Buick continues to try to convince everyone that its cars are cool, but we still haven't seen much evidence of this working. However, the 2019 Buick Regal GS is exactly the car that can help change people's minds about Buick in 2019. It has big red Brembos sitting inside superbly stylish wheels, bright red GS emblems everywhere, aggressive bodywork and some of the best sport seats in any car today. Buick truly made the GS look the part, and if you can get past the brand's Wal-Mart greeter personality, you're going to like the way it drives, too. The Regal GS is powered by GM's 3.6-liter V6 that makes a healthy 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque in this application. That gets mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which is the only option for the GS this time around. The previous generation Regal GS offered a six-speed manual, but we weren't missing it too badly here. With seemingly every car under the sun going the turbocharged route, it was refreshing to see GM use a big, naturally aspirated V6. Even stranger was that the Regal GS before this one was boosted, so you could say GM went the opposite direction of the industry trend. That previous GS made 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder. So, while the V6 beats it by 40 horsepower, the old GS has it by 13 measly pound-feet of torque. Still, we dig the V6, because this car's power delivery is fantastic with a snarly but restrained exhaust note to go with. My largest quibble is taking off from a stop. The GS's throttle response is a little numb from the get-go, but put any revs to it and the car is ready to leap forward at any speed. This immediacy is increased when you put it into "GS" mode, which sharpens up the throttle, quickens shifts, stiffens the suspension, sends more power to the rear wheels and makes the steering heavier. The nine-speed is seamless and unobtrusive in traffic, but offers up surprisingly quick shifts when you're flat-out. Most of the time I end up ignoring the paddle shifters on cars with torque converter automatics, so I wasn't exactly missing them here. You can select the gears via the gear lever's slapstick function if you really want to, but it's hardly more engaging than just letting the car go at it. In GS mode it holds gears long enough and resists shifting out of the power band. During fall-attack on a backroad, it works smart and is on-par with the eight-speed in our Stinger GT long-termer. The extra cog in the Buick keeps the revs low cruising at highway speeds, and nets you decent fuel economy, too, at 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Truly, this transmission fits the car's character like a glove. Docile and smooth most of the time, but able to serve up a right bit of fun when called upon. We couldn't …
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|MPG||22 City / 32 Hwy|
|Transmission||9-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||250 @ 5400 rpm|
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