In the 1970s, a Buick Regal was a symbol of quiet luxury: not as ostentatious as a Cadillac, but a status symbol emphasizing quality. Sort of like a Coach pocketbook, its understated cachet surpassing early iterations of a Birkin bag.
The field in mid-size luxury sedans has grown considerably more crowded since then, and the Buick Regal has both endured (with a few gaps in production) and adapted. It is now a four cylinder car, not revving on the eight it used to employ, and the 2014 model comes in a sportier all wheel drive.
The Regal comes loaded with tech goodies, with Buick’s intuitive IntelliLink radio and navigation system. Synching your phone or figuring out the voice commands takes seconds, and driver distraction is minimal with an easy to read dashboard.
Buick’s IntelliLink system features an 8-inch dashboard touch screen. We found it very user friendly, with large icons leading to submenus and home buttons bringing you back if you inadvertently hit the wrong button. For a Buick driver who bought a Regal in the 1970s there is no steep learning curve.
The Sirius radio sounded great through the nine Bose speakers.
The car has two optional packages that help keep you safe. Both were in the test model I drove.
A Driver Confidence Package #1 includes a sensor indicator with forward collision alert, side blind alert and lane departure warning. My husband wasn’t crazy about being called out by the car when he changed lanes without signaling, arguing that the road was clear. But as any anxious parent tells a teen when she takes her child out to practice driving you are supposed to signal EVERY time. The Regal reminds you with a polite bell.
The Driver Confidence Package #1 also includes memory settings for the driver’s seat, passenger, and outside mirrors.
Even More Confidence
Driver Confidence Package #2 offers adaptive cruise control and automatic collision prep.
Enjoy the Ride
We spent the weekend driving through Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey, on major highways, so we didn’t really challenge the car. But we had to go from New York City, where the polar vortex created potholes galore, and the drive was smooth and solid.
I found the fuel economy disappointing. The Regal is rated at 22 mpg, with 19 in the city and 27 on the highway. We drove solely on highways and got 22 overall; I would have like to see the mpg in the 27 mpg range (and 30 mpg is my real sweet spot).
What We Loved
- All leather seats and steering wheel
- Heated seats (which cool in summer)
- Ambient interior lights
- Buick’s IntelliLink system
- Generous rear head room and leg room, my 6’3” friend was comfortable
- Power sunroof
- 2 iPhone charging outlets
- Standard 120-volt power outlet
What You Need to Know
- Standard price of the AWD- $39,270
- Total cost of the model I drove, with both Driver Confidence Packages, power sunroof and crystal red tint coat was $44,275
- 2 years/24,000 miles of ‘Experience Buick’ scheduled maintenance
- 4 years/50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
- 6 years/70,000 mile power train warranty
- 6 months OnStar directions (we did not try this feature)
- 5 years RemoteLink
Disclosure: Buick loaned us the Regal for our test drive; opinions expressed here are all my own.