Monday, February 11, 2013

Buick Regal GS test drive

The new Regal has always been a good-looking car. And the GS version ads a more aggressive tone to that design without being too gaudy. Which is great.
The only “detail” I really didn’t like was the $700 20 Inch “polished” wheels option.
Polished meaning “chromed”. Which is never the classiest way to go.  

 Inside, it is pretty much the same as other Regal models. Or the European Opel Insignia.
Which is a good thing. Even though the amount of buttons on the console can be overwhelming at first. Everything is actually pretty intuitive and easy to use.
I just wish the 7-inch screen used a less Pre-School color palette.
And the “sport seats” aren’t really sporty. They are fine, but should be more different in this GS version.
 As I mentioned before, the 270hp Turbo engine is super smooth and quiet. Which really gives a quality feel to the whole driving experience. This is what a modern direct injection engine should sound and feel like.
I have no idea why VW cannot produce something that smooth with their 2.0 Liter Turbo.

The steering is still a bit light for a sporty sedan. But most new car steering is. At least is does have good feedback and is very precise. 
And torque steer is very well managed as well for such a powerful FWD car.

The 6-speed manual is very pleasant to use. This really makes the car special. Since Audi doesn’t offer one on the FWD A 4 anymore. Mercedes doesn’t on the C class. And you would have to special order one on a 3 series or a Passat. Even though they are technically offered.

The ride is firm but still comfortable. And the whole thing is always very quiet.
I really enjoyed driving the Regal GS for a week. My only problem is maybe the price.
The GS version starts at $35 000. My loaded car was almost $39 000.
For comparison, the A4 starts at $33 400. Which is about the same as the BMW 3 series.
So the $35 000 Buick is a tough sale. Even if it offers more for the price.

Image counts for a lot (right or wrong) in this segment. And Buick still has ways to go in that regard. No matter how great their cars are.
They are pricing themselves in a very tough crowd.

To me, the best deal would be the Regal Turbo with a 6 speed. The “non-GS” model.
You still get 220hp, and basically the same car. For $31 500. Or they have it for about $360 a month for a 2-year lease.

The Regal GS is a really good car. I am just not sure it is worth the premium over the already very good Regal Turbo.


Dav said...

Geez... That thing absolutely no rear leg room!

Seems like a nice enough car, but it's completely wrong-sized for the American market - Very Much like a modern-day version of the Ford Contour.

Anonymous said...

Despite the photo, it has leg room in the rear. I would not buy a Buick, but your review Bince makes it appealing.

Anonymous said...


You'd be out of your mind to purchase this. There are FAR better options available for the same money, and VASTLY better options for about $5K more.

Anonymous said...

the A4 starts at $33 400. Which is about the same as the BMW 3 series.
So the $35 000 Buick is a tough sale

I disagree. The base 320i STARTS at $33k+tax+fght=$34,900.--stripped!; Add leather, Nav & sunroof and you're over $50k. The 335ix--I've seen several over $60k--more yet for an M3. That's a long long way from $38k LOADED. A4/A5 is only slightly cheaper at about $10k-$15k more than a COMPARABLY equiped Regal.

Anonymous said...

@ February 13, 2013 at 12:06 PM


You have no idea of what you are talking about. You can get a 328 with leather, sunroof and NAV for under $40,000 EASILY.

How is it that the 328 with 30 less horsepower is still almost a second faster to 60MPH than this GS?

Regardless, even a base model 3 Series or C Class is better than this sales disaster. GM has to practically give these away.

Anonymous said...

320i 32550
Dest Chg 895
Leather 1450
Metalic Paint 550
pwr seats3200 only avail w/ prem pkg)
Nav 2150 (reqires 650 Bluetooth)
bluetooth 650
moonroof 1050
Subtotal 42495
Tax 45044.7 + Financing costs, Loan Fees, interest. AT 3.19% INTEREST YOU PAY $49,553 OVER 72 MONTHS (EXCLUDING loan fees) AND THAT'S THE "LOSS LEADER 320". The 328i is more; the 335ix is much much more! Just do the math!