By on July 13, 2017

2018 Buick Regal Sportback - Image: BuickTwo things leak more than the bathroom faucet at your Great Aunt Martha’s cottage in Saugatuck.

The White House.

And Buick.

It seemed fairly clear three months ago that something was afoot when GM Canada’s Buick.ca website momentarily revealed the 2018 Buick Regal GS’s powertrain: a 3.6-liter V6 and all-wheel drive. But Buick declined to comment, removing from the Canadian website the section that mentioned a V6 offering.

Once again, however, Buick appears to have let the horses out of the barn. Buick’s in-house magazine, B, revealed details ahead of schedule, GM Authority has learned. Rather than the 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder of current GSs that too often feels underwhelmed, B magazine says the 2018 Regal GS, “employs a high-feature V6 engine that furnishes an estimated 310 horsepower.”

The V6 liveth.

It’s not a common strategy. We’ve seen V6s disappear from the lineups of numerous midsize cars — from the Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Mazda 6 to the upcoming 2018 Honda Accord. The next-gen Accord sacrifices natural aspiration, both in four and six-cylinder models, at the altar of 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinders. Although there’s likely to be no lack of power, something is lost in the move away from a naturally-aspirated V6 — something that won’t be lost in the 2018 Toyota Camry, which keeps its V6 option.

Indeed, six-cylinders aren’t the norm at some premium Regal rivals, either. At Audi, you need to step out of the A4 range into an S4 to get six cylinders. Volvo doesn’t offer a six-cylinder in the S60. A six-cylinder BMW 3 Series is a $48,895 affair. There’s no V6 in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class family until you’ve crossed the $50K/AMG threshold.

Buick, after switching to an exclusively four-cylinder lineup with the semi-premium fifth-gen Regal, will now allow a 3.6-liter V6 to re-enter its Regal lineup.1975 Buick Regal V6 - Image: GMIt’s not surprising to see Buick adopt an unusual engine strategy with the sixth-gen Regal.

Already, the brand has adopted a unique bodystyle strategy, killing off the sedan in favor of a four-door liftback the automaker will call the Regal Sportback. Despite the market’s aversion to wagons, Buick is also bringing the Tour X wagon to the United States at a surprisingly decent price. Throw in a V6 engine and you have a fast midsize car from a traditional domestic marque with hatchback and wagon variants.

Just as with the leak at Buick.ca in April, Buick once again won’t confirm what Buick has already put in print. The digital version of B magazine, meanwhile, is missing the section pertaining to the GS variant’s performance.

We do expect, however to hear more details on the 2018 Buick Regal GS’s V6 engine option in the coming days.

The 2017 Buick Regal GS has a $37,465 base MSRP, roughly one-third higher than the basic Regal.

[Images: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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56 Comments on “More Confirmation: The Next Buick Regal GS Has A V6 Engine – You Remember What A V6 Is, Right?...”


  • avatar
    Ermel

    Does Volvo offer anything besides inline four turbos in any model? I thought they were the first (kinda-sorta) premium brand to delete anything beyond from their engine lineup.

    This is, by the way, one of the better news about the upcoming Audi A8: that even the V12 is still not dead yet. I would not have wagered on that.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Nope. Volvo is exclusively a four-cylinder brand, and the latest 90-series cars were designed not to accept anything larger than a four-cylinder. The current Volvo powertrain hierarchy in the ‘States seems to be:

      T5 – turbocharged four-cylinder
      T6 – turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder
      T8 – turbocharged, supercharged four-cylinder in a plug-in hybrid arrangement, with a full-EV mode

      Also, the A8 has a W12, not a V12. A V12 would not fit.

      But I think you might’ve commented on the wrong article.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      In Europe you can get a 3 cylinder!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    You Remember What A V6 Is, Right?

    Yeah that’s one of the reasons I won’t give the 4 cyl midsizers serious consideration. My forefathers got to drive under-stressed V8s in their sedans, it’s my right to enjoy a V6 that puts most of those V8s to shame.

    Its also why the V6 full size traditional sedans keep my interest.

    Also kudos to Buick for the “Sportback” – it sure helps to solve the too small trunk opening issue.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I haven’t looked forward to a vehicle this much in a while, so the disappoinment if it fails to meet expectations will be fun.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    GM perhaps we bore/stroke this to 3.8L for old times sake?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Sacrilege.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Short-stroke the 4.3L?

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          The Church has many prophets both major and minor.

          Any V6 of 3 liters or greater has potential to convert many into the fold as long as it brings reliability to the Altar of Torque.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            “Any V6 of 3 liters or greater has potential to convert many into the fold as long as it brings reliability to the Altar of Torque.”

