2020 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2020 Buick Regal Sportback

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 2020/09/24

The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The MKZ’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 MKZ and the Regal Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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 all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

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 MKZ the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 169 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Regal Sportback has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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The MKZ has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

The battery on the MKZ is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the MKZ’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Regal Sportback’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the MKZ’s reliability 55 points higher than the Regal Sportback.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 3 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Engine

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The MKZ has more powerful engines than the Regal Sportback:

Horsepower

Torque

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

MKZ AWD 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback AWD 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback GS 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

282 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the MKZ Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback FWD (42 city/39 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the MKZ Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The MKZ AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Regal Sportback (18 vs. 16.3 gallons).

Transmission

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The MKZ Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The MKZ stops shorter than the Regal Sportback:

MKZ

Regal

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the Regal Sportback (245/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The MKZ’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Regal Sportback’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the MKZ has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Regal Sportback.

Suspension and Handling

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The MKZ’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 MKZ Premiere AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Regal Sportback GS pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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The front grille of the MKZ Hybrid 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.

Passenger Space

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The MKZ has 2.2 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room and .1 inches more rear legroom than the Regal Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the MKZ offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The MKZ has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Regal Sportback has no towing capacity.

The MKZ 3.0 Turbo/Hybrid (except 2.0 Turbo) can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the MKZ can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Regal Sportback can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than Buick. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With an 8% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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The MKZ’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 MKZ’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 MKZ the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Regal Sportback can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The MKZ’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.

Consumer Reports rated the MKZ’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the Regal Sportback’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the MKZ 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 (except Base)’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The MKZ’s standard 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 MKZ has standard extendable sun visors. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer extendable visors.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the MKZ Reserve to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

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

The MKZ offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The MKZ Reserve’s Active Park 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the MKZ owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the MKZ with a number “5” insurance rate while the Regal Sportback is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKZ is less expensive to operate than the Regal Sportback because it costs $573 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MKZ than the Regal Sportback, including $458 less for a water pump, $58 less for a muffler, $116 less for front brake pads and $362 less for a starter.

Recommendations

© 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 2020/09/24

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lincoln MKZ, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Regal Sportback isn't recommended.

The Lincoln MKZ outsold the Buick Regal by 55% during the 2019 model year.

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

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