Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 Buick Regal VS 2014 Chevrolet Malibu Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 Buick Regal

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2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Safety Comparison

The Regal offers optional Front and Rear Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Malibu offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Regal Turbo/GS offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Malibu doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Regal offers optional Ultrasonic Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, for the Regal GS in front of the vehicle. The Malibu doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Regal and the Malibu have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Buick Regal is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:





5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Compression

33 lbs.

54 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

134/32 lbs.

196/304 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

37 lbs.

62 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Buick Regal is safer than the Chevrolet Malibu:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Abdominal Force

165 G’s

210 G’s

Hip Force

330 lbs.

351 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

65 G’s

68 G’s

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

15 inches




Spine Acceleration

48 G’s

52 G’s

Hip Force

618 lbs.

862 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Regal comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Malibu’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Regal 1 year longer than Chevrolet covers the Malibu. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Malibu ends after only 5 years.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Regal third among midsize cars in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The Malibu isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 12th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Regal Turbo/GS 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Chevrolet Malibu 4 cyl.:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

8.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.1 sec

14.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.4 sec

23.9 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.3 sec

4.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.1 MPH

85.3 MPH

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Regal GS’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Malibu:

Regal GS


Front Rotors

13.6 inches

11.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.5 inches

The Regal Turbo’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Malibu are solid, not vented.

The Regal stops much shorter than the Malibu:



70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

172 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Regal has larger standard tires than the Malibu (235/50R18 vs. 215/60R16). The Regal GS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Malibu (255/35R20 vs. 235/50R18).

The Regal Turbo’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Malibu’s standard 60 series tires. The Regal GS’ optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Malibu LTZ’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Regal has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Malibu. The Regal GS’ optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Malibu LTZ.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Regal offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Malibu’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Regal GS handles at .89 G’s, while the Malibu Eco pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Regal GS executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Malibu Eco (26.1 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Regal’s front power windows 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 Malibu’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. The Malibu’s optional front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

The E-Z Key optional on the Regal allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Malibu’s available Keyless Access doesn’t unlock the trunk.

The Regal has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Malibu doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Regal’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Malibu Eco/LT/LTZ.

The Regal has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Malibu and isn’t available on the Malibu LS.

The Regal’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Malibu LS doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Both the Regal and the Malibu offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Regal has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Malibu doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Regal offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Malibu doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Regal is less expensive to operate than the Malibu because typical repairs cost less on the Regal than the Malibu, including $26 less for front struts and $3 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® chose the Buick Regal as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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