2018 Buick Regal Sportback Review


Pros & Cons

  • New hatchback-style liftgate offers easier access to large cargo space
  • Four-cylinder and V6 engines promise strong power
  • Offers optional all-wheel drive
  • Extra length makes it less of a compact sedan than previous Regal
Other years
Buick Regal Sportback for Sale
List Price Range
$17,000 - $21,997

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Which Regal Sportback does Edmunds recommend?

Considering the price, the Regal Sportback base and Preferred trims are nice enough. The Preferred doesn't offer significant upgrades over the base trim, except for a power-adjustable driver seat, but it does open the door to options unavailable on the base. But we say skip the line and jump to the Preferred II. It comes with all of the useful tech (8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple and Android integration), nicer wheels and the more flexible 40/20/40-split folding rear seats.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.9 / 10

The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is an all-new model that adds a slight twist to the formula used for Regal sedans of the past. Instead of a traditional trunk on most cars in the class, the Regal Sportback has a hatchback that gives it a sleeker, coupelike profile and an added dose of utility. It's something that German automakers have been doing for a while now with vehicles such as the Audi A7 and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Compared to the previous Regal, the Sportback offers more than twice the cargo capacity (31.5 cubic feet) and a more flexible, easier-to-access cargo area. Folding the rear seats down further expands the cargo area to 60.7 cubic feet, which is even more than Buick's Envision compact SUV offers.

You wouldn't know it was so big inside from looking at it, however. But the Regal Sportback rides on a wheelbase that's 3 inches longer than the previous Regal, a change that gives it a long, low profile. Overall, the Regal Sportback is slightly longer in both overall length and wheelbase than the Acura TLX, a car that shares a similar price range.

The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque in the front-wheel-drive model. With the optional all-wheel drive, the torque number jumps to 295 lb-ft. Front-wheel-drive models come with a nine-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive models get an eight-speed automatic transmission.

If you're interested in even more performance, there's the new Regal GS, which shares the same body style but comes with a 310-horsepower V6 and standard all-wheel drive.

We'll know more about the 2018 Buick Regal in the coming months once we obtain one for testing.

2018 Buick Regal Sportback models

The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is available in four trim levels: Regal 1SV, Preferred, Preferred II and Essence. A sporty RS trim is expected to debut later in the model year.

The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque) in front-wheel-drive models. With the optional all-wheel drive, the torque number jumps to 295 lb-ft. Front-wheel-drive models come with a nine-speed automatic, and all-wheel-drive models get an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Regal 1SV offers standard features including 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, heated power side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a rearview camera, OnStar (with a 4G LTE connection and Wi-Fi hotspot), and a seven-speaker audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen interface and USB port.

Moving up to the Preferred adds a power-adjustable driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also offers options such as the Driver Confidence package that includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The Sights and Sounds package adds a navigation system, an 8-inch touchscreen (with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration), dual rear seat charge-only USB ports, and a Bose eight-speaker audio system with HD radio. A sunroof is also available as a stand-alone option.

The Preferred II comes with the upgraded 8-inch touchscreen plus 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a driver information screen between the gauges. All-wheel-drive models also feature active noise cancellation through the audio system. You can get the optional Driver Confidence package with this trim as well. It offers the same features listed above plus wireless device charging, while the Sights and Sounds package adds navigation and the premium Bose audio system.

The range-topping Essence trim bundles the standard features of the lower trims and adds leather upholstery, heated front seats and a power-adjustable passenger seat. The optional Driver Confidence package adds the same features as on the lower trims but also tacks on driver-position memory and an auto-dimming side mirror for the driver. A second Driver Confidence package (called Driver Confidence II, naturally) pads on adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning and intervention. This package is only available for the Essence and requires the Driver Confidence I package.

We expect the Regal GS' main upgrades to include a 310-hp V6 engine, a sport-tuned suspension, larger wheels, Brembo brakes and sport seats.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 9-speed automatic | FWD).


