2019 Buick Regal Sportback vs. 2019 Honda Civic

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

To help make backing safer, the Regal Sportback’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Civic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Regal Sportback and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, 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 parking sensors.

The Buick Regal Sportback weighs 738 to 1508 pounds more than the Honda Civic. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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 Civic’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 Honda covers the Civic. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Civic ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

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

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). Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Civic.

There are almost 2 times as many Buick dealers as there are Honda 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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 16th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 1 place higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The Regal Sportback has more powerful engines than the Civic:

 

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.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Civic 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

174 HP

167 lbs.-ft.

Civic Hatchback Sport 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

180 HP

177 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Buick Regal Sportback turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Honda Civic (automatics tested):

 

Regal Sportback

Civic 4 cyl.

Civic turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

3.3 sec

2.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

8.3 sec

6.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

22.6 sec

17.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

8.4 sec

7.5 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

4 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4 sec

5.4 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

16.5 sec

15.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

88 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

131 MPH

125 MPH

126 MPH

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

The Regal Sportback has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Civic (16.3 vs. 12.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Regal Sportback

Regal Sportback GS

Civic

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

12.4 inches

10.2 inches

The Regal Sportback stops much shorter than the Civic:

 

Regal Sportback

Civic

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Regal Sportback has larger standard tires than the Civic (225/55R17 vs. 215/55R16). The Regal Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Civic (245/45R18 vs. 235/40R18).

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

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 Civic’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 Civic (111.4 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Regal Sportback is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Civic.

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

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 Civic doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Regal Sportback Essence is quieter than the Civic Sport Sedan:

 

Regal Sportback

Civic

At idle

37 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

80 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Regal Sportback a Large car, while the Civic Sedan is rated a Mid-size.

The Regal Sportback has .2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Civic Sedan (98 vs. 97.8).

The Regal Sportback has 1.5 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 6.8 inches more rear hip room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Regal Sportback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Civic Sedan (31.5 vs. 15.1 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. The Civic’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The Regal Sportback’s available folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic LX Sedan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

The Regal Sportback uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Civic 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 Honda. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 41% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

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 Civic 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 Civic 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 Civic 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 Civic doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Regal Sportback and the Civic 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 Civic 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 lower 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 Civic’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

The Regal Sportback’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Civic LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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

The Regal Sportback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Civic EX/EX-T/EX-L/Touring.

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 Civic’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 Civic 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 Civic 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 Civic doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Regal Sportback has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Civic Coupe/LX/Sport doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the Regal Sportback and the Civic 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 Civic Sedan/Hatchback doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Regal Sportback owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Regal Sportback with a number “8” insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Regal Sportback is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost less on the Regal Sportback than the Civic, including $121 less for a fuel pump and $55 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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