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- Highs Potent and refined engine, roomy cabin, smooth ride quality.
- Lows Not exciting to drive, mediocre interior quality, driver assists are pricey.
- Verdict The Regal Sportback lacks the luxuriousness and sportiness its image suggests.
The 2020 Buick Regal Sportback aspires to be fashionable and functional with its sleek bodywork and useful hatchback. However, the Buick fails to deliver the upscale interior and sporty handling of many other entry-luxury cars. Still, the Regal Sportback continues the company's tradition of comfortable accommodations and refined road manners. Its standard turbocharged engine has effortless power and polished behavior, but the Sportback won't excite when driven quickly. Its slew of standard infotainment features are offset by extra-cost driver-assistance technology and luxurious options. Although the 2020 Regal Sportback will satisfy longtime Buick fans, it's not as sophisticated or entertaining as better alternatives.
What's New for 2020?
Buick doesn't make any changes to the Regal Sportback for 2020. The sleek hatchback continues to offer a diligent engine, generous cargo space, and copious options—for a price. Likewise, its Regal brethren (the TourX station wagon and sporty GS) also enter the new model year without any updates.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The 2020 Regal Sportback isn't fancy enough to fulfill its luxury aspirations, but it's more expensive than traditional family sedans. That leaves us looking at the mid-level models to secure desirable options and maintain value. We think the Preferred II best balances those objectives. Every model features 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, upgraded seats, and more. We'd also recommend the Driver Confidence 1 package that adds auto-leveling headlights, blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and wireless charging. Those who want all-weather capability can add all-wheel drive for another $2000.
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Regal is quick and responsive thanks to its 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive and a smooth-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission are standard. All-wheel-drive models get an eight-speed automatic, which is considerably more sluggish and reluctant to downshift. At our test track, our front-wheel-drive test vehicle zipped from zero to 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, which is competitive with rivals such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia. It was also almost neck-in-neck with the 60-hp stronger Buick Regal GS, which managed to shave off only 0.2 second from the Sportback's time. The standard Regal Sportback is competent in the twisties and provides a fair amount of grip, but it's considerably softer and slower to react to steering commands than its sportier hatchback competitors. It rides quite comfortably, but vague, overly light steering keeps it from being involving to drive. The Regal's brake pedal is firm and inspires confidence, and both Regals we tested provided best-in-class stopping distances.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
With its standard front-wheel drive, the Regal Sportback hits perfectly average mpg numbers in its segment. Adding all-wheel drive drops the ratings by a few mpg all around. In our real-world highway fuel-economy testing, it fell 1 mpg short of its government rating at 31 mpg. The Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 430i Gran Coupe both handily beat the Buick with results of 34 mpg and 37 mpg, respectively.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Regal's cabin is much more family sedan than luxury car, with tons of space for all passengers but a decidedly plebeian environment that's let down by cheap materials. This assessment is even more egregious considering that we tested the more expensive Essence model; less expensive models look even more dour with their cloth upholstery, and they also lack equipment—such as heated seats—that we expect at this price. The Regal's rear seat is a bit smaller than the Honda Accord's, but the Buick offers considerably more room than its sportier hatchback competitors. Likewise, its rear seats fold flat, offering an uninterrupted cargo floor that can easily accommodate big items such as a bicycle. We also appreciate the levers in the cargo area that make folding the seats a cinch. We fit seven of our carry-on suitcases in the trunk and with the rear seats flat, the Regal managed to swallow 19 cases. Looking for more space for cargo? Check out the Regal TourX station wagon.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Sportback comes standard with most of the connectivity features you'd want, and its touchscreen is easy to use and quick to respond to user inputs. The infotainment system includes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability and a Wi-Fi hotspot. A larger touchscreen, premium Bose audio system, built-in navigation, wireless charging, and more are also available.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2020 Regal Sportback hasn't yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (IIHS) Crucial driver-assistance features such as forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking require stepping all the way up to at least the Essence model and then paying for two separate Driver Confidence packages. Key safety features include:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Buick's warranty coverage is longer than most of its competitors, save for the Kia Stinger. It includes the longest roadside-assistance coverage, and the first maintenance visit is complimentary.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first year