The new Buick Regal is bigger and better than its predecessor, and the GS version of the car takes the Regal nameplate to a whole new level.
The design has a European flair. Understandable since the Regal is a sister to the Opel Insignia sold in Europe. The Regal looks like a touring sport sedan, but it's really sport hatch. There is also now a TourX crossover available which adds more cargo space.
On this day we are test driving the GS. Red is the standard GS Colour. It suits the car and it got a lot of compliments on the car from people walking by in parking lots.
Under the hood this car is equipped with an all new 3.6 litre normally aspirated V6 engine producing 310 horsepower. The V6 is standard for the Grand Sport, but other models can be purchased with a 2.0 litre four cylinder turbo charged engine producing 250-horsepower. The GS V6 is more than adequate for the car providing zero-to-sixty performance of just 5.4 seconds. The V6 has an aluminum block and aluminum heads, and compression ratio of 11.5 to 1. The engine revs high and revs freely and it sounds awesome under acceleration.
Our car was also equipped with fuel saving cylinder deactivation, which means you run on just four cylinders at cruising speed. It also had auto start-stop which turns the car off at stop lights, and restarts automatically when you take your foot off the brake. GM's auto start-stop system can't be turned off, but it works well so it really isn't an issue. We got about 23 miles to the gallon combined city and highway. Expect around 27 miles per gallon on the highway.
The GS comes with a nine speed transmission, and manual shifting is available with the stick on the console. Some people will wish it had paddle shifters.
The new Regal is very quiet inside. The interior is finely crafted. There is ample use of soft touch materials including a stitched dash, and a leather wrapped flat bottom steering wheel. The best part of the GS is the AGR power-leather sport seats. They have flared shoulder supports, fixed head rests, adjustable lateral support top and bottom, and 4 way adjustable lumbar support. The seats also have power massage, heating, and ventilation. The seats are firm, but extremely comfortable. If you're thinking sport seats might be impractical, don't worry. The seats are designed for easy entry and exit, so they're practical for day to day use. The seats are simply outstanding.
The GS has upgraded Brembo disc brakes, and upgraded fully independent suspension with macpherson struts up front, a five link set up in the rear, and adaptive dampers. Choose from tour, sport, or GS modes with the flip of a switch. The electric power assisted steering provides good road feel, and the car tracks nicely.. A twin clutch rear differential on the GS helps the car cut through corners. The GS comes standard with all wheel drive, which enhances handling in all weather conditions. Other models come in either front wheel drive, or all wheel drive can be purchased as an option.
Our test vehicle came with 10 airbags, a rear vision camera, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert. It was also equipped with the driver confidence 2 package, which adds, adaptive cruise control, following distance indicator, forward auto braking, lane keep assist, and a heads up display.
The Regal comes with the Buick Intellilink system. It's user friendly. It comes with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Bluetooth with voice recognition is standard. Our test car came with dual zone climate control, and power outlets including a USB port up front. There is ample rear seat room, and class leading cargo space, with 31.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat. Fold down the rear seats and the cargo area expands to a cavernous 60.7 cubic feet. It's huge in there.
The build quality, the engineering, and the performance put the Regal GS into premium car territory, and comparisons to the Audi S5 sport hatchback, and Lexus IS350 F-Sport AWD are justified. The quality brought the Mercedes Benz C-Class to mind, but the Regal GS has more flair, and it turned a lot of heads in the week we test drove it.
In summary the Buck Regal is beautiful to look at. The GS version is not a sports car - it is a touring car with sports car qualities. It is refined and will run with Japanese and European competitors, for thousands less, making it an exceptional value. That's why it is SST approved.
Rick Walker SST Car Show news.
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