By on February 7, 2012

Just like the Lacrosse, the Buick Regal will no longer be available with a base 2.4L 4-cylinder engine. Instead, the same 2.4L with Buick’s eAssist mild hybrid will become the standard powerplant.

The Regal eAssist will get as much as 36 highway MPG, though pricing and city fuel economy wasn’t announced. The base 2.0L turbocharged engine will still be around, as well as the Regal GS, which gets an automatic gearbox option for 2013. Some outlets have suggested that the turbocharged engine may be offered as a no-cost option, similar to how the Lacrosse offers a V6 as a no-cost alternative to the eAssist. Current pricing shows a nearly $3,000 gap between a base 2.4L and a base model turbo, so that idea seems like a flight of fancy, unless the lineup is re-arranged.

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25 Comments on “2013 Buick Regal Gets eAssist Standard, Regal GS Gets Automatic Gearbox...”

  • avatar

    Interesting. I heard from another source that the 2.4 was going to be dropped for 2013 and the new Malibu/ATS sourced 2.5 was going to replace all iterations of the 2.4 and become the std Regal mill with eAssist available and a revamped 2.0 liter T. Perhaps that got pushed off a bit. Changes the Regal needs are a better set of front seats, a place to store your sun glasses, more interior storage and some more interesting color choices. Elininating the 2.4 base engine would be a really good idea either way.

    • 0 avatar

      My understanding is the GM 2.4L is going the way of the 3.8L V6, the 2.8L V6, the 2.2L 4-banger, and the 2.5L Quad four.

      Gone baby gone. The new 2.5L 4 coming out is replacing the 2.4L across the product lineup.

  • avatar

    Did they ever come around to a decision on the five-door? I like this car, and it’s a hometown product (sort of), but I can’t do the sedan thing.

  • avatar

    Sounds like it’ll be faster and more efficient than any hybrid luxury car, period.

  • avatar

    They needed to do something because the Regal is only selling around 50,000 units a year, has a large inventory (source – and has four engine configurations. The typical mid-size is 2 engines so they needed to simplify.

    As for some changes to be made, as per Ponchoman’s comments, some of them could easily be incorporated like paint color. Others like interior space would need to wait for a mid cycle change.

    They are going to continue having problems with the Regal when the new Fusion comes out since both cars are clones of European models that directly compete with each other (Insignia and Mondeo) in terms of price, image, size etc.

    • 0 avatar

      With only 3-1/2 models for the 2011 year, one of them being the ancient and awful Lucerne and then a handful of Veranos at the end of the year, Buick in North America was able to keep up with Lexus and its tangle of vastly more models and offerings.

      I think Buick is doing a lot more right than wrong at this stage of the game. I do think the Buick Regal is over priced on the high end.

      GM is clearly terrified of anything that resembles a wagon (no Cruze hatch, when the G8 was being sold no sportwagon, no Regal five-door, eliminated the hatchback on the Saab 9-3, etc. etc.). I think if marketed right, priced right, and positioned well one could sell. The Regal seems to be right in that sweet spot size and price wise.

      • 0 avatar

        “With only 3-1/2 models for the 2011 year, one of them being the ancient and awful Lucerne and then a handful of Veranos at the end of the year, Buick in North America was able to keep up with Lexus and its tangle of vastly more models and offerings.”

        On the flip side, Buick has had 4 – 5 months of sales declines in a row. The Lacrosse has peaked at 5K to 6K units a month. The Regal being Cheaper has failed to approach the Lacrosse or CTS in volume. The Verano is too small for a Buick and may end up being a tough sell like the Regal before it. The Enclave is dropping like a rock with no replacement in sight for another year and half. Potential Lucerne buyers don’t seem to be interested in any existing models as a replacement. The Encore is at least 10 months away.

      • 0 avatar

        Enclave gets a MCE for MY 2013 I believe. So, that should only be about 6 months away. Been the same since MY 2008.

        But, I think the Verano will do pretty well for Buick. I don’t think it is too small for Buick. People are wanting smaller cars now.

      • 0 avatar

        That car has a mug only GM loves…good luck getting any german /swedish car buyers. GM morons killed the wrong fing divisions, ie Saab. Now their US model line-up is way worse than it was ten years ago. FULutz

    • 0 avatar

      “They needed to do something because the Regal is only selling around 50,000 units a year,”

      The regal is a great car, but IMO overpriced by $5K to $8K with nothing to differentiate it from other entries. With E-Assist, they bumped the base price for an already expensive car by $2000!! Bring the price down by $4K across the lineup and a 4 Cly only line up hurts too. People paying upwards of 30 grand expect a 6 Cyl. Buick seems to content with sales outpacing the likes of A4, IS, TSX and VW CC in 2011, which is not what they should be aiming to outsell in the first place. The car should sell north of 100,000 units a year if priced properly. I guess GM is slowly pushing the brand upscale and not worry about the volume?

