By on May 12, 2010

With Pontiac and Saturn gone, Buick must assume a larger role within General Motors. It must now seek to win over enthusiasts who would have previously bought Pontiacs and the import-intenders who previously bought Saturns. The first product to follow from this expanded mission: the new 2011 Buick Regal. The Regal began life as the Opel Insignia—it will even be imported from Germany for the first year—and was to be marketed in the United States as the second-generation Saturn Aura. But it has been available in China as the Buick Regal for over a year now, so putting the tri-shield on the grille isn’t entirely an afterthought. This isn’t even the first time Opel has manufactured a car for Buick dealers—this tie goes way back. Even so, is the Regal a plausible Buick?

When I first saw the new Regal, in China, it really stood out. But the Chinese still get the rest of the world’s hand-me-downs. The circa 1985 MkII Volkswagen Jetta continues to be sold as a new car there, and decade-old designs are common. So recently designed cars tend to stand out. In the American context, the Regal blends. Yes, it’s handsome, but the same can be said for other clean, chunkily-proportioned, Audi-influenced sedans. The Suzuki Kizashi comes to mind. Thanks to a basically curvy shape, the Opel Insignia looks much more like a Buick than the similarly imported Opel Omega looked like a Cadillac, but this isn’t saying much. Within the Buick family, the Regal has been stuck with the role of Jan. Those seeking a distinctively styled car that is clearly a Buick will opt to date the family’s Marcia, the LaCrosse.

Inside the new Regal, the story is the same, with a more conventional, more straightforward design than you’ll find in the LaCrosse. Materials are better than the GM norm, and are certainly a step or two up from those in the Saturn Aura, but aren’t quite up to those in the Acuras and Audis GM hopes to steal buyers from. White stitching on the seats and upholstered door panel inserts and numerous chrome details provide welcome contrast within the “ebony” (i.e. black) interior—though the thick chrome shifter surround might be a bit much. Unlike in the LaCrosse, there is no stitching on the instrument panel or the upper door panels. The various elements of the IP cohere and flow together much better than they did in the Saturn Aura this car was to replace. Piano black trim runs along the base of the windshield to trace a continuous arc from door to door and also flows down into the center console from a band that runs mid-level across the instrument panel. For those who find the dark interior overly dark—and many potential buyers likely will, despite the contrasting bits—Buick offers a two-tone cocoa/cashmere interior with faux wood trim.

The Regal’s relatively conventional interior design pays functional dividends. Thanks to the car’s lower instrument panel and thinner (but still not thin) pillars, it’s much easier to see out of the Regal than the LaCrosse. The shifter is better positioned. And the various controls are easier to reach—though in the Regal as in the button-laden LaCrosse it’s often a challenge to find the one you’re looking for.

Oddly, while Cadillac no longer offers 4-way power lumbar adjustments in the CTS or SRX, Buick offers this feature in both the Regal and the LaCrosse. And yet the Regal’s moderately firm front seats aren’t especially comfortable, and only a German might find them luxurious. It doesn’t help that the headrests are very firm and jut too far forward in the interest of cheap whiplash protection. The bolsters provide a bit of lateral support, but in the GM fashion are too widely spaced for the average driver. Sure, the same could be said about the seats in a number of competing cars—it’s not easy finding great seats. But seats used to be a Buick focus.

Compared to the LaCrosse, the Regal rides on a four-inch-shorter wheelbase and, at just over 190 inches in length, is nearly seven inches shorter overall. These dimensional differences most impact rear seat room. While the LaCrosse offers 40.5 inches of rear legroom, the Regal provides 37.3, about average for a midsize car. Six-footers will fit, but the flat rear seat cushion is mounted far too low to provide thigh support—blame the fashionably arched roofline. One welcome premium feature: rear air vents.

Jan always was more practical than Marcia. So perhaps it should not come as a surprise that, with 14.2 cubic feet of cargo volume, Regal actually has a slightly larger trunk than the LaCrosse. In both cars GM opted for conventional gooseneck hinges, then fully encased the paths taken by these hinges to yield an especially narrow space. Why? Just to save a few dollars per car? Those who like big butts trunks will go elsewhere.

Partly to differentiate the Regal from the LaCrosse, Buick won’t offer the smaller sedan with a V6. The only engine currently available: a 182-horsepower direct-injected 2.4-liter. At 3,600 pounds, the new Regal could stand to lose a few (hundred), but the normally-aspirated four moves two tons (with driver and passenger) well enough in typical around town driving, and without making noises unbecoming a Buick. Most drivers won’t feel the need for more power.

For those who do, a 220-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four will arrive in the fall. Initially, as with the 2.4, a manually-shiftable six-speed automatic that isn’t always the smoothest operator is the only transmission. A six-speed manual will be available “for order” with the turbo in late 2010—don’t expect dealers to stock any. The turbo gets a different steering system that adds variable assist and adaptive shocks with “sport” and “tour” settings will be optional. Farther into the future a Regal GS will combine a 255-horsepower turbo four with a six-speed manual and all-wheel-drive. What do you know, Buick is seriously pitching this car at enthusiasts.

To an even greater degree than the specs suggest, the Regal feels more compact and lighter than the LaCrosse. The steering is a little heavier, feels tighter and more precise, and provides more feedback. There’s more body roll than in the performance-oriented LaCrosse CXS, but also a smoother, more composed ride. Chassis tuning is a Regal strongpoint—something not typically expected from Buick. When it’s taken up a notch with the turbo and manual transmission, the Regal should prove a very fun car to drive.

For the first year, because it will be imported from high-cost Germany, the Regal will only be offered in mid-level CXL trim. The starting price of $26,995 jumps to $28,840 when you add the tested car’s sunroof and Convenience Package (power passenger seat, rear obstacle detection, AC outlet). A V6-powered LaCrosse CXL is about $2,500 more, according to TrueDelta.com’s car price comparison. A similarly-equipped four-cylinder Honda Accord? About $500 less sticker-to-sticker, and about $1,800 less invoice-to-invoice—Buick dealers have much less margin to play with. Adjusting for the Regal’s higher content cuts the difference by about $600.

Buick would rather you compare the Regal to the Acura TSX. Do this and you’ll find that the Buick is about $1,300 less sticker-to-sticker, but only about $600 less invoice-to-invoice. The Buick has about $200 in additional content. So it appears that the Regal isn’t badly priced, but also isn’t likely to sell based on price. 

The Regal CXL Turbo will start at $29,495, but aside from the turbo this price will also include the $845 Convenience Package. So the turbo adds a very reasonable $1,655, and will undercut a similarly equipped Volkswagen CC, the closest European competitor, by about $4,000.

Overall, the new Regal looks and feels more like an Audi (with VW materials) than a Buick, while being priced midway between Honda and Acura. It’s a solid car with large number of standard features and a very good ride-handling compromise. But does it have what it takes to bring people who never saw themselves driving a Buick into Buick showrooms? As much as a German car at Japanese prices has a certain appeal, it’s perhaps too subtle. This formula certainly didn’t work with the Saturn Astra. More of the LaCrosse’s style or of the luxury for which Buick has traditionally been known would help. Or perhaps adding boost will do the trick, at least for those who enjoy driving? We’ll find out later this year.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive reliability and pricing data

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178 Comments on “Review: 2011 Buick Regal...”


  • avatar
    geeber

    This is a nice car, but a Buick showroom is the last place that people who want this type of vehicle will visit. We saw this with Oldsmobile, and then Saturn. I doubt that the third time will be the charm. Maybe GM will prove me wrong.

  • avatar
    86er

    As mentioned before…

    The Buick Roadmaster, last built in 1996, was in many respects a clumsy, oafish, ugly thing.

    But I look at this Regal and I still want GM to bring it back. What’s wrong with that picture?

    • 0 avatar
      MasterOfTheJawan

      oh those Roadmasters were awesome! Clumsy, oafish, ugly, yea,,, to the unassuming driver,,, but under the hood of those beasts lay a de-tuned LT1 from the corvette AND they were still good for 26 mpg highway! Motortrend road tested teh Roadmaster back in 95/96. They clocked it at a 6.7 s 0-60 and 1/4 mile time of 15s!

      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_9504_six_seater_sedans_time_machines/buick_roadster.html

      If I was looking for a new car I’d buy one in a heartbeat.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      I agree with you while condemnning that asinine Motor Trend article.

      The Avalon a six-seater? Uh huh…

    • 0 avatar

      I checked out the Regal and Turbo Regal earlier today. AWESOME CARS.
      http://www.epinions.com/content_513739755140

  • avatar
    86er

    With Pontiac and Saturn gone, Buick must assume a larger role within General Motors.

    This is what GM’s product planners think too, to their infinite discredit.

    GM already has a full-line division. It’s called Chevrolet.

    • 0 avatar

      Buick does need more than three models, even without a full line. The question is how far they can stretch the brand without losing coherence.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      +1.

      I think that you could sell a Chevy (with the right specs) to a former Pontiac owner (like me) more easily than sell them a Buick. FWIW, Buick has a different image to the rest of the GM clan than does (or did) some of the other brands. I could see myself in a Mercury, or a Dodge, but no so much in Buick. Too ‘establishment’ maybe?

      I still think that GM should adopt the GM Store idea where all of the brands are sold under one roof, rather than trying to re-invent the wheel with Buick-GMC competing in both directions with Cadillac at the higher end and Chevy at the lower end.

      Chrysler had started down this road when the recession hit, I guess we won’t know how it would have panned out for them. I think it’s a great idea.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      @86er

      You’re dead right about this. You would think that GM would have learned that selling several products in the same space, all at a loss, is not sustainable.

      You cannot make it up on volume when the volume you require was last attained forty years and twenty percent ago.

    • 0 avatar

      “sell a chevy to a former pontiac owner”

      FAT CHANCE CHARLIE!

      MANY Pontiac Buyers bouught PONTIACS FOR A REASON! (For me GTO, Firebirds, will buy a G8 in the future if I can find one).

      I WILL NOT BUY A BLASTED BOW TIE! SO QUIT ASKING US TO!

      YOU ALL OUT THERE HAVE NO REAL IDEA HOW PISSED MANY OF US ARE, DO YOU.

      There are many car lines out there outside of GM that will offer the style and performance we want WITHOUT A BOWTIE OR A BUICK EMBLEM!

      So I say again to Gm and all.

      THAT THAT IDEA AND STUFF, WE AIN”T BUYING NEW GM NO MORE. DON’T WANT A BUICK OR CHEVY. WE WANT PONTIAC OR NO GM NO MORE. TAKE THAT IDEA AND STUFF, PONTIAC FOLKS AREN”T BUYING THE NEW GM NO MORE.

      ,,,,,

      (But I do wish Gm well).

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Pontiac vs Buick vs Chevy. All the same company, same product, different details and different badge on the trunk lid. Big deal.

      If GM can build 5 or 8 or 15 of the best selling products then good for them. I’m gonna buy a GM if they make something I like and I don’t care if the mullet hair’d dude from high school drove one or if my grandparents drove one as their retirement car.

      I LIKE this REGAL. Want the wagon version. The fact that I like it means it is doomed and will only be here in the USA for a few years before GM cans it and goes back to trying to sell us more muscle cars, “Like a Rock” products, and SUVs/trucks. In other words more of the same which I have very little interest in.

      Opels and Holdens sold as any GM brand I am interested in. Camaros and Firebirds not so much.

  • avatar

    I’d love to have quick reliability stats on the new Regal. It will be especially interesting to later see how the repair frequency for the North American cars compares to that of those imported from Germany.

    Just a matter of getting enough owners involved.

    Details about the Car Reliability Survey here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      A good potential sign is that everythough built at Oshawa has been among the highest-quality product GM (or anyone) makes. When the Grand Prix was transferred from KC to Oshawa it went from middling to par with the Impala and Regal/Century/Allure/Lacrosse.

      I’m hoping this will happen again.

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      Michael, at the begining of your review you indicate that the Regal is intended to retain Pontiac and Saturn drivers. Then later in the article you start comparing the Regal’s interior to Audi and Acura, stating the Buick does not measure up. Could you clarify wich segment the Regal is meant to compete in?

  • avatar
    educatordan

    @86er +1 to both comments

    I’ll only find this car interesting if my Uncle Tim buys one, the first car I can remember him owning is an Opel bought from a Buick dealer. It’s the only car he’s ever owned that wasn’t from Ford or GMs North American operations. I wish GM well but seriously guys, after you decided to kill Pontiac over Buick I lost all respect for you.

  • avatar
    cfisch

    LaCrosse and Enclave are running over 40% Non-GM conquest with an amazingly high Lexus conquest. So the Regal hopefully will continue
    that pace.

  • avatar
    MasterOfTheJawan

    That front end makes it look like a malibu with different grill. I hate to scream rebadge but hell even the FWD A bodies looked more distinct of one another from the front.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Another home-run from GM…this will only add to Buick’s already very strong lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Is it the red or blue kool aid you’re drinking?

