Buick’s Euro-style mid-size: mild, medium, or extra spicy.
Although it’s not yet Buick’s best-selling model, the Regal has become the center of gravity for the brand. It sits at the heart of the lineup — below the LaCrosse and above the Verano — and has the widest range of variants. All Regals are derived from the Opel Insignia and have a firmer, more-European-style chassis setup than you might expect from Buick. The Regal Turbo and the GS add driver-adjustable steering effort and adaptive dampers. The base Regal is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with the eAssist system (formerly a $2000 option), and fuel economy is an impressive 25/36 mpg, although the larger LaCrosse with this same powertrain does just as well. For those seeking more power, there’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged four that offers 220 hp and can be had with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Regal GS has all kinds of serious sport-sedan hardware: a 270-hp version of the 2.0-liter turbo, deeply bolstered sport seats upholstered in leather, Brembo disc brakes, a lower ride height, a redesigned front suspension, and a standard six-speed stick (or an automatic at no charge). The big omission is all-wheel drive, as the high-output turbo’s 295 lb-ft of torque is an awful lot to send through the front wheels. The GS does, however, get GM’s HiPer Strut front suspension that mitigates, but doesn’t completely eliminate, torque steer.
new for 2013
The base 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine has been dropped. The formerly optional 2.4-liter with eAssist — a battery-powered electric motor that acts like a hybrid to improve fuel economy — is now the base powerplant. The turbocharged 220-hp, 2.0-liter four is the next step up. The GS, with a 270-hp version of the same turbo four, remains at the top and is now available with an automatic or a manual transmission.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; a tire-pressure monitor; and stability and traction control are standard. Rear-seat side air bags come with the Premium II trim level or higher. OnStar includes crash response and emergency assistance and is included for six months.
Fuel economy with eAssist
Power in the Turbo and GS
Some interior materials
Torque steer in the GS
Base Price Range: $29,900–$35,865
TRIM LEVELS: Regal, Turbo, GS
ENGINES: 2.0L turbo I-4, 220/270 hp, 260/295 lb-ft
2.4L I-4 with electric motor, 182 hp, 172 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 96.8 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: 11.1–14.2 cu ft