2020 Nissan Altima vs. 2019 Buick Regal Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Altima have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Buick Regal Sportback doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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 Altima 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 Altima SV/SL/Platinum has standard Rear Automatic Braking 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 Altima Platinum 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 Altima’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 Altima 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, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Altima the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Regal Sportback has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 11th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 5 places higher in reliability than Buick.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

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

MPG

Altima

FWD

S/SV/SL 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/39 hwy

SR/Platinum 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/37 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/34 hwy

AWD

S/SV/SL 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/36 hwy

SR/Platinum 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/35 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

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Altima higher (7 out of 10) than the Buick Regal Sportback (5). This means the Altima produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Regal Sportback every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Altima 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 Altima stops shorter than the Regal Sportback:

Altima

Regal Sportback

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Altima 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

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The Altima SR handles at .89 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 Altima S’ turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (36.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The Altima SR/SV/SL/Platinum’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (37.4 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

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The Nissan Altima may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 800 pounds less than the Buick Regal Sportback.

The front grille of the Altima 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 Altima has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Regal Sportback (100.8 vs. 98).

The Altima has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear hip room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room 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 Altima. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the Altima 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 Altima’s 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.

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

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Altima 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 Altima has standard extendable sun visors. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Altima owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Altima with a number “1” insurance rate while the Regal Sportback is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Altima is less expensive to operate than the Regal Sportback because it costs $300 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Altima than the Regal Sportback, including $539 less for a water pump, $733 less for a muffler, $125 less for front brake pads, $306 less for a starter, $42 less for front struts and $362 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/17

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Altima and the Buick Regal Sportback, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Altima was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2019. The Regal Sportback has never been an “All Star.”

The Nissan Altima outsold the Buick Regal by almost 15 to one during 2018.

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

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