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Could they have made the numerical buttons any larger? There is plenty of space that they could have put all digits 0-9, making it much easier to type in satellite or am/fm radio stations, but decided to go with big chunky 1-6 instead. On a certain level it makes sense, as no one under 60 has any fond memories of the regal. Wake me up when Buick decides to brink back the Riviera or the Grand National.

      Spec for spec the Mercury Milan is a better car overall than this in the ‘I’m deluding myself into thinking I’m buying a luxury car’ segment. The Milan has more interior room in almost every category, and in those that it is less it is the difference of a fraction of an inch, while getting almost as much power, and doing so at lower RPMs, and getting better fuel economy as well in the 4 cylinders. The Milan V6 destroys the turbo Regal. Add the most comfortable seats in any midsize, the biggest trunk, and pretty nice interior, and you’d have to be a die-hard GM fan to buy the Regal over the Milan.

    • 0 avatar

      Silvy, so happy to see the typical Gov’t Motors fanboyz’ voice here. Two decent cars — competing against each other at the exact same pricepoint, on the same showroom — and one rapidly aging CUV does not a strong brand make. (The Lucerne is the icing on Buick’s particular cake of mediocrity and Geritol.)

      BTW, does the interior strike anyone else as C-H-E-A-P? Maybe it’s better in person, maybe the two-tone combination helps… but Jesus Christ, does it look chintzy in photos. Expansive vistas of dull plastic, with seats to match (memo to Gov’t Motors: good plastics mimic leather. Bad leather mimics plastic) broken only by cheap painted surfaces and that CHROME! shifter surround (thanks a pantload, Bobbo.)

      Once the 150 people or so who eagerly awaited this POS allow themselves to be raped by their dealers for FIRST! bragging rights… I predict many, many rental fleets in this car’s future.

  • avatar
    nydodgersfan

    I think perception of Buick is changing, and if it is changing here in NY, it will happen elsewhere.

    Thanks to Toyota’s and Lexus’ troubles, domestic brands are being seen in a new light. And Buick is no longer the old people’s car. Camry has that all locked up now.

    I’m 33 and I want a Regal. My Audi A-4 is overpriced and expensive to fix. I had no idea Buick beat Lexus in JD Power! And the Acura is uglier than my hairy butt crack.

    I really think Buick is the next hot thing.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this car sounds like the EXACT type of car I’m looking for. An upscale midsize sedan with a 4 cylinder engine, without the Japanese price premium, without the European reliability and cost to maintain/repair issues. I also like the fact that it has better visibility than the Lacrosse with smaller dimensions and basically the same size trunk. I was thinking about the new MKZ but don’t really need/want 265 HP and the extra $5-8k out the door price.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      DC Driver–this car likely will have the European reliability/expensive to fix thing going on. See Cadillac Catera. This is basically the same car 10 years later.

      That may change once it’s built in Oshawa, but so will many of the parts sources, most likely.

      All that said, I really like this car and would love to drive one. But I also liked the Saturn Astra, the Opel GT, and yes…that Catera.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Exactly… Right size, right equipment, etc. Make mine a four cylinder manual tranny wagon please.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    A different grille and some different wheel options would do wonders for this car. I’m not saying that it should have dubs and a billet grille or anything retarded like that. This is just an awfully conservative combination.

    • 0 avatar

      I can see already the aftermarket importers which, years ago were selling Mercedes grills and emblems kits for the Sprinter, now getting ready to offer Opel grills, emblems and OPC wheels for the Buick. as they fit without any changes. Would be interesting to see if it works the other way too. Europeans changing to Buick grills if Opel’s image continues to suffer.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    The Regal seems to me to be a nicely appointed stylish vehicle and one I would consider. IMO the styling is nicer than the Camary/Accord/Fusion/Altima. The question is will it be capable of drawing conquest buyers into Buick showrooms to consider purchasing it? I think Buick did a very nice job with the Regal but only time will tell if it is a successful offering. Unfortunately the odds are heavily against this car becoming a volume player in its segment.

  • avatar
    Lexingtonian

    $30k for the turbo? A G37 starts at $33k.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The turbo is 30k, but has more standard features. The G37 for 33k for example doesn’t have bluetooth. Need to compare feature for feature before saying a midlevel featured car priced at X isn’t as good as a base model priced at Y.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    One problem for Buick that I see is that the Regal might eat into Lacrosse sales.

    If the Regal is midsize, I guess the Lacrosse is “full-size” or large, then what is the Lucerne? Seems to me that the Lacrosse is aimed more at the midsize segment like the ES, MKZ, TL, S80 etc.

    The Regal/Lacrosse thing reminds me of the Altima/Maxima before the new Maxima came out. It seems like it would be hard to justify buying the Lacrosse over the Regal.

    • 0 avatar
      blue adidas

      The last thing Buick or any automaker should worry about is having TOO many good cars for buyers to choose from .

    • 0 avatar

      The Regal is to the LaCrosse as the TSX is to the TL, the Altima is to the Maxima, the MKZ is to the MKS, the Malibu is to the Impala, etc.

      Buick isn’t the first to offer two cars that are only a half-size apart. They are targeting the Regal as a driver’s car, and the LaCrosse as more of a luxury car.

      The Lucerne is being shunted to the side.

    • 0 avatar
      snabster

      Or a 9-3 to the 9-5. Or s40 to a s60.

      I don’t get the logic of this, but it seems very common.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      blue adidas

      “The last thing Buick or any automaker should worry about is having TOO many good cars for buyers to choose from.”

      That sir.. is EXACTLY the problem GM has had to deal with.. for years.. and continues.. to this day.

      GM puts out 4 vehicles.. that not only compete with each other for price but fail to compete with the competition for the size.

      Case in point.
      The Lambdas for GM.. ya open up the newspaper, and its VERY easy to see a Traverse or a Outlook for the same money. Heck its easy to see a Acadia or a Enclave for the same money also. SO instead of 4 of the same each competing for 2 spots.. they should have made 2. One for 25 and under.. another for 26 and higher.

      And also..
      GM is going to need to separate the Malibu and or Impala in price and size.. faaar too much alike.

      At least with the Maxima / Altima, S60 / S80, G / M aregument.. y ahave somewhat of a size difference, ntm a motor difference.

      The Altima comes standard as the 2.5, where as the Maxima is standard with the 3.5. The G has a similar 3.7 6cycl unit.. with the M using the 8. Same can also be said for the Camry with the standard 4cycl, the Avalon with the 6 and the ES loaded with the 6 standard for even more money.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      GM is going to need to separate the Malibu and or Impala in price and size.. faaar too much alike.

      At least with the Maxima / Altima, S60 / S80, G / M aregument.. y ahave somewhat of a size difference, ntm a motor difference.

      The power train differentiation between the Impala and Malibu is greater than that of the G/M, Maxima/Altima, or S60/S80.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      ajla:

      The Altima and Maxima greatly represent the closest engine / size comparison for the Malibu and Impala.

      Even though.. Impala is coming on 10yrs old, and the Malibu is the “new” kid, about to be redone (before the knife even drops on the Impala).. and with a really sharp two tone interior on the LTZ.

      Now..
      For most trims the Malibu (2.4), like the Altima (2.5) are both 4cycls, with the higher end of both cars receiving a 3ltr 6cycl.

      Its the Maxima or Impala that gets the 6 standard..

      Then again who would compare a Maxima v Impala.. when their personas are faaar different. In an older Generation.. Maxima WAS the CAR to DRIVE. Now its a bloated vehicle fit for anyone who used to drive a Continental. Where as the bloated feeling has always been the Impala of this design (going back 10yrs.)

      I believe only in Altima v Maxima’s case.. do they both share the same frame.. and could share the same motor.. regardless.

      But in the end.. (in my opinion) do the Accord / Civic, Camry / Corolla does the size and price separation properly. in the TSX / TL its done poorly. Same with the Regal v Lacrosse, the Buick cars are too new or recent to have a name for themselves.. to actually figure out which is for which buyer.

      When in the end..
      Any buyer could be for any car.. of either company, size or engine choice. There is little difference between one or the other.. save for details only people who pour over things like that would matter.

      In the end..
      I think its the choice that actually hurts, — faar too much to decide from.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Just restrict the “entry-level” cars to four cylinders – turbos included and give the more luxury cars the bigger engines like sixes and super charged sixes.

      Another way to look at it was as someone above said, make the Regal the driver’s car and the Luc??? (I hate the Buick L-names) the big luxury plush floating down the highway at 90 mph with numb steering, too cold a/c, touchy brakes, and silent chassis.

      Those motorheads who like to tinker can upgrade this and that from the big brother luxury car part bin later (from junkyards and catalogs).

      I have an uncle that used to do that with his Fords. He’d buy a basic Ford sedan and cruise the junkyards for upgrade parts from the luxury versions.

      Anyhow GM needs a Civic/Accord arrangement. I don’t even understand the ‘bu/Impala split. Looks to me to be the same car in slightly different clothes. I don’t care understand. If they can build 20 honest non-rebadged cars and sell enough of each to make a profit then go for it. I’m for anything that puts more variety into the traffic that I share the roads with no matter how subtly.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I kind of like the Regal, but then…I’m partial to Opel (thank my late father for that). I could see recommending this for my mother as her “last” car…not overly powerful, decent size, nicely appointed, comfortable without being too cushy. But others have said it already, it’ll have a tough road ahead, as it jumps into a very crowded field.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I think Buick slid so far too the uncool side of the coolness scale that they’re on the verge of circling over to cool. If I were a Camcord owner looking for something a little different, this would definitely be on my list. With the right product and marketing, GM has a shot at making Buick work. I hope they don’t screw it up, as a taxpayer I’d like a return on my investment.

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I really want GM to succeed, but as with several others, Pontiac should have been kept while Buick should have been axed as a U.S. brand. This car, especially in turbo form, would have made a good Pontiac.

    • 0 avatar

      If they had to choose between Buick and Pontiac, I think they made the right choice. A Euro-style car like this one was at least as much of a stretch for Pontiac as it is for Buick. And Buick is clearly able to command higher prices than either Pontiac or Saturn could.

    • 0 avatar

      As a Pontiac owner I disagree. This car is a perfect fit for Buick, much more so than it would have been for Saturn and Pontiac.

      It’s far too expensive for Saturn (the brand that was cheap and cheerful) and far too soft and comfort/luxury oriented for Pontiac (the muscle car brand). It also would not have fit well with Chevrolet in the US.

      But it makes an ideal Buick and a nearly ideal Regal. It does need more power for the heft. The GS also needs the turbo V6 Opel already makes this car with too.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @TriShield: Your screen name gives away your prejudices.

      This would have made a great Pontiac, a solid replacement for the G6 with the power to make the performance image work, much like the G8 did.

      As the owner of an Ecotec G6 with the 6 speed auto, I wonder what a G6 GTP (with Turbo Ecotec) would have been like.

      I would agree that this car would be all wrong for Chevy and it’s everything to all people ethos, and Saturn never should have happened in the first place.

      It would have made a fine Pontiac.

    • 0 avatar
      kkt

      I disagree that GM should have kept Pontiac over Buick. Buick at least stands for something: cars for grown-ups, reasonably quick but certainly not racing cars, reliable, with classic styling. Pontiac, on the other hand, had no credibility as a muscle car or sports car maker — Camaro and Corvette are GM’s entries in that market and they’re both Chevies. All Pontiac had was POS Chevy with 100 pounds of nonfunctional plastic body cladding and a giant eagle painted on it.

  • avatar
    nevets248

    silly question, where was this photograph taken? Looks suprisingly like Edgar Chevrolet/Buick in Orion, MI.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    “Regal” What are they thinking? So 1970′s. I guess “Buick” is an old out dated name too.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I had no idea Buick beat Lexus in JD Power!

    Uh, you don’t know much about J.D. Power measurements, do you? In a nutshell, the Buick respondents are going to be considerably older than Lexus respondents. They expect less.

    Meanwhile, depending on how slow business is that day, the Audi will get a prime valet spot. The Buick? Not so much.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    The problem I have with this car is that it retains the German-car, um, virtue of a comparatively cramped and inaccessible rear seat. The 3-Series and A4 can get away with this, but I don’t think the Buick can.

    If it were more overtly sportly, I think it might do better (eg, the Lexus IS vs ES), but as it is it’s not much cheaper, but is much smaller, than the LaCrosse and lacks the (undeserved, now) cachet of the TSX. I fear it will get passed over for the competition, or squeezed between the Malibu and the LaCrosse.

    It would have been much better as a Saturn, if Saturn had gotten a chance to complete it’s transformation into a VW/Mazda competitor.

  • avatar
    wsn

    I am not sure what some people are smoking, but it is ridiculous to compare a LaCrosse to a Lexus ES or compare a Regal to a TSX.

    Hello there? This is not a Caddy. This is a Buick. Buick isn’t a luxury brand. The prestige may be a notch higher than Chevy, but so is Honda.

    If everything went well, the LaCrosse would be as good as an Accord. The Regal would be as good as a Civic (look that the rear legroom).

    And that’s assuming everything went well. If not they will be competing with Sebring/Caliber.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think Acura is much of a stretch for Buick. The MDX I drove last week had an interior inferior to those in the LaCrosse and Regal. Lexus is more of a stretch but they’re not as far off as you seem to think.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @wsn

      I’m not sure what you’re smoking. Buick has always been a high-level brand. The only problem with Buick was that it had poorly executed product due to cross-sharing from the GM parts bin.

      If you are looking for an analogy in the GM lineup, I think the of the cars as follows:

      Chevrolet – Analogous to Toyota, but with traditionally better looking and more sporty offerings (Camaro, Corvette, SS).

      Pontiac – Analogous to Honda or Mazda; driver’s cars (for that time and day), which were essentially Chevrolets with attitude.

      Oldsmobile – Analogous to Acura, maybe a 1/2 notch below; essentially the car for gearheads, engineers and people who wanted new technology; an aspirational vehicle for the upwardly mobile person without a lot of fluff and with clean lines. Near-lux, but not over the top. Remember, Oldsmobile had some pricey cars with the 98, Toronado and higher-end versions of the Cutlass; Admittedly, there was also family-oriented pricing to drive traffic.

      Buick – Analogous to Lexus, big, cushy, quiet, stylish, well-appointed cars with sometimes gaudy lines; For people too cheap or not flashy enough for a Caddy. Again, you have the muddled image due to the fact that they had to have virtual clones of all the other affordable GM lines in order to drive traffic. In essence, they followed the same strategy as Mercedes in Europe, which sells both low and high-priced vehicles.

      Cadillac – Analogous to Mercedes; The pinnacle, the best, the highest quality craftsmanship; The most luxury for the money.

      ===============

      I think this is where the brands were and where they would be today had they been allowed to evolve product-wise to where they needed to be. Trouble is, the cars did not evolve thanks to parts and platform sharing gone wild.

      The point I’m trying to make is that I don’t think a Buick-GMC comparison to Lexus is that far off when you consider the number of $40,000 and up vehicles in the Buick-GMC lineup. Historically, Electra 225′s and Park Avenues and Rivieras weren’t cheap and neither is the Lacrosse or Lucerne. Remember, Lexus started out as the affordable Mercedes and Cadillac, but has crept up in price. Now, Buick-GMC is the affordable Lexus.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      I own a TSX (06), and no it isn’t ridiculous at all to compare this to it. When I shopped for the TSX I was comparing it to the VW Jetta GLI, Saab 9-3, and Subaru Legacy. The Regal fits right in.

      If I wasn’t refusing to have anything to do with GM, I’d be very intrigued by this car.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      In my brand world, Buick has never had anything to compare to Lexus. No competition.

      Lexus is like a German car with less sport and more reliability and practicality. Buick is a Chevy with more fur on the seats and a chomier grill. The only Buick (since the old Riverias) that I’ve noticed is the GNX, and that was only for the engine. And it was a turkey, in spite of the engine.

      Maybe Buick can change that impression with the LaCrosse and this Regal, but I’m doubting that it’s going to happen.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      boyphenom666:

      I don’t know where you’ve been lately.. but you need a correction.

      Olds / Buick, Chevy / Saturn Caddy and or Pontiac are companies… “merged” under the GM umbrella.. they keep screwing with the “brand” word only to screw that concept up as well.

      Those aforementioned names.. aren’t TRIM LEVELS, that IS a big part in why the cars SUCKED so badly.. that’s how GM treated them.

      Olds was a FAILURE because it stepped on Buick’s toes.

      Saturn was a FAILURE because you could get the same product with the same price.. at Chevy.. Chevy Traverse.. or the Saturn Outlook?– Self competition MUCH?

      Pontiac got bitched slapped CONSTANTLY when ya mention the SS brand from Chevy.

      And all CHEVY had to offer with sporting intentions was the Vette and or Camaro (which itself was a failure back in 02,03 when it got canned.)

      Caddy is trying to face Infiniti and or Lexus.. and trying to take on the Germans at the same time.

      Byran E.
      Do remember.. Accord for US is a different car than Accord for U.S.
      Accord for Japan / UK are competitors against the 3 series.. as midlevel execs cars.

      Think of.. sportier versions of their luxo U.S badged selves.

      Also,
      I personally think its insulting to that gen TSX, to have it compared to a Buick.. with the name of Regal. Its much more sporting and I’d hope more driver orientated than that.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      @Accazdatch:

      The current generation TSX is a simple rebadge-and-grille of the current generation European Accord. The Regal is a simple rebadge-and-grille of the current generation Insignia. There are supposedly some suspension differences, but all the reviews I’ve read have sworn up and down that they can’t tell the difference.

      If the European Accord competes with the Insignia, then the TSX competes with the Regal. QED.

      The 1st gen TSX was a bit sportier than the 2nd gen, but overall the difference is not huge. I would not be surprised if the 6MT turbo Regal is just as sporting.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @Accazdatch

      We all know they evolved into trim levels without much distinction, but that was a result of cost cutting and standardization necessary to stay alive. What I am talking about is where these brands were historically in the hierarchy, and in those times (from the 1950′s and 1960′s and before), I think my analogies are pretty close to how these brands were envisioned except maybe for Pontiac (which was an old man’s car, only later to be the driver’s car). If you look back at the 1950′s and 1960′s and before you will see that Buick has a pretty rich and classy heritage. Buick was prestigious and a car to aspire to.

      People confuse two things, however. First of all, those times were simpler. People were just tasting the benefits of modern technology and it was all good. The minor distinctions between the cars were major distinctions in that time and day. The problem with GM was, that it stuck to the system that worked and those cars didn’t evolve in a manner consistent with their heritage and their narrative.

      But getting back to the main point here, Honda is an econobox. Maybe a well-appointed and well-engineered econobox, but an econobox nonetheless. Although Buick had affordable trim levels, Buick was never an econobox. Buick was always about luxury, it’s just that the definition of luxury has changed just as every other category of consumer goods. (Example: Compare yesterday’s housing to the McMansions of today.)

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      boyphenom666

      What hurt Olds the most.. is that it was the “Cheapest” luxo “brand” GM had to whore out.

      Ya had Buick as its midlevel “trim”.. of a bunch of its midsized cars…

      Then ya had Caddy as the top level “trim” of its midsized and larger cars.

      Heck,
      Buick’s worst trait.. was being stuck in between Olds as the cheapest luxo brand and Caddy.

      Gm’s Achilles heel is having too much of itself to sell against.

      As far as Buick always being “luxury”..
      I guess ya dont recall garbage from the 80s and 90s like the Century, Skylark, Rendevous, Reatta, Park Avenue, Park Avenue Ultras and Electra.

      Thats the reason why they got themselves into the hole they are in now.. they were / generic. And as far as “trim levels” go.. this isn’t something that was done in the bad old 50s, 60s, 70s… they were doing this “trim level” crap as recent as 6-10yrs ago.

      ———–
      The term Honda as econobox goes back 30yrs, back when the CVCC and Accord were B segment vehicles. It MIGHT have had meaning then… but that was when everyone drove around in Buick badged Chevy Caprices (Buick Lesebre) in the bad old 70s.

      The model of, “Stepping up” as Gm constantly hopes for.. is broken. There is far too much leaping from one company to another and criticizing the companies and what they produce and where to be worried about a luxury company.

      The same stereotypes are still apparent, with a few GM perpetuated ad persuasions. (The mommy in the Enclave (her domestic choice against the OTHER Lambdas), against the MDX / RX set.)

      If ya want luxury, domestic and ya old = Buick or Caddy. GM constantly proves its behind the new and TRENDY times by pushing a CTS wagon.. in a V model, that’s MORE expensive than the SRX / Equinox. Its a marketing ploy.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      Maybe a different analogy is in order to make this more understandable.

      Chevrolet can be like JCPenney or Sears with everything for everybody. Some high price points, but generally hits the middle market pretty well.

      Cadillac can be like Nordstroms or Saks. Higher-end, higher price point, the go-to place for luxury these days.

      Buick is like Macy’s. In simpler times, Macy’s predecessors served as the defacto “high end” store in all but the largest cities. Times have changed and higher-end retailers like Nordstroms and Saks have expanded nationwide so they are now available to the masses, making Macy’s seem not as “high end” as it once was in more simple times. Now Macy’s stores in nicer locations still sell a lot of high-end goods, while those in more blue collar locations tend to go heavy on the house labels. Nonetheless, they are still a step up from Penney’s and Sears.

      Do you agree with this assessment?

    • 0 avatar

      boyphenom: “Buick has always been a high-level brand. The only problem with Buick was that it had poorly executed product due to cross-sharing from the GM parts bin.”

      Doesn’t the second sentence totally contradict the first? Yes, Buick may be intended as higher content than a Chevy, but the reality is for the past 20 years the brand’s only distinction is in offering more chrome than a Chevy, for more money.

      What Buick does today doesn’t matter, at least not yet. It’s tied too strongly to the mediocrity of the past. I really can’t see someone who suffered through a 2001 Regal, looking at a 2011 model. Even if the latter is a far better car.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      boyphenom666:

      Not at all.

      Not in the single least bit.

      Ya missing the idea that how it was 40-50yrs ago.. that model is hopefully broken. We’ve seen that take its place on GM and Chrysler in bankruptcy court.

      Retailing.. isn’t NEARLY as simple or as easy to define as you have laid it out.

      There is at least 3-4 tiers of retailers.. with many of the same brands being pushed, on top of each store and each clothing company / BRAND pushing their wares through discount retailers / wholesalers, and outlet stores.. voiding the entire tier system completely.

      In the end..
      GM is now just as confused as to which car deserves to be marketed under which umbrella.. now as they were 10yrs ago.

      There are NUMEROUS issues with branding, with marketing, with execution of “product”, ntm blatantly lying to people. now.. as there ever was.

      P.S
      Go look up the Buick Regal 10yrs ago as the GS model.. and tell me that was luxury then. Then go find numbers as to whom bought that.. and how their demographics are in the toilet.

    • 0 avatar
      Wagen

      @srogers-

      You see that “Lexus is like a German car with less sport and more reliability and practicality. Buick is a Chevy with more fur on the seats and a chomier grill.”

      In my opinion, Lexus is a Toyota with more fur on the seats and a chromier grill. Or, in other words, like an American car with less cost-cutting and more reliability and better materials.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      @Brian E
      If the European Accord competes with the Insignia, then the TSX competes with the Regal. QED.
      Exactly – from an European perspective, they are both cheaper alternatives to a Passat. I guess there are Europeans who would see the Insignia as an A4/3-series competitor, but they all work in Opel marketing.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Perhaps it’s just me, but every time I see a Buick – ANY Buick – the driver has either white or blue hair and is creeping through traffic. That is a demographic with which I refuse to be associated. And it is for that reason, Buick will never be on my shpping list regardless of what’s in the showroom. Ditto Hyundai, Kia, and VW, but for different reasons.

    • 0 avatar

      Check the driver’s seat in any Buick Enclave.

      And I have a lot of people in their 40s telling me how much they like the look of the LaCrosse. But none have pulled the trigger yet.

      The only car in the Buick line that still seems “old” is the Lucerne. The new Regal is quite clearly not an old person’s car.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Don’t doubt the power of “old people’s” cars. Cops don’t expect them to being doing 90 mph down the interstate.

    • 0 avatar
      meefer

      You could say the same thing about a Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Wow so much hate on the elderly. Well Sherlock you will be there some day yourselves and the tables will be turned. I love spending time with some of the older people in my family and have great respect for them. They always worked hard, had values and believed in America. That has fallen out the toilet now sadly and we are degenerating/decaying back into primitive cave people with zero respect. Maybe the tables should be turned on the young and everyone should be forced to drive large cushy chrome laden velour lined V8 geezermobiles, sit at the dinner table every night for supper, get a ruler over there nuckles at school as they talk back to the teacher and be made ot respect there folks. Imagine how much better the world would be then.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Don’t pick on Jan. She looked better in swimsuit than Marcia. Didn’t you see the Hawaii episodes?

    - George Glass

  • avatar
    mythicalprogrammer

    Yeah, saw this a while back. It’s good looking but it’s FWD or AWD only. Why not RWD?! Whatever, I’ll wait for the Camaro drop top with the new interior.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      I’m supposing you haven’t been awake to what’s happened in the automotive world since ’77.

      That’s the only way I can rectify the (mis-)logic leading you to compare a convertible Camaro to a mid-size Buick 4-cyl sedan.

