2019 Buick Regal Sportback vs. 2019 Nissan Maxima

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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

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


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

The Regal Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Maxima’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. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Maxima.

There are over 86 percent more Buick dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Regal Sportback’s warranty.


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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.


The Regal Sportback’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Regal Sportback GS’ standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (310 vs. 300) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (282 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Buick Regal Sportback turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Nissan Maxima:


Regal Sportback


Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

14.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.4 sec

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Regal Sportback uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The Maxima requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Maxima doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Regal Sportback higher (5 out of 10) than the Nissan Maxima (3). This means the Regal Sportback produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Maxima every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Regal Sportback GS’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the Maxima:


Regal Sportback GS


Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.13 inches

The Regal Sportback stops shorter than the Maxima:


Regal Sportback



70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

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 Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Regal Sportback’s wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the Maxima (111.4 inches vs. 109.3 inches).

The Regal Sportback GS handles at .83 G’s, while the Maxima Platinum pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Regal Sportback GS executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Maxima Platinum (26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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

The Regal Sportback has 1 inch more front hip room, .2 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.7 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear hip room than the Maxima.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 26% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.


Unlike the driver-only memory system optional in the Maxima (except S/SV/SL), the Regal Sportback offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

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 Maxima doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

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

The Regal Sportback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Maxima SV/SL/SR/Platinum.

Model Availability

The Buick Regal comes in four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Nissan Maxima isn’t available as a station wagon.

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 $1780 to $5580 less than the Maxima over a five-year period.

The Regal Sportback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Regal Sportback will retain 41.25% to 43.07% of its original price after five years, while the Maxima only retains 36.9% to 38.7%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Regal Sportback is less expensive to operate than the Maxima because typical repairs cost much less on the Regal Sportback than the Maxima, including $85 less for fuel injection, $56 less for a fuel pump and $371 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Buick Regal Sportback will be $10998 to $11024 less than for the Nissan Maxima.

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

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