By on August 12, 2015

Buick-Regal-GS_17

We tend to armchair quarterback what’s wrong with specific automotive brands quite a bit in the TTAC comments. Meanwhile, there are people in the real world who get caught up in what’s actually wrong with some of these brands’ products by buying them — for example: the Buick Regal GS.

Jeremy writes:

I owned a 2013 Regal GS manual, bought brand new in Jan 2014 and sold (at a loss) on December 31 2014.

This should be good.

The big deal for me, and maybe not other people, is I live in the City of San Francisco. Some of the reason I got rid of it was due to hills and parking issues. 

I never see Regals here in SF — occasionally a Verano or a Lacrosse, but never a Regal. Funny thing: I just spent four days in Michigan and I could not blink without seeing one. 

I’ve replaced it now with a 2012 Mustang (Automatic L).

Things I did not like:

  • The sunroof open was loud – bad wind noise. I don’t think all cars are like this
  • Fucking hill start assist is terrible. Just try parallel parking on a hill with Hill Start Assist.
  • 20 inch low profile tires = Scratch the rims every time I had to park.
  • Hard to parallel park. I can park my Mustang with my eyes closed.
  • The front greenhouse visibility sucked.
    The Buick Infotainment is useless. The navigation is not as good as what’s on my phone, I never use XM, and I could not use the voice recognition features over Bluetooth. If you were playing music over USB, Bluetooth disconnects. Ford SYNC without navigation keeps  Bluetooth connected all the time and interrupts the Now Playing with phone alerts and navigation from the iPhone.
  • The dealer experience was horrible. Maybe it was just who I bought it from, but I was not happy. I had to get a bumper cover replaced — it was hit while it was parked — and the dealer I bought it from told me to take it somewhere else. Seriously.
  • Body Roll!
  • This car was going to be stupid expensive to maintain.

But, it’s not all bad. 

Things I did like:

  • Fast/fun to drive.
  • Handles well.
  • Valets were all like “WTF?!?!” when they got in and saw the 3rd pedal.
  • Electronic parking brake.
  • Comfortable
  • There is actually a tuning community for the Regal.
  • Door locks.
  • Push button start

The Regal and the Verano are almost the same car, and there is not enough to differentiate them to the uninformed general public. The Verano even had a stick, but was at least 10k cheaper. Stuff a V6 in the Regal.

Marketing is their big problem. Why buy a Buick? That’s repeated in the comments over and over and over — but really, why?

They should celebrate the difference of the brand, market to mid-30 somethings, and highlight the stick shift options. Be different. Somehow. Why did I want one?  It was a Stick, it was fast, and no one knew what it was. A great sleeper. Capitalize on that. The Regal GS should have been a halo, and sold as one. Instead it was just expensive.

The Nevada Open Road Challenge should be done every year. It should be on TTAC, Jalopnik, and all over Reddit. You could make one hell of a commercial out of that.

Build a community. Hold track days. Encourage mods, pictures, etc.

Also, the tri-shield should be in color, like it is in China.

That’s all I got.

Jeremy

What do you think, B&B?

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172 Comments on “What’s Wrong with Buick, from a Former Buick Owner...”


  • avatar
    Speed3

    I just moved away from San Francisco after living there for 6 years and driving a 2008 Mazdaspeed3. While many of these issues may be GM problems, chalk a bunch up to driving a manual in San Francisco. Look, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drive, parallel parking on a 30 degree incline hill is just not easy. In fact, those streets will eat up pretty much any vehicle. When your options are either circle the block for 30 more minutes, or squeeze into a spot with on inch of space in front and back, there are going to be battle scars. Scratched up rims? Check. Dented, scratched, and cracked bumpers from anonymous hit and run a-holes? Check. New transmission at 50k miles because your significant other can’t drive a stick well? Check.

    And of course I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. Sorry to hear your Buick didn’t work out well for you.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr.Nick

      I rented an Opel in Europe a few years ago, I think I know what this guy is talking about with hill holder. It holds on too long, really bogs the car down on launch and I was never expecting it. It would have been terrible on San Francisco hills.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      I lived there for 4 years wile serving at the Presidio. Its were my xwife tried to teach me how to drive a stick. I quickly learned that I should have learned back in NC before I got there. It didnt help that I was learning in MT IMPORT CAR OF THE YEAR, Renault Alliance GTA. Broke the clutch cable three times in four months. Never tried to learn again. That was in 92. I know sometimes dream of just buying a 15 year old Miata and learning on my own.

    • 0 avatar

      I once burned a clutch in a Neon while trying to parallel park somewhere near Divisadero and Green. Or almost burned. There was a lot of magic smoke coming out from under the hood, which scared me quite a bit. But once cooled down, that clutch continued to work for another 170,000 miles.

      • 0 avatar

        I parked there at Russian consulate several times. Was not parallel parking but was scary – I expected car to overturn. On my previous car (which had AT did not have hill assist) I used both gas and brake pedals (in MT I would use hand brake) at the same time to handle this kind of landscape. On Fusion I have no issues with hill assist in SF.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Seems to me like Jeremy is whining more than anything in his letter. The Buick GS that I have been in was fast and fun, and certainly comfortable. I wouldn’t buy one, but sedans aren’t for me in general… Lets break it down:
      – All sunroofs cause wind noise when open.
      – Hill start assist can be turned off (and probably should have been).
      – Of course the rims got scratched with low profile tires… Thats why I will never buy a daily driver with low profile tires again.
      – Traded in for a loss at a year? Any car would be a loss at a year. At least you weren’t in a Mercedes.
      – Yes, sedans have body roll, the only ones I have seen that mitigate it well are BMWs
      – Front visibility will be worse in the Mustang
      – A Buick is not expensive to maintain or repair. Look up any Euro carmaker for the definition of “expensive repair”

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Volvo S60 turbo rental I had beats the pants off the regal. Quiet, acceptible noise with roof open, comfy, sporty, and fun. Plus it’s a volvo.

      • 0 avatar
        the_yeti

        A couple days late, but I am Jeremy and to answer your questions:

        – Hill start assist can be turned off (and probably should have been).
        This is not true on the Regal, and I even spoke with Trifecta about tuning it out. They said it was theoretically possible, but untested.

        – Front visibility will be worse in the Mustang
        Not true, and the the Buick is was really bad at the Greenhouse, hard for me to see pedestrians and cyclist in intersections

        – A Buick is not expensive to maintain or repair. Look up any Euro carmaker for the definition of “expensive repair”
        Comparing the GS to a non GS Regal, the GS is expensive to maintain. Premium fuel. 6 quart oil change or whatever from the dealer. Summer only tires at $200 each. Every single part of the GS is at a premium price point vs a “normal” GS

        Really not trying to whine, but I am the target market for that car. And I could not stand it. And I REALLY wanted to like it. The camping gear fit great in the trunk.

        To sum it up, all the little things started to add up, and I just could not take it anymore….

      • 0 avatar
        bnebel15

        i couldnt agree more. i too own a 2013 GS so of course my opinion will be biased too, however i try to approach everything from a neutral position. I did plenty of research before i pulled the trigger on my GS. Is it the best sports sedan created? No. Does it have flaws? Sure. But at $25k used, certified with 13k miles on it i dare someone to show me a better value. I own my own detailing company as well, so besides owning a GS i am inside of a lot of cars daily. From Mercedes, to BMW, Subaru etc. Sure they might be faster than my GS but none of them are worth their hefty price tag in my opinion. Subaru and BMW are stuck in their old ways and to me their interiors and dashes are very dated and plain. Mercedes doesnt use any better quality of material than most american cars. And all of those cars come with high price tags to maintain. Buick did miss the opportunity to market this car. I only came across it cause my wife bought a Buick Enclave, that she loves, and while in the show room beating the sales manager up, i took a look at the turbo regal they had in the showroom. I had to go home and do my own research to even realize there was a GS model that they offered. Had they just made a simple commercial promoting this sporty looking car, 270hp, brembo brakes, and standard 19in wheels. I would have bought one sooner. But back to your point, Jeremy is complaining about very small things, and whining about others. He mentions body roll, not sure he realized there was a GS button. LOL. You hit that button and the suspension gets very stiff, i take turns at anywhere from 65-90 with zero, and i mean zero body roll. Again the GS isnt some track car, its a fun daily driver with great suspension and wonderful brakes. How can someone test drive and buy a car with features like 20 inch wheels with low profile tires, and XM radio and then complain about them. Also buy a stick in the worst city to own a stick in possibly the entire country. I live in San Jose, Ca and am very familiar with SF, i would never ever consider a stick to drive in that city. I live 45 miles south and still opted to drive to Oregon to buy my GS in a manual because all i Could find out here were sticks. I refuse to sit in the bay area traffic with a stick, just in and out on the clutch for an hour all the way to work. So dont buy a car with features then complain about them. Its like me buying a 69 Camaro with a V8 and complaining about the gas mileage. The GS is a beautiful car in my opinion, very sporty and i get compliments everywhere i go. And not seeing very many of them is a plus too, i would hate having a BMW that i see at every stop light. I like to fly under the radar. Nothing better then the look of a charger owner with the hemi when he cant out run me. I actually tuned mine too, added about 50hp and 65lbs of torque. Its really fun now. I will stop bantering now, i rarely ever comment on websites but this review was comical. Complaining about taking a loss on a new car when he sells it 12 months later. Shaking my head

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        yup – sounds about right.

        Sunroofs: check
        Don’t want 20″ wheels – shouldn’t get them.
        Bought new , sold at loss – news at 11.
        Park mustang with eyes closed: should have tried this with the buick.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      I can relate since live in SF. I absolutely *hate* driving my WRX in SF because of stiff clutch (stock), heavy shifter and hills. Also, roads are so so although after Boston they’re not bad at all. And yes, it has a hill holder and yes it is occasionally helpful. But generally it’s mostly annoying. And yes, I scratched my rims on SF curbs regardless of how careful I tried to be.

      My other car is a ’72 Super Beetle. No hill holder (heh), no power brakes, no power steering, 4-speed. It doesn’t like to climb hills or get off them but it’s easy to park and feels right at home in SF. That’s my city car.

      Jeremy’s Buick is waaaay too large for SF parking. It’s a city and one needs something small and light for city driving. Like a Fiat.

      Also, it’s not surprising there are barely any Buicks in SF. This place is import car central and that’s the way a-ha a-ha, I like it. You want American – go to South or mid West. We don’t need any of that here. Except maybe a FiST/Fost/RS or an occasional Hellcat. We can make exception for those.

  • avatar
    cwallace

    How did you end up with this car in the first place? Your list of cons seems to outweigh the pros. What did you cross-shop?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      These are good questions.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This is what I am wondering too. I was expecting a lemon, and all I got was a poor decision. GLI, 328i, Accord Sport, list goes on and on.

      Customer unsatisfaction is high with the Regal though. I am not sure why.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/buick-regal-tops-among-traded-one-year-ownership/

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Customer unsatisfaction is high with the Regal though.”

        That’s hard to say from that report. All we know that the car was traded in more frequently. No reason was given besides speculation from the researchers. I don’t know this to be true, but I don’t think they even asked former customers their reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        I imagine that the Regal is traded in so often because it is so far from what people expect a Buick to be. The (mostly elderly) buyer who goes in to buy a Buick is expecting a posh near-luxury car with lots of room and a smooth ride. The Regal is a fairly small, European-style sedan with taut handling and suspension. It shouldn’t have been a Buick, and if it was going to be a Buick it certainly shouldn’t have used a traditional Buick name like Regal.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I’ll tell you what’s wrong with Buick:

    They are selling three semi-premium sedans (that are all at least 4 model years old), a giant CUV, and a tiny CUV while people are buying compact CUVs, midsized CUVs, and trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      Exactly. An entire lineup of outdated designs that have had only mild updates over the last few years, and they are selling a giant crossover and a mini crossover, when what they need is a compact and a midsize.

      And remember the Regal was supposed to be the next Saturn Aura, so it has an MSRP of a Buick with the design of a Saturn/Opel. And the LaCrosse used to be in the $25-35k range and is now in the $32-45k range. So they are selling old designs that were meant to be much less expensive than they are now stickering for.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Yes, but Buick enjoyed 17% annual growth in the US from 2009 through 2014. 2015 looks to level off.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Part of that is that rising tides lift all boats plus adding models. The Regal was added in 09, the Lacrosse was new for 10, the Verano was new in 11, and the Encore was new in 13. Add the fact that the Enclave went from 40K units a year in 09 to 65K last year, and there ya go.

        Heck, in 2008, Buick had only 3 models; a W-body, G-body, and the Enclave. They better have sales increases from then.

        • 0 avatar
          Tosh

          Encore? Isn’t that an old Renault?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I sure hope not…

            No one should have to drive an AMC/Renault Alliance hatchback.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Funny story.

            Growing up, I was around probably 5 years old when we got some new neighbors across the street, and soon I noticed a new kind of car out front (this would have been 1990-1991).

            http://assets.hemmings.com/story_image/605727-716-0.jpg?rev=2

            I ask my dad “Dad is that a Geo?” He says “No, thats a Ren-nalt.”

            “Does Geo make that?” (I thought it was a Metro convertible.)

            “No, it’s FRENCH. From France.”

            As the story goes, apparently she won it on a game show a couple years before. She always parked it proudly out front. I remember sitting in the driveway on my Big Wheel and wanting to go across and look at it. I loved the “square” wheels. It had a diamond on the front, it had to be good!

            But the husband was a mean drunk, so I wasn’t allowed to go over.

          • 0 avatar
            Tosh

            The Renault Encore certainly WAS a thing sold in the USA, so what’s the sordid tale behind Buick’s (ahem, cough!) repeat performance of this name?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It was a terrible thing sold in the US. My parents had a Renault GTA. The Dodge Spirit R/T that replaced it was much better.

          • 0 avatar
            2Bclear

            The Renault Encore sold in the North American market was sold in Europe as the Renault 11. The Buick Encore is a rebadged Opel/Vauxhall Mokka. Same name but not related.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The 17% growth of Buick was the natural result of the demise of Pontiac and Saturn. They had to have some happy or loyal customers.

    • 0 avatar
      Giltibo

      1 – Buick still exists for one single reason: It sells well in China.

      2 – Bring the Chinese Buick Envision, scrap the Encore.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      To be clear, the Encore is a compact CUV and competes with the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      None of that has anything to do with this guy’s whining. It’s no different that him complaining about their marketing. Hell, man you BOUGHT the damn thing. The marketing obviously worked on you.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        But that’s the problem.

        He bought the car, but he probably won’t buy another Buick.

        Buick had a chance to build a relationship with him and make a repeat customer who could be coming back for decades — and they blew it. If his story is common, this is a marketing and business problem for Buick — regardless of where you want to place the blame.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Explain “This car was going to be stupid expensive to maintain.”

    I’ve been contemplating picking up a GS used. This may prevent that if it’s unreasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      TrueDelta says the Buick Regal is off the charts bad, but they only have data for the 2011 model.

      Lot’s of brake issues it seems…

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        CR said it was bad as well. It was enough to scare me away. Funny tho it didn’t scare me away from Audi.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Nobody said car buying was rational. Considering your avatar, you seem to like risk-taking. :)

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          “CR said it was bad as well.”

          I thought CR listed the Regal as a top pick. Can you provide a link where they say it’s bad and not recommended?

          http://pressroom.consumerreports.org/pressroom/2015/02/domestic-cars-clinch-three-spots-in-consumer-reports-top-picks-list-for-first-time-in-17-years.html

          http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2015/02/24/consumer-reports-brands/23940171/

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          You expect personality from an Audi. From a Buick, you expect stone-cold reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      unaware1224

      I bought one used last year (a 2012 GS), and it hasn’t had a single problem … but that is a sample size of 1.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeGuy

      It isn’t, unless you are talking body panels. The 2.0 Turbo is an updated powertrain from the Solstice GXP / Sky Red Line. GM offers a huge warranty on this motor, and a larger bumper to bumper than the Chevy lineup. This guy wanted an excuse to get out. Period.