  • avatar
    lzaffuto

    My grandparents have always driven Buicks. Floaty suspension, ugly, slow(or at least always driven that way). Today, they might make the best driving and most sporting car in the world, but when they put that Buick badge and brand name and traditional styling cues on it… I see “GRANDPA CAR”, and always will. I don’t see *any* way they could re-invent the brand so that I would be interested in buying one. They could put the badge on a Corvette or Camaro and sell it $10k cheaper and I’d still buy the Chevys.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      Between 1955 and 1970, Pontiac performed exactly that transformation. So successful was this transformation that GM continued selling Pontiacs to the masses as more driver-oriented (however flimsy the truth behind that may be) than other GM brands until this very year.

      It truly was that drastic – thanks a pre-coke-addled John Z. Delorean for this.

      So, is it possible? Yes. It’s even been done before, within the same corporation. The only question is with today’s vastly more crowded field and longer ownership periods – due to reliability gains and less disposable income – versus the 1955-1970 period, will Buick be able to pull it off before GM gives up (or before the government gives up on GM)? It’s a different environment, but it’s the same story that went with Pontiac then.

      I won’t even mention the similar stories affecting Hyundai (who, when the Excel launched in 1986, would believe that a neighborhood populated with $300,000 houses would contain near-luxury Hyundais like the Genesis, new Sonata, Veracruz, etc.?), Kia (see: current Forte vs. ’96 Sephia), Honda and Toyota (these companies have made vehicles like the NSX, LF-A, current RL, and current LS; look what they made 40 years ago), Cadillac (compare the bling-blinded Escalade set with the blue-hair Cadillac drivers of the early 1990s), and a whole host of other marques that have risen or fallen (Mitsubishi, I’m looking at you) over periods of time.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    This is a pretty good review for a GM product on this site. As is often the case here, there’s way too much verbiage spent on trunk hinges and too little on the ride and drive. Still, I agree that GM has been muddled in its efforts to sort out what Buick is and will be. They seem to be backing into an Acura-esque image based on what models they can assemble from their international inventory. I’d say Buick needs to embrace the automotive paradigm taught to us by the Germans: Luxury doesn’t include driving dynamics, it IS driving dynamics. Wrap that concept in smooth Buick style and go after Volvo, Acura, Audi and the rest. And don’t listen to the whining Guv’t Motors fan-boys or those longing for a return of the land-yachts of yore. “Mastering the Road” isn’t about floaty boats any longer.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    Here in DC/MD, older Buicks (late 90′s, early 2000′s) are very popular with 25-50 year old African-American men. Go figure.

    My 88 year old Grandfather has a LeSabre (late 90′s maybe?) with very low-miles and whenever he decides to stop driving (which he should have already done 10 years ago) I hope he gives/sells it to me. I’m 32 and I’d love to drive it. I doubt anyone else in my family will want it so it’s as good as mine. And then in about 5 years I’ll buy a used heavily depreciated 2012 or 2013 Regal dirt cheap to replace it.

    • 0 avatar
      slyall

      Also here in the NJ suburbs there are alot of late 90s Regals on the road, my ’96 with the 3800 series 2 is no slouch, dead reliable and very smooth to drive, sure it looks like a grandad car, but it would blow the doors off alot of sportier looking cars.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    How likely is it that GM will keep the promise to offer the 6-speed manual in late 2010?

    Automakers seem to have a tendency to promise something that is exciting to the enthusiasts and then quietly cancel later on.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s in the brochure, so I think it’s almost certain to happen. But they do say “available to order.” So, as I say in the review, don’t expect to find a manual on a dealer’s lot.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Chicago Dude: GM had a six speed manual in the Pontiac G6 GXP; this Regal is an update of the shared Epsilon chassis, it shouldn’t be a problem to do.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      Cadillac offered a stick shift on the CTS at introduction in 2003 – I ordered one. They still offer a stick in 2010, now a six-speed, even though they sell about 200 per year. Beware of your generalizations.

  • avatar
    Accazdatch

    Quick question Mr Karesh..

    How do ya compare a Regal.. against an Accord?

    Accord (is rather boring with a low price point, that can top out in the 30s, with the Crosstour in mind) goes with the boring class of cars, Camry, Malibu, Sonata, Impala, 300 (more FULLsized, than Midsized at a price of about 20-30.)

    Where as the Lacrosse and or Regal.. join the usual GM-Two-Step / pronged effort against big bad Lexus ES.

    Heck,
    Im shocked ya mentioned Buick sees the Regal as a TSX competitor, one of the craziest things Ive heard. Funny how the TSX is a second fiddle to the TL, with the same motor and trans. Also funny, how TSX isnt a sporting car (first gen was).. and is being compared to a rebadged 4dr formation, entry-luxo vehicle.

    Id actually see the Lacross / Regal going against the G35 and or the ES. Both seem to have a different pronged effort at what Buick is trying to “be”. Not sporting at all, yet with lots of toys to keep the person driving “entertained.”

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    Isn’t Buick coming out with an even smaller sedan which will be placed below the Regal? I would think that that would be the TSX competitor.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      The Astra is finally getting the U.S love its always wanted.. just with more plastic-chrome and more extra crap than it previously had.

      Typical U.S.. no hatch..

      Buick is also getting a compact gutless CUV.. probably something along the lines of the Equinox / Terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      The TSX is definitely the right competitor for the Regal. The Opel Insignia competes with the Honda Accord in Europe. Why would their rebadges not compete in the US?

  • avatar
    ajla

    It seems very German to me.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    How about a sportwagon variant of the Regal? Makes more sense than the CTS sportwagon. Also no need for a small CUV Buick. That segment is way too bloated already.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Michael…

    With all of the dire financial information coming out of Germany, what is the long term viability of an Opel supplied car?
    They were not given money again today.

    Why do these new performance wanting cars always introduce better engines later…after the buying public has looked, then walked away wanting more?
    It seems you only have a few moments to make an impression, so why blow it with an engine short on power?
    If you want to compete against those with power and customers who buy these, why blow this chance.
    It’s very difficult to get people to come by twice.

    Lincoln did it with the MKS. I still don’t think people are giving it a second look. The 3.7 was not good enough for the heavy car vs its competitors.
    Reviews are in hard print for months after the initial look.
    People read these over and over. The new opinions never make the same impression.

    Seems like a dumb business plan.

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      They are only importing them for one year, then they are going to be assembled in Oshawa…. as stated by the article as well as many comments in this thread.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve made the same point too many times to count. GM has made this mistake over and over going back to at least the Fiero. And others have done the same.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Roundel

      I take a bit of shortness in your reply.
      Get over it.
      A year is an extremely long time in the auto world, especially when nothing is assured…not even Buick.

      Thanks Michael, you at least answered one of my points.
      The introduction plan on these is questionable.
      I would guess the rush to market gets them to doing sumb things.

      I think this is going to hurt them. IF they are going after the younger buyers, they need to give them a little fun/power right off.

      I see Lincoln is back with the Major Tom rocket take off theme from David Bowie. A little late and not even bringing up the EcoBoost while running the ad.

      Very strange.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Deck chairs on the titanic. Yet another mushy lumpy fat car, yawn. Who cares?

  • avatar
    BobJava

    There are a few “gee golly this is a great car!” posts on this thread that make me suspicious of posters. Too bad we can’t see post count or post history for users.

    Karesh, you spent a lot of time comparing this car to the LaCrosse, more so than other direct competitors of other makes. Do you think potential buyers of the Regal will look to the LaCrosse as well or was the LaCrosse just a point of reference (albeit a bit of an odd one)? This seems to be a car aimed at the mythical sporting-intentions BMW market that almost every manufacturer is chasing. So, new Buick buyers really. I don’t know that they’d look to the LaCrosse as well.

    Great review overall though.

    Despite what Americans might say, they’re not sporting in the least and tend not to buy cars that are. Seems like Buick should go after the luxo ride market that Cadillac swears against and Lexus dominates.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t doubt that those comments are legit. Quite a few people have been looking forward to this car because of its Opel basis.

      I compared it to the LaCrosse because it’s not far off in size, so some might wonder why offer both cars. Also, the LaCrosse demonstrates what Buick does with a fairly clean sheet, so comparing the Regal to the LaCrosse indicates to what extent this is a superficial rebadge. Finally, I’m driving a LaCrosse this week.

    • 0 avatar

      This car is garnering warm commentary on other automotive sites and forums that I frequent, especially from young people.

      Aside from it’s four-cylinder only drivetrain it’s hard to find fault with the styling, interior and performance of it and I think it has what it takes to attract more people to Buick.

      What it could use is a V6 and turbo V6, both of which Opel already makes the car with.

  • avatar
    mrcrispy

    I can assure you that no Lexus buyer is ever going to cross shop a Buick. Buick does not have the prestige, luxury, reliability or the price tag. Not even close.

    (Same goes for any G/BMW buyer, obviously they want performance which these cars don’t have)

    I know 2 friends who bought a LaCrosse and are very happy with it. But they were not looking for a Lexus. The sweet spot for Buick is someone who wants to step up from the Camcords, doesn’t like Acura, and wants all the toys without the German price premium, and doesn’t mind buying American.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      That’s what Volvo and Saab used to represent. If VW keeps making cars like the GTI, the next-gen Passat might make the list.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @ mrcrispy

      “The sweet spot for Buick is someone who wants to step up from the Camcords, doesn’t like Acura, and wants all the toys without the German price premium, and doesn’t mind buying American.”

      Okay, so how does what Buick wants to do deviate much from Lexus territory? Especially when given all the Lexus conquest buyers they’ve been getting for the Lacrosse and Enclave. Remember, Lexus started out as a cheaper alternative to the other luxury makes but slowly has crept up in price to where they are virtually the same. Furthermore, if you look closely at their styling these days, it’s not so hot either.

      Acura is a high-content Honda just as Lexus is a high-content Toyota and just as Buick is a high-content Chevrolet. I’m not saying Buick is Lexus-level through-and-through, but if you can give people a nice car for less money … well, aren’t a lot of fortunes made that way?

      Buick is the right car at the right time for people like me who have been burned by Honda’s faulty transmissions or their Toyotas crashing through a wall! The aura of Japanese perfection is over. We are willing to roll the dice on American once again. Let’s hope they have their act together.

    • 0 avatar
      newcarscostalot

      Boyphenom:

      I like the way the Buick LaCrosse looks, but to me GM is to Lexus as a Sears suit is to Armani, in terms of quality, execution and long term reliability. The sears suit may be nice, fit the bill and give you a good price point, but it is not an Armani. If I were going to buy a LaCrosse, I would do it based on style and goodies for the price, but I would have no illusion that the LaCrosse is a less expensive Lexus.

  • avatar

    it’s not a Buick and will be dead on arrival. GM doesn’t understand the brand. this Regal dies as rapidly as the GTO.

    • 0 avatar

      What do you know about Buick anyway?

      Just kidding, of course.

      Have you driven the new Regal? I’d love to read your take on it.

    • 0 avatar

      haven’t driven one but the thing is too small with the wrong body lines. it looks like something I’d hit with a flyswatter. the Lacrosse sells because it has style, it should be the entry car for the division. GM is going in the wrong direction with Buick. no surprise, they know how to ruin a carline.

    • 0 avatar
      Jackalope30

      The buick brand you’d like for GM to persue is gone. Like, forever. The things you think of when you say the name ‘Buick’ – Floaty suspension, a boot big enough for 5 dead bodies and some groceries and above all, BIG – are things the rest of the known motoring universe hasn’t identified with Buick for nearly two decades.

      This car’s problem is not that it’s too small or that its not a proper Buick, and doesn’t even approach the GTO’s problems (1. not a credible successor to the GTO brand 2. It has a Pontiac badge and they’d lost all pretense of being able to build cars after the Aztek fiasco) This cars real problem is the Maxima. It too is attempting to steal some Audi buyers away and it is in every way this car’s superior. GM wants $30k for the new regal, but Nissan gives you everything this regal has plus better looks andf even in a post-GS world, 60 extra HP at the least. The boosted 4-cyl thing wouldn’t have been an issue so long as we got one that had at least 300 HP. But we don’t. This is a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Roundel

      I’m sorry Buickman… but its no longer 1965, the cold war is over, our gas is unleaded, and oh yeah, Dino Juice is getting scarce and expensive. The Land Yacht of the past is dead, a return to anything that resembles that *cough Lucerne cough* are dead upon arrival. As has been stated, big and floaty are out. GM it seems have tried to roll the future and fate of Buick and Pontiac into one, but with more style and percieved luxury.
      The entire idea that Buick has no chance against the likes of Lexus and Acura is absurd. Acura has literally lost its direction, floundering around with questionable designes, and a real lack of luxury in its branding. It seems based upon their new ads, they have taken Volvo’s selling line, 5 STAR SAFTEY ACROSS THE LINE!! Lexus bases their whole existence on being tarted up Toyotas that people bought because they were cheap… and easily fooled by extensive rebadges. These new products for Buick are certainly creating a buzz, and I think its a good direction for the brand. Once the brand has identity I think it can complete against the likes Of Lexus, since they are essentially an arm of the Japanese GM anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The things you think of when you say the name ‘Buick’ – Floaty suspension, a boot big enough for 5 dead bodies and some groceries and above all, BIG – are things the rest of the known motoring universe hasn’t identified with Buick for nearly two decades

      Actually, it was identified with Buick as late as, well, now. It perfectly describes the Lucerne, for one, and in a way the new Lacrosse. GM and it’s fans may wish it to be otherwise, and might throw a few products against the wall in hopes that it might change, but Buickman is right: it’s what people still associate with the brand.

      There’s nothing wrong with offering a car or two like this, but there is something wrong with trying to stretch a brand known for those kinds of cars in other directions just to make up volume.

      It may seem strange in this day of massive brand portfolios, but there was a time when a brand could easily consist of two or three cars. A company like GM could make this work quite easily, as they have other brands to fill in the gaps where Buick cannot go. But GM can’t resist trying to make every brand into a full-line one. Why they do this, I’m not sure: it’s either brand-managers needing to feed their ego, a misguided pursuit of volume or a gross mis-interpretation of Sloan’s “a car for every purse”.

      The Regal is a good car, but it ought to have been, oh, a Saab or something. Or a Saturn. Or even a Pontiac: it would have made a good G6 to the G8.

    • 0 avatar
      Jackalope30

      “Actually, it was identified with Buick as late as, well, now. It perfectly describes the Lucerne, for one, and in a way the new Lacrosse. ”

      Oh puh-lease. No one thinks ‘Lucerne’ When you say the word ‘Buick’ to them. We know this, because no one buys the lucerne, which is why it will be gone, along with its platform stablemate, the DTS.

      Brand identification is not ‘hey, they make one just like that!’, it’s ‘What do people think when you talk to them about brand X?’ ‘Practical supercar’ is not a phrase anyone has ever associated with Acura, yet that’s what the NSX was known for being. Since no one intrested in the things the NSX was about could credibly associate them with the Acura nameplate, no one bought it, so Acura sent it to car heaven, where the Lucerne with soon be going. But really, we don’t need to go over the theory of brand identity to see why no one thinks ‘Buick’ when they want a yank tank: We can just go straight to the ugly numbers.

      http://media.gm.com/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/Jan/0105_Dec_Sales/_jcr_content/iconrow/textfile/file.res/Deliveries%20December%2009.xls

      The delivery volume for the Lucerne has taken a righteous dump, collapsing a whopping 43% between 2008 and 2009. What’s that mean?
      That means no one is buying the Lucerne. That means that the share of the car-buying public that values the things the lucerne are about is collapsing at a ridiculous pace. It means that the ones that are left don’t think ‘Buick’ when they’re looking for a yank tank, in the same way that they don’t think ‘wal-mart’ when they want a $3000 suit.

      Also, no. No even a little bit, not almost, not even slightly, or even to the blind does the new lacrosse in any quality resemble the land yachts of the 60′s and 70′s, or the G body Box chevy’s GNXs, Regals and caddys that descended from them, and it COULD NOT resemble these cars if it expected to mount a credible challenge to the ES 330. Get real.

      “There’s nothing wrong with offering a car or two like this, but there is something wrong with trying to stretch a brand known for those kinds of cars in other directions just to make up volume.”

      You have it backward. Buick is not known for yank tanks and land yachts anymore. They faced huge slices of sales volume reductions when they tried to go back to building them (-43% for the Lucerne, -24% for the old LaCrosse) and the whole brand only narrowly evaded the axe that whacked pontiac for it’s trouble. Now, with this complete re-engineering and rethinking of the LaCrosse, Buick mounts a suprisingly credible offense against a competitors well known and successful product, solidifying their position as a quality automaker and building up their brand’s NEW identity as a near-luxury nameplate. With the success of the LaCrosse under it’s belt, GM and Buick hope to pull the same trick against audi with the regal. The problems they face here is that the Regal as an Audi competitor faces a credibility problem as a sport-sedan if it cannot produce at least 300 HP, and that unlike with the ES 330, a relatively easy target, Audi already has credible competitors (namely the Maxima) that are both superior to the Regal and gunning for Audi.

    • 0 avatar

      Lucerne sales are down ONLY because GM refuses to build them. it’s a fact that dealers across America have been screaming for them but GM will not produce.

    • 0 avatar
      Jackalope30

      “Lucerne sales are down ONLY because GM refuses to build them. it’s a fact that dealers across America have been screaming for them but GM will not produce.”

      Then that means there should be Lucerne shortages across the country, with massive markups on the few available examples to take advantage of the demand, if it’s as high as you are trying to imply. With 2450 examples available right now on autotrader nation wide its more like there’s a Lucerne glut rather than a shortage.

      Wanna know what it looks like when high demand for a model meets limited supply? Do an auto-trader search for the 2011 mustang GT and I guarantee you the volume with be under a thousand examples and most are either unlisted in price or well beyond the $30k MSRP. Buick wishes ANY of it’s models had that kind of demand.

      Sorry dude. I know you heart Buicks and all but it’s time to get real; the yank tank market has totally collapsed and a few die hards like you and the loyal but microscopic group of geriatrics left isn’t a big enough pool of buyers to justify production of cars like the Lucerne and the DTS, both of which facing 43% haircuts in volume last year. Don’t worry though; as long as the cops keep buying them, you’ll still have the panther cars.

  • avatar
    mrcrispy

    boyphenom666, I agree with you. I’m not sure that Buick reliability approaches that of Lexus/Honda/Toyota, or ever will. But they are definitely making a very nice car for the money (same for the new Mustang, Fusion, Fusion Hybrid).

    In a few years that could change, just like Hyundai has managed to turn things around.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      Now you’re getting it.

      Buick cannot compete directly with Lexus or even Acura. They will sell only as the ‘value alternative’, meaning lower msrp and/or cash on the hood. So what has changed?

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      If Buick can offer an Acura-level vehicle (or above, as Mr. Karesh says) I think that is definitely the sweet spot they should be aiming for. Acura has been a laggard because there hasn’t been much differentiation between an Acura and a Honda. Better materials and a higher gage of steel, maybe, but the driving dynamics are very similar. I love my Acura TL, but I had to drive it before I could appreciate the difference between an Accord and a TL.

      If think Buick can build a car that is quieter and has a different feel from a Chevrolet, but come in at around Acura in pricing, that has the makings of a good niche to exploit … we could invent a new segment called “value Luxury”, perhaps? If Cadillac stays as a primarily RWD brand, Buick also avoids stepping on their toes.

      Maybe I have rose colored glasses on, but I loved Oldsmobile and I loved what it represented, which was sporty, low-end lux with great styling. It was the number three brand for awhile, so that tells me this is a popular segment if you have worthy product.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      boyphenom666 :Man…

      You are missing the point.

      I know I am a lot younger than most in here..
      But Im not going on the Olds 442′s from the 70s.

      Heck,
      Im not even going on the Riv’s or the Cutless Supreme’s that everyone had in the mid 80s.

      Heck..
      Im not even going to start harping on the Cieras and the multitude of naming GARBAGE that they turned that car into.. and the subsequent rest of Oldsmobile.

      That was the biggest problem with Olds. It didnt have a point.

      I dont make enough to talk on hypothetical about “brands” and “value” and marketing to “stereotypes” and how important it is for “volume” and “mass market appeal”.. and all of that power word B.S.

      I however do know, that VALUE and LUXURY– DO NOT BELONG, THAT.. is what killed Olds. You DO NOT have the two together in the same sentence. The two words spell mediocrity.. that’s just like the current tag line from GM, excellence for everyone. The company is lost, their advertising BLOWS, SUSAN Docherty is an IDIOT.. and that’s all they’ve got to work with.

      VALUE luxury SAYS nothing about what you are trying to sell, and it says everything. It says.. there is nothing special about the cars we produce, or the (mediocre) level of “luxury” in these cars. The very concept of “value” & “luxury” would get anyone fired in any repeatable firm. (Hyundai / Kia only do it, cause they have nothing.. the bargain basement is all they have.)

      ——————————-
      Now..
      Acura’s biggest damn problem is their styling is lost.
      Acura’s message is lost.
      Acura is also no longer the sporty brand for Honda. They are going after the same tech savvy customer as everyone else. The compact 2dr is no longer there. Their priced “top model”, the (ancient styled) RL is coming into price competition with the TL. Their design heritage got tossed out with the trash. They are left to fight it out for customers not buying a G or a ES, — pretty poor pickings, if you ask me.
      It isn’t their materials that harm them or their gauge of steel.. its the lack of FOCUS on pretty much everything the company makes, on top of Acura / Honda joint operations.

      That being said..
      The TL used to be the car to pick up of the past 5-10yrs. It was a sporty car, aggressive in design and able to be driven. Now its the tech “happy” sharper / heavier version of its earlier ’02 self.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Ah – yes Buick CAN compete on reliability. I don’t think much of JD Powers but the Buick Century was top of the list on LONG-term reliability recently. Initial quality means very little to me, quality at 200K means ALOT.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    The problem in Europe with this car is the brand.
    Maybe it´s very good, but the Opel badge tells us that it´s cheap, unreliable and dull.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    I don’t see any portholes on the hood. The Regal that was being displayed rather quietly at Amelia Island in March had ‘em, only TWO per side. Was that a pre production model, or are the portholes part of an optional trim package?

    I am hoping GM got smart and took the portholes off. Not that I have anything against portholes on Buicks, quite the contrary. The problem is the message that two per side sends. Used to be, three holes meant you had a LeSabre and four meant an Electra. Then when the holes were revived on the Lucerne, the number of holes indicated the number of cylinders. Two holes per side is correct under that system for a four cylinder car, but do you really want to advertise it that way? It just screams “I bought the cheap Buick.” GM wasn’t even dumb enough to do that with the J-car Skyhawk.

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    With the demise of the V6 manual Altima, Buick offering a manual in it’s high-HP trim is a breath of fresh air, even if you do have to order one. Certainly wasn’t easy to find my stick Altima.

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    The Insignia competes with the Ford Mondeo in Europe.A Passat or Audi would have more snob-appeal , and an Accord or Mazda 6 would be fundamentally better cars, being manufactured in Japan.

  • avatar
    PennSt8

    I really don’t understand why so many are hell bent on dismissing this car just because it is a Buick. How many of you have had seat time in the Regal, or better yet seen it in person?

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Fact 1: the last gen of Regal was inferior to Camry, or why would be it be discontinued?

      Fact 2: GM has a tradition of buffing up new models and only to fall short on delivery.

      Tell me how good the 2011 Regal was in 2021 and I will consider a Buick by then.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      PennSt8:
      1. Technically.. its not even a Buick. Its a OPEL Insignia, that got rebadged and sent over to the U.S.. but alas we aren’t getting the wagon.

      2. This Regal is just sporty enough to get buyers of the ES / Avalon, maybe the G, to convince them to buy American.. for how the interior coddles them.

      3. Ive been around JUST long enough to know, that Buick doesn’t change its stripes over night, or in a few years. I also know GM DOESN’T change its marketing attitude overnight, or within a short time. GM is still that same stupid company that people buy cars from.. cause they got a good deal. — Only now, bankruptcy re-affirms that.

      4. Ya dont drive a Buick if you want power or athleticism.

      WSN:
      The Regal/Century got canned.. not because of the Camry… but because it was a miserable waste of time / excuse for a car.

      P.S
      Buick isn’t any different from any of its other brand whored children. It started with the Rendezvous, that led to the Enclave, now ya got the redone Lacrosse and the sportier REGAL. Now, they are going to add the Astra SEDAN to the mix and call it finished.

      Wait a coupla years and ya find out how much staying power Buick has.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @PennSt8

      I think a lot of people like me are bored with the Japanese econoboxes and, at least in my case, have found that their reputation for being bulletproof is somewhat exaggerated (my Acura TL being on its third transmission and all, preceded by an Accord I dumped with a gimpy tranny). I think we are all rooting for the home team and although there are some positive signs (such as Buick scoring so high in reliability), we’ve been burned by GM before so we have reason to be skeptical.

      I personally love Buick styling today. I really think we are finally seeing cars that hold true to the sweet spot of GM design of previous years that allowed them to capture 50% market share. I’m glad to see they’ve dumped all the goofy pregnant lines of past models … but the cars still have to stack up.

      We’ll see what the ratings look like in a couple of years. That’s about when I’ll be ready to get rid of my TL (I generally buy new and keep cars for 8 or 10 years). We’ll see if this is a keeper or not.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      PennSt8 and boyphenom666

      I know all about the 3ltr engine and trans issues on the Accord and or TL you speak of, know of them well.

      However..
      I’m not going to buy the “home team” because the Japanese (Honda / Toyota, Nissan (is decent), Mitsu/Isuzu (pointless), with Hyun/Kia being Korean) are having issues. I don’t respect GM, as a company, as a corporate entity or as a company that builds automobiles. I don’t trust them to make TISSUES.

