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 Malibu 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.
The Malibu’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the front seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
Both the Malibu 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, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Malibu the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 144 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Regal Sportback has not been tested, yet.
There are over 46 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are Buick dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Malibu’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Buick vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Buick is ranked 13th.
On the EPA test cycle the Malibu with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Regal Sportback FWD 9-speed Auto turbo 4 cyl. (27 city/36 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).
The Malibu has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better maneuverability, the Malibu’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (37 feet vs. 39 feet). The Malibu’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the Regal Sportback’s (37 feet vs. 41 feet).
The Chevrolet Malibu may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 900 pounds less than the Buick Regal Sportback.
The front grille of the Malibu (except 2.0 Turbo) 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.
The Malibu has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Regal Sportback.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Malibu LT/Premier detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The Malibu (except L/LS) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Regal Sportback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Malibu Premier’s optional Semi-Automatic Parking Assist 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.
The Chevrolet Malibu outsold the Buick Regal by over 16 to one during 2017.