By on January 23, 2014

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Exterior

In my mind, Volkswagens used to be the “Euro Buick.” Positioned one note above the mass market rabble,  VW’s Passat shared parts with Audi’s A4, while the Touareg and Phaeton were luxury cars with a mass market logo on the hood. Then Volkswagen decided this was the wrong strategy for them, so they repositioned VW as the German alternative to Toyota and Chevrolet. This left a gaping hole in the market for shoppers looking to step into a European near-luxury vehicle that flew under the radar. And then Buick stepped in.Buick’s Opel-based product offensive has transformed the brand from Barcalounger wheels for the octogenarian, to a window into the soul of GM’s German brand. This transformation isn’t an easy one as Buick’s problem wasn’t just blue-haired buyers and slinky-soft springs. Buick is the penultimate middle child. Jammed between Chevrolet and Cadillac, brand B’s mission is to give Chevy buyers something to aspire to and Cadillac buyers something to graduate from.

YouTube Preview Image

Exterior

When you say “Regal GS” my mind immediately leaps to the fourth-generation Regal (2nd generation W-body) with the supercharged 3.8L V6. When I was car shopping in 2000 I dearly wanted a Regal GS but there were two problems: Buick’s grandmotherly image and the price tag. As a result I bought an entirely different old person car: a Chrysler LHS. But I digress. This GS is an entirely different beast. Buick’s latest middle child is none other than Opel’s largest sedan, the Insignia. Refreshed for the 2014 model year, the differences between the Insignia and the Regal are most pronounced on the exterior where a Buick waterfall grille and logo have been inserted into the same opening as the Opel and ventiports have been added to the hood. And… that’s about it.

Two things are obvious when looking at the Buick Regal: it was designed in Europe and it was designed to to be both a Buick and an Opel from the start. Rather than looking out of place (like the Chrysler 300 to Lancia Thema transition) the Regal looks “meant to be.” Although the Regal is related to the Chevy Malibu, there’s essentially no exterior resemblance. The Regal GS I spent a week in gets the tweaked front and rear bumpers from Opel’s Insigia OPC model which ditches the foglamps for extra ventilation and integrates the exhaust tips into the rear bumper cover. Circling back around to those ventiports: I still think they look silly, but thankfully the Regal has the right number (four) and they are smaller and less conspicuously placed than on other Buick models I could mention.

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Interior-003

Interior

2014 brings a new interior to the Regal based around a standard 8-inch touchscreen and new center console. Although you will still find a few hard plastics in the cabin, overall materials quality has improved and is firmly competitive with the Volkswagen CC, Audi A4 and Acura TL. Most cabin touch points feel more premium than the more expensive Lexus ES but the Volvo S60/S80 still lead the segment. Non-GS shoppers can opt for a handsome two-tone interior that combines a brown steering wheel and upper dash with a light grey/tan seats and carpet which would be my preference. GS models however are stuck with a very Germanic black-on-black theme. Part of the GS package is an 8-inch LCD instrument cluster and a chunkier steering wheel with sport grips, soft leather and a flat bottom. The disco dash is not as configurable as Chrysler’s 7-inch unit but the graphics are more modern and the system allows you full access to your media device, something uConnect still lacks.

For reasons unknown Buick chose not to borrow the Recaro seats found in the Insignia OPC, opting instead for more aggressively bolstered versions of the standard seat design. This may be because Buick owners are less likely to need the 5-point harness design, but it is most likely because we Americans are fatter so fewer of us would fit in the narrow seats. My 6-foot and slightly overweight frame fit snugly and comfortably in the front seats but the ceiling in the rear of the Regal proved too low for me to sit without cocking my head to the side. The lack of rear seat headroom was disappointing because the Regal offers several inches more rear leg room than the RWD Cadillac ATS and CTS and three inches more than the Volvo S60 and S80.

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Buick Link

Infotainment

Like the LaCrosse, the Regal and the Opel Insignia now uses a modified version of Cadillac’s CUE. For reasons I don’t understand however, Buick doesn’t get Opel’s interesting touchpad with “finger writing” recognition that Opel has been advertising across the pond. I’m guessing this is so that Buick doesn’t step on Cadillac’s toes. Compared to CUE there are a few other changes for Buick-duty. The expensive glass capacitive touchscreen (looks like a modern smartphone) is swapped for a resistive unit that isn’t as crisp or as glare reducing and we have physical buttons for some system features, a marked improvement over Cadillac’s touchscreen only interface. Aside from these charges, the majority of CUE remains.

Like Ford’s MyFord Touch system, IntelliLink is sluggish in general and sometimes totally unresponsive. The software also suffers from unintuitive menu layouts and old-school mapping software that doesn’t jive with the system’s high-resolution screen. Like CUE, some multi-touch gestures are supported, but the different touchscreen is less able to decipher your intent leading to some frustrating moments. On the bright side, CUE’s selling points remain. The system’s voice command system features natural language commands and instead of treating the USB ports as separate inputs, the system aggregates them into one large music library allowing you to voice command songs without specifying the device.

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Engine 2.0L Turbo-001

Drivetrain

Nestled sideways under the hood is the same 2.0L direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine that the Cadillac ATS and CTS use. Good for 259 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of twist, this is the same engine that you find in the “regular Regal.” That’s right, no longer does “GS” stand for “more power.” This means the GS looses 11 ponies vs 2013 but the turbo Regal gains 39 vs 2013. To differentiate things, GM does alter the torque curve to deliver all 295 twists at 2,500 RPM instead of 3,000 in the non-GS model. GM hasn’t completely ruled out the 325 horse 2.8L twin-turbo V6 the Insignia OPC uses for the American market, but I’d call it a long shot.

GS shoppers can choose either a 6-speed manual transaxle or a 6 speed automatic, but if you want the optional Haldex AWD system you’re forced to select the auto.  Although the GS uses the same AWD system as the regular Regal AWD, the engineers tossed in an electronically controlled limited slip rear differential. GS trims also bump the suspension up a notch by combining GM’s HiPer Strut technology with active dampers on all four corners. The suspension offers three modes: normal, sport and GS. The feel ranges from European family sedan to firm.

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Gauges-001

Drive

GM’s HiPer Strut suspension is designed to bring the steering axis more in line with the tire centerline, something you typically find in rear-wheel drive cars. Aligning the axis more closely results in better tracking, less torque steer and a front tire with a more consistent camber across the suspension’s travel. Versus the outgoing model, the front tires contact patch is improved in corners when the front suspension is loaded resulting in higher grip. Coupled with an AWD system that sends 50% of the power to the rear under hard acceleration, we get the first Buick in a long time with virtually zero torque steer.

The downside to the trendy new steering knuckle design is feel. Steering is very precise but suffers from the same Novocaine-laced feedback as everything else out there with electric power steering. Despite a 58/42 F/R weight distribution, the Regal GS has impeccable manners up to 9/10ths, where it starts to lose composure. Trouble is, without steering feedback it’s hard to tell where 9/10ths is located. In contrast, the Volvo S60 T6 AWD and S80 T6 AWD offer less grip but more feel.

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Exterior-007

Driving a FWD Regal back to back with our AWD tester, I kept thinking “there’s just something I dislike about the FWD model”. As it turns out, there is a reason the FWD Regal felt unsettled in the rear over broken pavement, the AWD model gets an entirely different “H-Link” independent rear suspension. Coupled with the active dampers, the Regal felt well composed on a variety of road surfaces despite being tuned firmer than the rest of the American and Swedish competition. Rather than being the softest entry in the segment, the GS is among the firmer.

Put your foot to the floor and the GS will run to 60 in 6.7 seconds, exactly the same as the W-Body Regal GS I remember with fond memories. The difference is, the W-Body’s torque steer made the car feel like it was part car, part carnival ride. The 2014 model tracks straight and true with zero drama all the way to a 15.2 second 1/4 mile. Stacking this up with the competition, the Regal is notably slower than the Cadillac CTS/ATS 2.0T and Volvo’s S60 T5 AWD; and a hair slower than the 3.7L Lincoln MKZ, Lexus ES 350 and Acura TL. Despite similar power figures, the Volvo ran to 60 nearly 7/10ths faster which caused me to question my numbers. However, a loaner provided by a local dealer confirmed my findings. The reason seems rooted both in the GS’ gear ratios and the more advantageous torque curve from Volvo’s funky 5-cylinder.

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Exterior-010

At $37,830 starting, $40,195 with AWD and $44,975 full-loaded, the Regal undercuts the Volvo S60 T5 AWD and Acura TL by a couple thousand across the board (comparably equipped) and is more than $5,000 cheaper than the Lexus ES depending on your configuration. The Acura TL is in its final year of production and is, as you would assume, outclassed by the Regal in most ways. The recently refreshed Volvo delivers better road feel and a slightly more premium interior at the expense of more cash and less grip. The Lexus ES suffers from soft springs, an uncompetitive interior and steep price tag.

Over 611 miles I managed a reasonable 22.1 MPG in the GS which bests the real-world numbers from the V6 competition but comes short of the turbo Caddy and Swede. Why do I keep coming back to Cadillac? Because as hard as GM has tried to keep Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac from stepping on each other’s toes, the Regal GS is about the same price as the 2014 Cadillac ATS. It’s hard enough to go up against what is probably the second best vehicle GM has ever produced, but it is made doubly hard when there are so many combined Buick/Cadillac dealers. This means you’ll frequently find the Regal GS next to a sharp handling Caddy is on the same lot. Trickier still is the base Cadillac CTS which is slightly cheaper than a loaded GS, and, you guessed it: is often parked right next to the Buick.  Buick seems to have finally gotten the hang of being the middle child and in the process they have given not only Chevy owners but Volkswagen owners something to aspire to. That said, I’d be hard pressed to choose the Regal over an ATS 2.0T.

 

GM provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gas for this review.

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.67 Seconds

0-60: 6.7 Seconds

1/4 Mile:15.2 Seconds @ 93 MPH

Average observed fuel economy: 22.1 MPG over 611 miles

Interior sound level at 50 MPH: 68.5 dB @ 50 MPH

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

114 Comments on “Review: 2014 Buick Regal GS AWD (With Video)...”


  • avatar
    anti121hero

    For some reason it looks like a 2006 chevy impala to me. So bland, I would never notice this thing in traffic or a parking lot. And am I the only one who thinks that chrome strip on the rear is hideous? That one Buick has chrome strip above each taillight and it always makes me think of eyebrows. It’s bad that I can’t even discern between Buick models.but alas, my friend drove a 2013 one of these for a while and said it was a blast

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The ATS is a much smaller car when compared to the Regal. I’d probably prefer to ride in the rear of the roomier Regal. But then there is the weight of the 2013 GS, add in AWD and automatic and it has got to be close to 4,000 lbs?

    Regardless, the AWD setups are nuetered heavily in torque management. Trifecta saw 150 wheel horsepower and a tune on the ecu and tcu(transmission) added about 100 horsepower….for $300!

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I don’t know the specifics, but you do have to consider a few things when it comes to automakers “neutering” or under-rating their cars’ performance specs. At least for the former topic, cars are sometimes tuned-down in order to meet certain fuel-economy standards. And a person buying a Buick sort of expects that he/she won’t be paying the same insurance costs as those of a German sport-sedan, so there’s a reason to report lower metrics than the car actually is capable of, or to de-tune it outright. Lastly, consider longevity. The Buick buyer *also* expects his/her car to last longer than a finicky Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz. So your extra 100-or-so horsepower may be accessible, but the powertrain may not be sustainable at those performance levels in the long run, whereas gentler tuning allows the powertrain to last much longer, and is considered an acceptable compromise since most people probably won’t be flogging these cars or wringing every ounce of available power out of them anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      Right – the ATS backseat is incredibly tiny. CTS is not much better. What’s the point of a luxury car if it’s NOT the one your friends want to take on a long drive?

  • avatar
    TheOtherLew

    Oxymoron du jour: “penultimate middle”. (Yes, I know, strictly speaking, it’s not really even an oxymoron, just gibberish …)

  • avatar
    cattronic

    SO many spelling and grammar errors…
    You would think you would proof read it at least once?

  • avatar
    wmba

    Don’t like centrepoint steering axes because the inside edge of the tire is going backwards relative to the pivot point, while the outside edge is going forward. Hello tire squirm. Probably only a problem in my mind.

    Still not a fan of that GM 2.0t. With 3800 lbs of AWD Buick to haul and a claimed 295 lb-ft with a six speed, it can hardly outrun a Honda Accord with the new DI four NA engine, 3300lbs and 185 lb-ft. As Car and Driver said, it’s a bit slow in the ATS as well, getting slam dunked by a BMW N20 in the 328i.

    Cannot really see the point of this car.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Exactly. It seems to have been an exercise in reusing Opel designs and Opel unused capacity, but then they inexplicably started assembling it in NA.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The real strength of the Regal, as with all GM’s Opel offerings, is the premium level NVH and especially the premium level ride quality over any road surface – so much so, that it absolutely rivals anything from BMW. There’s something about the way that Opel designs its chassis’ and incorporates beefy rubber bushings and compliant shocks/struts that gives a premium Germanic ride quality.

        In fact, it’s my opinion that the Regal shames both the ATS & CTS in terms of ride quality on anything less than glassy smooth roadways.

        Of course, Alex fails to delve into this critical detail of the Regal’s attributes, as is so often the case.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Dear Dead,

          Agree about the Regal’s excellent ride-handling compromise.

          As for Alex… for God’s sake, give it up already.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’m doing a full mea culpa regarding my comment that Alex didn’t delve into the ride quality & characteristics of the Regal – in fact, he did.

            I hurriedly read through this review and missed what was actually fairly detailed comments Alex gave about ride quality.

            So, my bad.

            With that said, I disagree with Alex when he states the ATS has a better ride, but this is subjective, the Regal is fwd while the ATS is rwd, and I prefer the less harsh ride the Regal provides over anything less than ideal road surfaces compared to the ATS.

            It’s a shame that the Regal wasn’t a rwd vehicle, because it would be preferable to many German-badged vehicles (even though the Regal is more German in design than not) that actually cost more.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        RE “They inexplicably started assembling it in NA”:

        It’s really pretty explicable. Assembling it in North America for North American sale greatly improves its chances of being sold at a profit.

  • avatar
    eManual

    I was seriously thinking of stopping by the Buick Dealer to check out the Regal with a stick. After reading “the ceiling in the rear of the Regal proved too low for me to sit without cocking my head to the side” I knew that would kill the deal.
    Why do car designers insist on the such sharp roof lines? How about 4 full size adults in comfort for for any mid-size or larger sedan? Or even better, a hatchback design like my 1987 Dodge Lancer?

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      “After reading ‘the ceiling in the rear of the Regal proved too low for me to sit without cocking my head to the side’ I knew that would kill the deal.”

      Well, did you try it out? I would consider reviewers’ remarks, but I wouldn’t take them as gospel. If I really wanted the car, I’d march down to the dealership and at least try and see if I/my family could fit into it.

      • 0 avatar
        eManual

        Kyree, even though I’m between 5’9″ and 5’10′, I hit the ceiling more often than many who are taller. My comment was entered before I heard the video, where Alex mentioned that his Regal GS had a sunroof, which I never would purchase. So I might fit in the back, but I still doubt it, due to the roof slope as Alex shows in the video.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “Why do car designers insist on the such sharp roof lines?”

      Most people don’t ride around in the back of their own cars.

      On any given day on any highway in America 99% of cars will have only one at the very most 2 occupants.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The interior would kill the deal for me at $40k. It doesn’t look up to par. I’m sure the brown/grey one is better though. But still $40k!

  • avatar
    S197GT

    Alex that first paragraph was pretty insightful. I tend to agree with it though I don’t know (and I don’t think you are saying) that the execs at Buick consciously saw the opening left by VW and went for it. It just sort of happened.

    I could actually see a neat advertising program where Buick, though a domestic car brand embraces it’s German influence. Imagine a commercial where an American and German engineer are going over the designs of a new car. The American is saying, “We need more power!” and a video of the GS is doing burnouts (AWD so in the dirt of course…) and the German is like, “We need more grip!” and the GS is snaking through the cones or some twisty road… The American is in the back seat yelling, “We need more space!” and the German is measuring fender gaps yelling, “We need less space!”

    And then they say in unison “We need better fuel mileage!” Then look to each other, surprised, and shake hands… or something corny like that… BAM, the Regal GS, the best of American and German engineering.

    Embrace the world economy.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Checked it out at the Houston car show last night. What I didn’t like is the steering wheel. The spokes are too big to allow griping the wheel. Also the salesman didn’t want to help me find a manual to test drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Interestingly, the GS no longer has its own steering wheel, so it seems. Previously, the regular Regal had a four-spoke design that was shared with the LaCrosse, Terrain and Equinox…and probably something else. But the GS got a three-spoke, which was basically shared with the Verano and which probably was a variation of the wheel in the Volt, Malibu, Camaro…and marginally the Cruze and Sonic. And that previous three-spoke had a thicker bottom spoke, but perhaps thinner side-spokes than this new one. Overall, a steering wheel is a more interesting detail to me than it is to most people.

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      It’s gripping, not griping the steering wheel.

      Although I guess some find something to gripe about.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Because as hard as GM has tried to keep Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac from stepping on each other’s toes, the Regal GS is about the same price as the 2014 Cadillac ATS.”

    I would say they are doing a better job than some realize as those are two completely different kinds of cars, despite some of the things you named I’m not sure they are in direct competition. Ex E46 owners and RWD fanatics aren’t looking at the Regal, and ex Japanese FWD stick fanatics and the traditional FWD crowd aren’t shopping RWD Alpha.

    “The lack of rear seat headroom was disappointing because the Regal offers several inches more rear legroom than the RWD Cadillac ATS and CTS and three inches more than the Volvo S60 and S80.”

    Here is a depressing fact, this Regal has 0.3in rear leg room LESS than the much maligned W-Impala, a car criticized for small interior dimensions despite being so large. I own a W-body and for years we used a W-body as the official lunch car to drive four full size (6 foot) adults around Cranberry. The rear seat room in the 2004 Grand Prix were barely adequate for the size of the four passengers and I would not recommend long trips for full size adults in its rear seat. So now GM comes out with an Opel clearly intended for Europeans, with less leg room than a W-body, and has the gaul to charge up to $37,000 for it as a sedan. Regal could make a great midsize coupe, its too small to be a sedan, along with ATS and Volvo’s S60 which are both guilty of the same problem. Especially so when Verano gives you 34.3 in of rear legroom. What is the point of having rear doors if you cannot carry normal sized American around in it for any length of time (or child seats for that matter)?

    MY13 Regal:

    rear headroom (inches): 36.8, rear hip room (inches): 52.3, rear leg room (inches): 37.3, rear shoulder room (inches): 54.4 and interior volume (cu ft): 96.8

    http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2013/buick/regal/specifications/interior.html#ixzz2rEY3axKE

    MY13 Impala W Body

    rear headroom (inches): 37.8, rear hip room (inches): 57.2, rear leg room (inches): 37.6, rear shoulder room (inches): 58.6 and interior volume (cu ft): 104.5

    http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2013/chevrolet/impala/specifications/interior.html#ixzz2rEYzo2q5

    MY13 Verano

    Internal dimensions: front headroom (inches): 38.3, rear headroom (inches): 37.8, front hip room (inches): 53.7, rear hip room (inches): 51.9, front leg room (inches): 42.0, rear leg room (inches): 34.3, front shoulder room (inches): 55.1, rear shoulder room (inches): 52.9 and interior volume (cu ft): 95.0

    http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2014/buick/verano/specifications/interior.html#ixzz2rEbMgMLj

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      There you go. The Regal and S60, which I would consider to be direct competitors, are borderline compact, even though they are classified as mid-sized. As for the Impala, I agree that it wasn’t that roomy—having sat in the back of a rental 2013 LTZ—and a lot of that was down to how unnecessarily-thick the front seats were. Fortunately the Super Epsilon configuration is miles better and actually constitutes a full-sized sedan.

      And although they compete in some of the same space, I do think that there’s enough of a separation between the Regal and the ATS that they really shouldn’t even be considered competitors by a competent person. They are two completely different experiences. The smartly-designed Regal, which offers performance and sportiness that flies under the radar, is more up my alley than the flashy, angular ATS…which to me makes too many packaging and comfort compromises in an effort to emulate an E46 3-Series…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Pch101 wisely points out from time to time auto mfgs needs to make money on their product. I look a Regal and S60 and to be honest for the right price used they might be considered (prob Volvo over Buick as my mechanic is a Volvo indy). Although there is a mindset out there that “I don’t buy my cars by the pound” those folks are just as much as a minority as the brown turbo diesel wagon crowd. Average American buyers will look at the potential price tag, see no rear seat, and many of them will ask the same questions. Can the kids fit back their if they have a growth spurt? Can I fit a car seat? Can I get Mom/Dad in and out of there and would they be comfortable? Both cars were designed by Europeans, for Europeans and it shows. Volvo and Buick potentially could count on the FWD stick crowd, and Volvo perhaps a bit on its heritage, but these folks are a minority as well (unless Volvo dropped the stick I’m not sure). Buick at least can offer you different models if rear passenger room is important to you, but it begs the question why does this model exist in the lineup? If it were a cheap base car I could see the argument “it help sells more Lacrosse” or whatever but I doubt it does. It’s a car which makes no fiscal sense to import or build for this market as a sedan, should have been a coupe/conv from the start.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I hear you. Profits are important, and the semi-premium smallish FWD sport-sedan crowd is relatively small (although that’s *exactly* where I’d shop). But I think the Opel Cascada is coming to the States, and it is essentially a convertible Verano…a car that has also put out respectable performance in Turbo guise (so there’s your Buick coupe). And yes, the Verano undermines the Regal somewhat. But all in all, it would have cost a lot to turn the Regal into a coupe, when as a sedan it is mostly identical to its Opel Insignia counterpart.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Verano for what it is, is a nice car and the right offering from Buick. If Buick wants to offer boutique models have at it, but this particular one isn’t the right model for the masses, which is what Buick should be offering in a midsize sedan. If Buick wanted to come out with a real Riviera and sell 10,000 a year I’d be thrilled, but I doubt it would give a good ROI. I suppose GM looked at it and thought we could just federalize existing Opel models and if zee Americans buy them we’ve made more money off an existing platform.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            The Regal T and N/A Regals are quite a bit cheaper than the GS, so I’m not sure what you mean about it not being the right car for the masses…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m referring to the rear seat room jihad I’m on in this thread. The masses like rear seat room in their midsize sedans, hence Camcord. Bringing over a near Euro spec sedan which is entirely to small for the US market and then marketing it as a mainstream offering is a recipe for failure.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            See: Ford Contour

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Super Epsilon has the same 62″ track as regular Epsilon, it’s on the narrow side even for a midsize. The only full sized part of those cars is the overhangs.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The W-body Impala’s rear seat legroom/toe space is a direct result of GM’s stupid overly chunky seats that are mounted too low and have that skirt that all but covers up the space for your toes. The 2000-2005 Impala did this much better so I still can’t figure out how they screwed this up. Other than that the W-body Impala’s front seat legroom, size and width are superior to many other mid to full size cars today due to the crazy overly large center consoles(hello Taurus).

      • 0 avatar
        bryanska

        When I sat in the XTS and Malibu, I was shocked at the leg room. Super Epsilon II is the back seat champion.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Right…although the Malibu uses the regular Epsilon II, as does the Regal. The Impala, LaCrosse and XTS use Super Epsilon, and there is a marked difference between both versions of the platform in terms of overall space. It also seems like GM did some additional work on the Impala to make it really roomy…

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Funny, as the main rail lengths are the same for all Epsilon ll’s. The wheel base should be almost identical aside from different control arm geometry.

    • 0 avatar
      eManual

      I also have a W-body 2000 Impala with a front bench seat, and it can take 6 people in a pinch for a 30 minute drive to the airport, including all of their luggage. The back seat is relatively low, so heavy/tall people would not handle a cross county drive back there, but at least their heads don’t hit the ceiling.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I also noticed this, the pre-2006 Impala had great rear legroom, and then the 2006 cars come out and they feel much less spacious in the knees. Darn shame. As times goes on the 2000-2005 cars are really growing on me. I’d take a bare bones fleet model with a column shifter and the 3.4 in dark grey or blue, or the opposite: a loaded up LT(?) with the alloy wheels in a fetching cherry red.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      I’m not doubting your numbers but the Verano is definetly smaller inside than the Regal, especially in width. The ATS seemed like in between the Regal and Verano.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I really like the more sophisticated AWD in my Encore over the girlfriend’s Forester. Where the Suby just rotates when turning until the traction control kicks in the Encore stays on intendedd course clawing it’s way to match your steering input.

      I think the GS AWD is supposed to see up to 90% power to the rear wheels. My Encore AWD is 50% to the rear and is no fun unless turning from a stop. Turn off TC and Stabillity and it can be fun until the Stability renables at 30 mph, no fun at all!!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    So I guess the first-generation 2.0-liter turbo has been phased out of every GM product except the Verano Turbo. [Tear.]

    We’re seeing some interesting things take place within GM, as there is now further separation of the Buick models from their Chevy counterparts. One of the most obvious things is that large LCD in the center-stack, which is also seen on the updated-for-2014 LaCrosse. It isn’t done as artfully as Chrysler Group’s large IP LCD that also made its debut for 2014, but it’s quite a bit nicer than the corporate-GM, mint-colored monolithic IP screen that previous Regals have been saddled with. Also, IntelliLink now looks drastically different from both GMC’s version by the same name, and Chevrolet’s version…even if they are basically the same software (which prompts me to ask why Lincoln couldn’t at least re-skin MyLincoln Touch to make its products seem less like rebadged insults to luxury). And indeed I think that the interior refresh is a bigger deal than the powertrain switchover, because the previous-gen Regal’s interior was sufficiently sporty, but also a dour and uninviting place to be, especially in the all-black GS. This interior, I think, is a fine blend of Euro-sportiness and traditional Buick friendliness. Also, this would have been an excellent application of the frameless rearview mirror found in the Camaro…

    • 0 avatar
      abhi

      Agreed.. we rented one (turbo gs non awd)recently for an almost 16 hours in car over a week or so and color me impressed. Steering feel was not great but as a package very attractive.

      I will say the few points that did puzzle me were the up down “buttons” for the HVAC were very unresponsive and right next to the heated seats… so it was a funny thing accidentally turning that on . Also the reverse camera was mounted too low often getting dirty which made it useless. Nitpicks in a very decent car..

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    I like the look of these. If you don’t fit in the back seat and that is a priority than it isn’t the car for you. I for one, am glad they didn’t compromise style so that everyone could fit in it.

    I’m also glad the AWD addresses the torque steer. The regular Regal T without the hyper-strut front suspension is can be a handful with torque steer, and that is at 20+mph, not off the line. It torque steers way more than a Northstar equipped Bonneville, which rarely has any torque steer.

    I see this as more of a somewhat sporty/premium empty nester or young family type of car for those who want to buy “American” than for a DINK couple or snooty up an coming middle management guy who is really looking for the status of the 4 rings or white and blue emblem than actual driving pleasure.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      Only problem is, the Verano has the better seats from the Lacrosse and checks all those boxes. The Regal doesn’t get you much more, and if you don’t get more room by upgrading to the next model, then what’s the value proposition? I suppose here it’s performance?

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      If I wanted some status, I would forgo the four portholes for a wreath and crest.

      The Cadillac would have much better resale value.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        What crest? The crest is on its way out the building.

        http://gmauthority.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Cadillac-Crest-520×245.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Doubtful as Cadillacs not named Escalade have had terrible resale for decades. MY12 CTS Sedan RWD “Luxury” trim wholesale, MSRP was $39050 according to AOL Autos:

        01/07/14 RIVRSIDE Lease $20,250 37,204 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
        01/07/14 RIVRSIDE Lease $20,000 32,155 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
        01/08/14 MILWAUKE Lease $17,800 35,446 Below BLACK 6G A Yes
        01/08/14 CEN FLA Lease $18,300 42,683 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        01/15/14 NASHVILL Regular $22,000 25,098 Avg BLACK

        http://autos.aol.com/cars-Cadillac-CTS-2012/pricing/

        Conversely, MY12 Lexus ES350, MSRP 36,725.

        01/22/14 RIVRSIDE Regular $27,000 23,709 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        01/15/14 PALM BCH Regular $27,000 24,606 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        01/10/14 PA Regular $27,100 25,144 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        01/16/14 ATLANTA Regular $25,700 25,356 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        01/03/14 PA Regular $25,500 25,981 Avg WHITE 6G P Yes
        01/08/14 ATLANTA Regular $26,200 26,441 Avg BLACK 6G P Yes

        http://autos.aol.com/cars-Lexus-ES+350-2012/

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Fitting in the back seat should be a priority for anyone considering a car this size, otherwise what’s the point? Uncompromising style is for coupes, not midsize sedans.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    Decent car until you get to the price….. wow, pass. As said, how could you not go for the ATS instead? Or better yet, go down the road and pick up a less-optioned Chrysler 300C; so much more car for your money.

    Why people pay these prices for a new car, especially when you really dig past the sheet metal and look at what you’re getting, is beyond me. Being a Buick though, this would make a nice used find in 3 years, especially if it had a manual.

    I’ve been helping a friend look for a decent used buy to replace his totaled car. I think he’s pretty set on a Chrysler 200. 283hp V6, decent accompaniments, decent size, and can be had with less then 20kmiles for around $15k or less all day long. I’m going to put these Buicks in this class too.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      Why people pay these prices for a new car

      Easy. New cars aren’t cheap. These are the days of the $70K 4cyl BMW. The ATS and 300 aren’t to everyone’s liking style wise, the ATS is small and the 300 is quite large. The ATS is also a base level car vs the loaded GS. “More car for you money” means a lot of different things to different people. The comparisons could go on all day.

      • 0 avatar
        Madroc

        That, and the fact that most people aren’t paying anything close to MSRP on this car. If you’re paying $33K for FWD/$35K for AWD, the case gets a little stronger, especially bearing in mind that this is the top trim level, not the cheaper volume-leader.

        Plus that “gently used 6MT,” assuming you can find one, is only likely to sell for a few grand less than that.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      I agree. Prices are high for not necessarily more substantial content, and inflation can’t be THAT big of a factor. Focus 2008 vs Focus 2013 aren’t necessarily miles apart except in terms of price.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    It’s an attractive looking car, but I would have expected better performance. I can’t help but compare this car to the new Chrysler 200 which will offer a similar package but with much better performance at a lower price. The 200 prices top out with every option where this car starts.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    I think it’s a good looking car, but who actually plunks down $45,000 for these things? It’s a Chevy Malibu rental car with leather and some extra sound deadening. I honestly don’t know how GM sells some of their models, for about the same amount of money, you could get a Mercedes E class or Audi A6 which is 10x the car.

    Also, a Buick should be roomy. The fact that the author is unable to sit in the back seat without cocking his head sideways at 6′ tall, that sounds like the back seat of a Mustang or Camaro, not a Buick.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    If it wasn’t for my inherent Impala-love when I bought my 2012 a year-and-a-half ago, I would have looked closer at the Verano and Regal. We did seriously consider a Lacrosse, but didn’t want to pay the freight, especially when the car we bought was $$$ less and an LTZ.

    Next time…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      If you’re going to wait to buy a new car until your Impala falls off of its wheels, you’re in for quite a wait. Those things seem to stick around forever, probably even longer with the 3.6-liter V6, which your Impala should have….

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I’ll be retired in three years, or at least semi-retired sooner, and though I’m piling up miles in my Impala right now, it’ll last me a good long time.

        Yes, I do have the Caddy engine, which is a rush all its own – simply the most powerful and fastest car I have ever owned. A very comfortable highway cruiser, which is what I need.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          I recently bought a lightly used 2013 Red jewel LT with roof for 15995 and only 22k on the clock. Has the same 3.6 engine. The one thing that worries me is the timing chains which have been an issue on the earlier LLT 3.6 SIDI engines. I’m glad it has a 5/100 power train warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            minivanman

            I did not realize that you could get an Impala without a roof. Cool!

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I came very close go buying a used 2012 LT (presumably a former rental/fleet unit) last year for $15k, I had driven a black 2012 LT rental as well as test driven one, I loved the exhaust burble and the acceleration, as well as the old school mouse-fur velour cloth seats and unencumbered front dash/console. I was a little weary of the somewhat unproven DI 3.6 with the lambda timing chain stretch horror stories. Left side of my brain took over and I ended up with my 2012 Civic :/ (Great mileage! Great reliability! Low depreciation!) I still get a twang of regret when I’m driving my Civic and see a black 3.6 Impala roll by. Fort Wayne uses blacked out Impalas for undercover duty, boy do they look purposeful and mean.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    what? where did the video go? “removed by user”?

    i am 6’3″ and have sat in a 2013 version of the same car. the backseat was not as bad for me as alex. that is, i could sit back there w/o cocking my head to one side but i did have to slouch in the seat a tad to avoid hitting the headliner. my guess is that my legs are long and his torso is longer than mine.

    i still like the idea of a buick with a manual transmission. some of the 2012 regals in non-gs form came with sticks and they are now showing up as used cars, some cpo, at more reasonable prices. alex is correct the cashmire interior is sharp and less oppressive than black on black on black.

    i test drove a gs stick and had a blast whether it was worth the 33k it listed at is another question. i had to pass.

  • avatar
    BigOlds

    Great Review. I loved it. Although I am not in the market for one, I am really pulling for the Buick division. However…

    Axises? Really? It hurts my soul. Axes. Not Matrixes. Not Locuses.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      That is what I get for writing at 3AM. As they say in How I Met Your Mother, nothing good happens after 2AM…

    • 0 avatar

      I second on the great review. What stuck out at me though was not the errors, but the line: “The Acura TL is in its final year of production and is, as you would assume, outclassed by the Regal in most ways.”

      The TL wouldn’t have been outclassed by a Buick 10 or even 5 years ago. The fact that we take this for granted now says a lot about how far Buick has come… Or Acura has fallen.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        It should also be remembered that this isn`t a new Regal, just the MCE. With a new Regal due in 2-3 years time. I would expect a bran dnew Regal to beat an older Acura. Just like I expect the brand new TLX to beat a 4 year old Regal (with a few modifications) later this year.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I was sincerely looking at the GS as a potential replacement for my Legacy if anything ever happened to it.
    I didn’t even notice and I’m disappointed that the GS no longer has the 270hp engine anymore. I’d likely wind up getting the non-GS model if I were to actually go through with it, but I really prefer the look of the GS. And that disappointment may put me off the Regal all together, now I find myself looking at the ATS.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    MT says Regal gets the same mpg as the Verano, and appears a better buy at just $650 more.*

    *however, the Verano is apt to be heavily marked down.
    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/oneyear/sedans/1401_2013_buick_verano_turbo_update_8_a_regal_issue/

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Alex,
    The Insignia was originally slated to be a Saturn Aura here not a Buick Regal, so it was never designed with Buick in mind.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    There are a couple of basic turbo FWD automatic 2014 Regal’s at our dealership discounted to under 30K. I would expect a fully broken in FWD automatic turbo to be a 6 second flat 0-60 car and that would be plenty for me. In a world of 30k plus Accords, Camry’s, Altima’s and the Korean twins it’s good to know something a little more luxurious, sporty and refined does exist for similar coin. But not with that all black interior!

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Similar coin is a real stretch, Camcords discount too.

      Leave off the AWD, good stereo, power passenger seat, etc. to make that price point and the car you’re left with really isn’t luxurious, sporty, or refined anymore.

      Sure it’s a little bit nicer than a V6 Camry SE, Altima, 2.0 Sonata, etc. without those amenities either but in the real world those are $24,000 cars.

      A V6 Accord or Fusion loaded to $30,000 gives up a lot less to this Regal than the other way around.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    So the non-GS Regal AWD is about the same price as the Ford Fusion AWD (Titanium trim only). Assuming you can find the Buick in base trim.

    Are there advantages to the Fusion in this comparison, other than a bit more space and MPG?

    The other midsize AWD sedan in this price range would be an optioned-up Legacy, but waiting to see what next model year brings.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I realize these cars are relatively new, but can anyone comment on the long term reliability of the Regal? I’m wondering since its essentially a German car in design and early models assembly, will it be plagued by German car reliability issues.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The Regal was definitely on my list when I went car shopping last year but as plenty of folks have already commented: against the 300, A4, 3 series and ATS the price just doesn’t make any sense. This is also reflected in the depreciation numbers which Edmunds estimates at $8,000+ in the first year alone. Its a nice car but the sticker needs to go down by $5K.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    To much Cheddar in my opinion.

    The bigger take away for me is that the car is class competitive against Acura, Lexus, Volvo, and Audi.

    If someone told me five years ago I would read a TTAC review of a Buick product that slotted it over a Lexus, I would have told that person they were on crack.

    GM is doing a pretty good job (not a perfect job, but solid) of reinventing Buick. But the GS trim specifically feels overpriced and it is a bit disheartening to read the performance numbers, especially knowing that the GM 2.0 DI turbo-four under the hood of the GS has so much more power available, and still remain stock.

  • avatar
    Tifighter

    If you are looking to spend mid-forties on a GM product and the Regal GS and ATS are on the list, why not throw the Chevy SS on there too? That should solve the rear space problem.

  • avatar
    Acd

    The 2013 Regal was my rental car of choice at the National rental counter (with a very limited selection) in the Western U.S. city that I traveled to every week throughout a good part of last year. Nice interior, solid body structure with a suspension that felt much more German than Flint, Michigan and plenty of power delivered through a transmission that was programmed for actual driving and not just maximizing EPA numbers. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

    But there was another GM car that absolutely blew me away and that was the Cadillac ATS. Everything the Buick did the ATS did better and then some. Months of renting Buick Regals did not send me to a Buick dealer but one week and three hundred incredible miles in an ATS put me in a Cadillac showroom as soon as I got home just to see what it would cost to put one in my driveway.

    The Regal is a nice enough car but for similar money I’d take an ATS over it any day even if it meant giving up some bells and whistles.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I see zero reason to buy this over a new chrysler 200 while saving thousands.

  • avatar
    sching

    At the risk of being pedantic, it’s “jibe”, not “jive”, as in “…mapping software that doesn’t JIBE with the system’s high-resolution screen.”

  • avatar

    “his may be because Buick owners are less likely to need the 5-point harness design, but it is most likely because we Americans are fatter so fewer of us would fit in the narrow seats.”

    HAR HAR HAR FAT JOKES ABOUT AMERICANS BEING FAT.

    Ok let’s take this trope out behind the barn and shoot it.

    They’re probably not getting imported for the same reason Volkswagen/Audi and other brands don’t import the cool Recaro seat options – like on the GTI, RS4, etc. They don’t meet US crash regulations. Or more likely it would cost way to much to recertify them for crash regulations that a low-volume car like this just doesn’t justify the cost.

    Americans aren’t that fat.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    This car hits one of my pet peeves: a car that looks faster than it is, or in 1960′s parlance, a “no-go showboat.”

    I would delete some of the scoops and vents in the front end and reposition this as a “pleasant” car, i.e. a traditional Buick. Nothing wrong with that.

    A back seat without enough headroom for Alex is a big fail, in my opinion.

    Can this car justify its price premium over a loaded Accord EX-L V-6, or a Fusion Titanium with Ford’s Ecoboost 4 (about the same horsepower, if I recall)? At least those cars can carry 6-footers in the back seat, without their having to bend over or otherwise contort themselves. And, if my experience with the older version of Honda’s V-6 is any guide, the Honda engine will be much smoother than any boosted four and probably quicker, too.

    • 0 avatar
      fredtal

      The Regal is a SPORT sedan. Accords, Fusions etc are not. Us fools who want that sporty ride will pay extra for that. Personally I think it’s fairly priced against it’s sport competion, like the ATS, A4, C250, etc

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    Restyling seems to have messed up the rear end a bit, the tail lights remind me of a Camry now. Fortunately just the tail lights. It’s still a beautiful car overall.
    My neighbor has the 2011 model…it has the majestic blue paint which is actually a really nice blue and the tan interior. But with the 2.4 liter engine, it’s a dog. He bought it with almost $5000 in incentives, I believe. Without the incentives it might have been a tougher sell…
    As for reliability, I’ve only heard him complain about the transmission requiring a re-flash for slowness in response.

  • avatar
    Nick

    I think it’s quite attractive, although portholes on the hood strikes me as being a bit too much of an affectation.

    I do worry about these hyper-stressed inline-4s. I’ve heard way too many horror stories (from the owners of various different makes) who have experienced appalling mileage under certain circumstances.

  • avatar
    Tom_M

    Now I’m curious as to what other cars Alex has owned in his lifetime!

    Also, his videos are some of the better ones on youtube. I suggest you all hit the subscribe button.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    If you asked me how much the Regal costs, at a reasonable level of loaded-ness, I would have said $35k. To me, the LaCrosse could fetch $40-45k, but really no more. And the Regal is much more expensive than the Verano, and not much larger, and still FWD.

    In my mind I can’t justify the pricing for this Buick, when there are so many competitive alternatives, even from GM’s own stable. Too much overlap.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States