First Drive: 2011 Buick Regal Turbo – Autosavant | Autosavant

3 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on First Drive: 2011 Buick Regal Turbo – Autosavant | Autosavant
Buick Regal

First Drive: 2011 Regal Turbo

By Chris

The all-new 2011 Buick has several pairs of shoes to This rebadged Opel #8211; the 2009 European Car of the #8211; carries the same as both the 1970s/80s personal-luxury and the late 1980s through 2000s front wheel family car.  It also has to to make up for lost Pontiac and sales volume, lower median buyer age, the brand#8217;s standing with and avoid cannibalizing LaCrosse

  It needs to be a pretty good car to do all of and frankly, even if it is, its prospects for in the market are still uncertain.

marketing folks tell us the Regal name #8211; has been absent from the US for the past seven model #8211; resonated better consumers than some names from the brand#8217;s Just think about other possibilities (Skylark, LeSabre, Electra, Invicta): apparently was detached enough any negative connotations, yet familiar to buyers as to not be considered ancient It also helps that the car is sold in China as the Regal, the previous-generation LaCrosse (US name)/Allure name) situation.

The new entry-level is not an entry-level car in the traditional sense.  it#8217;s equipped with an engine lineup (Like new Sonata), but this German-built sedan is coming to the US for its first in only mid-level CXL trim.  In to the hundreds (if not thousands) of color, and equipment combinations available in vehicles, there are just 13 of the 2011 Regal.

  Once shifts from Russelsheim, to GM#8217;s flexible Oshawa, plant, additional trim will become available.

Motors has confirmed a base CX for the 2012 model year will lose some and a few thousand dollars in base On the other end, the company confirmed at this event the Regal GS (shown in concept in Detroit this past will see production.  The GS adds at 35 horsepower to its 2.0 liter turbocharged, injection four cylinder additional go-fast goodies, and a aggressive look thanks to a body kit.

  Depending on how well the Regal is by the buying public, additional are possible; in Germany, the Insignia is as an estate (wagon) and a five-door so building those two additional styles  would be simple if GM demand for them. While the Regal enters the lineup as the marque#8217;s entry-level the eventual plan is to introduce a (compact) entrant one size than the Regal.

I sampled the at a drive event in sunny San last week, and the region#8217;s types of road surfaces, changes, straightaways and curves  that Buick has confidence in its car.  Over drinks the before the drive, I asked Jim GM#8217;s vehicle line for large- and midsize vehicles, if he any Regal Turbos with He answered in the affirmative; suddenly the day#8217;s forecast became sunnier.

The Regal has a feline with many gentle more than one fellow commented on similarities to recent offerings.  The Turbo#8217;s 19 inch are even similar to those to the Jaguar XF Premium.  However, the greenhouse is a bit taller proportionately the XF#8217;s, which helps interior headroom and outward but doesn#8217;t quite capture the of the Jag.

  The car does, however, trim proportions and a cohesive (if design language.  Of the three elements that I was told 18 ago would be found on all future models – the sweep spear, and a waterfall grille, only the grille made it onto the

Though the exterior shape is and cohesive, the interior is where the impresses most.  The leather in the CXLs are constructed of decent and though they did not have any side bolstering, the seats did supportive on my back and bottom many hours behind the The upper dash is constructed of plastic material, and the structure was over pavement imperfections.

  The provided were all equipped the optional navigation system, suffers from a fairly screen and whose operation some time to get used to. screen#8217;s resolution was good, but it from the same condition many other GM navigation do:  even in the most map setting, most street are not displayed.  Ford and Toyota do a better job of this with navigation systems.

Harmon Kardon provides the audio system featured in the cars, and though we only had the on briefly at low volume, it sounded with decent power and The navigation screen is not a touchscreen which keeps the display of fingerprints (except from the when I poked the map with my finger, thinking it was a touchscreen), but you to use buttons and dials to change stations and navigation settings- and weren#8217;t always very To wit:  I had the map displaying on the screen and one of the radio preset buttons, but the refused to change the XM radio in map-view mode.

