2019 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2019 Buick Regal Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes C-Class Sedan have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Buick Regal Sportback doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The C-Class Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The C-Class Sedan offers an optional Surround View System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Regal Sportback only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The C-Class Sedan’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-Class Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Regal Sportback has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

Engine

The C-Class Sedan has more powerful engines than the Regal Sportback:

 

Horsepower

Torque

C 300 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

AMG C 43 Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

385 HP

384 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback 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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the C-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback:

 

 

C-Class

Regal

 

2WD

300/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

22 city/32 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

AWD

300/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/27 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto GS

The C-Class Sedan has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Regal Sportback (17.4 vs. 16.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

C 300

AMG C 43

Regal

Regal GS

Front Rotors

13 inches

14.2 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.3 inches

12.4 inches

The C-Class Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Regal Sportback are solid, not vented.

The C-Class Sedan stops shorter than the Regal Sportback:

 

C-Class

Regal

 

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

164 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The C-Class Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Regal Sportback’s standard 55 series tires. The C-Class Sedan’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Regal Sportback Avenir/GS’ 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the C-Class Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The C-Class Sedan’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The C-Class Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Regal Sportback’s (61.6% to 38.4%). This gives the C-Class Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The AMG C 43 Sedan handles at .93 G’s, while the Regal Sportback GS pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (36.8 feet vs. 39 feet). The AMG C 43 Sedan’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (38.7 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Buick Regal Sportback.

The C-Class Sedan is 8.4 inches shorter than the Regal Sportback, making the C-Class Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the C-Class Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the C-Class offers cargo security. The Regal Sportback’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the C-Class Sedan. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the C-Class Sedan’s power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the C-Class Sedan is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Regal Sportback. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 18% lower rating, Buick is ranked 9th.

Ergonomics

The C-Class Sedan’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Regal Sportback, and is not available on all models.

The C-Class Sedan’s front and rear power windows all open or close 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 Regal Sportback’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the C-Class Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Regal Sportback can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The C-Class Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Regal Sportback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the C-Class Sedan detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Regal Sportback’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The C-Class Sedan’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the C-Class Sedan has standard extendable sun visors. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer extendable visors.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the C-Class Sedan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The C-Class Sedan has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Regal Sportback.

The C-Class Sedan’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Mercedes C-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Buick Regal isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the C-Class Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the C-Class Sedan with a number “3” insurance rate while the Regal Sportback is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the C-Class Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Regal Sportback because typical repairs cost less on the C-Class Sedan than the Regal Sportback, including $122 less for a water pump, $179 less for a muffler, $114 less for front brake pads, $85 less for a starter and $110 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The C-Class Sedan was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The Regal Sportback has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes C-Class outsold the Buick Regal by over four to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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