First it was the cannonball shot of the 2010 Buick LaCrosse across the bow of Lexus that had everyone talking about this long considered dead near luxury brand. And now, raiding into its historical nameplates yet again (when do we get a Roadmaster?), Buick has come up with another absolutely stunning home run.
Based on the highly successful Opel Insignia from Europe, the design is a true winner and should help lower Buick’s average age of owners. Too bad GM didn’t bring any of the diesels or manual transmission models to the United States. A manual transmission in a diesel Buick? Desperate times call for desperate measures, my friend.
While the LaCrosse is a lovely automobile with one of the finest interiors of any American car, the Buick Regal takes it a step further. It is not only lovely but it is also cool looking. When your friends first sit in the back bench or passenger seat and see the perfectly hued leathers, softly grained materials and angular metallic shapes they are going to think you “made it.” Suddenly they will look at you like that successful friend who paints and owns a loft. We all know how cool he is.
Wait a minute? A Buick making you look cool? Well if that is a step too far to believe loft-dwellers will trade in their first generation Scion XBs for a Buick then consider this. Compare the Buick Regal to the Lexus ES330 or Acura TL or (heaven help you) Volvo S80. Driving the new Regal doesn’t sound so bad now does it?
Besides a stylish interior and exterior, fuel economy was a high priority for the engineers and designers of the Buick Regal. The basic engine is a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder worth 172 horsepower/185 pound feet of torque with fuel economy ratings of 23 city/30 highway.
The upscale engine choice is a turbocharged version of the same 4 cylinder good for 220 horsepower/258 pound feet of torque. Fuel economy is a none too shabby 18 city/29 highway. Do always remember that turbocharged engines are most prone to mileage variations due to how quickly it uses gas when the turbo is running. Hey, it’s the price you pay for being fast.
Even a person who has previously looked at all General Motors products (and American cars in general) would do themselves a favor by testing out the 2011 Buick Regal. Prices are estimated to start at $21,500 and if GM could pull that off you might start seeing the Regal on city streets with regularity of Camry, Accord and Altima. Or at least as often as you see the Subaru Legacy.