            Ah men.

          • 0 avatar

            The LLT puts down 300 hp without complaint.

            If you transported it back to the 60’s it would amaze everyone putting down 4 bbl V8 smallblock power but clean and by comparison zero maintenance.

            Even in a lead sled like the CTS, it eats interstates. You can boost, or rev, but for anything with the Interstate Shield, give me Torque.

            We of the church accept the sacrament of cheap fuel, and pray that the Lord continue to show us his favour.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        We shall call it the 3800 Series IV.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Maybe there is some hope for the new GM afterall. They knew people avoided the current Regal because of the 2.0T and all the backseat legroom of a Smart car. The v-6 should solve the first, hopefully they have addressed the second as well.

  • avatar
    low_compression

    The rear 1/3rd on the liftback is just hideous. GM needs to hire some designers who can finish the rear end of a car *cough*corvette*cough*

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    That price is dangerously close to the Q50 3.0t AWD. $3,000 in it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Perhaps a V6 is simply cheaper to use and easier to manage, than a turbo-4. It’s also more likely to hit its EPA numbers than a turbo.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      I have no doubt the V6 will be more expensive to build. And while the V6 might have a better shot at meeting its EPA numbers, the official numbers will be considerably lower. It’s the EPA numbers that matter, not real-world economy relative to the published ratings.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I don’t know what either of these two engines in particular cost.

        But I do know that Detroit, the Detroit which as recently as 2005 didn’t believe that an ignition capable of holding the key in place was worth an additional 90 cents per car, didn’t sell little boosted motors in place of bigger naturally aspirated ones until the fedgov told them to at gunpoint.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Dan, the 2005 Pontiac Solstice GXP offered a 2.0T with direct injection and VVT. Unlike others with DI it has pretty much carbon and trouble free. So to say it was a .gov mandate under 2008 restructing is poppycock.

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        Rocket,

        I’m going to disagree with most of what you say, based purely on my anecdotal experience.

        My car has a 3.5L NA V6. There’s an optional 2.0L Turbo 4.
        – The V6 is less expensive to buy, suggesting it’s less expensive to build
        – The V6 has more HP, but less torque. Net result is still better 0-60 times.
        – The V6 has a lower rated MPG, but achieves the same MPG on feedback websites
        – The V6 is easier to maintain.

        NA all the way.

    • 0 avatar

      GM puts the High Feature V6 in just about everything, from Camaro to Caddy to Cop Cars….it lives in many of the SUV as well. RWD or AWD or FWD. Three (?) factories world wide. Holdens, even. GM uses it like a Lego Block. I’m sure they have the cost down at this point !!! 300 hp needed ? Insert HFV6

      I’ve replaced two coils and a Throttle Body (throttle position sensor breaks and bugs the traction control system out) but beyond scheduled maintenance no issues, and parts are cheap for this ex BMW owner.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Couple more thoughts:

    1) I hope this Regal is of better quality than the prior one, as those are falling apart with regards to trim already.

    2) Makes me wonder with the sale of Opel if this will be a one-gen only vehicle. Haven’t heard anything on build negotiations with PSA.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Makes me wonder with the sale of Opel if this will be a one-gen only vehicle…

      That’s been sticking in my head too. I don’t want to own an orphaned unicorn built by pissed off labor (depending on what happens to them because of the deal.)

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I would assume GM will move away from any-and-all Opel-sourced vehicles and drivetrains as soon as the current generations age out.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        So the Regal changes again and is made in China for gen 3.

      • 0 avatar
        Rocket

        It’s a GM platform and GM engines, and they’re used throughout GM’s North American lineup. I’m sure Opel will eventually stop manufacturing the Regal for Buick, but there’s no reason GM can’t build the car in one of their other facilities.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      I actually liked the Regal, well at least at the car show. Couldn’t find a manual to test drive, but still thought it was okay. Then I looked at the online forums and while they liked driving it, they were have trouble with it. So I moved on.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        Regal has the highest turn-in rate of any car.

        • 0 avatar
          seanx37

          BEcause the seats SUCK. Have to be a nightmare to live with. Even for all those $179 a month leases.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Corey, I couldn’t find anything saying Regal has a high turn-in rate. But do remember Forbes article:

          “Dodge and Buick currently have the longest ownership periods at an average 113 months each, with Chevrolet (110 months), Ford (110 months) and Mitsubishi (109 months) rounding out the top five makes in that regard, based on Experian data.”

