Reviews

2016 Buick Regal Driving Impressions

The Regal comes with a choice of engines, with nearly all models being fitted with the superior turbocharged engine.

Qualifying as adequate in both refinement and power, the base engine feels overstressed when faced with any terrain other than flat pavement. Driver Control mode helps, by letting the automatic transmission stay longer in lower gears. Even so, 2.4-liter performance is not a selling point for the base model.

The turbocharged engine falls into another category entirely. Fitted with direct injection, the turbo generates 259 horsepower and a healthy 295 pound-feet of torque. Not only can a turbocharged Regal accelerate to 60 mph in fewer than six seconds, but the engine revs enthusiastically when needed, emitting a lovely growl. In any turbo form, Regal is a seriously composed, swift performer that stresses smoothness, while maintaining premium family-sedan character.

Energetic acceleration and gratifying handling highlight the Regal GS, which delivers sporty sensations without impairing ride quality. Fitted with a lowered suspension, the GS rides on 19-inch wheels, with 20-inch available.

In the GS, a three-mode Interactive Drive Control alters responsiveness of the adaptive dampers, as well as throttle and transmission operation, and steering feel. GS mode heightens reflexes sufficiently to transform the Regal into more of a sports sedan. A GS stays flatter through curves than a Premium Turbo model.

Electric power steering isn’t excessively quick, and weighted nicely. Suspension damping is neatly muted, in Eurosedan mode.

Buick’s base engine is EPA-rated at 19/31 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined. The Turbo is slightly more thrifty, EPA-rate at 21/30 mpg City/Highway, or 24 mpg Combined, whether it has manual shift or automatic. All-wheel drive reduces the Turbo engine to 19/27 mpg, or 22 mpg Combined.

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