2019 Buick Regal Sportback vs. 2019 Audi A3 Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Regal Sportback has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Regal Sportback and the A3 Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Regal Sportback 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Audi covers the A3 Sedan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the A3 Sedan ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Buick pays for scheduled maintenance on the Regal Sportback for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Buick will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A3 Sedan.

There are almost 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Regal Sportback’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The Regal Sportback has more powerful engines than the A3 Sedan:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Regal Sportback 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

250 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback GS 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

282 lbs.-ft.

A3 Sedan 40 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

184 HP

221 lbs.-ft.

A3 Sedan 45 TSFI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

228 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Regal Sportback has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI’s standard fuel tank (16.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Regal Sportback has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the A3 Sedan 45 TFSI Quattro’s standard fuel tank (16.3 vs. 14.5 gallons).

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Regal Sportback, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A3 Sedan.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Regal Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Sedan:

 

Regal Sportback

Regal Sportback GS

A3 Sedan

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

12.4 inches

10.7 inches

The Regal Sportback stops shorter than the A3 Sedan:

 

Regal Sportback

A3 Sedan

 

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Regal Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A3 Sedan (245/45R18 vs. 235/35R19).

Suspension and Handling

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 A3 Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Regal Sportback’s wheelbase is 7.6 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (111.4 inches vs. 103.8 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 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the A3 Sedan.

Chassis

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Regal Sportback Essence is quieter than the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro (37 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Regal Sportback a Large car, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Regal Sportback has 12 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (98 vs. 86).

The Regal Sportback has 2.3 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 1.8 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Ergonomics

The Regal Sportback offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan 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 A3 Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Regal Sportback GS 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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Keyless Access standard on the Regal Sportback allows you to unlock the doors, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Audi A3 Sedan’s available Audi Advanced Key doesn’t unlock the trunk.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Regal Sportback offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 A3 Sedan’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 A3 Sedan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Regal Sportback’s optional (except Base) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Regal Sportback owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Regal Sportback will cost $30 to $3720 less than the A3 Sedan over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Regal Sportback is less expensive to operate than the A3 Sedan because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Regal Sportback than the A3 Sedan, including $35 less for fuel injection, $189 less for front struts and $5 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Regal Sportback will be $3661 to $4409 less than for the Audi A3 Sedan.

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

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