2020 Buick Regal Sportback vs. 2020 Acura ILX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/28

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

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

The Buick Regal Sportback weighs 600 to 1175 pounds more than the Acura ILX. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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

There are over 7 times as many Buick dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Regal Sportback’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 53 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Buick 10 places higher in reliability than Acura.

Engine

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The Regal Sportback’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 49 more horsepower (250 vs. 201) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Regal Sportback’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 49 more horsepower (250 vs. 201) and 115 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Regal Sportback GS’ standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 109 more horsepower (310 vs. 201) and 102 lbs.-ft. more torque (282 vs. 180) than the ILX’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

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

Regal Sportback

ILX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.6 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

17.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The Regal Sportback has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the ILX (16.3 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Buick Regal Sportback higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Acura ILX (3). This means the Regal Sportback produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the ILX every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Regal Sportback, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the ILX.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Regal Sportback

Regal Sportback GS

ILX

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

12.4 inches

11.1 inches

The Regal Sportback stops much shorter than the ILX:

Regal Sportback

ILX

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Regal Sportback Avenir/GS has standard 19-inch wheels. The ILX’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Regal Sportback FWD Preferred/Essence has a standard space-saver spare (not available on AWD) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ILX; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Regal Sportback’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the ILX (111.4 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Regal Sportback is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the ILX.

The Regal Sportback’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (61.6% to 38.4%) than the ILX’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Regal Sportback more stable handling and braking.

The Regal Sportback GS handles at .87 G’s, while the ILX A-SPEC pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Regal Sportback a Large car, while the ILX is rated a Compact.

The Regal Sportback has 8.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ILX (98 vs. 89.3).

The Regal Sportback has .8 inches more front headroom, 4.9 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.4 inches more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the ILX.

Cargo Capacity

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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 ILX’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

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

Servicing Ease

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The Regal Sportback uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The ILX 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.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system optional in the ILX, 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 (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 ILX 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 ILX 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 ILX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Regal Sportback’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The ILX has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The power windows standard on both the Regal Sportback and the ILX 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 ILX 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 ILX’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 (except Base) offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The ILX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Regal Sportback Preferred/Essence/Avenir/GS’ standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ILX 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 ILX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Regal Sportback Essence/Avenir/GS’ standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The ILX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Regal Sportback GS has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the ILX.

Both the Regal Sportback and the ILX 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 ILX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Buick Regal (except Base/Preferred) offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The ILX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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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 ILX 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 ILX because typical repairs cost less on the Regal Sportback than the ILX, including $164 less for fuel injection, $139 less for a fuel pump and $70 less for front struts.

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