2011 Buick Regal: The Renaissance Continues

17 Nov 2010 | 1,732 views | No Comment
    By Don  Hammonds  You'd have to have lived under a rock not to hear the latest from Detroit:  Buick's back, baby!       Buick, once derisively known as a doctor's car, is enjoying booming sales with plenty of conquest business, and it is now the fashionable choice for discerning buyers who don't assume that something with a German, Japanese, or nowadays, a Korean nameplate, is necessarily the best choice in the upscale market. And that doctor? Probably a very cool, very design oriented operator. Now, to keep the fun coming for Buick, here comes Regal, a lively, sleek sports sedan with a dramatic roofline and trademark Buick grille.  You omay recognize it a an Opel, but there are enough styling cues here that you wont have any doubt about the brand. For now, you can get a Regal in CXL and CXL Turbo models.  The CXL, with a base price of $26,995 is powered by a 2.4 liter, 182 horsepower  four cylinder engine, while the CXL Turbo has a 2.0 liter, 220 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder engine. The CXL has a mileage rating of 20/30, while the CXL Turbo is rated at 18/29. If you get the base four, the government says you can expect the annual fuel cost to be around $1,958 based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3.00 a gallon.    Standard equipment on the CXL includes 18 inch aluminum wheels, leather front heated seats, fog lamps, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, six speed automatic, Bluetooth, 12 way power driver seat including lumbar, seven speaker sound sustem, XMsatellite radio, OnStar, Stabiloitrak with treaction control ABS with brake assist, electric parking brake and itnerior ambient lighting.  The XCXL Turbo model adds dual stainless steel exhaust with bright tips, 120 volt power  outlet, and rear parking assist.   The Regal is capable of some quite un-Buick like behavior as soon as you turn on the ignmition.  The engine sounds throatier than what you'd expect, and the response when you hit the acelerator is spirited to say the least.  Head for the first corner and you know that the page has been turned at Buick. There's absolutely no need for correction of the steering, no worries over a floaty ride because there isn't one. The ride is suitably firm and rugged for a sports sedan; this sure isn't Grandpa's Buick. Inside, controls are definitely Euro-inspired, not a surprise because the Rgal; began life was an Opel Insignia. The controls are easy to use, although you may tire of the flat surfaced tabs that abound for the audio system.  But one of our favorite features was an information center  gauge that, if you don't want to take your eyes off the road to adjust the climate control system or other features, will tell you precisely what you've done so you can make changes or adjustments if need be. Respondents to an Edmunds.com chatroom loved the performance and sportiness of the new Regal, the appearance of the headlamps at night, and lauded the interior design, as well as the level of quality of the car. But they wanted an interior trunk rlease,  a bit more power for heading up hills, and an interior gas door release.

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