I recently had the opportunity to test drive the new Buick Regal in San Diego. A beautiful, exciting car that really turned a lot of heads, the Buick is based on the German Opel Insignia. This global car really showed its capabilities as we drove it through the California mountains and along the beautiful coastline.
We drove the Regal on a sunny spring day. My co-driver and I started out with the turbocharged model and then switched half-way through the day for the normally-aspirated engine. Both cars only arrive on our shores with an automatic transmission. Currently the Regal is imported, but we are told that they will be made in the US in the future.
The Regal runs smoothly and handles very tight like most European cars. The four-door sedan performs well and is tough enough to compete in the mid-size market. The Buick Regal has classic Buick details; from the waterfall grille to the unique side and front markings. The car is fun to drive and the turbo really makes it more of a joy. The Regal has a big interior that is quiet and comfortable with great styling and luxurious details including electronic premium technology goodies like OnStar.
Jim Federico, the man who led the Regal to it’s new youthful customers was there to tell us about the new and exciting cars and the future of Buick. He recently told Car & Driver magazine that, “the U.S. will be getting more European cars in other body styles within a few short years, and that there’s a good chance that both of them will show up on dealer lots at some point in the near future.”
Sadly, the Regal is not available in an all-wheel drive. Those of us who live in the upper half of the country drive in snow and need the traction and, in this way, the Regal may have difficulty competing with other German cars currently available in the US. I was pleased to hear that Buick is making big strides with their new models and that it is the fastest growing brand. Sales are up over 50%. The Regal competes with Mazda 6, Volvo S60, VW Passat, Acura and Lexus. Take one for a test drive soon and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Sneak Peak at the BUICK Regal GS
We were teased with a sneak peak of the upcoming Buick GS. We all drooled over this proto-type. For you enthusiasts who remember the GS of the muscle car days, you’ll be excited to see the new GS. Just like the cars you see at drag races or cruise nights, the GS is sure to impress even the collectors.
GM has confirmed that they are building the Buick Regal GS, with a 255HP, high pressure turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder, manual six-speed, Haldex AWD system and bodywork from the show car. If this is the production car as you see it, there will be one in my garage!
Lauren Fix is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted automotive expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics, energy and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward. Follow Lauren on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram