Buick Regal gs review

Buick Regal gs review

I remember my first time driving the 2014 Buick Regal GS. It was here in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio for a drive event that General Motors was having for journalists. I thought it was cool to have my hometown host this event. And I remember the twisting, turning drive route we took in the Regal and thinking, wow, this is actually a sporty, fun car to drive.

During that press event I remember speaking with several reps from Buick about the image problem Buick has. You even see it in there current TV commercials where various people exclaim, “that sure doesn’t look like a Buick.”

Indeed Buick has the stigma of being an “old person vehicle.” But, in the week I spent with the Regal GS, this is definitely not grandpa’s Buick.

For starters, the Regal GS (which is the sportier trim) has a new exterior with wing-shaped LED lighting. The grille is still the signature Buick look. The Regal is appropriately named because of that grille as it puts off a regal appearance. The overall styling of the Regal is one of stately elegance and does not foretell of the sporty performance of the Regal GS.

Powertrain

Powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine, the Regal GS packs a nice punch off the line and throughout the gearing. It is mated with an efficient, although slightly lagging, six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission is an option that may alleviate the minor issues I had with the shifting.

The engine makes 259 horsepower and 295 lbs./ft. of torque. A drive control system offers selectable modes to change the car’s performance. Select from standard to sport to the high-performance GS mode and you get various driving experiences. And that is a fantastic feature for the Regal as each mode offers various levels of performance. The GS, of course, was my favorite, with sharp cornering, sport handling and punch off the line.

HiPer Strut front suspension helps reduce torque steer and improve grip during cornering. The Regal GS has all-wheel drive (again not something grandpa had with his old Buick). The Regal nameplate is celebrating its fourth decade in existence, and the evolution is astounding.

Exterior

buick regal

Inside, the Regal has everything you expect from a Buick. Higher quality materials, soft touch points and comfortable luxury are highlights of the interior. The Regal’s interior is elegant and classy and grandpa would approve.

There is more than 38 inches of headroom for front passengers and 42 inches of legroom for rear passengers. While the Regal is not a “boat” it provides ample room and comfort for all passengers. The trunk has 14.2 cubic feet of space.

Technology

This model comes equipped with plenty of technology. New for this model year is a rear cross traffic alert system, lane change alert system, blind spot alert system, lane departure warning and forward collision alert. These sensor-based systems helped earn the Regal a superior safety rating from IIHS.

All of this new safety technology is part of the Driver Confidence package which is an added-on value. It’s one of the few add ons that seem worth the cost. The 2015 Buick Regal will come equipped with 4G LTE WIFI (what would grandpa think of that)?

buick regal infotainment

Fuel Economy

If fuel economy is a priority than the GS trim is probably not the ideal option. The Regal eAssist trim has no turbo but a fuel economy of 25 mpg/city and 36 mpg/hwy. My tester gets far less than that with an EPA rating of 19 mpg/city and 27 mpg/hwy.

Pricing and Trims

Pricing for the basic trim Regal starts at $30,615. My tester, the top-of-the-line Regal GS has an MSRP of $39,270. My tester, with the safety features and technology had a final price of $43,780.

Final Thoughts

Buick has their work cut out for them if they want to rebrand themselves as a younger, hipper brand. Offerings like the 2014 Buick Regal GS will go a long way toward rebranding itself though. I said before, it certainly doesn’t look or drive like grandpa’s Buick.

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD

Price as tested………………………………………… $$39,270/$43,780

Mileage…………………………………… 19 mpg/city; 27 mpg/hwy

Engine……………………………………… 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbo

Horsepower/Torque…………………………… 259 hp/295 lbs./ft.

Transmission…………………………… Six-speed automatic

Drive Wheels……………. All-wheel drive (AWD)

Final Assembly Point……………. Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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Jimmy Dinsmore

For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - jimmydinsmore@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @driversside.

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