The Regal Sportback is powered by a powerful and efficient turbo 2.0-liter that offers acceleration on par with some V6s. Confident brakes and quick steering are also highlights, but a soft, comfort-oriented suspension and slow-to-downshift transmission take the sport out of this Sportback.


The Regal's turbo 2.0-liter engine is punchy and provides a surprising amount of thrust. It takes a moment for the engine to build boost, but once you're going, acceleration is more than adequate for its purposes. In testing, the Regal hit 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, comparable to a V6 engine's time.


The Regal delivers smooth and easy braking response that's also very stable and reassuring if presented with a sudden panic stop. Its ABS system is fast-acting and relatively quiet in operation. The Regal needed 124 feet to stop from 60 mph in testing, which is comparable to the segment average.


The steering is quick and has light effort, which makes it easy to wheel around the city and in parking lots. The effort at highway speeds is too light, however, requiring many corrections to go straight. Otherwise we like its directness and aren't too bothered by low amount of road feel.


We would not call this Sportback "sporty." The Regal swaps some handling prowess for ride comfort, and that's OK in this case. Overall, it's composed but exhibits pronounced body movement with every bump it encounters.


This is an easy car to drive, but it's not without faults. The auto stop-start cannot be defeated, so you have to learn to drive around it if traffic merging is to be done quickly. Downshifts from the nine-speed transmission can be on the slow side, but shifting is otherwise smooth and seamless.


Buick is typically a standout when it comes to quietness, and the Regal Sportback is no exception. The comfort-tuned suspension also pays off, delivering good ride quality without feeling disconnected from the road. It receives only a couple of small strikes for the seats and climate controls.

Seat comfort

The seats lack breathability and the material feels cheap, but the cushions balance firmness and compliance well. There's a good amount adjustment including four-way adjustable lumbar support. Lateral support is average, and the armrest padding on the doors is thin.

Ride comfort

Ride comfort is quite agreeable. Bumps big and small are generally dispatched without the Regal feeling overly floaty or disconnected. There is a little more body movement in exchange for the softer ride but it isn't anything to complaint about.

Noise & vibration

Buick excels at keeping the loud out of the cabin. At city speeds or when cruising the highway at 75 mph, the Regal's cabin is quite quiet. Wind and ambient noise is attenuated especially well, and road noise only permeates at a low level. No creaks or rattles to be heard.

Climate control

The climate controls are straightforward save for the vent modes you must access through the touchscreen. All other controls such as fan speed have real buttons but can also be changed via the touchscreen. The seats have no ventilation but the heaters work great. The air conditioning is powerful.


There's nothing fancy about the Regal's cabin, but at least its controls are straightforward. Drivers can find a comfortable driving position with relative ease, which is important. The sleek Sportback roofline entails some trade-offs in ease-of-entry and visibility.

Ease of use

Nothing overly clever, the controls are fairly straightforward and easy to manipulate. The touchscreen is responsive, but — typical of touchscreens — is not as easy to operate on the move as a rotary knob. Oddly enough, there's no trunk release in the cabin or on the key fob.

Getting in/getting out

The rear sloping roof cuts into rear headroom a bit. The door opening looks wide but pinches down at the foot area, making it slightly awkward and less convenient than it appears. Getting into the front is otherwise easy, with a shallow stepover and decent head clearance.

Driving position

Its driving position should be ideal for most people. The seat drops down quite low for tremendous headroom or can be raised up high for a more commanding view of the road. The tilt-and-telescoping steering column offers a decent amount of adjustment, too.


The dashboard's bulk cuts into knee clearance, but the easy-entry driver's seat helps alleviate this issue. Ample head- and hiproom up front. Plenty of rear legroom with a buffer of soft, concave front seat backs. Generous enough to fit five with decent headroom for the middle seat.