      Ya don’t buy a Toyota.. if you really want to DRIVE (then again.. Buick?) There are TOO many issues with Toyota’s BASIC STANDARDS to ever want to buy one.

      Ya don’t buy GM or CHRYSLER, if you actually follow the company.. no matter how good the 5yr old Eclass Benz / 300c looks. REGARDLESS of how the vehicles look, taking into account how badly their 30yr+ reputation as a POORLY RUN operation is. Its a moot point. Ya don’t buy Chrysler..

      Ford is only nominally better..
      Just forget all about those hundreds who died in the Exploder mess.. that they still deal with today.
      Those pesky rollover rules…

      Id rather buy a SMALLER more NIMBLE car, that’s more athletic, and AN ACTUAL DRIVER’S CAR than the bloated / OBESE beasts that sit in the midsize/ fullsize segment.

      FACE it..
      Buying American.. means ya buy from BANKRUPT GM or incompetent Chrysler. Ford is only better.. cause they didn’t get sucker punched.. THIS TIME. Turn the clock back 10yrs.. and Ford got theirs also!

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @accazdatch

      1. Technically.. its not even a Buick. Its a OPEL Insignia, that got rebadged and sent over to the U.S.. but alas we aren’t getting the wagon.

      It’s called Buick here and Opel there. What’s the difference?

      2. This Regal is just sporty enough to get buyers of the ES / Avalon, maybe the G, to convince them to buy American.. for how the interior coddles them.

      Isn’t that the only difference between an ES (and most of the Lexus line) and a Camry (and most of the Toyota line). So what if they use the same parts and the same technology under the sheet metal? The look, feel and sound different enough. Take a 1982 Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Cutlass and Regal … they are virtually the same car in all respects. I challenge you to say that about the Toyota/ES, US Accord/TL or Malibu/Lacrosse/Regal/CTS. Each grouping represents cars that may have started from the same canvas, but the final product resulted in fundamentally different cars.

      4. Ya dont drive a Buick if you want power or athleticism.

      Tell that to these people. It’s an Oldsmobile page, but people used to race Buicks, too.

      http://www.69olds.com/smothers.html

      Id rather buy a SMALLER more NIMBLE car, that’s more athletic, and AN ACTUAL DRIVER’S CAR than the bloated / OBESE beasts that sit in the midsize/ fullsize segment.

      And now we get back to the reason people like me are seriously toying with leaving the Honda fold. Better-looking, right-sized products and Honda’s bullet-proof image has gone out the window. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that Honda stands behind their products. If GM could guarantee they will do the same, I’d be inclined to give the Regal a try.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      boyphenom666

      It’s called Buick here and Opel there. What’s the difference?

      –Buick here.. STILL stands for my father’s boring domestic. The car that is the “Regal”, I’d love to buy (If I could deal with the GM lineage) as the Opel / Vauxhall Insignia OPC Tourer.

      Isn’t that the only difference between an ES (and most of the Lexus line) and a Camry (and most of the Toyota line). So what if they use the same parts and the same technology under the sheet metal? The look, feel and sound different enough. Take a 1982 Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Cutlass and Regal … they are virtually the same car in all respects. I challenge you to say that about the Toyota/ES, US Accord/TL or Malibu/Lacrosse/Regal/CTS. Each grouping represents cars that may have started from the same canvas, but the final product resulted in fundamentally different cars.

      –Here I am literally splicing hairs.. saying the Japanese do a BETTER job engineering the platforms better, not to mention engineering a somewhat sportier car… injunction with lesser rebates and consistent model cycles, and a decent model reputation (before Toyota took a crap).

      Tell that to these people. It’s an Oldsmobile page, but people used to race Buicks, too.

      http://www.69olds.com/smothers.html

      –Olds and or Buick is a moot argument in racing. Honda also got out of racing.. so they are in the same conceptual lack.

      And now we get back to the reason people like me are seriously toying with leaving the Honda fold. Better-looking, right-sized products and Honda’s bullet-proof image has gone out the window. The only thing that makes me hesitate is that Honda stands behind their products. If GM could guarantee they will do the same, I’d be inclined to give the Regal a try.

      –This.. is why I wont buy another Accord OR a Civic, because Accord is too big (whole class is more large car, than a midsizer.) Civic is lacking, in the design department, not to mention no hatch or engine bigger than a 2ltr and smaller than a 2.6. There are more aggressive cars to go after.. (GTI, Mazdaspeed3, WRX STI..)

      I’d rather get out of the category / size ENTIRELY, than drive some obese car, that I cant thrash. A REGAL, isn’t me. I dont like luxury OR being CODDLED. I also don’t like the majority of its luxury faced competition, sheerly because those who drive them, like to sit back and slouch.

      My next car.. will be a Speed 3 or just a Mazda 3 hatch. I like to drive.. and the current Accord.. is a boring gutless, SILVER / BEIGE [BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP] slouch. — Just like the Crosstour.. only Honda sedan / coupe not to have a 4cycl.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      @PennSt8, I have found that there are many opinions on this site that are not based on having driven, ridden in, or seeing a vehicle. But I want to thank Michael Karesh for driving a 2011 Buick Regal and taking the time to write his opinion.

      I have driven a 2011 Buick Regal around the outside perimeter of the Warren, MI, Tech Center, Nurburgring it wasn’t, but fun to do. I also made a point of driving inside the tech center on some curved roads and the traffic circle. I drove the way I do when I leave work, (yes I work for GM and this is my opinion)pedal to the metal from a dead stop in straight, fast around the traffic circle. I found it agile and graceful and comparable to a Saab 9-3 Turbo.

      For those who would like to actually DRIVE a 2011 Buick Regal in SE MI, with no salesmen around to pressure you to buy one, go to the outlet mall at I-96 and M-59 on May 29, from 9-5 pm.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Christy Garwood:

      Nice to see you back on the board again. Thanks for the heads up on the outlet mall event.

      As for the ride and drive, is that the one in Howell?

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @Christy Garwood

      Detroit’s a little bit of a haul just for a salesman-free test drive (I’m in Columbus), but if you have any events like that down here, please let me know because having to go through that whole dealership process is one of the barriers to trying out these cars. One of these days when I have more time I want to go up to Chesrown in Delaware (since they sell all 4 lines) and drive a Regal, a Lacrosse and a CTS and compare and contrast.

      BTW, whatever happened to those 24-hour test drives you were doing before? Do you still do those or are there any plans to do those again? You can also hire me as a product tester if you want some unbiased insight from a potential conquest buyer. lol Seriously, I would love to take these cars just on my normal runs to see how they drive and how they compare to what I have now and like. (I’d love to compare how they react over the bumps I pass over and when I punch the accelerator.) Maybe I’ll rent one of these things for a day as I get closer to buying. I’m probably putting too much thought into this, aren’t I?

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      No Regal wagon or Astra hatch = no sale to me or mine…

      Same with manual trannies. A big black mark against anything I’m shopping if I can’t get a 5 speed or six.

      Anything else is not a driver’s car and that’s what I buy…

  • avatar
    wsn

    @boyphenom666

    Chevrolet – Analogous to Toyota, but with traditionally better looking and more sporty offerings (Camaro, Corvette, SS).

    No. Toyota never produced an Aveo (the Echo was much better). Chevy is more of a Chrysler or pre 2000 Hyundai brand.


    Pontiac – Analogous to Honda or Mazda; driver’s cars (for that time and day), which were essentially Chevrolets with attitude.

    LOL. Are you kidding? Yes, they are re-badged Chevy and we know that. Would any sane person say the G3 is as good as a 3 and the G6 as good as a 6? No way!


    Oldsmobile – Analogous to Acura, maybe a 1/2 notch below;

    Completely different. Acura is supposed to be tight and Olds is supposed to be bloat.


    Buick – Analogous to Lexus, big, cushy, quiet, stylish, well-appointed cars with sometimes gaudy lines;

    Again what are you smoking? It would be great for GM if Caddy could achieve the same kind of prestige of Lexus.
    CTS vs. IS is a draw. Both have OK sales and both trailing 3-series.
    DTS lost to ES and any sane person would know that.
    STS vs. GS is a draw. Both are losers.
    SRX lost to RX and again any sane person would know that.
    Caddy has nothing against LS.

    Trust me. I have been in a Buick before and saw plenty of Skylark and Regal when they were still available. Buick is at most a Toyota competitor. It may be considered better than a Chevy, but definitely not better than a Toyota/Honda.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Add to my previous post:

    boyphenom666 may have stated how GM planned to position these brands. But the market has proven me correct.

    Oh yeah, G3 as a 3 fighter? Olds against Acura? You don’t know who you are and you don’t get to sell any!

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      We are talking how those brands were positioned within the GM hierarchy, not the poor execution that led to the ultimate muddling of the brands.

      Go back and read profiles of the typical Olds customer in the mid 1960′s. He was an engineer, tech or tech-saavy person who made a higher-than-average income. He wanted something nice, tech forward, with clean lines and without the gaudy features of a Buick or Cadillac. That sure sounds like the customer Acura is aiming for to me, GM just didn’t keep up with product that appealed to this customer.

      If you remember, the Cutlass was one of the top selling, and in some years THE top-selling car in America. Gosh, Ted Kennedy drove an Oldsmobile into Chappaquiddick Bay. Do you think a Kennedy is going to be driving around in something that didn’t have at least a little prestige?

      Again, you have to consider this all in the context of the 1960′s, where rotary phones, vinyl seats, keypunch, cassette tapes and primitive color TV sets were considered technological innovations. In hindsight, we can look at product distinctions and say they were no big deal, but at that time and place, the nicer styling, the better fabric and the Olds Rocket Engine were a very big deal.

      These distinctions were rendered meaningless over time as cars got better and as GM stuck to their old bag of tricks and failed to evolve into a manufacturer that made substantive more distinctions between the products. I think GM is doing that today. The Malibu, the Lacrosse and the CTS are all similar-sized vehicles but I don’t think anybody is going to be confused that they are essentially the same car. That wasn’t the case from about 1968 forward where there were few substantive differences between Pontiacs, Buicks, Oldsmobiles, Chevrolets and Cadillacs.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I find the exterior styling ok if a bit BMW stark/bland, especially the overly plain unadorned sides with the Nike swoosh a poor substitute for a well designed character line or bodyside molding. Making a near 30 grand smaller sized Buick 4 cylinder only will surely turn off buyers as will overly hard Germanic seats and that terrible black lung depressing dark interior. Most Buick buyers I know want lighter colored interiors with wood tone accents and chrome, comfortable soft seats and a flashy exterior with a smooth V6 burbling away underhood. It seems as if GM is trying to turn poor old Buick into both a Saab and Pontiac replacement over night with import designs, Buick quality and name, Germanic stark exteriors and interiors and hard European seats and suspension all tied together with economy car/CUV power plants. It will be intresting to see how such a mish mash of Global bits fit together when it’s time to tally up the sales.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Bring back the 425 dual quad nailhead! Just kidding…sort of.

    Actually this sounds like a decent car for the money. Seems a bit underpowered.

    So, is decent enough?

  • avatar
    boyphenom666

    As of this post, this thread will have 122 comments. Pretty active thread.

    I agree that muscular is not what Buick is generally known as, but for those who think Buick can’t be muscular, I have another Oldsmobile link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfixsjM8V78

    (Interesting picture at 1:56 of the Berejik Oldsmobile Performance Parts Store)

    Let’s also not forget that Honda Civics don’t exactly have a race car heritage, either, but souped up versions (“rice burners”) were very popular not too long ago.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      DO remember…

      Im young enough to know that Impala’s used to race..

      Heck Superbirds used to race..

      But that whole concept of NASCAR is a void argument BECAUSE.. they cant accurately show those buyers ACTUALLY buying the respected brands.. because of their involvement in NASCAR.

      —————–

      As far as “rice burning Civics”… there isnt anything wrong with a hot sport compact, in theory of course.

      Put 01 Civic hatch Type R from Canada.. against an older AE86… and the Toyota.. SPANKS it.. doing laps DRIFTING…

      There isnt anything wrong with a sport compact in racing.. on tracks or w/e. But take that same concept.. and execute it on a 01 Civic 4dr.. with a wing on the back.. and its all kinds of retarded.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    With the exception of the grill, most of the pics in the article looked very “Acura” to me (not identical but the overall feel). The Buick grill is actually a massive improvement on that weird beak they stick on Acura vehicles these days. It looks like a nice car in my opinion.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      No offense to Michael Karesh, but I didn’t think the pictures did the 2011 Buick Regal any favors. I have seen a white and dark charcoal grey exterior Regals within the past few weeks. IMHO, they look like a combo of chiseled and curved. Curveled perhaps?

