2019 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon vs. 2019 Buick Regal TourX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Regal TourX only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the 3 Series Sports Wagon and the Regal TourX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Regal TourX’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sports Wagon for 1 year and 12000 miles longer than Buick pays for maintenance for the Regal TourX (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability

The battery on the 3 Series Sports Wagon is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Regal TourX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 3 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 330i Sports Wagon gets better fuel mileage than the Regal TourX (23 city/33 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Regal TourX:

 

3 Series

Regal

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.3 inches

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Regal TourX are solid, not vented.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon stops much shorter than the Regal TourX:

 

3 Series

Regal

 

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional 225/45R18 front and 255/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Regal TourX’s 50 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 3 Series Sports Wagon can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 3 Series Sports Wagon offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Regal TourX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.1% to 50.9%) than the Regal TourX’s (58.2% to 41.8%). This gives the 3 Series Sports Wagon more stable handling and braking.

The 330i Sports Wagon handles at .86 G’s, while the Regal TourX Essence pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Regal TourX’s (38.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The 3 Series Sports Wagon is 1 foot, 1.5 inches shorter than the Regal TourX, making the 3 Series Sports Wagon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 3 Series Sports Wagon. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Regal TourX’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 3 Series Sports Wagon is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Regal TourX. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 7% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

The 3 Series Sports Wagon offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Regal TourX’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the 3 Series Sports Wagon w/Comfort Access the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Regal TourX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Regal TourX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sports Wagon to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sports Wagon offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 3 Series Sports Wagon detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Regal TourX Preferred/Essence’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Both the 3 Series Sports Wagon and the Regal TourX offer available heated front seats. The 3 Series Sports Wagon also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Regal TourX.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Regal TourX Essence.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Regal TourX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 3 Series comes in sedan, four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Buick Regal isn’t available as a sedan.

Economic Advantages

The 3 Series Sports Wagon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 3 Series Sports Wagon will retain 54.53% to 55.45% of its original price after five years, while the Regal TourX only retains 43.22% to 43.51%.

Recommendations

The BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

3 Series

Regal

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 24 years. The Regal TourX has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 22 years. The Regal TourX has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Buick Regal by over five to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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