What's Wrong With Buick, From a Former Buick Owner
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.
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.
- 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.
What do you think, B&B?
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