By on October 16, 2009

The US-spec Buick Regal is receiving a better-than-Crosstour reception at Facebook, where official photos are showing some slight visual differences from the Chinese-market model. Against all the odds, the US-spec Buick appears to have dropped the Chinese version’s aftermarket-worthy fender vent. A more-subtle grille is another unexpected but welcome maturation. Or is that regression? This Buick’s as clean as the Insignia, somehow doing without the acres of chrome and tacked-on baubles that too often signify “American luxury.” Predictably, the most common comment on the new Facebook page is “needs ventiports.” Chinese-market Regal, for comparison, after the jump.

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52 Comments on “Regal On Facebook: I’m Not Chinese And I’m Not The Crosstour...”


  • avatar
    davejay

    The Chinese market Regal is smiling; the North American market Regal is frowning. They must both read TTAC to find out about the state of new car sales in their market.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I find myself shocked (shocked, I say!) by saying that I’m mildy impressed by Buick’s new offerings (both the new Lacrosse and Regal)…is it middle age sinking in (dang, and I’m only 39) or is it possible that some decent (and dare I say competitive) vehicles might be emerging from Buick? Stop the insanity…

  • avatar
    James2

    I can just imagine Buick dealers calling up Ed Welborn and saying this thing needs more chrome. And ports. And…

  • avatar
    cdotson

    In what universe did someone think it was a good idea to take a promotional photo of this car with a Brat in the background? And a fine-looking Brat at that (how does that happen?).

    Wake me up when we get the GNX (OPC).

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    “I find myself shocked (shocked, I say!) by saying that I’m mildy impressed by Buick’s new offerings (both the new Lacrosse and Regal)…is it middle age sinking in (dang, and I’m only 39) or is it possible that some decent (and dare I say competitive) vehicles might be emerging from Buick? Stop the insanity…”
    Hey, I’m 27 and I actually like the look of the Lacrosse and Regal too. It’s almost a shame that the rest of GM is an ungodly crapheap. These cars will barely be visible amongst the heaps of shitty Daewoo knock offs that are out there. The only upside? They’ll lose value faster than any other similar priced ‘luxury’ motors out there, meaning tasty pickings for those in the second hand market.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    James2 :
    October 16th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I can just imagine Buick dealers calling up Ed Welborn and saying this thing needs more chrome. And ports. And…

    Hey… that’s nothing. Just wait until those dealers begin offering their own gold-plated trim versions with vinyl roofs for the gold-chain crowd they still think Buick is aiming for. I happens in metro NYC all the time. Even Lexus dealers do it.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Add this to the phenomenal LaCrosse and fantastic Enclave, and Buick has an A+++ lineup.

  • avatar
    grog

    That ‘Murkin Buick is a nice looking car.

    I doubt there’s many 20-somethings these days who could afford one.

  • avatar
    MontanaVista

    Grog – Couldn’t agree with you more.

    At 27 yrs old I would definately consider these new Buicks.. however they say 30 is the new 20.. and my salary reflects that! Make GM luxury a little more affordable and you would see more of these on the road.

  • avatar
    rockit

    It’s actually pretty good looking.

  • avatar
    threeer

    “make GM luxury more affordable…?” Go buy a Chevy. I do agree that the price tag for the Lacrosse tested earlier is a bit high (fully burdened with all of the bells/whistles), but I know that my local dealership has two nicely optioned variants priced in the low $30s.

    There’s always a fine line between pricing your vehicle to set it apart from the crowd (remember, Buick is not supposed to be a Chevy…in theory) and overpricing it to the point that it won’t be considered. Here’s really hoping that Buick gets it right with both the Regal and Lacrosse.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    All right, perhaps I was a bit harsh in my initial reaction to this car. However, I still maintain that GM needs to offer a V6 in this car. Even the base level Lexus IS comes with a 2.5L. Furthermore, I’m still lost as to what this car’s competing against. There just isn’t enough of a distinction between it and an upper-tier Malibu.

  • avatar
    Bubba Gump

    Its getting a V6.