      He bought a manual transmission car in one of the worse cities in the country outside of Manhattan, LA, and DC to drive in. He didn’t do his research about owning cars with low profile tires (Buick did offer 19s by the way on the Regal GS), and he apparently didn’t think about the realities of his situation.

      Sorry to be cross, but the guy writing in does not have my sympathy other than the bad dealer experience. Welcome to GM. I have multiple dealers in my city (Louisville), and the experience ranges from “good” to “awful” but never something worth recommending to a friend.

      The sunroof issue. LOL. Seriously? Welcome to sunroofs.

      Car has body roll, but handles great… okay. So a Mazda Miata (read the reviews) then right?

      I’m all down for bashing, but lets bash when it is due.

    • 0 avatar
      the_yeti

      Brembo Breaks, 20 inch tires, premium fuel, the list goes on…

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Goodbye TTAC, autoblog.com here i come.

  • avatar
    Dr.Nick

    I daily drive a manual, and I rented an Opel in Europe a few years ago, I think I know what this guy is talking about with hill holder. It holds on too long, really bogs the car down on launch and I was never expecting it. It would have been terrible on San Francisco hills.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    “…I live in the City of San Francisco.”

    Well, there’s your biggest problem, right there.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      SF is one of the best cities in the world to live. Unless you are poor. Or have kids. Not sure which one is worse.

      • 0 avatar

        Nah, not even then. Although there was some slight gentrification, in the recent years, even my lib friends escape to Boston and Seattle. And they are pretty ballin’. Nothing says “best city to live in” like crackheads busting into your car to steal a roll of toilet paper (true story).

        My sister had rims taken some 3 months ago. The SF thiefs only used 2 cinder blocks to prop the car. Come on, they use 4 blocks even in Chicago.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        SF is a fracking shathole that smells like p i s s, full of trash, rude people, tourists, and bums who shuffle up and down the street like zombies.

        You are delusional or very naive and sheltered.

  • avatar
    ajla

    3800 Series IV.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    SF is a tough place for cars. The hills will take a toll, and it is pretty much a certainty that the car will be hit if it is regularly parked on the street. If you don’t have your own parking, then it’s probably best to have a beater with an automatic.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      My sister lives out there and she drives an Olds Alero. It got out of the salt infested Midwest, so it doesn’t mind a few dings. It’s already lived longer than it would have here. I feel like that is an ideal car for the Bay Area.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      PCH101, +1.

      Yes, I questioned the sanity of a new car with manual in that situation.

      I wonder if it part of the loss on sale was due to low demand for a manual. Even here in Flatland, there’s a penalty for a stick at resale time.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If the car was from a German brand, then the stick would have value within a certain niche that wants sticks and avoids automatics.

        Buick doesn’t attract many of those, in spite of the fact that the car itself was designed by Germans.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I would ask how you sell a one year old car from any make without taking a loss on it? But I also agree that there are roughly three people in the US who would actually want a stickshift Buick, and two of us are on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar

      Drove in SF this summer. NYC in three dimensions. We got great fun playing roller coaster…click click click going up and then whee as we went down the other side.

      Parking is nose down the hill, but 90 degrees on the uphill side…my guess is for the older cars which had fuel fillers under the back plates…it’d be a mess. We are a stick shift family, but all agreed that owning a manual here would be stupid. Even a great driver would eat clutches.

      It is clear that roads don’t freeze there. I was wondering how they do plumbing and sewer with the gravity. Oh, and SF had pretty much a steady smell of very good pot, or at least every 15 minutes while walking around.

      My last trip to CA, doing the same PCH SF to LA, was 20 years ago. I wondered what happened this time…the place was mobbed, all over. Found the population HAD gone up quite a bit. Can’t drive anywhere without Waze, and with it, still a mess.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Door locks.”

    Quite a unique feature there. Tell me, is that only available on the GS?

    “A great sleeper.”

    4-cyl only, sorry not sleeper.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …The Regal and the Verano are almost the same car, and there is not enough to differentiate them to the uninformed general public…

    This. This is the biggest problem. They are too close in size, too close in looks, and for the uninitiated too similar of cars. Ya, one is a small Epsilon and the other is a big Delta II, but it just isn’t enough.

    If it were my money, a loaded Verano turbo is a bargain – the Regal is grossly overpriced for what it is.

    A loaded Regal GS (at 2015 pricing) is just under a base Audi A6. There is no contest if I’m picking between those two, and if I’m dropping mid 40’s anyway, a few more grand isn’t a big difference.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      There was no real need for the Regal. The only reason they brought it here is be cause they’re searching desperately for a reason for Opel to continue living.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        My understanding is the Regal was actually the next Saturn Aura.

        As a Saturn, this would have been a game changer over the Aura. No contest.

        I had an Aura has a rental and I have to say, of the original Epsilon offerings, I thought the Aura was the best (even over the ’08 ‘bu). I left extremely impressed.

        With no home for the new Aura, Buick got the Regal.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Why would it be a game changer? Epsilon II is a fine platform, but none of the vehicles are “game changers”.

          I’ve driven both the Aura and Regal. They feel very similar. The best engine in either is the high feature V6. Throw the LFX in the Regal for God’s sake.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Aura to Regal?

            There is no contest – it would have been a huge step forward.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            “would have been”

            But that’s what happened IRL! The Astra is still the Astra in European places, just now it’s a (Regal) Astra instead of an (Aura) Astra.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Regal drives better, but it’s not a revelation compared to the Aura. It’s the same soup with slightly better ingredients.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol, like upgrading from Campbells to Progresso.

            Or Campbells to Campbells Chunky.

            Dang, now I want some pepper steak and rice.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          The Aura had a better engine and a better back seat. A rebadged Insignia wouldn’t have been a game changed only because Auras weren’t selling already.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I’d hazard a guess that not many purchase the Regal GS at anywhere near the MSRP.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      The Opel Insignia is a competitor for the old Ford Mondeo, which recently became a clone of our current Fusion.

      When the Insignia became the Regal, its price suggested it was a class above the Fusion.

      But it really is not. So it is wildly overpriced for what it is.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Wait, people tune Buicks? Are they just that bored in life?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      The GM 2.0L DI turbo 4 has a pretty big following, and the engine is rather stout with a lot of low hanging horsepower and torque available for relatively small investment.

      It may be a bit coarse around the edges, but it’s a solid mill that takes tuning very well.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Is the chassis up to tuning?

        I guess I’m just too square to get it though, Buicks are cars I’d buy just to cruise in, something to cool off in during rush hour.

    • 0 avatar
      SomeGuy

      When Trifecta can tune a car for $300 and add 30RWHP / 50+ RWTQ on these motors you’d be crazy not to!

      I need to get my Sky tuned :(

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The biggest problem with the Regal is that it’s a total neither-nor – too small to be a great family sedan…not slow, but not fast enough to be a legit sport sedan…too expensive compared to a Lacrosse, which is a lot more car for the same bucks…poor value proposition compared with a Verano…on and on.

    I get what Buick was trying with the Regal – basically, it amounts to an American Passat (the last-gen one, anyway), but I don’t see where it ever really fit with the brand. It’s like Buick took a look at the Opel Insignia and figured they might as well try selling here to have soemthing else to sell.

    I say, can the Regal when the new LaCrosse and Verano come out, and offer some more performance options with both new designs.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    I’m considering a Regal GS or Turbo once the 2016 prices hit. Part of me likes the sleeper idea, as well as the appeal of buying “american” again when I thought I never would. I also like the price/performance ratio. I had hoped that repair and maintenance costs would be less than BWM/Audi/VW, but it sounds like that might not be the case. To me, what’s holding me back is four things 1) the dealer/brand experience. All the local Buick dealers around here are old line GM ones that remind me of the places my dad bought his Oldsmobiles. Not a good memory. 2) still a bit too much shiny chrome (below the GS level). I personally hate shiny chrome alloy wheels. 3) the fake hood vents (I call them snorts). You should be able to delete them. 4) Gas mileage significantly below every other competing 4 cyl turbo. Still, if I walked in and they really wanted to make a deal, I could see picking one up. And yet- a GLI or Golf SportWagen for less would be hard to turn down.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The Regal in any current trim is not a sleeper. Everyone please stop saying sleeper.

      It costs the same as a g-d Q50 AWD. Or a TLX Tech V6 AWD. It’s MUCH MORE than a Lexus ES350.

      All of those are superior in all ways and have V6 power.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        We completely agree Corey.

        The Chevy SS is a sleeper. The MKS Ecoboost is a sleeper. The Infinti Q70 5.6L is a sleeper.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The only way it can be a “sleeper” is if you hit it with the aftermarket.

      • 0 avatar
        Der_Kommissar

        By sleeper I meant, “no one expects anything out of Buick anymore”. Maybe it’s a low bar.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          “no one expects anything out of Buick anymore”

          That perception is going to hurt you big at resale time.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            “That perception is going to hurt you big at resale time.”

            1. Don’t buy new, buy slightly used and use that perception to your advantage.

            2 Doesn’t matter if you plan on keeping it.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            1. Well he’s talking about buying new, if he’s waiting for the 2016 model. GM reduced the MSRP for 2016.

            2. As noted elsewhere, the Regal #1 in turnover within one year of ownership. He might want to dump it sooner than he expects. That will be costly.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            @TMA1

            I’d really like to see actual transaction prices of these cars. Ir would give a clearer picture.

            I’d also like to know the reason behind the higher number of first year trades. As is, it’s hard to say one way or the other. FWIW the cars just behind the Regal are the Sonic (8.9%), BMW X1 (7.8%), Charger (7.7%), C Class (7.4%), Cruze (7.2%) and Frontier (6.9%).

            @Der_Kommissar

            Like TMA1 mentioned above, GM has instituted a price break for the next model year Regal.

            Also, the GLI should be switching over to MQB soon. If the GTI is any indication, I’d wait and see what Vee Dub delivers.

      • 0 avatar

        We had a Q50 rental car in SF…the autobox was key, the VQ motor was nice and torquey, almost old school Murican ! This BMW obsessive loved the Q !!!

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      “I had to get a bumper cover replaced — it was hit while it was parked — and the dealer I bought it from told me to take it somewhere else. Seriously.”

      What?!

      Service/parts, along with the used lot, are the only remaining profit centers for new car stores nowadays. How hard is it to open the online parts catalog and ORDER the effin’ part? Is this dealer suicidal?

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Every time I see a Buick Encore, I ask myself, “Is it really a Buick if it can be described as ‘stubby?\'”

  • avatar
    dwford

    Part of it is Buick’s advertising. While the “That’s not a Buick!” ads have been somewhat effective to communicate that Buick isn’t for old people – at least the ages of the actors are in the target demo, and they aren’t playing Led Zeppelin music, but they need to pivot to model ads showing why we should be buying these models. I mean, who knows what a Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Encore or Enclave even are?

    I used to have really low info shoppers come into Hyundai and ask “So, tell me what Hyundai sells.” I can see that happening at a Buick store all day long.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Update on the Verano!

    Went camping out of cell range on the weekend.

    CEL lit up Saturday morning! Pulled a code P0806 (Clutch Position Sensor Circuit)

    Luckily? it started and functioned normally Monday morning.

    Drove it to my chosen service dealer, they were instructed to replace the ECU by GM tech support.

    That is now the fourth CEL, for the same basic code, twice which caused a no start, with a different repair each time…in the last two months.

    There are now two “GM Customer Care Ambassadors” involved in my case (the one guy was sick for a week or something) and the silence from them is ABSOLUTELY deafening.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      You have have more than enough here for a lemon law buyback. Get rid of that thing already.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The United Counties of Canada has no such lemon law. They have the Persimmon Tree of Blame.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        No Lemon Law in Canada.

        As far as I can tell I have 3 sort of options

        1) GM does the right thing and offers to buy it back.
        2) Failing that, CAMVAP (http://www.camvap.ca/) is a binding arbitration of disputes bewteen automaker and customer, but apparently them mandating buy-backs is very slim, based on a few people I have spoekn with. I am hesitant to enter a binding arbitration if I think I might have to keep the car, per the arbitrator.
        3) Media/lawyers

        Still mucking through option 1

        • 0 avatar

          CAMVAP is a fucking joke and it’s probably one of the biggest frauds ever sold to government by the automakers.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Ah, thanks Mark!

            Can you elaborate on that? I’m really unsure at this point of my direction with this car.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I offered to drive it through the RenCen’s front door.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            bball, I saw that in my email notifications, but I never got around to going back to that article and letting you know that your name is being changed to “bball40 FTW!”

            ……..Do you think it would help? The Ren Cen thing?

            Edited to add, seriously I’m done with this thing…but I dont know what to do besides try to go as far up GM Canada as I can. Anyone else have good ideas?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well the news will certainly be alerted. I will let people know Dave’s struggle while also strongly indicating that he had nothing to do with my actions and that I fell asleep and maybe the ignition switch was to blame.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      Good to see GM’s quality problems are in the ancient past.

      Buick is one of the few lines of GM that I could see myself buying, I like the styling and interiors, but stories like this is why I keep finding myself buying boring Lexus. It looks like other organizations that score reliability have also had major issues with the car as well.

      I know I would dump that car ASAP before the warranty expires if you’ve had that many issues in 2 years.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        I’m doing my best to dump it, but I dont think selling it’s an option at this point, it has a stack of service records 1.5″ thick! Plus a hail claim and glass claim, which apparently for some reason stain the carfax despite being comprehensive claims. Who the hell would buy a stickshift Buick with a history of known defects?

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    The tri-shield should be in color, like in China – Amen to that! LeSabre, Invicta, and the luxurious Electra – forever and a day forward.

    GM needs to get rid of the stupid pointed mirrors. The W-body Impala had those, the Malibus had them, the Regals have them – I haven’t tried any others, but it makes two things incredibly annoying:

    Set up the no-blind-spot mirror position. You don’t have as good a view in that critical area when the other car is in the pointy end of the mirror and hasn’t entered your peripheral vision.

    Parallel parking and backing into parking spots – you want a good view of the lines (if any), the curb, and the other car.

    I find a Ford Five Hundred/Ford Taurus to be easier to park than an Epsilon-# car because at least Ford puts on real mirrors. This is probably only going to occur to people after they’ve lived with the car for a while – not a feature that surprises and delights, for sure.

    I’ve beaten the dead horse before and will again, but the Regal performance always seems underwhelming. When I test drove one, it felt fast inside – but was that just more road noise than in a Verano? The ones on the road, even driven by true believers in the Doctor’s hot rod, can be outrun by what look like far worse spec sheets – either off the line or going from fast to faster.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      http://www.leftlanenews.com/buick-announces-sport-touring-trim-for-2016-sedans-89365.html

      I don’t know if this is the start of listening or cynical marketing by an increasingly old GM. I owned a Grand National hot air breather. The crown should not sit so heavy on the Regal’s head. The Regal should be able to leave a mark on the pavement and the crowd behind from a stop light. Get the V6 option in there, not just trim.

    • 0 avatar
      the_yeti

      Parallel parking and backing into parking spots – you want a good view of the lines (if any), the curb, and the other car.

      This – The Regal was not an easy car to parallel park, there is no visibility to the side.

  • avatar
    sproc

    Hill-holder combined with the electronic parking brake would drive me nuts. It almost makes owning a stick too annoying to tolerate. I can park and drive a stick in a hilly town just fine, but would feel totally crippled without a mechanical hand brake to help with parking and hill starts.

  • avatar
    readallover

    I looked at a Regal – and the ATS. Backseats are useless for adults. So I went Japanese. It used to be luxury meant adults could comfortably sit in the back.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “I looked at a Regal – and the ATS. Backseats are useless for adults. So I went Japanese.”

      Please specify make and model. I don’t know the dimensions off hand, but to my eye the Lexus IS series looks to have very tight seats. Unless you’re saying that all Japanese cars and spacious while those from other continents are not.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    I don’t understand the problem, I’ve seen “Bullit” at least a hundred times, and he never has problems parking his stick shift Mustang on SF’s hills, so I think it might just be operator error. I do vaguely remember back in my commuting days that parking on Seattle’s hills with my stick was a tad challenging at times. Compared to a motorcycle however, a piece of cake.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      The hill-holder “feature” combined with no handbrake make it extremely difficult to balance clutch slippage, gravity and braking that most stick drivers use to park easily on hills.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    The Regal needs to be a half size up. It should be MKZ/ES350 sized, instead of a half size smaller.

    Number 1 and 2 problems with the Mazda6: Too slow, too noisy. Buick should make the Regal the replacement for the MazdaSpeed6 that Mazda won’t build, except quiet, and with a “premium” class interior. The current Mazda6 is already very near or at the top of the mainstream class in terms of interior design, which is a far cry from their sub-Subaru days when the MazdaSpeed6 was still being sold, so it has to be better than that.

    If a turbo 4 is good enough for the BMW 3 series and Audi A4, it’s good enough for a Buick, there’s no need for a NA V6, especially if the 4 can help keep some weight off the nose. It should feel stronger and be faster though. The Verano Turbo feels much quicker than the Regal Turbo – that shouldn’t happen.

    The Regal is already better to drive the the snoozebox Acura TLX and Volvo S60, so there isn’t that much work to be done there. Keep it sporty without being punishing, keep the steering sharp and quick, give it some beefier sway bars, and target Mazda6 buyers that want to move up from Honda Civic levels of road noise, and Volvo and Acura buyers that want something that won’t put them to sleep.

    There’s a market there for sure, Buick just has to actually execute correctly.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      A better replacement for the MazdaSpeed6 is a Fusion Sport with Ford’s new AWD system and the 2.7TT. Ford needs to get on that. The only vehicles they sell that don’t have a Sport or ST trim are the Escape, Fusion, Transit Connect, and C-Max. C’mon guys. get it together. Here’s hoping that next year’s refresh of both the Escape and Fusion adds such vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Pity, since the former Fusion had a Sport trim which got at least some takers.

        -Body color grille!-

        Also, there needs to be a new Fusion. I’m tired of looking at the current one, even though it’s only been three years. (My mind was guessing it had been around for five years in current guise already x.x)

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          There is a heavy refresh for the 2017MY. All new interior and new face/rear.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          God, I want to replace the Verano with a 2010-2012 Fusion Sport 3.5 AWD in the worst way. I’ll even live with the slushbox, since at least Ford orients the push/pull correctly.

          Beautiful beltline, decent looks, decent interior. I really like that car.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It was a great car with a solid engine and transmission. Really underrated. I think Jack liked it too.

          • 0 avatar
            Davekaybsc

            Just hope you don’t get one with Ford’s “magic steering” where power assist goes away without warning. Hits pretty much all of their cars 2010+, and the recall keeps expanding.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It would have been fixed already. 2011-12 Fusion Sports were in that recall.

      • 0 avatar
        Davekaybsc

        Yeah that could work, they have to do something to give the Fusion more power. I drove a Fusion Titanium AWD recently, which is slow as a dog.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I think Ford still has two performance products that it hasn’t unveiled yet. My guess would be a Fusion ST/RS and the SHO.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The tri-shield should be color, the tri-shield should be color, the tri-shield should be color.

    And yes more needs to be done to differentiate the Regal from the Verano.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Just kill the Regal. The Verano goes nowhere because of China and the Cruze. The Regal is an easy wash out, and will get more customers (those looking to spend more on the overpriced Regal) into that bathtub Lacrosse.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        The Lacrosse is an absolutely terrible car. Bloated to look at. Huge footprint, tiny interior. Useless trunk opening negates HUGE trunk. Terrible implementation of tech (weird gauge layout, no speedometer, and weird tech packages, why does every Lacrosse regardless of trim not have simple things like blindspot, given its girth!) My GF and I took one to BC (I’m short and stocky….fat, shes tall and thin) and we BOTH hated the seats.

        The only thing I liked in my Lacrosse rentals is the sound of the 3.6 under a bootfull of throttle.

        I’d rather they keep the Regal, its too close in size to the Verano, but its MUCH better car in every way IMO than the Lacrosse.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I always saw a lot of Regals in China. I even saw one in Seoul once, wearing a Daewoo badge.

        Maybe the Chinese see some more cache in favor of the Regal. The previous Excelle/Verano was a horrible rebadge of the Daewoo Lancetti. That may have left a bad taste in their mouths.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You saw a LaCrosse in Seoul, wearing a Daewoo badge. The Regal is not sold in South Korea.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            It’s possible. I only saw it from the front. I recognized the grille as a Buick, but not the badge.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It seems the Daewoo LaCrosse (Alpheon) had a… forceps logo.

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/20100911_daewoo_alpheon_01.JPG

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            That logo looks about right. I didn’t even know Daewoos were still be sold with their own names at that point. They’re all wearing the bowtie these days.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    ” …bought brand new in Jan 2014 and sold (at a loss) on December 31 2014.”

    Sold at a loss after one year of ownership is pretty much standard for any new car, it’s hardly a ding against the Regal.

  • avatar
    stuki

    On the marketing issue; I had no idea Buicks could be had with a stick. As opposed to BMWs….

    Could one of the editors please take it upon himself to reveal, and perhaps review, the best candidates for “most luxurious sedan available with a stick?”

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I’m not an editor. Just a humble reader and occasional commenter but I do like to shoot from the hip every now and then.

      I’d say the BMW M5 and M6 Gran Coupe.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I was thinking more in traditional “luxury” terms. Like, car to pick up associates at the airport and take the to a restaurant, in. Comfy back seat, soft ride, quiet…. I was thinking about it the other day, and my two candidates would be a fairly low trimlevel Accord, or a Diesel Ram 2500 Crewcab with an air suspension. You used to be able to buy non-M 5 series cars with a stick, but I’m not sure you still can.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Bad: Body Roll
    Good: Handling

    Ummm you lost me there.

