2017 Regal New Car Test Drive
The Buick Regal, a charming and convincing midsize sports sedan, was introduced five years ago. Regal is available with all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, and an inexpensive 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a more powerful but efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
Regal delivers refined performance, taut handling and ride, and athletic looks. With leather seats standard, it can hold its own against some luxury cars, at least with the turbocharged version of its four-cylinder engine. The Regal has the feel of a German sedan, maybe because it basically is a German sedan, based on GM Europe's Opel Insignia.
The base engine, which keeps the price down, is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making an adequate but uninspiring 182 horsepower, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The base Regal compares well with cars like the Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Altima.
More interesting is the twin-scroll turbo with direct injection. It's a smaller and more compact engine, a 2.0-liter making 259 horsepower and a strong 295 pound-feet of torque. It's got a sweet growl, as it squirts from zero to sixty in less than seven seconds. The six-speed automatic lacks paddle shifters, however.
All-wheel drive comes with a different rear suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential that divides traction between the left and right rear wheels.
The Regal is considered a five-seater, but because it's small for a midsize sedan (bigger than a Ford Focus but smaller than a Fusion), three full-sized adults in the back seat is a squeeze. Five is a crowd, it's more comfortable with four.
Fuel economy is an EPA-rated 19/30 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined. Sonata and Altima get much better. Regal's upgrade 2.0 turbocharged engine, with 77 more horsepower, actually gets better fuel mileage, no matter that it's not terribly significant: 21/29 mpg City/Highway, or 24 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops fuel mileage by two miles per gallon.
The NHTSA gives the Regal five stars overall for crashworthiness, while the IIHS gives it Good ratings, with Superior for frontal crash prevention when the Regal is equipped with its available forward-collision and automatic braking system. More safety options include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and lane-departure warning.
The 2017 Buick Regal ($27,065) comes standard with leather seats, power windows and doors, rearview camera, cruise control, power driver's seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, sound system with XM radio, and infotainment with Bluetooth. Regal comes standard with front-wheel drive and the 2.4-liter engine. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
Regal Sport Touring ($28,615) upgrades to the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. All-wheel drive is available ($31,465).