      I drove the piano black with chrome trim interior and it remindes me of my Saab 9-3 interior without the few pieces of wood trim. Even though I have parchment white on the lower dash and door trim and leather seats, the all black interior below the belt line didn’t leave me maudlin. Maybe it was the sunny day and the sunroof being open…

  • avatar

    I would be very interested in the Regal wagon if sold in the US, but tiny trunks rule out both the LaCrosse and Regal for me.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Just looking at that picture I noticed one thing that seems to be becoming common. One of TTAC’s reviewers noticed this on a Lincoln also. A vast grille, behind which a sheet of black plastic with a much smaller opening is clearly visible. I find that looks very shoddy and cheap.

  • avatar

    It looks as if Buick is following the same failed approach that Saturn implemented. This regal is simply a recreation of the failed Aura, and they are also coming up with another Astra clone. Does GM ever learn from history?

    Game..
    set..
    match..
    Buick is done.

  • avatar

    Everyone here knows with the new Regal Buick is sitting on a showroom bomb. This concept failed at Saturn and it will fail at Buick to.
    GM’s is beneath contempt.

    If Buick sells 16,000 of these turkeys I will be surprised.

  • avatar

    There is no chance this car is going to succeed. It is the truth and everyone knows it.

    Case-closed.

  • avatar
    Christy Garwood

    @geozinger, Thanks for the kind words and yes, the ride and drive on May 29 is in Howell, MI. All that is necessary is a valid driver’s license, no restrictions on the back. There is a sidewalk sale going on at the same time.

    @boyphenom666 No, you aren’t putting too much thought into this.
    you said “One of these days when I have more time I want to go up to Chesrown in Delaware (since they sell all 4 lines) and drive a Regal, a Lacrosse and a CTS and compare and contrast.

    BTW, whatever happened to those 24-hour test drives you were doing before? Do you still do those or are there any plans to do those again?”

    The Buick Regal and Lacrosse and the Cadillac CTS will all be in Howell, MI. It’s a little over 3.5 hours, mostly on US-23/ I-75. Get a room for the night in Ann Arbor maybe and take in the nightlife there…

    I have driven the Regal and Lacrosse, back to back, Regal first. I purposely hit the potholes and rough payment at around 45-50 MPH, and I could barely feel it in either car. The seats felt fine to me, but I don’t think my backside is as finely tuned as Karesh’s LOL. The headrest issue in the Regal was solved for me by leaning the seat back a tad, just like I do in the Saab. I have driven the CTS Wagon and that handled as well as the Regal. The Lacrosse is just a bit less agile, IMHO. For me, it rolled a tad bit more in the corners like when a boat rocks at the dock in a no wake zone; not much, but different.

    For me to contact you, I think you need to send Edward or Paul Niedermeyer a note asking to forward your email to me. RF did that a few times before for others. I don’t believe we will have any Ride and Drives in Columbus, OH. Lordstown or Parma maybe someday. I don’t have a clue what happened to the 24 hour test drives, but I can ask around.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Christy: Back at ya! Is there a schedule of ride and drives somewhere? Are there any clinics slated for the Western Michigan? I live in the Grand Rapids area. Coincidentally, I’m from the Youngstown, OH area and am frequently in the Cleveland area, too. Parma and Lordstown would be other places along the way for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      @geozinger Yes there is a schedule of free, no pressure, ride and drives for manufacturing and assembly plants for 2010. After June 4, there will be fleets of about 28 models in Lansing Delta Township and Lansing Grand River. Please send me an email (go to gm.com and look at our execs to figure out my email address please, or send a note to EN asking to forward me a note with your email, thanks) so I can give you more specifics.

      Defiance, Toledo, and Parma are past. Lordstown starts 9/27 thru Oct. Thanks for the interest!

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      Looks like GM has embedded PR into TTAC

  • avatar
    milanowner

    I have been wondering about ordering the Regal since the only engine available right now is the 2.4 Ecotec 4-Cyl. normally aspirated. After driving the Regal CXL (at Lunghamer in Waterford) with the 2.4 Cyl. I was mildly surprised at how responsive it was. It did have a little hesitation in acceleration from a standing start but then accelerated smoothly for a 3,600 lb. car with a 4-Cyl. engine. I did not drive it on the highway but the ride and handling in the test drive was much smoother, solid and more responsive than my Mercury Milan Premier. The cabin is much quieter than the Milan also. I can’t speak to the Acura/Honda/Toyota/Audi comparison because I am not that familiar with those brands. The interior design of the Regal(in my opinion) is far superior to Fusion/Milan. The exterior design I would describe as a sedan with a coupe silouhette and the exterior design of the Fusion/Milan….very bland. This may be stating the obvious but I thought I needed to mention it. My previous vehicles were Saturn Aura and Saab 9-3. This Regal is far and away a much better overall vehicle than those.
    As far as ordering a Regal I will be ordering a Regal with the Cashmere/Light Cocoa interior. If Ford would extend my lease I would order a Turbo version! But I will enjoy this car for a couple of years and then? Maybe a V-6 Turbo AWD?

    • 0 avatar
      Christy Garwood

      Thanks for ordering a Buick. It is always good to hear about someone buying one. I hope you enjoy it!

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      That’s a pretty quick 180 you just did. In one of your other posts you were really high on your Milan and slamming the Buick. Does this car give you a driving experience that’s more Camry/Accord/Fusion-level or more Acura TL/Lexus ES-Level?

      I agree with you about the Aura, though. I liked the styling (except for the front end) – again they did a good job getting back to the old clean lines GM used to be good at. But I test drove one and it didn’t really do anything for me. I didn’t think it was a bad car by any means, but I didn’t feel any sizzle while driving it.

      You also said: “The exterior design I would describe as a sedan with a coupe silouhette and the exterior design of the Fusion/Milan….very bland. You see, some of us are looking for that look. Lots of people say my TL is boring, but that’s what I like … clean lines with a little bit of a sporty flair (and flare) to it. I personally can’t stand the bulbous, pregnant look of most cars today (I think of the last Buick LeSabre and the Hyundai Sonata of about 2 models ago as examples). GM rode clean design liness to 50% market share in the 1960′s.

    • 0 avatar

      milanowner, just so you know… that queasy feeling in your stomach as you write the check for the Gov’t Motors Regal, is your better sense trying to stop you from making a Horrible Mistake.

      Oh well. You’ll realize that soon enough. Enjoy the Opel. Fortunately, Ford (remember, the ONLY domestic automaker that DIDN’T need a bailout) still has plenty of buyers to make up for the loss.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Rob Finfrock

      Technically..
      Ford didn’t take BAILOUT money, but THEY DID take money to build their hybrids, just like NISSAN.

      On top of GM and Chrapsler took piles of money on top of the bailout to give to their suppliers.. which never panned out either.

      Ford DID take an undisclosed SUM to guarantee they can get through the issues they were having THEN.

      Now..
      Ford is only better by GM and Chrapsler by a tiny margin.
      This is after they finish dealing with the lawsuits of the Exploder rollover issues, then they have to deal with the house fire issues with the cruise control modules from virtually every car built in the past 20yrs.

      I don’t give Ford a get-out-of-jail-free card..

      Honestly..
      Its going to take a coupla model cycles to get me to believe that a FORD vehicle is a quality vehicle. And no, ya don’t ADVERTISE it on TV.. and ya don’t count on Consumer Reports / Digest to do ya talking.

      Ya certainly don’t rely on those STUPID CONDESCENDING ads for virtually all of their vehicles. On top of my issues with the M.S product in a Ford vehicle.. and their still reliance on SUVS / CUVS. We’ve been WAITING on the Fiesta and a new FOCUS for coming on a DOZEN years.

      I still cant buy a (“midsized vehicle”== Accord from 05) FROM THEM, with a hatch, NO AWD — (dont need AWD with no SNOWS), NO HITCH (think Fusion with a hatch.)

      And its going to take YEARS for their ONE FORD system to unfurl.. and they still have NUMEROUS marketing and vehicle planning unification issues.. to deal with.

      SO no..
      Buying a Ford.. (because they didn’t “take money”) doesn’t get you a free pass.. it just doesn’t send you to the chair..

    • 0 avatar

      Fair point, Acc azda atch — but I’m not against funds loaned (or even granted) to an automaker in the name of developing and advancing new technologies. Which is exactly what Ford got.

      By comparison, Gov’t Motors and Fiasler got money to keep them in business — no other reason. “Our” government used OUR money to keep two failed, dying companies on life support. More accurately, they took our money to prop up a manipulative, corrupt union.

      I have a big problem with that, and I still do. No apologies. Further, I take issue with anyone and everyone who choses to support GM today. It’s particularly maddening when otherwise intelligent people decide to “support Amurika!” … and buy a Gov’t Motors car. That’s the exact opposite of what they should do, if they understood the principles America was founded upon.

      When the chance for failure is taken off the table, success means nothing.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Sorry if I missed this in the string but I’ve seen the Regal (just came in at the local dealer) and I’ve seen and driven a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Ltd. That’s a fair comparo in size, refined 4 cylinders, etc and the Hyundai will win the battle by $1,500 or so – not to even mention the warranty and excellent Hyundai materials.

    That’s the whole issue…When you get in the $25K to $35K range, there are so many quality picks, that you really need a differentiator. I don’t see that the Buick has that – other than (older) people that NEED a Buick.

    This will bring the median age down at the tri-shield but when you can get a loaded Hyundai Sonata for a lot less and slew of premium/luxury name plate cars for a little more, the Regal has a tough row to hoe…

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      I don’t want to seem like a toadie for Buick and I will reserve judgment until I drive the car, but I don’t think a Hyundai Sonata is supposed to be a direct comparison to the Regal. From what I’m reading, the Regal isn’t supposed to be too different from the Lacrosse (which is holding its own against the Lexus ES). That would make it a different animal than the Sonata, in theory.

    • 0 avatar
      Jackalope30

      “That’s the whole issue…When you get in the $25K to $35K range, there are so many quality picks, that you really need a differentiator.”

      Exactly. We wouldn’t have a problem if this car just came with a model that made 300hp. Whitcare must not want it to show up the LaCrosse (280hp max), but he needs to seriously get over it. This car has almost no cred as an Audi fighting sport sedan without meeting that critical benchmark, especially considering the glut of audi fighting sport sedans sitting on the market right now that DO meet that critical benchmark.

      “I don’t think a Hyundai Sonata is supposed to be a direct comparison to the Regal.”

      Get real, boyphenom666. GMs positioning of the regal as an audi fighter and the LaCrosse as a Lexus fighter HAS NOTHING AT ALL to do with buyers cross shopping these models strengths and weaknesses against other cars. If car X offers a similar or better experience to the regal for a few grand less then car X is a competitor to the Regal, regardless of GMs positioning of the Buick brand, ‘theory’ or no.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @Jackalope30

      lol … There’s such palpable hatred for GM on this board, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cringe at the closed-mindedness.

      Let’s see if we can follow this logically.

      1. Would you agree that a Honda Accord is a middle-of-the-road sedan, and competes in the same class as the Hyundai Sonata and Chevy Malibu? I say yes.

      2. Would you agree that a Honda is going to be a cut above a Hyundai Sonata and/or Chevy Malibu in terms of refinement, reputation, reliability and whatnot? I say yes, again.

      3. Would you agree that an Acura TL is going to be a cut above the Honda Accord, offering more content and more refinement? The answer is yes, again. Although the cars share some gear, they use a thicker gage of steel on the doors (trust me, an Acura is harder to dent), more sound deadening, and the door panels and upholstery are of a higher grade material.

      Don’t believe me? Ask the pickiest and one of the more cynical men I know, my father, who was amazed at the refinement of my TL versus his ’98 Accord. I will also say that his ’09 Accord has come closer to my TL, but it’s still not there.

      4. Would you agree that an Acura TL offers similar refinement to a Lexus ES? The answer is yes, although the TL is more of a driver’s car.

      5. Have you read the reviews and does the Buick Lacrosse compare favorable to the competition it targets? The answer, again, is yes.

      6. Is the Buick Regal cut from the same cloth as the Buick Lacrosse, both literally and figuratively? The answer is yes.

      So, we have established that the Acura TL and the Lexus ES are going to have more refinement and more content than your garden-variety sedan. We have established that Buick is targeting the high-content sedans as their competition. We have also established that Buick is getting reviews saying they are at or near the competition they are targeting.

      So how can you say that the Buick Regal is going to be the same thing as a Hyundai Sonata? I know what the Sonata is going to be, and it’s a knock off of my dad’s Accord, and although the Accord is a very good car, it is no Lexus ES or Acura TL!!! And this has nothing to do with market positioning, it has to do with how the actual car drives, feels, accelerates and sounds!!!

      I reserve judgment on the Regal until I’ve driven the car, however it’s hard for me to believe that GM is so stupid to try and pass off a car with the same driving dynamics as a Chevy Malibu as a premium Buick!!! And hell will freeze over before you get my in a Hyundai … I don’t care how cheap they are!!!

