2021 Volvo S60 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 2020/10/26

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S60 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.

The S60’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.

Both the S60 and Regal Sportback have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S60 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Regal Sportback’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The S60 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S60 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The S60 offers optional CTA Auto Brake 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 S60 offers an optional 360° Camera 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 S60’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 S60 and the Regal Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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.

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, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Regal Sportback has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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The S60’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the Regal Sportback’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S60 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo 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

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The battery on the S60 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the S60’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Regal Sportback’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The S60 has more powerful engines than the Regal Sportback:

Horsepower

Torque

S60 T6 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder

316 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

S60 Recharge 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid

400 HP

472 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

250 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Regal Sportback GS 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

282 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the S60 T6 is faster than the Regal Sportback GS:

S60

Regal

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.8 sec

13.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

13.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

101 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/26

On the EPA test cycle the S60 Recharge running on electricity running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback:

MPGe

S60

AWD

Electric Motor

70 city/68 hwy

Regal Sportback

MPG

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

On the EPA test cycle the S60 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback:

MPG

S60

FWD

T5 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

AWD

T8 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl. Hybrid

28 city/33 hwy

T6 2.0 turbo/SC 4-cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

Regal Sportback

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

GS 3.6 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

The S60 Recharge can drive on battery power alone for up to 22 miles. The Regal Sportback must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S60 Polestar’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Regal Sportback:

S60 T5

S60 Polestar

Regal Sportback

Regal Sportback GS

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

14.6 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

11.3 inches

12.4 inches

The S60’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 S60 stops shorter than the Regal Sportback:

S60

Regal Sportback

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

164 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the S60 has larger tires than the Regal Sportback (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

The S60’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 S60 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Regal Sportback.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S60’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the Regal Sportback (113.1 inches vs. 111.4 inches).

The S60’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55% to 45%) than the Regal Sportback’s (61.6% to 38.4%). This gives the S60 more stable handling and braking.

The S60 R-Design AWD 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 S60 Polestar executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Regal Sportback GS (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S60’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (37.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The S60’s turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (37.1 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis

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The S60 is 5.5 inches shorter than the Regal Sportback, making the S60 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the S60 Momentum is quieter than the Regal Sportback Essence (68 vs. 70 dB).

Passenger Space

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The S60 has .2 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more front hip room than the Regal Sportback.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S60’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S60 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 S60. 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 S60’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.

Towing

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The S60 has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Regal Sportback has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The S60’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 S60 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 S60’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S60 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the S60’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Regal Sportback’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S60 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the S60 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 S60’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.

Both the S60 and the Regal Sportback offer available heated front seats. The S60 T6/Recharge 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 S60’s optional Park Assist Pilot 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 S60 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the S60 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Regal Sportback is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The S60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S60 will retain 40.05% to 43.62% of its original price after five years, while the Regal Sportback only retains 34.03% to 40.65%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S60 is less expensive to operate than the Regal Sportback because it costs $346 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S60 than the Regal Sportback, including $315 less for a water pump, $467 less for a muffler, $89 less for front brake pads, $119 less for a starter, $53 less for front struts, $17 less for a timing belt/chain and $502 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/10/26

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its January 2019 issue and they ranked the Volvo S60 R-Design AWD higher than the Buick Regal Sportback GS.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S60 second 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 Volvo 60 Series outsold the Buick Regal by almost two to one during 2019.

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

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