2012 Buick Regal GS Automatic Test – Review – Car and Driver

30 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Buick Regal GS Automatic Test – Review – Car and Driver
Buick Regal

Now with automatic gearchanges!

No matter how beguiling its looks or convincing its Opel-derived specifications, the Buick Regal has one major handicap: a name laden with disappointment. Buick has overhauled its model names, but #x201C;Regal#x201D; inexplicably survives. What#x2019;s in a name?

Well, gas shortages and vibrating V-6s and gussied-up Luminas are evoked by this one, introduced in 1973, just as the General#x2019;s long night was settling in.

When the turbo#x2019;d 270-hp GS appeared last year fitted exclusively with a six-speed manual #x2014;any Buick with a stick is news#x2014;we saw a 0-to-60-mph time of 6.2 seconds. #x2009;As of 2012, the 2.0-liter, direct-injection Ecotec four will also go doggie-style with a no-extra-cost Aisin-Warner six-speed automatic. Our first test-track tussle with the automatic produced a 0-to-60 time of 6.4 seconds, while the braking (163 feet) and skidpad results (0.88 g) are similar if not identical.

So, for a 3751-pound sedan propelled by just four pistons, the GS surrenders little of its fleetness to the automatic. Yes, the Buick#x2019;s hydraulically boosted variable-effort steering has some insulating fat in it, but the car drills into corners with convincing certainty and enough grip to send your double macchiato flying out the window. Whether you set the Drive Control System#x2019;s suspension, steering assist, and throttle adjustments to standard or sport, or go all red-misty-eyed and push the dashboard#x2019;s #x201C;GS#x201D; button for maximum stiffness and throttle response#x2014;frankly, the gradients are pretty subtle#x2014;this Buick won#x2019;t forget what it is.

Buick Regal

The ride never completely loses its regal comportment, an achievement considering the big wheels and pinched-down tire sidewalls. It is a sporty sedan but one that leans to the plusher end of the spectrum.

The Regal#x2019;s body looks like nothing else, which is a compliment. It is slightly paunchy and spheroid in a modern fashion that recalls a Henry Moore sculpture. On its optional 20s, priced at $700, and with its face wearing the war paint of gaping ducts, the GS looks like the car the Pillsbury Doughboy would design to run down Betty Crocker.

Less expressiveness seeped into the in#xAD;terior, in which a predominantly black dash is pasted with black shingles for buttons, arrayed in no easily deciphered order. To operate the optional seven-inch touch-screen nav system ($1145), you must always turn on the radio first. Quicksilver insets on the steering-wheel spokes and around the shifter, as well as aluminum pedals with #xAD;rubber stick-dots, help enliven the atmosphere.

However, the sportiest of slushbox Buicks lacks shift paddles, so manual control involves toggling the stick.

Buick Regal
Buick Regal
Buick Regal
Buick Regal
Buick Regal
Buick Regal
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