  • avatar
    davejay

    Is it wrong that I would actually buy this car? My first car ever was a Regal (1980) and I’ve always liked ‘em. Who woulda thunk it.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    SO, let me get this straight. This is just the Opel Insignia with a Buick badge and grille. It was supposed to be the Saturn Aura originally. GM no longer controls Opel, correct? How much money are they going to lose on this car? If the LaCrosse costs $28-40k (and will soon sell for 17-30k I am sure), where is the market for this car? I assume they are hoping the people that would buy a Camry/Sonata/Accord/Altima/Focus/Mazda 6 and ummm…Malibu.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It DOES need the Buick portholes. That’s the signature styling feature on a Buick. Question: would a 4 cylinder only get 2 portholes per side?

  • avatar
    MontanaVista

    threeer :
    October 16th, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    “make GM luxury more affordable…?” Go buy a Chevy.

    Theeer – I dont consider the Malibu or the Impala luxury vehicles. They are Chevy’s, haha. I can understand the pricing on Cadillacs, but I just think having more vehicles on the road would be a good thing for GM and Buick. ‘Where the eyeballs go, opportunity follows.’ -Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    The Chinese-spec front end is better looking. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why, going back and forth between the two photos, but the first comment on this post nails a major part of it (the different lower fascia openings).

    I’m wondering how substantially the lighting system will be cheapened and decontented for the American market. If GM remains true to form and track record, the answer is “quite substantially”.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Via Nocturna: Smaller Buicks used to come with a 2.5L and everyone complained about it…. what’s that ????? Oops,never mind….

    Hate the cut lines for the hood and trunk. Tacky.

    Sorry. Still GM. Still not buying.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I don’t think I care for the V6 as long as its as good as a Camry. I like the interior and Exterior styling. Both U.S. and Chinese versions offer things I like. I’m not sure which I prefer. I think it looks like a good alternative to a Camry or Accord, but life is not fair to Domestic prices, and perhaps realibility.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    So.. with Lacrosse and Regal, Buick basically puts a Jetta and a Passat like car into the market. Minor issue: people who want a Jetta or Passat type car will never buy a Buick badged car; people who want a Buick will never buy a car that drives like a Passat or Jetta…

  • avatar
    NoChryslers

    Needs a landau roof

  • avatar
    kokomokid

    I like it, but they need a wagon. There IS an Insignia wagon, is there not?

  • avatar

    FWIW, this car actually looks even better in person than it does in photos.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Nice-looking car.

    I still want a new Acura, not a Buick. Sorry.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    I’m actually digging the China-spec version more so that the US-spec one. It looks like they “bored” down the US-spec Regal. I know this will be Buick’s entry-level car, so I can see why they’re going w/ a 4-pot, but it would be PLAIN WRONG to not include the 3.0 V6 as an up-level option. Lacrosse is 3.0 base and 3.6 up-level, right? So overlap is basically averted.

  • avatar
    Droid800

    @Daniel J. Stern (and everyone else)

    What you see in that photo is what will go on sale, funky LED ‘eyebrows’ and all.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    Bubba Gump :
    October 16th, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Its getting a V6.

    Source? The last update on the Regal from TTAC said it would be offered with just a 4-banger. It would great news if what you were saying were true.

    @kokomokid: As much as I like wagons and hatches, the chances of GM being able to sell a Buick wagon here in the States are dismal.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @Droid800:
    What you see in that photo is what will go on sale, funky LED ‘eyebrows’ and all.

    {Citation needed}, number one. Number two, the photos show inconsistency in the lighting system(s). The silver car shows downmarket side turn signal repeaters mounted on the front fenders, the red car shows up-to-date LED repeaters integrated into the sideview mirrors. Both photos show a headlamp assembly with a projector low or low/high beam and LED position/DRL lamps, but we can’t see what color the rear turn signals are (red or amber; either’s allowed in America, amber-only elsewhere) on the US-spec car.

  • avatar
    56BelAire

    The Lacrosse and Regal certainly look much better than any Camry or Avalon.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Just like everything else Buick offers, I’m not sure many will notice this car or even care.

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    Great looking ride

  • avatar
    Bocatrip

    I have to admit, the chinese version is a damn good looking car. However, I just can’t say the word Buick without thinking of Medicare.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    A Buick with no chrome accents just looks stupid. But looks are not going to matter. Buick is completely off the radar screen for the vast majority of new car buyers.

  • avatar

    The Buick Lacrosse and the Regal just need the Twin Turbo engine for 300HP and then you can buy one and not feel so damned self conscious.