Most (dimensional and otherwise) made the Regal focused on two competing vehicles, but one of those is sold in the same showroom.:  the TSX and Buick#8217;s own LaCrosse. The Regal#8217;s stack is very button-intensive, not the Acura (or the LaCrosse, for that The Regal#8217;s buttons are all done in dark gray plastic and a high-quality feel when them.

  In other words, feel very Honda-like in actuation.  Backlighting is #8220;ice again perhaps echoing decor, yet the Regal#8217;s dash to look more contemporary in than does the Motorola design of the XF.

The Regal is slightly (and heavier) than the TSX and it the TSX in torque (though not horsepower) pitting its 2.0 liter turbo the 3.5 liter V6 in the TSX.  The Regal up 6.7 inches in length to the LaCrosse and 3.9 in wheelbase, as it#8217;s built on the version of GM#8217;s new Epsilon II All of the length missing from the also disappeared from legroom versus the LaCrosse#8217;s back seat.

At 6#8242; tall, I can tell you that not really cramped in the Regal#8217;s quarters, but those with legs will want to twice before spending periods in the back.  Rear-seat is three inches better in the competitive bogey, the TSX. is reasonable- my hair did not brush the

  Surprisingly, in spite of its near-bobtail the Regal boasts a reasonably-sized cubic foot trunk, is larger than its big brother#8217;s.  It has hinges that throw the lid when unlatching it, but the hinges are in the trunk lining  to protect luggage from being when the trunklid is closed.

Buick be concerned that of the comparative discussion so far has focused on the stablemate?  Perhaps.  The company the Regal to sell in lower than the LaCrosse does, and to far buyers.

  It is targeted at buyers in the age 35 to 45 (which I#8217;ve just into), and while I#8217;d a Regal, the LaCrosse is too glitzy may say gaudy) and large for my taste.  matters further, the Regal and both start at the same point:  $26,995.  However, the gives more size for price and the Regal gives equipment.

  A $26,995 Regal leather seats, rear detection, 18 inch wheels the LaCrosse’s 17 inch wheels), and fog Basically, the mid-level Regal is the same as the entry-level LaCrosse.

driven a 2010 LaCrosse CX the base 2.4 liter four automatic combination just a few prior to my time with the for a baseline comparison, I had fairly low for the base car#8217;s acceleration. it didn#8217;t dazzle me;  182 horsepower to move 3,600 of Buick quickly is going to predictable consequences thanks to the of physics.

  It felt nearly as as the four-banger LaCrosse did (there#8217;s about a 250 pound weight between the two), and had the same (yet smooth) 1-2 shift just has to be killing the car#8217;s momentum.  I really think I could do that shift quickly with a three-pedal and a good manual gearbox.

being said, plenty of have driven the Regal the turbo; it#8217;s available on lots right now.  I wanted seat time in the Turbo, so I was always happy to an unclaimed Regal Turbo at the of each leg of the drive.

When I started the Turbo I as though I had found a paragon of cylinder refinement.

  The Turbo#8217;s was quieter, less frenetic, and it more smoothly than did the car#8217;s with the 2.4 liter injection four cylinder.  The Turbo is not only more than the 2.4 liter Regal, but far and placid than GM’s applications of the related 2.0 liter direct injection fours in the likes of the Cobalt SS Turbo.