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Corey, I googled regal trim falling and could only find CNN article about human body parts like a tooth falling off and a CX-5 interior panel coming loose at Edmund’s:

      https://www.edmunds.com/mazda/cx-5/2014/long-term-road-test/2014-mazda-cx-5-dislodged-trim-in-driver-footwell.html

  • avatar
    Spartan

    This is good news. This is a great way for Buick to solidify their status as a premium brand as other automakers move away from V6/I6 motors or make them available for a significant premium. It doesn’t even have to have a turbo. In this class of car, a 300HP NA V6 has significantly better driving feel than a turbo-4.

    I thought I could get used to 4 cylinders in luxury cars. Nope. We had a Volvo XC90 T8 for a year and thank goodness we sold it for a small profit after getting it for a discount by ordering early. Out with the Volvo and in with a 6.2L V8 Yukon XL Denali. It is an absolute joy to hear that beast at any RPM. The 4 cylinder bugged me for the entire year we owned that car. It sounded awful and the NVH was unacceptable for that price point.

    6+ cylinders or bust, especially in a premium car.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nice post.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “The 4 cylinder bugged me for the entire year we owned that car. It sounded awful and the NVH was unacceptable”

      I’ve mentioned it here once before, but your comment makes it worth repeating. This winter I heard a new XC90 wind out in first gear accelerating from a stop and it sounded like a compact car. It was really bizarre to see a luxury SUV emit a cheap buzzy 4-cylinder thrash like that. As much as automakers may want us to believe that force-feeding a little engine results in foie gras, it’s not convincing in some applications.

      • 0 avatar
        sckid213

        Same thing happened to me. I was waiting at a crosswalk, and an XC90 made a u-turn and floored it in front of me. Sounded like a Hyundai Accent!! Soured me on the entire XC90 range, though I do think it’s beautiful inside and out.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          I had the same experience on the sidewalk as one of the spanking new BMW compact CUVs accelerated from a stop. Sounded like a ’96 Kia Rio, just shockingly unpleasant. But I bet there’s a sound symposer playing a throaty exhaust note over the speakers inside the car.

    • 0 avatar

      If gas is $10 per gallon, I’ll accept a 4 in a luxury car.

  • avatar
    Eddie_B

    I just returned from a week in the UK and saw the wagon version several times (sans cladding). It looks rather gorgeous, if slightly too bulgy. Really neat car.

  • avatar

    Oh,no- a v6 wagon. I replaced by Mazda 6 wagon with a CX-5 as there was no 6 wagon, Can this be real? In the pictures it looks real purty. If so, I may have to go back to work to get one.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      Unfortunately, the GX variant appears to be for the sportback only. I’m hoping for a V6 Tour X, too … preferably in swanky Avenir trim. Honestly, I’m not expecting my wish to be granted, however.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Ya, but it isn’t a diesel V6 and there is no manual. It isn’t $9999 and you can’t buy it used CPO straight from the factory. It doesn’t go 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds while getting 60 MPG, doesn’t break like a supercar, doesn’t fit in a compact car parking lot while being able to haul 4X8 plywood with 5 passengers, 3 St. Bernards, and a refrigerator. It doesn’t have an all baby seal hide interior, hand stitched (a no cost option by the way). It doesn’t come with 14″ brake rotors for amazing stopping power and 15″ rims because big rims are like totally lame and stuff.

    So the B&B won’t be buying it.

    We’ve seen this over and over again. Oh if someone would just build XYZ, people will buy it. Car makers go fine, here is your FRS, here is your wagon, here is your manual, here is your diesel, and they sell 10 of them. Then the B&B lament how automakers never build anything they want.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    For me this is great news. A V6 Regal GS should be a good seller. Unless, of course, its going to be a $50,000 Regal GS. If its in the mid to upper $30″s it will be awesome. I may be dreaming.

  • avatar

    Rumor has it that this platform was designed originally to house only a four-cylinder. But due to the negative feedback in Australia to a four-cylinder only Holden Commodore, the structure had to be re-engineered to accommodate a V6 for that market.

    Perhaps GM decided that since they went to that much trouble with the upcoming Commodore, why not offer a V6 in the US on the almost identical Regal as well?

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I am very excited for this car. I would like the wagon with a V6 and AWD but don’t think that’s happening. It will definitely be on my radar come time for my next car, both the wagon and the GS. I have to say that I do really like the Lacrosse as well. Omg…am I a Buick fan?!

    I am not against a 4cyl turbo, it can be refined to be a very nice powerplant, but my recent experience with long term turbo reliability with a non GM vehicle and my heavy foot will have me leaning toward NA engines for as long as they are available.


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