dashboard design, which looks grander and more luxurious in the LaCrosse compared to the more traditional midsize-sedan feel of the Regal. With that said, the two models do share some touches, such as a steering wheel, a shift lever and a few gauges and switches. But generally speaking, you'll find a lot of big differences between the LaCrosse and the Regal from the inside -- especially if you're in the back seat.

Mechanicals

The LaCrosse and Regal continue to emphasize their size difference when you look under the hood. Although both sedans offer two engines, only the LaCrosse offers an available V6, while the Regal instead makes do with two 4-cylinder engine choices.

Here's how it breaks down: Standard on the Regal is a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which touts 259 horsepower, 295 lb-ft of torque and fuel economy ratings as high as 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Drivers interested in better fuel economy can instead opt for an eAssist 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, which uses mild hybrid technology to offer 182 hp and up to 25 mpg city/36 mpg hwy.

Meanwhile, the LaCrosse comes standard with that eAssist 4-cylinder, touting the same power rating and fuel economy figures as its Regal sibling. For drivers who want even more power from their LaCrosse, the sedan is also offered with a 3.6-liter V6 that boasts up to 304 hp, 264 lb-ft of torque and a respectable 18 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.

Features & Technology

When it comes to equipment, neither the LaCrosse nor the Regal boasts a huge advantage over the other. In fact, both sedans offer almost exactly the same level of available equipment, ranging from a Bose audio system to the same available safety equipment, the same infotainment system and similar luxury conveniences such as a heated steering wheel and ventilated seats. The two sedans even both offer available all-wheel drive. As a result, we wouldn't expect either the Regal or the LaCrosse to offer any major benefits in terms of gadgets and features -- though you'll have to pay more to get a LaCrosse equipped with the same features as the Regal given its larger size.

Driving Experience

Driving experience is one key area where the LaCrosse and Regal differ significantly. Despite similar styling and equipment, the Regal is pitched as more of a sport sedan -- and when you climb behind the wheel, it shows. The Regal's standard turbocharged 4-cylinder offers impressive oomph, and its suspension is tuned for a sharper handling feel around corners. Its smaller size also means less roll and more control for the driver. In fact, we think the Regal is one of the sportiest entrants in its segment -- especially in boldly styled GS guise.

By comparison, the LaCrosse is designed as a full-size sedan -- and that shows. Although it's not sporty around corners or quick off the line (especially with its standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder), it's a comfortable, smooth, quiet vehicle -- one that'll impress most traditional Buick buyers.

We really like both of these sedans, but from a driving perspective, your preference will depend on whether you're looking for a smooth, comfortable ride (the LaCrosse) or a smaller, sportier model (the Regal).

Safety

In government crash testing carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, both the Regal and the LaCrosse earned a perfect 5-star overall score. Unfortunately, neither model has yet undergone enough tests to earn a final rating from the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

As for safety features, both the LaCrosse and the Regal offer roughly the same level of equipment. Standard features in both cars include just about everything you'd expect, such as a backup camera, side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes. Meanwhile, options range from forward-collision warning with automatic braking to rear cross-traffic alert, a blind spot monitoring system and lane-departure warning. Indeed, as we noted in the features and technology section, neither the LaCrosse nor the Regal offers any major advantages over the other.

Conclusions

Despite many similarities between the 2015 Buick LaCrosse and the 2015 Buick Regal, these sedans are surprisingly different -- and not just in terms of pricing, where the LaCrosse is around $4,000 more expensive than its smaller stablemate.

Indeed, the LaCrosse offers more of a traditional luxury-sedan experience, with a smoother ride, a larger interior, increased comfort and more trunk space. By comparison, the Regal is more of a sport sedan, offering a more powerful standard engine, tighter handling and a sportier suspension. Don't let the similar styling fool you: These two cars are aimed at very different buyers, and you'll want to test drive both before making a final decision.

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Used 2015 Buick LaCrosse Leather
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Certified 2015 Buick LaCrosse Leather
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Used 2015 Buick LaCrosse Premium AWD
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Buick LaCrosse vs. 2015 Buick Regal: What's the Difference? - Autotrader