    Buick is a tough sell, since only “old people” buy them… but my wife bought another brand in which we didn’t fit the demographic at all: Volvo. So its possible to win over some customers if you have the right solution. In our case we wanted a hot hatch and Volvo sold the C30 for a short time and my wife loves it. Ironically I told my elderly parents to look at Buick and they rejected them for being (of all things) too slow. Go figure.

  • avatar

    The article says the Verano and Regal are almost the same. Not so. The Verano is a remodelled Astra and the Regal a remodelled Insignia. They respectively compete against the Focus/Goll and Mondeo/Mazda6.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “The Verano is a remodelled Astra”

      First of all, remodeled has one letter “l” in it.

      Second, that’s not really true. The Verano and Cruze both source back to the Daewoo Lacetti from Korea in 2008. It was first.

      You are correct in stating the Regal is a reworked Insignia.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Does Buick have any customers under 60 years old?

  • avatar
    bd2

    What’s wrong with Buick?

    Simple – an aged and incomplete lineup.

    Not a good thing when the Encore is the newest thing in the fleet.

    There are a new Verano, Regal and LaCrosse on the way.

    All will get a bump up in luxury, but more importantly, the next Regal/Insignia will get a bump in interior room (the next LaCrosse also needs better packaging/space).

    Presently, the Regal is “Euro-sized” which is too small to really compete in the midsize segment here.

    But what would be better for Buick is the addition of the Envision CUV (taking way to long to make it’s way to the US) and a new Enclave.

    Buick could also use another (midsize) CUV to slot between the Envision and Enclave (maybe, will see it when the XT5 runs its course for Cadillac and its successor resorts to RWD) and maybe a larger, more luxurious sedan (than the LaCrosse; like the Avenir concept) and/or a halo coupe (like the Riveria concept).

  • avatar
    namstrap

    The only reason I can think of why the dealership sent him somewhere else is that they had no body shop, like the place I worked at. The techs we had were not trained in body work, had no paintshop in place, and in the case of an insurance claim, could not deal with the insurance company.

    “The Regal and the Verano are almost the same car”. Except for a Buick looking grille, and a few other design features, there’s not much the same. The Regal was an Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, and the Verano is a Chevy Cruze underneath.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Build a community. Hold track days. Encourage mods, pictures, etc.”

    This may have been said, but the corporate mothership isn’t going to encourage such behavior for Buick because Cadillac is the zoom zoom faux German brand now. This is asinine of course and we see how it doesn’t work because Buick makes more sense in the 30-40K range for fast handling cars whereas Cadillacs could be “Cadillacs”. Don’t expect logic any time soon though OP, enjoy the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      None of those things sell cars. I don’t even know what Buick should be anymore. Buick used to be almost a separate entity that built great things used all over the GM lineup. I think it’s become Mercury now. Anything I can get from Buick, I can get from Chevy. Sure Buick has some better engines, but it can’t be that hard to throw the 2.0T in the Cruze or add the Regal’s GS trim bits to the Malibu. Then you add the fact that any CUV would be better branded as GMC, and it’s almost a waste to keep Buick around as is.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    I am seriously looking at Verano Turbo as my next car. Unlike most peers my age (58), I have gravitated toward small cars. Here in Columbia, SC one seems almost obligated to drive Tahoe/Suburban. Verano T is fairly small, quick, and unlike most small cars, comfortable. I think it looks good in silver, which tends to conceal the admittedly tacky “butt-brows.” Also looking at ATS. For forty years, I have loyally read C&D. They indoctrinated me well: handling, handling, handling. ATS is best handling/ride car I have ever driven, and I have owned 3 BMW/MB, driven many more. Brand “mojo” is biggest problem of Cadillac and Buick. That can be turned around. 40 years ago, Harley’s were oil-leaking junk heaps driven by criminals. Now doctors buy them.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    Leave it to TTAC to find a fooking clueless clown like this guy to slag Buick/GM with absolutely asinine comments. Pal, you bought it BRAND NEW. Did the sales guy fail to tell you about the 4 year warranty? How would it be “expensive to maintain”? Did you fail to notice the hills in your city and the automatic transmission option in the brochure? I owned this exact car and it has none of the flaws you claim. Handles incredibly, no body roll, awesome power. Even the Bluetooth works great. BTW, this and the Verano share a badge and that’s about all, since it is built on the Cruze platform and this is on GM’s Epsilon platform, totally different. What a joker.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    i test drove a gs manual and really liked it. good power, good low end grunt, comfortable seats, well balanced over uneven roads. note none of those were superlatives – nothing was excellent – just better than average if you will.

    what didn’t i like? mt was notchy – gates were close together (i would get used to it), all black interior at gs level trim (sick of black), rear seat passengers have to be shorter than 5’10” to truly be comfortable, could not tell i was going 75 on rural road until i looked down at the speedo. i could get used to the mt and i could probably teach myself to go slower but the all black and esp the rear seat proposition were deal breakers.

    was i cross shopping other makes and models? yes but the buick was the most expensive. instead took a passat tdi mt. the only thing i wish it had is a wagon rear end and a rear seat pass through.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Another editorial fail…

    The article doesn’t explain what is wrong with Buick so much as it explains why this guy bought the wrong vehicle for his needs.

  • avatar
    BWalker82

    We “Mid-30 somethings” aren’t interested in your Regal, either.


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