2010 Buick Regal: Another View

29 Dec 2010 | 1,546 views | No Comment
It is policy here at Automobile Journal to, whenever possible, publish more than one viewpoint of a new car.  Our belief is that no one person can provide a complete, well-rounded report on any model, and it is to our readers' benefit that more than one perspective is offered.     With that in mind, here is a report from Automobile Journal co-founder Will Chamberlain on the 2010 Buick Regal: 2010 Buick Regal By Will Chamberlain General Motors is really raising the bar and producing solid entries into the mid-sized sedan group.  All the current sedans gracing the Chevy, Buick and Cadillac badges have great looks and even better road manners. There used to be a stigma surrounding models like the Malibu and Lacrosse as “rental cars” but the most recent redesigns and facelifts have really pushed GM to the front of the pack and is really giving the Honda’s and Nissan’s something to worry about. This type of competition is GREAT for people looking for a new car.  Buick has launched the anticipated Regal and Regal Turbo in the US and I was fortunate enough to get a Regal CXL to test for a few days.  This car should appeal to the same folks that liked the new Lacrosse design but want something a bit more athletic looking.  Upon first glance the Regal is balanced and stylish.  With an accent line starting at the front doors and flowing straight back to the exhaust tips, it really gives an athletic appearance.  Uniquely designed taillights with interesting reflector designs look very sleek even though they are not LEDs like the Lacrosse. Once you enter the Regal and make yourself comfortable in the driver’s seat you’ll be amazed that you’re in a Buick.  Even without the optional navigation screen our tester model had Bluetooth capability and XM Satellite radio. The middle consol that contains all the vital functions is very easy to understand and learn.  I had my phone connected to the hands free Bluetooth system in less than 5 mins.  There is also a display in between the speedo and tachometer that scrolls through various sections like digital MPH, tire pressure, direction, radio stations and other quick view items.  There are controls on the steering wheel that allow you to scroll through those options without leaving the wheel. Along with the steering wheel controls, there was a voice activated control system that would call someone on your phone or change the radio station with a simple command.  All those voice commands are in a quick reference guide the owner receives. Now that I’ve setup my phone and found a radio station I like, I’m on my way. Once the Regal is in gear, the electronic parking brake releases as I press the accelerator but there is also a button designated for the parking brake just below the shifter to engage and remove the brake manually. The Regal is equipped with a 2.4L Ecotec SIDI VVT 4-cylinder engine that is actually very capable and satisfying off the start.  There is a bit of engine noise that wasn’t desirable but overall the 185hp is strong and efficient.  When you need power it’s there and when you are in a parking lot or other tight area the Buick is predictable and smooth. There’s nothing about this car that screams “look at me” but it’s a very simple and efficient design that I think will win over a lot of people just looking for a dependable car.  The 18 inch wheel package didn’t look oversized on the regal and that says a lot to the overall design being balanced and portioned. I enjoyed a 22 mpg average driving the Regal all over town on a variety of highway and city roads.  Interior room is reasonable for 4 adults but the rear headroom wasn’t great for my six foot father-in-law.  Other than a few minor issues like the turn signal lever being too “rigid” I was pleased with the interior design and functionality.  I liked the Harman Kardon sound system our model came with but it didn’t sound as “premium” as it is advertised.  I’d like strong low end sound and maybe some more volume.  Most people won’t find anything wrong with the stereo. With prices starting at $26,245 I think the Regal is a solid contender in this market. It has a great list of standard features including Bluetooth and heated seats.  If you’re looking for a reasonable and dependable daily driver the Regal is easy to drive, park and live with.

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