"This is just silly," I said as I laughed my way sideways around the icy track at Circuit ICAR, a racecourse, drag strip and kart track at the Montreal-Mirabel International Airport in Quebec. It wasn't the activity that had me cracking up, though. After all, winter driving experiences aren't uncommon in this business. No, in this particular case, it was the car that had me chuckling. I wasn't in a mad hot hatch or a rally-derived rocket – I was in a Buick. The 2014 Regal GS, to be more precise. Somehow, despite its recent product renaissance (not to mention its distant – yet storied – history of performance models), I was having a hard time believing that this attractive, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive sedan sliding around the Great White North could possibly be wearing a Tri-Shield badge on its nose. But it was, and slide about it did. While having access to a vehicle in this setting is fairly rare, what's rarer is the fact that I've had so much exposure to it. In Mr. Ewing's recent Volkswagen Golf R drive story, for instance, his ice capades were his first experience with the new model. In my case, though, I was lucky enough to first test the refreshed Regal GS for a week back in December before flying to Quebec to drive it on the snowy, icy, winding roads of Canada's most fiercely independent province and on the track at Mirabel. While we were sufficiently impressed with the Regal GS when it arrived in 2010, Buick has really done a number, freshening the car for 2014. The new fascia wears restyled HID headlights with integrated LED accents, while Buick's trademark waterfall grille remains relatively unchanged. I'm admittedly not crazy about the vertical vents fixed to the front of the car, and agree with another journalist who suggested it makes this Regal look like a saber-toothed tiger. Where the GS really looks good, though, is from the rear. Where the GS really looks good is from the rear. The back of the Regal is accented by a chrome strip that runs nearly the width of the car, and it cuts right into the lightly smoked taillights. Those lights themselves are wider than on the previous GS, with an element integrated into the trunk lid. Atop that lid sits a subtle spoiler, while the rear bumper is accented by trapezoidal exhaust housings. The Regal's cabin is nothing to write home about relative to its segment. Material quality on the dash is adequate, with soft plastics on the upper dash. The lower dash and trim around the center stack is harder plastic, although it appears to fit nicely and isn't prone to creaking in cold weather, even when pushed. The leather on the seats is soft and smooth, although the hides used for the steering wheel don't feel quite so supple. Gone is last year's horrible mess of buttons haphazardly festooned across the center stack. The big news in the cabin doesn't have …
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|MPG||21 City / 30 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||259 @ 5300 rpm|
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