2020 Mercedes C-Class Sedan vs. 2020 Buick Regal Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 and front passenger 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 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, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the C-Class Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Regal Sportback has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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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 C-Class Sedan’s reliability 21 points higher than the Regal Sportback.

Engine

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The C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 5 more horsepower (255 vs. 250) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 260) than the Regal Sportback’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The C-Class Sedan’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 5 more horsepower (255 vs. 250) than the Regal Sportback’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

C-Class Sedan

RWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/35 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/33 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

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.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes C-Class Sedan higher (6 out of 10) than the Buick Regal Sportback (5 to 6). This means the C-Class Sedan produces up to 6.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Regal Sportback every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

C-Class

Regal

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.3 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 much shorter than the Regal Sportback:

C-Class

Regal

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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

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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 C 300 Sedan handles at .91 G’s, while the Regal Sportback GS pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The C 300 Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Regal Sportback GS (25.7 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

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 C-Class Sedan’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (36.8 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes C-Class Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 650 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

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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

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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 fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 13% lower rating, Buick is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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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 (except Base)’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’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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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.

The C-Class Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the C-Class Sedan will retain 36.56% to 37.71% of its original price after five years, while the Regal Sportback only retains 28.76% to 36.45%.

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 $127 less for a water pump, $187 less for a muffler, $119 less for front brake pads, $90 less for a starter and $112 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 2020/02/29

Consumer Reports® recommends the Mercedes C-Class Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Buick Regal Sportback isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the C-Class Sedan first among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Regal Sportback isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 almost five to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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