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      @Jackalope30

      And one last thing, if I as a Honda devotee for the last 27 years can open my mind enough to consider what GM is offering, I don’t see why you haters can’t do so. I’m used to driving best in class, and I still have an open enough mind to at least consider the Regal for what it is.

      Remember, they sold lots and lots of Buicks and Oldsmobiles in the old days by simply offering a “better” selection. They don’t have eight brands to feed anymore. Don’t you give someone over there enough to know that a Buick has to drive and feel different from the Malibu? Even our Mercury Milan buyer liked the car and you’re still going to compare it to the Sonata? lol

    • 0 avatar
      Jackalope30

      “So how can you say that the Buick Regal is going to be the same thing as a Hyundai Sonata?”

      Nice straw man you’ve got there. Too bad it, along with your long winded string of tangents and personal appeals to your fathers authority on sedans have NOTHING to do with whether or not we can compare a Regal to a Sonata and F.Y.I. we can.

      Write another novel if you want about whether one car cuts above another or what your father thinks of car X versus car Y and his personal pickyness or whatever and it will change nothing; if the Sonata and the Regal are similar enough (and they ARE) we can and WILL compare them to see if the Regal is worth buying over the Sonata. Get over it.

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      I guess it’s true that people who can’t argue point, or can’t understand basic logic, have to resort to attack. If you think a Hyundai Sonata or even a high trim Honda Accord is the same as a Lexus ES, then you ought to lay off the oxies.

    • 0 avatar
      Jackalope30

      “I guess it’s true that people who can’t argue point, or can’t understand basic logic, have to resort to attack. If you think a Hyundai Sonata or even a high trim Honda Accord is the same as a Lexus ES, then you ought to lay off the oxies.”

      And YOU need to grow a freakin’ brain. No one said anything remotely resembling ‘Regal = Sonata’. No one attacked you in the previous post or in this one, and for the record genius, nobody who REPEATS the same bloody strawman distortion of my argument to me after having it pointed out to them, while having the nerve to claim being hit with ad homenim attack where there was none has any business crowing on about ‘basic logic’ to anyone.

      ‘we can compare the Regal to the Sonata’ is not the same as ‘The sonata and the regal are one in the same’. Reading comprehension is fundamental. Try getting some before participating in a discussion forum, mmkay?

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      I know it makes a moron like you feel big to bash GM and bash other people who disagree with you, but read what the Autoextremist says about the Sonata after a three-day test drive:

      “…I spent three days with the 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE (in Pacific Blue Pearl with Gray Cloth) and I am still blown away. Not by its looks … Not by its features … Not by its performance, although it’s perfectly competent (noisy engine, however, and noisy overall on the highway). No, what I’m still blown away by is the price – $22,595. … This car for that price is damn impressive. …

      There should be no surprise any longer with the fact that Hyundai can build competitive, competently-executed vehicles. And the new Sonata is every bit that. But is it a world beater? In a word, no. It’s really good in a lot of areas but is it dramatically better than its competition? No. …”

      Loud? Cheap? Bargain priced? This does not sound like the market Buick is aiming for.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    Is it me or does that rear door look really low. I know I would hit my head or tear my ear off getting into that car. Back in the 90′s I got into the back seat of an olds Aurora and hit my head on the low slung roof. Why bother with four doors if two of them are useless. My 99 Deville had no such problem.

  • avatar
    milanowner

    Well it seems that GM and Buick still have a way to go to to change the perception of “American” brand cars. I can remember hearing about the “rust bucket” Japanese imports back in the 60′s and 70′s. Back then it was the German iports that were thought to be superior in design and quality but also in price. Then in the 80′s and 90′s it was the superior quality of the Japanese imports when American brands went to platform vanilla cars. Now in 00′s and 10′s it seems to be the superior quality and pricing of the Korean cars. Let’s face it price is king right now with the economy as in the Sonata SE you get leather trim with cloth inserts and in the Sonata LE (?) you get full leather seating but not the perormance option. If both were offered on the same model (which I prefer) the price of that model Sonata would then be about the price of the base Regal.
    Everyone has different preferences and loyalties in brands but evrything is pretty much the same except for the quality perception of the “American” brands. Most parts suppliers manufacture all over the world and are used by many different OE’s and the cars themselves are manufactured in North America and the rest of the world. So let’s lose the perception of “American” brand quality being inferior. I hope everyone has an opportunity to drive this car with an open mind and not expect it to be some thing it isn’t.
    The Regal offers the amenities I want at a reasonable price. As for being an import from Germany when the Regal is built over “here” next year it will be in Oshawa, Ont., Canada. North America not in the U.S. However, the Oshawa plant has had very good quality ratings on the vehicles built there.
    As far as GM being Government Motors (don’t forget Union Motors as well) that is a completely different discussion. I also considered another Milan and the new Taurus.

    • 0 avatar

      Your Regal will still be an import, milanowner, if you’re foolish enough to order the first-year model. (And it appears you are.) Further, it’s an import from a bleeding German automaker, with a Chinese transmission to boot.

      Nah, no risk there. I’m sure it will prove to be a quality product! (But you may want to research issues with GM’s ChiCom-built 3.4L V6 first.)

      While I agree with your point about worldwide parts suppliers, that only means your Regal will be just as “Amurikan!” as the Hyundai. Wait, make that slightly less-so. At least the Sonata is built on US soil.

  • avatar
    boyphenom666

    @ All GM and Chrysler Haters

    Your points are well-taken but they are misguided. The concept of “creative destruction” and darwinist capitalism is no different than the concept of sunk costs.

    I’m sure many of you went to college and your finance professors taught you that you should never look at sunk costs. That’s all great when you use investor money, but that’s not what most people do in their personal lives. In other words, it’s the difference between savings and consumption, with savings being trying to conserve an asset you have and consumption analogous to the sunk cost theory of throwing things out and writing off the asset.

    The auto industry is unique in that there are huge barriers to entry. If Kmart closes, no big deal because their place will be taken by someone else. By allowing Chrysler and GM to shut down, you are essentially throwing away all the intellectual property, engineering, brand names, ways of doing business, etc. that are part of any country.

    Yes, had GM and Chrysler gone under, a foreign company would be taking their market share. But by allowing this to happen, we are giving away more of our wealth to foreign companies and continuing our decline from a nation that used to make things to one that shuffles paper.

    Put another way, the last 30 years of thought (much of which I bought into) needs to be re-thought.(Jeffrey Immelt of GE said similar things as what I’ve felt for awhile.) Germany considers VW and Mercedes to be national assets they would never let go down the tubes. In fact, Germany owns 20% of VW. Germany is the most prosperous nation in Europe and gives us a run for the money.

    I’m not for putting unhealthy companies such as British Leyland on life support. But if they can be salvaged, we need to start looking at some things as no different than a precious resource that should be conserved instead of thrown out with the old newspaper.

    A lot of people have lost good jobs and a lot of people on Wall Street have made obscene fortunes because we haven’t taken a conservationist approach. I think it’s time we started thinking more along these lines … kind of a “green” approach if you think about it.

    Get my drift?

    • 0 avatar

      Alright, let’s run with your two main premises.

      “I’m sure many of you went to college and your finance professors taught you that you should never look at sunk costs. That’s all great when you use investor money, but that’s not what most people do in their personal lives. In other words, it’s the difference between savings and consumption, with savings being trying to conserve an asset you have and consumption analogous to the sunk cost theory of throwing things out and writing off the asset.”

      Valid point, but I (and many other self-proclaimed Gov’t Motors “haters”) would argue the difference here is each individual has the right to dictate whether said asset is worth their own personal financial risk. That choice was removed from our hands with the bailouts, yet it was our money wasted/invested.

      Had the question of whether to save GM and Chryler been put to a public vote, we likely would not be discussing the merits of the bailout today as it would probably not have occurred. Obviously we disagree whether that would have been a positive or negative outcome.

      “By allowing Chrysler and GM to shut down, you are essentially throwing away all the intellectual property, engineering, brand names, ways of doing business, etc. that are part of any country.”

      We’d be giving up the ability to make trucks. That’s pretty much it. I’m obviously very willing to make that sacrifice… if for no other reason there are too goddamn many Tahoes, Escalades, and Silverados taking up space on our roads anyway.

      GM and Chrysler have already run overseas for their car lines, with the realization they both cannot bring to market viable American-sourced alternatives for mainstream products. Tell me, what “intellectual property” would really be lost there, that hasn’t already vanished?

      Here’s the bottom line. Stupidity should be painful. There’s no question GM and Chrysler were both very “stupid” with their past business practices… and yet, they have both been allowed to continue with many of those same practices today.

      Redundant models competing against same-brand products, check.

      The return of “sci-fi” special financing, allowing people who shouldn’t be allowed to buy a new car to do so anyway. Check.

      Allowing the UAW to dictate terms of employment, and even core business practices. Double-quadruple-times-infinity check!

      Gov’t Motors hasn’t been subject to the appropriate level of pain for its past misdeeds, which means it hasn’t really learned anything. As a consequence of our enabling behavior, GM and Chrysler will keep putting their hands on the stove, as we haven’t turned up the burners enough to make an impression.

      Fine. If that’s the case, so be it — I’ll never buy a GM or Chrysler, no one I know plans to buy one, so it matters not one whit to me whether others are foolish enough to do so.

      But let’s not delude ourselves into thinking their behavior is healthy, and noble.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      ROB FINROCK:

      Thank you..

      You hit the nail SQUARELY on the head.
      I cant tell you.. how many times in the past year.. that any advertisement of GM or Chrapsler has blown my blood pressure.

      I wont get into my hatred for both companies.
      Absolute
      DOWNRIGHT
      H A T R E D.

      And ya don’t give that up with a model cycle.
      ya don give that up with a rebate.

      Ya stay on sites like this.. to LEARN more about the F’B.S that goes on at GM.

      And as my wife has heard me scream.. from the roof tops.. and every time my FOX HOUND hears it.. he howls…

      Id rather drive a 20yr old Accord wagon.. with a blown trans and a bad rear main seal..

      THAN EVER DRIVE A GM / CHRYSLER vehicle.. EVER in my lifetime.

      (Then again.. Toyota has E A R N E D my hatred.. and when I mean HATRED. I mean H A T R E D and total DISRESPECT.)

    • 0 avatar
      boyphenom666

      I agree with most of what you wrote, including the part about GM and the union not having had to suffer enough pain and learn their lesson. But here’s how I look at it: Let’s say you or I are generally productive people going through a rough patch and the downturn forced us to basically lose everything. Let’s also say we are both about 55 years old.

      There’s an argument for saying, “Tough — you should have thought of that before you took on the debt.” But are you and I or even the economy better off because a financial blip forced us to get upside down in our finances? Especially when instead of normal retirement for an otherwise productive person we are now forced to live in an apartment and be the Walmart greeter?

      The flip side is if you or I were irresponsible our entire lives. Should anybody save us? NO.

      I’m no bleeding heart, I just was taught to guard what you have with your life!!! You can argue that if GM and the unions had this mentality, they wouldn’t need a government bailout and that is a fair point. You can also they are the irresponsible people in the previous paragraph who didn’t deserve to be saved. I still think our national economy has a stake in this one and it wasn’t such a bad thing to help them get over the hump and preserve these assets.

      I will repeat what I said in the earlier post. Something’s wrong out there. Never before in the history of man have such obscene fortunes been made shuffling paper. I believe it’s because the game is rigged and a small number of people are being enriched at the expense of the rest of us, whether it’s through our system of laws and tax incentives or whether it’s through abject dishonesty in that industry. I consider myself conservative, but you have to open your eyes. Remember California’s energy crisis 10 years ago and how it came out that the power supply was being manipulated by Enron (taking down plants for “maintenance” during peak usage). Remember $4.50 gasoline a few years ago? Again, speculators. The obscene wealth is coming from somewhere and that somewhere is from you and me.

      So I’m okay throwing a bone to them to conserve good paying jobs because they are needed in this economy. I’m also okay with neutering the unions so they don’t have so much power over their employers anymore.

  • avatar
    boyphenom666

    Rob, I don’t want to veer too much into politics, but this video may may interest you. It’s Gary Hemminger, a VP at Marathon Oil explaining what led to $4.50 gasoline:

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    I think that GM should have kept Pontiac instead of Buick and GMC. The old and respected Buick nameplate has outlived it’s usefulness in today’s world, pretty much like oldsmobile. With the exception of a few cars, like the Grand Sport and Grand nationals the Buick nameplate will always have that stigma as an elderly person’s car, and that doesn’t cut it in today’s world.

  • avatar

    This is the wrong car, at the wrong time, and at the wrong price. Let’s not even get into the fact it only offers v4 engines. This car will fail for the same reason the Astra failed for Saturn. Does GM really now think US consumers have the same preferences as their European counterparts.

    I give this car about 700 days until it fades away.

    GM – sigh………


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