2020 Acura TLX vs. 2019 Buick Regal Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The TLX V6’s optional 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 TLX V6 offers an optional Surround View Camera 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.

Both the TLX and the Regal Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 6 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the TLX gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback:

MPG

TLX

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/33 hwy

A-Spec 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/31 hwy

A-Spec 3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/30 hwy

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/29 hwy

Regal Sportback

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the TLX V6’s fuel efficiency. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The TLX has almost a gallon more fuel capacity than the Regal Sportback (17.2 vs. 16.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The TLX offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

The TLX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The TLX handles at .84 G’s, while the Regal Sportback GS pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the TLX V6’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (38.8 feet vs. 39 feet). The TLX SH-AWD’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (39.5 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

The Acura TLX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 450 pounds less than the Buick Regal Sportback.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the TLX V6 SH-AWD is quieter than the Regal Sportback Essence (74 vs. 75 dB).

Passenger Space

The TLX has .5 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room and .8 inches more rear hip room than the Regal Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the TLX 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 TLX. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 9% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

The TLX’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, 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 TLX’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 TLX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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 TLX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Regal Sportback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The TLX’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

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

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

The TLX has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Regal Sportback Essence/Avenir/GS. The TLX Advance also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Regal Sportback.

The TLX 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.

Economic Advantages

The TLX will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the TLX will retain 48.4% to 50.83% of its original price after five years, while the Regal Sportback only retains 41.25% to 43.07%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the TLX is less expensive to operate than the Regal Sportback because it costs $319 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the TLX than the Regal Sportback, including $493 less for a water pump, $420 less for a muffler, $161 less for front brake pads and $98 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Acura TLX, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels. The Buick Regal Sportback isn't recommended.

The Acura TLX outsold the Buick Regal by over two to one during 2018.

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

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