Midsize sedans may not be the sexiest of vehicle choices, but you can replace the sporty with the luxury to make your ride stand out amid the crowd. If you're looking for a sedan to fit that luxury bill without paying the sticker price of a Mercedes-Benz or a BMW, you're wise to look at the 2017 Lincoln MKZ and the Buick LaCrosse, both refreshed or redesigned in 2017. But which one will give you the better deal and the luxury feel you want? Take a look at our comparison guide to help you decide.
The Lincoln MKZ has an understated elegance and an executive presence about its exterior that may remind you of one or two of its well-known German rivals. It's a serious, conservative design than never resorts to the frivolous, which makes it an unmistakably luxury offering.
The exterior styling of the new Buick Lacrosse is a big improvement over the outgoing model, and it certainly lends the nameplate a more premium feel than before. However, it still looks more like something from the mass-market section of the midsize sedan segment than the luxury side, even though it comes with a far steeper price tag. The Buick's style is newer and getting better, but the refreshed Lincoln MKZ still has the edge.
You have a plenty of choice when it comes to engines in the 2017 Lincoln MKZ, with a 2.0-liter inline-four that's also available as a hybrid and a 3.0-liter V-6 that's available in two different power ratings. The very nicely weighted electric power steering system delivers an engaging drive, and the strut and multi-link suspension setup and adaptive shocks with three driver-selectable settings only add to the excellent driving experience.
A lack of power isn't a complaint that can be leveled at the Buick Lacrosse, but a lack of engine choice is evident. The only engine is the powerful and capable 3.6-liter V-6, but its 309 horsepower isn't as much as available in the Lincoln MKZ. Also, the V-6 is obviously not as fuel-efficient as an inline-four. Both of these sedans are pretty swift and smoothly powerful, but there's just more of everything to link with the Lincoln MKZ.
The Lincoln MKZ keeps it straightforward with four distinct trims: Premiere, Select, Reserve, and the opulent Black Label at the top of the range. Standard features on the base-level Premiere include leather-trimmed seats, power heated front seats, automatic climate control, an 11-speaker audio system, satellite radio, adaptive LED headlights and LED taillights, adaptive suspension, keyless ignition, remote start, Bluetooth connectivity and more.
To be fair, the base Lacrosse offers good standard features with the likes of leatherette seating, a large 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, a pair of USB ports and a wireless phone charger. But the jump up to the Preferred trim costs a whole lot more money for not a great deal more equipment. Overall, you get more with the Lincoln MKC throughout the range.
The executive styling of these two lends an air of size, but we have to keep in mind they're midsize models and that means passenger and cargo capacity is key to how practical they are. The 2017 Lincoln MKZ is taller than the Buick but it's also shorter. Both are true five-seaters, but there's just 96.5 cu.-ft. of passenger volume in the Lincoln MKZ compared to 100 cu.-ft. in the Lacrosse.
Surprisingly, the lower Buick Lacrosse also has more head room throughout with 37.2 inches compared to the Lincoln MKZ's 36.5 inches in the back, and half an inch more at 38.4 inches in the front. There's a little less leg room in the front of the Buick, but it makes up for that in the back with an inch more than the Lincoln MKZ. Buick has a lower trunk capacity, but at 15.0 cu-ft. compared to 15.4 cu.-ft. in the Lincoln MKZ, it's not enough to stop the Lacrosse coming out on top in this section.
Buick has done an excellent job in redesigning the Lacrosse for 2017, and it comes close to matching the 2017 Lincoln MKZ in a number of areas. But there's a much more premium look and feel about the Lincoln MKZ as a whole, even though it doesn't cost as much more than the Buick as you might expect. There's no questioning the true luxury credentials of the Lincoln MKZ, just one of several reasons why it's the better option here.