The 2015 Buick Regal AWD GS quietly impresses.
Teenage rom-coms are dominated by the nerdy girl who removes her glasses, lets down her hair and reveals a surprising (to everyone in the movie – we saw this coming) smoldering body.
The 2016 Buick Regal is that girl. It looks like a regular sedan, but under the hood, a powerful turbo-charged engine makes it clear that this car is no wallflower. Maybe the Buick is more like Clark Kent, with that Superman power under a mild-mannered exterior. There’s a sports car inside this sedate looking sedan and it is screaming to be let loose.
Style to spare, inside and out
But the Buick is no wallflower. The Regal has style to spare, from the sparkly white diamond tricoat paint job to the rounded lines and soft leather interior.
One of my favorite elements is a hidden touch only seen by the driver; stainless steel gas and brake pedals. Why include a design element that few will see? After all, logos on expensive handbags and shoes are there for other people to see. But the Buick regally plays it cool; we know we look good, and here’s a secret touch, viewable only to those in the inner circle.
Intellilink – so easy to find your way around the system
I find the Buick infotainment system, Intellilink, a snap to use; if you are deep in a screen, and can’t find your way out, hit the home button (a little house icon) and you get to an easy to navigate screen.
Can’t be bothered to type in a new address in the navigation system? OnStar downloads directions right to the the nav. Just watch yourself stretching while you drive; my right elbow locked and when I stretched out, I hit the emergency button. It was reassuring that I was immediately connected, but a little embarrassing, too (though I’m sure I am not the only one to accidentally summon emergency help).
You can listen to Pandora or music through your phone; I was happy to groove to my favorite Sirius XM stations.
Center console: functional, but tight
The center console is a bit tight; I found it extremely difficult to plug my phone charger into the USB port. I don’t have particularly stubby fingers; you might have to enlist your children to plug in your phone. Once one charger is in, though, a second can be more easily plugged into the adjacent USB port.
The console has a nice feel, with the same leather that wraps the steering wheel. There is also a flat place to leave the key fob or a phone, and two cupholders that are again a bit tight; my Nalgene water bottle had no chance of fitting, and my Camelbak barely fit. Perhaps Buick is making a stand against the Big Gulp. There is also a flat storage area in the second row.
Ample trunk space for luggage or… shopping
There is plenty of room in the trunk, and a cargo net keeps your groceries from spilling all over. If you have to tote home oversized items, you can fold the rear seats down. This is a great way to keep your leather seating looking fresh; I’ve been known to ruin my seats shoving furniture in the back.
All Wheel Drive = A Thirsty car
The Regal I drove had all wheel drive, which takes a couple of miles per gallon off the fuel economy; the AWD gets 27 mpg on the highway, while the front wheel drive manual gets 31.
What We Loved
- Stylish looks and comfortable ride
- Flexible space with rear fold down seats
- OnStar in addition to easy to use navigation system
- 4G LTE WiFi hotspot
- Heated front seats and heated steering wheel
- Power moonroof
- Base price: $39,660; price for the model I drove, with both driver confidence packages, moonroof and tricoat paint, $46,025
- Fuel economy: 19 mpg in the city, 27 on the highway; 22 combined
- Takes regular gasoline
- 2 year / 24,000 mile schedule maintenance included
- 6 year / 70,000 mile powertrain warranty
- 4 year / 50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
Note: Buick loaned me the Regal for the purposes of this review. Opinions expressed are my own.