Sunday, July 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Buick Regal

By
February 17, 2011 |

If you’re under 30, you probably don’t know what a Buick is. The rest of us are surprised that Buick is still in business.

As it happens, Buick is very important to General Motors because it’s one of the strongest brands in China. In fact, Buick sells more cars in China than they do in the U.S. But that doesn’t mean Buick is giving up on the American market, and the Regal is a perfect example.

The Regal name has been around and is a familiar nameplate for older drivers, but the 2011 is not your father’s Buick. In fact, Roger McCormack, director of product marketing for Buick, said “The 2011 Buick Regal is like nothing you’ve ever experienced from this brand. The Regal is the next chapter in Buick’s transformation and will expand the portfolio to include a modern sport sedan.”

The Regal’s development is rooted in Germany, where the engineering team created the award-winning Opel Insignia – the 2009 European Car of the Year. The Insignia garnered more than 31 prestigious awards and is the best-selling midsize sedan in Europe. Regal will bring all of Insignia’s design, technology and European-inspired performance to the American market. GM has plenty of great cars in Europe and it is nice to see that at least one is making it over here.

The Regal’s sleek body design blends the sweeping silhouette and proportions of a coupe in a progressive package that suggests motion from all angles. Great attention to detail complements that aggressive styling, with tailored applications of Buick’s signature design cues, such as the waterfall grille.

“Regal is all about great proportions,” said John Cafaro, Buick design director. “For example, the fenders are flared to wrap around the tires, an aggressive stance that people aren’t used to seeing in recent Buicks.”

The car’s performance-oriented spirit is also conveyed in sleek, sculpted body-side detail and aggressive headlamps that suggest even more motion. At the rear, an abbreviated deck and tucked-in body panels are the hallmarks of a contemporary sport sedan, with bold tail lights and their intricate lighting elements reinforcing Regal’s attention to detail.

The sweeping design motif carries over to the interior, where the side panels flow uninterrupted into the instrument panel. The instruments have the look of expensive sport timepieces and are lit with ice-blue LED lights. The center stack, housing the climate and entertainment controls, was designed to allow for a lower, driver-centric instrument panel profile. Features such as a thick-rimmed, leather-wrapped steering wheel and firm, highly bolstered and leather-covered seats also support the sport-oriented driving experience.

The interior is perhaps the best part of the Regal. It has the German look and feel of an Audi, not a GM product. When we showed the car to people who had no idea what kind of car they were getting into, nobody could believe that they were sitting in a Buick. They loved the design and the roomy interior.

The Regal has a MacPherson struts in the front and an independent four-link rear suspension. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot MXM4 235/50-18 tires are standard. The suspension tuning has a very German feel as well with good feedback from the quick 2.68 turn lock to lock steering wheel. The car behaves very well in steady state turns and breaks away progressively. Only quick transient maneuvers upset the chassis a little since the shocks are tuned more for comfort rather than canyon carving.

If you want a stiffer suspension, the new turbo model should be your choice. On the positive side, the Regal gets great gas mileage achieving 30 mpg on the freeway which is fantastic for a very roomy car such as this.

The turbo should be your choice because the non-turbo is just too weak for performance driving. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is state-of-the-art with four valves per cylinder, twin cams, aluminum head and block, and a super-high 11.2:1 compression ratio that amazingly runs just fine on regular unleaded fuel. The engine redlines at 7,000 rom but only makes 182 horsepower, which is not much, considering it’s only available with a six-speed automatic transmission and put in a car that weighs 3,600 pounds.

Get on the gas when you want to pass and make sure you have a lot of time. It feels like you are towing a trailer.

For now, all Regal are built in Russelsheim, Germany. Buick says that plans are to move the production to the U.S. Assembling the Regal overseas and importing it cuts down on Buick’s profits. It is too bad because the German made Regal has some of the best fit and finish we have seen in a General Motors car.

The Regal starts out at only $26,995 and the turbo model only adds about $3,000 — a bargain. For that price, Buick hopes to go against such standards in the segment as Audi A4 and Acura TSX. A few years ago if you mentioned that a Buick was competition to an A4, we would laugh. After driving it and comparing prices of the much more expensive A4, it’s not that far away.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Zombies by rail: It’s not just a show, it’s a trip

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fatal Covell Boulevard crash recalled in court

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    Humphrey Fellows will host Global Forum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Community gardens stretch food dollars, study finds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Wildfire spurs evacuation of 700 homes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    State can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Rairdan joins race for Davis school board

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Israel extends Gaza truce through Sunday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    New ordinance aims to prevent nut thefts from orchards

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Luna family matriarch turns 100

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
     
    Discussion of oil by rail EIR planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Mace Innovation Center is focus of meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Freeway crash injures two drivers

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Affordable housing forum planned in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Protesters gather at Primate Center

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

     
    State awards $40,000 for historic property survey

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A8

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Vanguard hosts economic development director

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Get a sneak peek at documentary trailer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Davis Chamber Choir sings short summer program

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A9

     
    At the Pond: From Davis, it’s easy to get back to nature

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Forum

    Feels like a million miles away

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

     
    Here’s what you need for a perfect wedding

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

     
    Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Husband’s let himself go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

     
    Questions on water rights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

    Campus turns on the tap

    By Our View | From Page: A16

     
    So, what’s in a week’s worth of waste?

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A16

    Pat Oliphant cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A16

     
    Golf tourney was a big success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

    We can do more to help

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

     
    New playground is wonderful

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

    Just Us in Davis: Little Rock Nine hero to celebrate with Davis youths

    By Jann L. Murray-Garcia | From Page: A17 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    New Korematsu teacher is an American Ninja Warrior

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas 5-1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nibali set to cruise to Tour victory

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Area sports briefs: River Cats take Game 1 of doubleheader

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Companies will collaborate on crop insect control

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

     
    Developer’s commitments: affordable and green

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

    Lagerstrom represents Davis at Mary Kay seminar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

     
    UC Davis Health System earns ‘Most Wired’ award

    By Charles Casey | From Page: A15

    Bartholomew hires new associate

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A15

    Go back to school with Great Clips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Carlton Hope Meister

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Jonathan Eric Hollander

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, July 27, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A6