      • 0 avatar

        I personally was pleased to see the Insignia being offered over here. I am from the UK and am glad European mainstream cars are coming over. My two main points were

        a) inventory is high (>10000 from which is over 3 months supply if the average sales are around 3000 a month (January which is a slow month was below 2000). I am sure the dealers are complaining when you have four engines, two transmissions and 3 spec levels for both the base engine and the turbo. The equates to a lot of variety.

        b) the Fusion is a direct competitor to the Regal in Europe. Since the Fusion is likely to be priced somewhere around $22K for the base model it is much cheaper than the Regal for a comparable car. The Regal does have some extras like leather and a longer warranty but it still needs a lower price.

      • 0 avatar

        Lexus and Acura also sell overpriced cars. How they able to compete?

  • avatar

    Agree with Alluster. Now that GM has abandoned the concept of building Opels for Euros and selling them as Saturns or Buicks for dollars, perhaps they can make some money. The old concept of GM ladder climbing in progressively more expensive brands is OVER. The Regal doesn’t have any Chevy or Caddy competition, so price it right and make money on the volume. The dealers sorely need it. The “hybrid” is probably too expensive in parts, but a 200 hp 2.5 l four cylinder sounds about right. In trying to amortize the mild hybrid, GM will kill off Buick very quickly.

  • avatar

    From the article: “Current pricing shows a nearly $3,000 gap between a base 2.4L and a base model turbo, so that idea seems like a flight of fancy, unless the lineup is re-arranged.”

    I think we can expect the price of the base car to increase $2K or so to accomodate the cost of the eAssist system in the base car.

    Frankly, I think GM has lost its mind. eAssist offers very little improvement for the money. For the price of a Regal with eAssist (today), one could get a Camry or Hyundai hybrid, tart it up a bit, and get significantly better fuel economy (and, probably, better performance). Or, for just a wee bit more, get a Lexus CT200h, which is a fairly nice car, also with much better fuel economy.

    And reliability is an open question. We have reason to believe HSD is extremely reliable but eAssist is fairly well unproven. If it ain’t great, this will be a disaster for GM.

    Given the minimal effect of the eAssist drivetrain, I’d say all this really does is to make the entry level Regal a more expensive proposition and give people a reason to consider the Lexus (or something else) before pulling the trigger on a Regal.

    • 0 avatar

      @Kix:”Frankly, I think GM has lost its mind. eAssist offers very little improvement for the money. ”

      E-Assist by itself is not the problem. Its a low cost option that bumps the fuel economy to class leading levels without bumping the price to hybrid levels. Worked great for the Lacrosse. It added $2500 to the base price of a Lacrosse to bring the price in line with V6 models and also allowed Buick to claim best in class fuel economy. They could barely keep the E-Assist models on stock.

      The problem is with the Regal being too overpriced to begin with not to mention the base MSRP bump with the E-Assist now.

    • 0 avatar

      If the Regal starts out overpriced, that extra $2K ( reports the base price will now be $29,995) makes it worse.

      And you get little in return with eAssist. The 15KW electric motor probably provides a teensy bit of boost getting off the line but not enough to make a difference and nothing when merging or passing. It’s likely that the engine won’t stop when stopped whenever the a/c is engaged (for cooling or dehumidification), so fuel economy won’t get much boost, either. The fuel economy improvement that they do report is partly due to better under-body airflow, which they could do cheaply enough with any drivetrain.

      GM would do better to make some form of DI engine part of the base drivetrain.

      And I’m hard pressed to understand what it competes with. An ooptioned up Camry gets similar fuel economy for less money and is bigger inside (much bigger trunk than the eAssist version). The GS brings something extra to the party but that’s up in IS-250 territory, so why not go that way and get RWD?

    • 0 avatar

      May be. But Lexus, Camry or Hyundai will not drive as good as Buick or have same solid feeling present in German cars. You can buy Lexus or Mercedes or BMW too but how many people do it?

  • avatar

    Buick Regal base: $27,940
    Buick Regal eAssist: $29,530
    Buick Regal Turbo: $31,145

    Unless they drop the price of the eAssist for 2013, the gap between eAssist and Turbo is about $1600. (They show the Turbo “starting at $30,145”, but that’s after $1000 cash back offer.)

    So their new “base” model will get much better mpg, but the price of entry will be higher.

    The Fusion 1.6L EcoBoost (26/37) gets mpg similar to the eAssist (25/36), but will no doubt be a few grand cheaper. But I guess that’s what the Malibu Eco is for…

  • avatar

    I don’t understand the price grousing about this car. It’s a Buick, meant to be an entry-level luxury car. Above Chevy, below Cadillac. ~$30K is what that costs these days across the board. Want something a little less nice for less money? Buy a Malibu.

    Ford is now in sort of an interesting position. They dumped Mercury, so the Ford models have to cover a somewhat wider market than previously. The equivalent to the Regal will be something like a loaded Fusion Titanium, and I doubt it will be any cheaper. And I am sure people will gripe about it too.

  • avatar

    I totally agree. I went car hunting with a friend and noticed that the Buick was about the same price as a Camry SE-V6. While the Camry had more power the Buick had a much higher quality more attractive exterior and interior.

  • avatar

    eAssist is an $800 option in the Canadian LaCrosse, but you cant get it that low.. its $2000 when grouped with other things.

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