    NO V6 in a full sized car should be less than 300HP.

  • avatar
    KingShango

    I hate to admit it but I actually like this car and I’m only 31. I still don’t see how they can shoehorn this car in between the Malibu and the CTS. I guess they’re going after the highly sought after Mercury Milan market share.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    So that I can prove I am not a Buick hater, despite being a big Honda fan, I must admit that the Crosstour looked terrible up front, while the Buick has inoffensive conservative styling. But most recent buicks had OK external styling along these lines, their problem was their performance and, in older Park Avenues, the god-awful interiors (gauges, faux wood etc). Plus they are not nearly as reliable as advertised, esp. for older models with over 100k miles.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    To make money, GM needs to be like FORD and have only ONE model in each segment. Ford still has stupid Mercury, it is an utter waste and should be closed down, and leave the company with just Ford and Lincoln (and they need to do a lot of work with lincoln).

    But GM is ten times worse, with models, even within the same division, nearly equal to each other in price and specs. ANd why do we still need Buick? OR GMC?

    Unless GM can produce chevy models that can sell 400 and 500,000 a year each, no serious profits are to be made, ever.

    back in the 60s, they would sell 1,000,000 Impalas a YEAR, and it was a much smaller market than the recent 16 million a year! I am too much of a realist to expect they will ever sell a million again, and as long as they divide their strength among 10 different models, they will not even sell 200k of each!

  • avatar
    George B

    I like the less chrome American version of the Regal, but I suspect GM is just trying to reduce cost/price relative to the Lacrosse. For Buick/GMC dealers, the Regal appears to be a nice replacement for the Pontiac G6. Contrary to the comments of other posters, there is no way that Buicks are being considered by people who would pony up for a Lexus. At best Buick gets cross shopped against well equipped Toyotas.

    Probably a dumb question, but now that the new Buick Regal is my only way of buying the new Opel Insignia (no Saturn or Pontiac), will the Regal be available as a “sport” version with non-Buick European suspension tuning? I assume the engineering work and component selection has already been done to offer a Regal with a firmer suspension. Even Toyota attempts to offer a less soft SE version of the equivalent Camary.

  • avatar

    Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……

    Still no RWD.
    Still no full size.
    Still no coupe.
    Still no V8
    Still no manual tranny
    Still no GranSport
    Still not interested….

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @George B:
    I suspect GM is just trying to reduce cost

    Oh, pshaw!

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Add this to the phenomenal LaCrosse and fantastic Enclave, and Buick has an A+++ lineup.

    Maybe, if you live in China. As usual, Government Motors has given North American public dumbed down version. As mentioned above it’s frowning, not smiling. I could care less about chrome accents and ventiports, but Chinese version is getting highly visible and modern turn signals integrated in to the mirror covers, where North America has to do with ugly unpainted plastic. From this small details, looks like not American and Canadian public has baild out GM, but Chinese did.

    I think Ford Fusion has superior looks to Regal and has V6 along with Hybrid. But will have to wait and see the sales numbers from two, to pass further judgment.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    I’m not sure who will buy this thing.

    It’s not bad looking – but it isn’t a market standout either.

    If it’s going to sell for around 25k-32k – the market is littered with “near-luxury” offerings.

    These brands actually have decent reputations, and “neighbor acceptance factor” – for similar dollar.

    What does this new Buick do better all the “other guys”?

    -ted

  • avatar
    Loser

    @ Bimmer,

    I think the “Buick has an A+++ lineup” comment was sarcasm.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    @ Loser,

    no, it wasn’t. Just read his posts regarding Ford and regarding GM, – apparently, Ford is good for nothing.

    P.S. I’m not flaming anyone. Just making an observation.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The problem with this car, or rather it’s buyers, is the same as the one that faces poor buggers who bought the Saturn Astra and Pontiac G8: this car exists to suck up production capacity and amortize costs across GM as a whole. It’s not a “real car”, per se, and it’ll be hard to get support for it when (not if, when) Buick dies and/or the model is deep-sixed.

