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For some younger drivers the Buick Regal might seem like a new model, but it has actually been around since 1973. In 2004 the Regal took a leave of absence until 2011 when it was re-introduced, positioned as an upscale sport sedan. Involved in one of the most highly competitive auto-markets, the refreshed Regal needed to make itself known and with a large family of trims that offer choices for everyone, it has certainly been able.
Speaking of a large family, the Regal is offered in seven different trims separated primarily based on their engine/transmission. Three trims (Base, Premium I, and Premium II) come with a 2.4L Ecotec 4-cylinder engine with eAssist paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The remaining four trims are all equipped with a 2.0L Turbo Ecotec DOHC 4-cylinder engine. However, the most expensive trim, the GS, has a high-output version that produces 270 HP. The other three trims (Turbo Premium I, Turbo Premium II and Turbo Premium III) use the standard turbo engine that still puts out a strong 220 HP while attached to a different six-speed automatic transmission for the turbo engines. The base eAssist engine is very efficient achieving 36 mpg on the highway while the turbo (not in the GS) gets up to 29 mpg.
As previously stated, the premium midsize sedan market is one of the most hotly contested among automakers. A staple at the top, the BMW 3-series has been the horse everybody else is chasing. It offers a level of comfort and performance that other makes have not figured out how to match. However, General Motors is making a serious charge with models like this Buick Regal and the Cadillac ATS. Other midsize sedans to consider also hail from Europe. The Volkswagen CC, unlike the Regal, is available with all-wheel drive and sports a similarly equipped interior. However, the rear seat of the CC is a bit cramped. Another all-wheel drive available European, the Volvo S-60 has an interior filled with premium materials and features plus an engine that’s significantly more powerful than the Regal. Yet, with power comes less fuel mileage and the Volvo falls short in the battle of MPGs.
The Buick Regal has agile handling, aggressive styling and a quality to match its German competitors. As more consumers discover this four-door American sportster, it may just overtake them.
Buick wants consumers to think “comfort” when thinking of the luxury GM brand so even the base trim is well equipped. The interior receives French seam-stitched leather seating, a 7” Intellilink touch-screen and ice-blue ambient illumination. Other standards include StabiliTrak electronic stability control, premium 7-speaker audio system and dual zone automatic climate control. Driver and front passenger seats are heated while only the driver has an 8-way power seat and 4-way power lumbar adjuster. A SiriusXM Satellite Radio trial is included with TravelLink, which updates the driver on the latest traffic and weather conditions wherever they go.
The GS was made to perform, inside and out. The exterior is designed with special sport-styled fascias and comes with 19” twin-spoke wheels only offered on the GS. Other items exclusive to the GS include the HiPer strut front suspension and four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Brake Assist and Brembo front calipers. The larger rotors build more brake power, faster allowing for shorter stopping distances and better control. All the bells and whistles are also added, including the Harman Kardon 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix surround, 9-speaker audio system. Parking assist is added to the front bumper as well for pulling into small parking spots and tight garages.
Luxury extends on to the passenger with the non-turbo engine’s mid-level trim as both the driver and passenger have access to 12-way power adjustable seats (8-way seat, 4-way lumbar). The key fob gets a little fancier as well with Passive Keyless entry, push button start and remote start. The driver is helped in reverse with the rear Parking Assist feature and a 120V AC power outlet makes its way to the interior. The 7” touch-screen is on this trim as well however 18” alloys are equipped instead of the 17” ones on the base trim.
The highest end of the non-turbo line is the Premium II, offering more interior and exterior features. The rear seat is equipped with thorax air bags for added safety. A 336-watt Harman Kardon 5.1 Matrix Surround, 9-speaker system adds major performance to the audio. On the outside, 18” wheels are equipped and HID headlamps are added with automatic settings for greater nighttime visibility. OnStar is included for the first six months with the Directions & Connections plan offered by General Motors.
The 2.0L Turbo Ecotec is a great engine and honestly all you need for a great performing sedan. An optional six-speed manual transmission heightens the performance aspect even more. However, Buick has included other options as well. Passive keyless entry, push button start and rear parking assist are all standard. Universal home remote and a 7-speaker audio system are included as well. The front seats both have comforts like heat and power adjust plus OnStar and SiriusXM trials are offered. 18” alloys provide contact with the pavement.
The Premium II trim with the Turbo engine is almost identical to the basic Premium II. 18” alloys are standard but 18” chrome-plated wheels are available. Buick’s 7” Intellilink touch-screen controls the Harman Kardon 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix surround, 9-speaker audio system. HID headlamps provide a brighter, whiter light that is better than conventional bulbs. An upgraded air bag system is included with rear seat thorax air bags and dual-stage frontal air bags designed for inflation dependent upon the severity of the crash. 12-way power adjustable seats are added for the driver and front passenger.
The nicest trim available with the standard-output turbo engine is the Premium III. 19” 9-spoke machined-alloy wheels allow the Regal to handle city streets in style while the Interactive Drive Control System helps with adaptability. More specifically, owners can choose from three settings (Standard, Tour or Sport) on the Interactive Drive Control system that will then adapt its’ suspension sensitivity, shift pattern and steering feel. The chassis is constantly readjusted based on readings from a computerized module monitoring several variables on the fly.
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|Build & Price|
2013 Buick Regal$16,998 | 55,560 mi
2013 Buick Regal$28,670 | 5 mi
2012 BUICK REGAL$16,375 | 39,372 mi
2012 Buick Regal$18,500 | 30,347 mi
2012 Buick Regal$18,977 | 21,411 mi
2011 Buick Regal$14,995 | 40,080 mi
2011 Buick Regal$15,388 | 65,874 mi
2011 Buick Regal$15,748 | 36,426 mi
2011 BUICK REGAL$15,885 | 33,254 mi
2011 Buick Regal$15,885 | 38,750 mi
2011 Buick Regal$15,993 | 47,934 mi
2011 Buick Regal$15,995 | 59,979 mi
2011 Buick Regal$16,000 | 24,347 mi
2011 Buick Regal$16,470 | 23,092 mi
2011 Buick Regal$16,488 | 46,771 mi
2011 Buick Regal$16,598 | 39,277 mi
2011 Buick Regal$17,000 | 78,628 mi
2011 Buick Regal$17,041 | 27,267 mi
2011 Buick Regal$17,197 | 36,170 mi
2011 Buick Regal$17,495 | 60,873 mi
2011 Buick Regal$17,585 | 67,629 mi
2011 Buick Regal$18,880 | 27,808 mi
2011 Buick Regal$18,977 | 35,748 mi
2011 Buick Regal$18,995 | 15,000 mi
2004 Buick Regal$7,500 | 77,893 mi
2001 Buick Regal$4,000 | 105,504 mi
1987 Buick Regal$42,900 | 2,640 mi
1986 Buick Regal$12,900 | 126,284 mi
Industry standard for performance but styling is too conservative
Available all-wheel drive, but rear seat is cramped
Powerful engine and excellent safety ratings, but fuel economy lags
High quality, technology-packed interior but hate-it-or-love-it exterior.