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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Sonata are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Sonata Limited has standard Reverse Collision-Avoidance Assist that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Sonata Limited has a standard Around View Monitor 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 Sonata’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 Sonata and the Regal Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front and rear 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.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Sonata the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Regal Sportback has not been fully tested, yet.
The Sonata comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Regal Sportback’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Sonata 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Buick covers the Regal Sportback. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Regal Sportback ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.
The Sonata’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Regal Sportback’s (7 vs. 6 years).
Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sonata for 3 years and 30,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Regal Sportback.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 12 places higher in reliability than Buick.
On the EPA test cycle the Sonata SEL Plus/Limited turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback FWD with its standard turbo 4 cyl. (27 city/36 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Sonata uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Regal Sportback with the 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sonata is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Regal Sportback.
The Sonata’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (60% to 40%) than the Regal Sportback’s (61.6% to 38.4%). This gives the Sonata more stable handling and braking.
The Sonata Limited handles at .89 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 Sonata’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (35.9 feet vs. 39 feet). The Sonata’s turning circle is 5.1 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (35.9 feet vs. 41 feet).
The Hyundai Sonata may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 950 pounds less than the Buick Regal Sportback.
As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Sonata Limited is quieter than the Regal Sportback Essence (69 vs. 70 dB).
The Sonata has 6.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Regal Sportback (104.4 vs. 98).
The Sonata has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 4 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Regal Sportback.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited’s trunk can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Sonata’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 standard on the Sonata 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 Sonata SEL/SEL Plus/Limited has standard extendable sun visors. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Sonata Limited’s Remote Smart Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. Remote Smart Parking Assist will park and retrieve your car remotely: press a button and watch it park itself. This is ideal for tight locations. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Hyundai Sonata outsold the Buick Regal by over 8 to one during 2019.
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