2019 Buick Regal Sportback vs. 2018 Mazda 3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/28

The Regal Sportback offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Regal Sportback offers optional Ultrasonic Park Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, for the Regal Sportback GS in front of the vehicle. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Regal Sportback and the Mazda 3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Buick Regal Sportback weighs 648 to 1395 pounds more than the Mazda 3. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The Regal Sportback comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 3’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Regal Sportback 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the 3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Mazda 3 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Regal Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Mazda 3’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Buick pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Regal Sportback. Buick will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 3.

There are over 3 times as many Buick dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Regal Sportback’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 27th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 4 places higher in reliability than Mazda.

Engine

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The Regal Sportback has more powerful engines than the Mazda 3:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Regal Sportback FWD 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback AWD 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback GS 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

282 lbs.-ft.

Mazda 3 Sport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

155 HP

150 lbs.-ft.

Mazda 3 Touring/Grand Touring 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

187 HP

186 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Buick Regal Sportback 2.0 Turbo is faster than the Mazda 3 (automatics tested):

 

Regal

Mazda 3 2.0

Mazda 3 2.5

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.8 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

8 sec

6.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

22.3 sec

19 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

8.2 sec

7.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

4 sec

3.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4 sec

5.2 sec

4.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

16.2 sec

15.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

88 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Regal Sportback’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Regal Sportback has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mazda 3 (16.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Regal Sportback has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Buick Regal Sportback comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Mazda 3.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Regal Sportback, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Mazda 3.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Regal Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Mazda 3:

 

Regal

Mazda 3 2.0

Mazda 3 2.5

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.02 inches

11.61 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

10.43 inches

10.43 inches

The Regal Sportback stops much shorter than the Mazda 3:

 

Regal

Mazda 3

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Regal Sportback has larger standard tires than the Mazda 3 (225/55R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Regal Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Mazda 3 (245/45R18 vs. 215/45R18).

The Regal Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mazda 3 Sport’s standard 60 series tires. The Regal Sportback Avenir/GS’ tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Mazda 3 Touring/Grand Touring’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Regal Sportback has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Mazda 3 Sport. The Regal Sportback Avenir/GS’ 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Mazda 3 Touring/Grand Touring.

Suspension and Handling

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The Regal Sportback offers an available 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 Mazda 3’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Regal Sportback’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Mazda 3 (111.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Regal Sportback is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Mazda 3.

The Regal Sportback GS handles at .87 G’s, while the Mazda 3 Touring 4-Door pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Regal Sportback AWD uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Regal Sportback Essence is quieter than the Mazda 3 4-Door:

 

Regal

Mazda3

At idle

37 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Regal Sportback a Large car, while the Mazda 3 4-Door is rated a Compact.

The Regal Sportback has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Mazda 3.

Cargo Capacity

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The Regal Sportback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Mazda3 5-Door with its rear seat up (31.5 vs. 20.2 cubic feet). The Regal Sportback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Mazda3 5-Door with its rear seat folded (60.7 vs. 47.1 cubic feet).

The Regal Sportback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Mazda 3 4-Door (31.5 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Regal Sportback’s hatch uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Mazda 3 4-Door’s useful trunk space.

Servicing Ease

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The Regal Sportback uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mazda 3 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 64% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Regal Sportback (except Base/Preferred), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions and outside mirror angle. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Regal Sportback (except Base/Preferred)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Regal Sportback’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Mazda 3 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Regal Sportback and the Mazda 3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Regal Sportback is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Mazda 3 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Regal Sportback’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its front windows also automatically close, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Mazda 3’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Regal Sportback has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Mazda 3 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The Regal Sportback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda charges extra for heated mirrors on the Mazda 3.

When the Regal Sportback with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Mazda 3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Regal Sportback offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mazda 3 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Regal Sportback GS keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Both the Regal Sportback and the Mazda 3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Regal Sportback has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Mazda 3 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Regal Sportback’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Mazda 3’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/28

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Regal Sportback is less expensive to operate than the Mazda 3 because typical repairs cost less on the Regal Sportback than the Mazda 3, including $174 less for a fuel pump.

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

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