2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid vs. 2019 Buick Regal Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Corolla Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Corolla Hybrid’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 Corolla Hybrid and the Regal Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Buick only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Regal Sportback.

Reliability

The Regal Sportback’s redline is at 6350 to 6700 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corolla Hybrid has a 4000 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla Hybrid first among compact cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Regal Sportback isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked fifth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Buick vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Buick is ranked 19th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback FWD (53 city/52 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

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

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Regal Sportback with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Corolla 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.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is 4.9 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (34.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is 6.9 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (34.1 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 1200 pounds less than the Buick Regal Sportback.

The Corolla Hybrid is 10.6 inches shorter than the Regal Sportback, making the Corolla Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

The Corolla Hybrid’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 Corolla Hybrid 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. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Regal Sportback can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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

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