Buick Regal

The Turbo#8217;s exhaust is muted too much, given its intended and the only hint that it is is a faint turbine-like whistle under the hood under acceleration.  The Regal Turbo#8217;s is toned down to 220 horsepower 260 in previous applications, and torque is the same, dropping slightly 260 to 258 lb-ft.  The Regal GS should that deficit when it the market #8211; but if Buick with 255 horsepower, its sportiest car be outgunned by the 278-horsepower Hyundai turbo right out of the gate.

power was fine with the Turbo #8211; the six-speed kicks down quickly and if the kickdowns aren#8217;t fast the car has an active damping system has buttons on the dash to choose Normal, Touring, and Sport The switch to operate the active system (optional on the Regal CXL can also be configured to modify effort and #8211; Sport noticeably cuts down on travel to the point that the holds the road much than probably any car that has worn the Buick tri-shield.  riding shotgun pointed out the Sport mode #8211; is configurable via the navigation display to control steering effort and response – can dynamically adjust systems without the driver selecting a mode if it detects aggressive, playful inputs the driver.

The ride/handling balance is tuned in the Regal.  It feels like the Buick stereotypes lead you to believe, with a structure and controlled, yet compliant motions.  Brake pedal was firm enough to breed although we hardly had a chance to put them to the test on public

  The Regal Turbo has slightly brakes front and rear does the non-turbo car, but a racetrack, it was nearly impossible to the difference, even driving

Both the Turbo and naturally-aspirated feature hydraulic power rather than electrically In the base car, which has had the of more development time it’s already on the market, it had feel and good accuracy.  In the the steering was still accurate, but slower and lighter than

  Jim Federico told the assembled of journalists that he, too, was not with the Regal Turbo’s, and calibrating it was on his to-do list.  for him and his minions, it’s just a fix.  Of note:  the 2012 and Regal Turbo will electric power steering, so after they fix the 2011’s we may need to have this again.

  But maybe not, as technology has improved by leaps and over the stone-age systems in the likes of the Cobalt and G6 over the few years.

Engineering made to the Insignia to turn it into a Regal are actually fairly Lighting requirements are different and rear, so the Insignia and Regal different headlights and different The Turbos that we drove all had #8220;eyebrows#8221; to accentuate their while the base cars had yellow-hued daytime running only.

  Because only the GS model will be equipped summer tires, yet many models have summer rather than all-seasons, the suspension was tuned for all-seasons.  on past experience with equipped with summer the car is probably sacrificing some grip, but the suspension engineers done a good job of dialing the car in to well with the shoes wearing.

Though most of the talk was about the LaCrosse and I’d throw a few other cars the ring.  Volkswagen’s CC shares the German heritage, arguably the Regal in terms of style not by much), and costs about more according to TrueDelta accounting for equipment differences.  The driving experience is similar, but I’d the nod to the CC because of its better base (VW’s excellent 2.0T

In terms of interior materials and fit and the Regal reminded me a lot of Suzuki’s good, but under-appreciated, Kizashi .  I’d the nod to the Regal in terms of exterior and design, but interior materials and were excellent in both (slight nod to the Regal for the soft-touch on the dash).  The Regal vs.

Kizashi is interesting, because while the is much smaller than the it’s much larger the Kizashi, with more seven inches of additional Proving perhaps that the is more space-efficient, most are within an inch or two of the Regal’s, yet almost 300 pounds less weight.  The Kizashi also in with a substantial $4,500 advantage when accounting for differences according to TrueDelta.

economy for the Regal CXL with the 2.4 engine is listed at 21 mpg city and 30 mpg Though formal EPA estimates are not yet for the Regal Turbo, the company that it will sacrifice one mile per gallon for the additional 38 – that’s a trade I’d take, for the improved refinement in the Turbo Pricing for the Turbo was not nailed as of press time, but we were to expect about a $3,000

  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to what will be included the Turbo to know how much of premium is just the engine and how much might be other like the larger wheels and

The 2011 Regal has everything it needs to succeed in the market:  a attractive design, a buttoned-down experience, a comfortable, well-appointed and nearly all of the technology expected in its Factor in competitive pricing, performance, and a fairly large body, and the only obstacle to the success might be getting to look at the car for what it is – a German-engineered sedan – rather than as an old car.  Success on that point will determine the Regal can move Buick’s toward a younger demographic.

Buick Regal
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