This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our Privacy and Cookie Notice for more details. X

A Closer Look-2011 Buick Regal

A Closer Look-2011 Buick Regal

By Jeff Youngs, December 31, 2010

Arriving in showrooms later this year is the 2011 Buick Regal.Whilethe Regal nameplate has been around since 1973, the all-new Regal isnothing like its predecessor that disappeared from the lineup more thanfive years ago. That fourth-generationRegal, like the two generationsbefore it, was based on the BuickCentury-a traditional Americanfamily-oriented, front-wheel-drive midsize sedan. The 2011 Buick Regal,on the other hand, is imported nearly unchanged from Europe where it issold as the Opel Insignia.

Manufactured in Germany (and in Canada, as of next year), the all-newBuick Regal has a much sportier demeanor than any Regal before it.While it retains the popular front-engine, front-wheel-drive powertrainarrangement, the new model features a wide track and aggressivestance-both characteristics that improve handling.

The 2011 Buick Regal will initially be available only in one trimlevel: the upgraded "CXL" model. However, it will be offered with achoice between two engines. The standard powerplant is adirect-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder rated at 182 horsepower and 172lb.-ft. of torque. Designed to run on regular unleaded fuel, the engineis mated to a standard 6-speed "Hydra-Matic 6T45" automatictransmission with an electronically controlled overdrive and EPAfuel-economy ratings of 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway.

Buick will also offer a direct-injection, turbocharged2.0-liter4-cylinder rated at 220 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. While itis designed for premium unleaded fuel, it will also run on regularunleaded just as well, says Buick (EPA ratings have not yet beenreleased). The turbocharged engine is mated to a compact 6-speed "AisinAF40" automatic transmission (also shared with the Volvo S60, MercuryMilan and Mazda 6)with an electronically controlled overdrive. Whileneither transmission is offered with paddle shifters on the column orsteering wheel, the Regal does have a manual gate on theconsole-mounted shifter for enhanced driver control.

Buick has also announced anentry-level "CX" trim level that willfollow later this year-with cloth seats and a much shorter option list.However, the big news is the disclosure of two future models. First toarrive is the turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder model with a 6-speedmanual transmission-a gearbox that has never been offered on a BuickRegal.

The second is a high-performance "GS" model fitted with an upgraded255-horsepower version of the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Putting thepower to the ground with just the front wheels often proves difficultwith this much horsepower, so Buick will fit the upcoming Regal GS withall-wheel drive (a Haldex-based torque vectoring system shared with theSaab Turbo-X). In addition to more power and all-wheel drive, the RegalGS will feature larger wheels and tires, a sport-tuned suspension, newseats, and cosmetic upgrades to differentiate it from standard models.It will also be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission.

When it arrives in the second quarter of 2010, the Buick Regal will becompeting in an increasingly crowded segment that includes the AcuraTSX and Volvo S60. Buick points out that the 2011 Regal offers alongerwheelbase, greater trunk capacity, and more standard features thaneither of those two competitors, but there are many others models thatbuyers will likely cross-shop. These include not only the Honda Accord,Toyota Camry, Mazda 6,Volvo S60, Ford Fusion andVolkswagen Passat CC,but also the new HyundaiSonata (and soon-to-arrive Sonata Turbo) andSuzuki Kizashi,among others.

For More Information:

Untitled Document

Subscribe to J.D. Power Cars Newsletter

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.