The windshield is wide, but the side mirrors sit at the pillar and door intersections, and the mirror partially obstructs the view in left turns. The rear pillars are bulky, making the backup camera quite useful. Rear visibility is more sedanlike due to the flatter slope of the rear hatch window.


The cabin quietness and design of the interior are appealing, although its parts-bin switchgear and garish chrome highlights definitely detract. Details such as these, plus a notable lack of arm padding, chip away at the Regal's regal-ness.


A massive rear hatch with 31.5 cubic feet of storage, a number of in-cabin storage solutions for personal effects, and easy-access car-seat anchor points make the Regal Sportback a wagon with exemplary utility benefits.

Small-item storage

There are fairly deep door pockets up front with slightly less sizable ones in the rear. The armrest bin is average with cellphone-specific storage/charging space. Of three front cupholders, one is oversized to fit larger bottles. A small space upfront can conceal valuables under a sliding door.

Cargo space

With 31.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the Sportback's trunk dwarfs any comparable sedan trunk. The rear seats have a 40/20/40-split arrangement and fold virtually flat, giving you nice convenient options. These cargo advantages have no downsides, so why would anybody choose a sedan over a Sportback?

Child safety seat accommodation

With a fairly roomy back seat and easy-access LATCH anchors under plastic flip doors, car seat installation should be relatively easy. The lower roofline might require some extra bending, but this isn't far off a standard sedan.


General Motors has a strong tech game of late. Device integration is among the most comprehensive in the industry and a standard Wi-Fi hotspot is an unexpected luxury. Our Regal came with just a few advanced driving aids, which is a little uncommon for a premium midsize sedan or wagon.

Audio & navigation

The upgraded Bose audio system delivers decent clarity and adequate bass and should satisfy the average person's audio needs. The quiet cabin helps as well. The navigation system is modern but unremarkable. Its interface is a little fussy at first but becomes easier with practice.

Smartphone integration

Optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work well, as does the standard media interface. Wi-Fi with 4G LTE internet is standard (limited trial) and connects up to seven devices. There are three USB plugs and wireless phone charging. Bluetooth pairing is easy and can be done via voice command.

Driver aids

Our Regal came with a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise is offered but wasn't equipped on our car. Everything works relatively well but there's nothing special, which you'd expect at this class level.

Voice control

Voice controls have quick response time. You can make calls, find an address, check weather, or tune to any radio station including satellite. Long button presses call up Siri or Google, too. Tolerance for natural language is quite good. The help menu is rather extensive.


Overall7.9 / 10

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Most impressive car we have owned
Essence 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
We have had this car for over almost 2 years now and there is very little not to like. In terms of value, it seems to beat the big name imported cars hands down. It has a responsive and peppy engine. The instrumentation is logical, though somewhat understated. Mileage on the highway has been much better than expected. We averaged over 30 mpg on a recent 500+ mile trip. Driving comfort is very good. We did have some mistaken potential crash warnings from the crash avoidance systems, especially when making sharp turns at an intersections where we turn into a lane that has a large truck stopped in the turn lane of the street that we are turning into. Wish lists: The car had an automatic closing mechanism for its hatchback opening. The navigation system could be much more user friendly, like the systems offered by Tom-Tom for it's GPS units. GM should really update this as I think this could just need to be a softwaree update. The memory system for who the driver is for seat positioning, sometimes seems to relate to whoever entered the car first, not necessarily to the driver. This could use some tweaking. Likewise with the recognition of which phone it should pair with. Again these might also be a software tweak.
GS must stand for Great Specs!
Dave Schaller,09/04/2018
GS 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A)
Wanted a sporty fun 4-door since my grandkids' car seats wouldn't go in the back of my previous coupe. The GS is a blast to drive. At 6'2" tall, I have trouble getting comfortable in many cars but the GS has the best seats of any car I've ever ridden in. Heated, ventilated, multi-chamber lumbar, thigh extender, adjustable side bolster, and massaging features are topped off with a very wide range of positions forward/backwards/reclining. The 4 door hatchback configuration allows the rear seats to fold flat with room to put a bicycle in back (try that with any other 4 door). The heads-up display not only shows the cruise set speed and current adaptive cruising speed it also can show: navigation directions, phone caller ID, radio station/song, and more. The V6 uses regular fuel and the AWD system makes this a sure footed car that goes wherever you want it to go. The lane keeping feature also keeps the car from going where you don't want it to go such as off the road or into another lane as it provides resistance into the steering wheel. So far the 6 month wait for this car to arrive at the dealership has been worth it. All that and about 30 MPG on the highway. It has a few areas where GM got cheap like the sunglasses holder and sun visors, but I have had no quality issues with the vehicle.
A car for those who think young
GS 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A)
Don't want or need an suv or truck. The Buick Regal GS is a great car for people who want something that you rarely{I really mean rarely} see on the road. Even the other Regal models are scarce on the road. I haven't seen any model Regal let alone the GS. The interior is sporty and up level. Leather back rubbing front seats keeps you comfortable. The Infotainment center took time to understand everything it can do. But may favorite is the BOSE radio and speaker combined with SXM and you have a concert every time you drive the car. The Regal GS comes standard with all wheel drive. Our car is black on black. The black paint is metallic . The car has that edgy look to it. You can't go wrong with a GS or other Regal models. Drive one and you will see what I mean.
Over Engineered in the Wrong Places
Preferred 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
I own a 2018 Buick Sportback. Overall it's a nice vehicle. Two things that are total crap. 1) They spent WAY too much R&D on the door lock system. So computer geek designed the system and is likely the only one who knows how it works. I can lock and unlock my doors myself. I'm not sure why GM thought all this auto lock stuff is helpful. They need an option to turn all the auto lock off.......but there isn't one. 2) The car needs an Auto Stop override. The fact Buick doesn't give you a button to turn this off on demand like Ford and others do is unfortunate. AC shuts off and blows hot air, which is a problem in stop and go traffic. I can workaround it by shifting into neutral before stopping but that is a hassle to override the computer . I would not have purchased the car had I known I couldn't control these two features.

Features & Specs

22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
9-speed shiftable automatic
250 hp @ 5400 rpm
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
9-speed shiftable automatic
250 hp @ 5400 rpm
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
9-speed shiftable automatic
250 hp @ 5400 rpm
21 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
250 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback features & specs


Our experts like the Regal Sportback models:

Active Hood Pedestrian Safety
Monitors if a forward collision with a pedestrian is imminent. At 16 to 30 mph, actuators lift the back of the hood 4 inches to lessen the impact.
Lane Keep Assist/Lane Departure Warning
Alerts driver whenever car drifts from lane without turn indicator engaged. Can apply moderate effort to guide car back into lane.
Teen Driver
Bundles special features to keep young drivers safe, including limits on audio volume and monitors for top speed and heavy braking incidents.

More about the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback

Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback Overview

The Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is offered in the following submodels: Regal Sportback Hatchback, Regal Sportback GS. Available styles include Preferred 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), Essence 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), Preferred II 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A), Preferred II 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), Essence 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), GS 4dr Hatchback AWD (3.6L 6cyl 9A), and 1SV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback Preferred is priced between $17,000 and$18,715 with odometer readings between 1566 and37821 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback Preferred II is priced between $21,997 and$21,997 with odometer readings between 10221 and10221 miles.

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Which used 2018 Buick Regal Sportbacks are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Buick Regal Sportback for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2018 Regal Sportbacks listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $17,000 and mileage as low as 1566 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Buick Regal Sportback.

Can't find a used 2018 Buick Regal Sportbacks you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Buick Regal Sportback for sale - 8 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $13,656.

Find a used Buick for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $8,082.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Regal Sportback for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,012.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $11,921.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Buick Regal Sportback?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Buick Regal Sportback lease specials