2014 Regal New Car Test Drive
Buick sales have been booming, and one of the sportiest, feistiest Buicks is the midsize Regal. Offered in two model lines, Regal and Regal GS, the top-line Regal GS, available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, is a world-class sports sedan. This fully spec-ed five-place performer is more than ready to take on the Acura TSX, Volvo S60, Volkswagen CC, Lexus IS 250, Infiniti Q50, and Audi A4.
The newly refreshed 2014 Regal has benefitted from the worldwide reach of General Motors, sporting handsomely world-car styling that is both carefully functional and pleasing to the eye.
This American midsize sedan profits from direct collaboration with GM's German Opel division, which tuned the Regal chassis for a polished degree of European dynamics and road manners. The car is comfortable over irregular surfaces, as is expected from a Buick-level luxury car but, true to its German chassis tuners, when driven vigorously, it handles like a bona fide sports sedan. It is fully competitive with the German, Japanese, and Swedish sedans listed above.
Nearly all Buick Regals come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 259 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque EPA-rated at 21/30 mpg with the automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, or 19/27 mpg with all-wheel drive; the manual transmission with front-wheel drive is rated at 20/31 mpg. Premium gasoline is recommended but it is not required.
Also available but rare is Regal with eAssist, which uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque and gets an EPA-estimated 25/36 mpg City/Highway on Regular gasoline and is only available with front-wheel drive.
The Regal offers excellent value, being priced just below its competition from overseas. But in keeping with contemporary Buick practice, Regal's quality level and equipment content are absolutely world-standard, delivering all the latest communications and safety technology, either as standard equipment, or available in affordable, straightforward option packages. Coming to grips with ordering the Regal is a pleasantly uncomplicated matter, because much of the essential content is already standard equipment.
Year after year, Buick has increased its North American market share, while also doing well in important faraway venues like the fast-growing China market. Buick is a world player in styling, technology, efficiency, and build quality. The two new Regal lines will compete successfully as international players and mainstays in the home market.
Buick Regal is available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, along with a 6-speed automatic; a 6-speed manual is available but only with front-wheel drive. Also available is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist, automatic and front-wheel drive.
The 2014 Buick Regal ($29,840) comes standard with leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, 12-way power driver's seat, 4-way power front passenger seat, split/fold rear seat, heated power mirrors, tilt/telescope steering wheel, cruise control, 8-inch color touch-screen, IntelliLink infotainment center, AM/FM/XM/CD/USB audio, Bluetooth, 4.2-inch information display, fog lamps, power windows with front express up/down, push-button start, remote keyless entry, auto-dimming inside mirror, electric parking brake, blue ambient lighting, 18-inch wheels.
Regal GS ($37,235) upgrades with high-intensity discharge headlamps, sport seats, eight-in. color reconfigurable touch-screen, navigation, Bose premium sound, HiPer Strut front suspension, computer damping control, interactive drive control with Sport and GS modes, Brembo four-piston front brake calipers, 19-inch aluminum wheels, all-season tires.
Options include Driver Confidence Package #1 ($1,090) forward collision alert, side blind-zone alert, lane-change alert, lane-departure alert, rear cross-traffic alert, following distance indicator; Driver Confidence Package #2 ($2,295) adaptive cruise control, collision preparation. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.
Safety features include the mandated dual-stage front and side impact airbags plus head curtain side impact airbags for front and rear outboard seating positions, (rear seat mounted thorax protection, GS and Regal Premium 2 only). Active safety features include anti-lock brakes with stability control, traction control, brake assist, OnStar, rearview camera. Optional safety features: all-wheel drive.