2019 Buick Regal TourX vs. 2018 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Regal TourX and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, 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, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

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

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

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

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

Reliability

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick third in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Regal TourX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 75 more horsepower (250 vs. 175) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 174) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Regal TourX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 247) than the Outback 3.6R’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Buick Regal TourX is faster than the Subaru Outback:

 

Regal

Outback 2.5i

Outback 3.6R

Zero to 30 MPH

2.1 sec

3.7 sec

n/a

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

9.5 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.6 sec

16.5 sec

n/a

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.4 sec

4.7 sec

n/a

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

17.4 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.7 MPH

82.1 MPH

91.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Regal TourX gets better fuel mileage than the Outback 3.6R (21 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Regal TourX’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 Outback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Regal TourX 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 Outback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Regal TourX’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Outback:

 

Regal

Outback

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

The Regal TourX stops much shorter than the Outback:

 

Regal

Outback

 

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Regal TourX has larger tires than the Outback (235/50R18 vs. 225/65R17).

The Regal TourX’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The Regal TourX’s tires are lower profile than the Outback Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Regal TourX has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Regal TourX’s wheelbase is 3.3 inches longer than on the Outback (111.4 inches vs. 108.1 inches).

The Regal TourX Essence handles at .80 G’s, while the Outback 3.6R Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Regal TourX Essence executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the Outback 2.5i Limited (26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

The Regal TourX is 7.7 inches shorter in height than the Outback, making the Regal TourX much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

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

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Regal TourX Essence is quieter than the Outback 3.6R Limited:

 

Regal

Outback

At idle

40 dB

42 dB

Full-Throttle

69 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

69 dB

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Regal TourX’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outback doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Buick 9th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 24% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

The Regal TourX Essence’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 Outback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Regal TourX’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 Outback does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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

The Regal TourX’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 Outback’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Regal TourX’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

When the Regal TourX Essence 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 Outback’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its May 2018 issue and the Buick Regal TourX Essence won out over the Subaru Outback 3.6R Touring.

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

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