    Buick looks very much like Saturn and Olds did: thrashing around, looking for something—anything—that “sticks” and will sell. You get good product this way, but the marketing effort is magpie-like: moving from shiny thing to shiny thing, with no real, cohesive message. So now Buick is competing with… who? Lexus? Acura? Audi? Mazda? VW? How are they going to deal with Buick’s demographics and market image (I mean, other than pretending it doesn’t exist)? Does anyone at GM seriously think that selling global rebadges to everyone from LS430 intenders to the Jetta GLI crowd via a division that previous hocked what could be best called senior’s-discount near-lux will work?

    Most importantly, do they think that ignoring Cadillac in order to go through with this flight of fancy is worthwhile? Because Caddy is going to be the next fucked brand by virtue of having exactly one car that’s worth buying, much like Buick did, and this little exercise is taking attention away from Cadillac’s lack-of-anything-except-the-CTS problem.

    Perversely enough, it was probably a better idea to keep Saturn. At least then the brand wasn’t so damaged and the demographics not to skewed that GM couldn’t get away with this sort of thing. Hell, even Saab was a better candidate.

  • avatar
    Droid800

    @Daniel J Stern

    The silver picture is a US production-spec Regal released by GM. The red car is the chinese production version, hence the difference. Its pretty common-sense if you actually read the text of the post. ;)

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    “Still no RWD.
    Still no full size.
    Still no coupe.
    Still no V8
    Still no manual tranny
    Still no GranSport
    Still not interested….”

    And we know the buying public is screaming for these attributes. lol

  • avatar
    Ion

    The worst part about this is that GM intendeds to build this car in Germany and import it, Like they imported the Astra, and the G8. GM clearly learnt nothing from the failure of the G8 and Astra. I’d like to say I have no hope for the future of GM but they’ll just keep going back to the government for handouts.

  • avatar

    Only offering the 4 cylinder would be a big mistake. The higher package levels should offer a 3.0 DI V6 at least.

  • avatar
    Power6

    The silver picture is a US production-spec Regal released by GM.

    I don’t know much about the Facebook stuff, but it appears that picture was posted by a another user, it is part of the commenter pictures, not the official pictures posted by the Regal Facebook. Not that it isn’t a production version, but it might not be. It certainly isn’t an offical looking photo, looks like it was snapped while someone was getting into the car, you can see the motion blur and the drivers door is open.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    George A – exactly. I like the Chinese version better and everything you said.

    psarhjinian – and exactly what you said. ANOTHER product that gets it right and then potentially quickly killed off.

    WHAT THE **** is GM thinking???

    ONCE AGAIN GM CAN get it right in other countries but seems determined to **** it up repeatedly here. Are they TRYING to hand the American car market to some other company???

    Sell me the Insignia with a manual 6-spd tranny and the German suspension and undiluted personality and I’ll buy BUT don’t orphan it in a year or two like the have repeatedly done with the Opels and Holdens.

    It doesn’t make me want a GM North American bland-mobile instead – it just proves that GM is capable of some good stuff but WON’T sell it here for a price that a working man can afford. Of course I’ve known that since I lived in Europe 15 years ago. Good stuff to be had from GM but we can’t have it.

    Sure they have the Impala and Malibu but to put it like my 9 year old might: YUCK! I don’t want anymore of this! More 80% right styling.

    If they bring the right Opels here unaltered I don’t care whether they badge them as Saturns or Pontiacs or Buicks or Oldsmobiles. Just don’t F-them up and make them into floaty sponges for wafting down the suburban streets to your next doctor’s appointment. We have a couple Buicks in the family. GOOD cars but so BORING.

    Get them here and I’ll just do what the Sprinter guys do – buy the Mercedes badges and make the van into what it really is. Same with the Opels.

    Is this even a relevant conversation though since GM sold off Opel? Anyone?

    How can GM be SO STUPID to repeatedly F-up their product lines??? I am SO FRUSTRATED with them!!!!

    Sell Opels here already!!!! And don’t quit in 24 months because you claim they aren’t selling. Never mind that you have not promoted it like you have other Gm products.

    ADHD indeed…

    FYI – I’m not buying any products built in China out of principle. I might as well buy an American built Honda again (one of several Hondas I have been very happy with). It’s about keeping the maximum number of American workers employed if I’m buying a domestic ya know?

    And so I gotta ask – are the ventiports generally stick on? Can I just pry them off? Not a fan of them…


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