Reviews

2017 Buick Regal Walk Around


One of the reasons the Regal has been a success is its sleek and composed shape, with clean and distinct sheetmetal, namely the stamped swoosh along its sides. The styling remains fresh after five years. It’s Buick’s most athletic looking car (although the Verano might be its most athletic handling car). Still, it hasn’t abandoned its roots, even if it has abandoned its portholes. And it’s avoided the messy styling of some of its GM siblings, such as the Chevy Volt and Cruze.

The traditional waterfall grille remains, tweaked for 2017, along with LED wings in the headlamps. The big and blingy 19- and even 20-inch wheels are also new for the times. They add nothing to the classiness of the car.

The Regal GS gets some exclusive touches, including vertical air intakes in the nose, and changes to the back end consisting of a small spoiler and exhaust tips.

Interior

The cabin of the Regal might not be regal, but it is stylish and European-like. The leather upholstery and two-tone trim, on the Premium and GS models, is handsome and subdued. The door panels are touched by sweeping lines and satin metallic trim that suggest upscale. Other choices in trims include piano-black plastic or a dark wood called Kibo.

The standard leather seats have good bolstering, although the seat bottom cushions are a bit flat. The GS gets more supportive sport seats. Headroom and legroom in front are good, but legroom in the rear is tight, just 37 inches; that’s about the same as the Honda Accord, but the rear cushions in the Regal somehow seem to suck up space. Headroom in the rear can be pressing on tall passengers, but it’s no less than the larger Volkswagen Passat.

On every model, the controls are fairly intuitive, with smooth integration of the buttons, screens and new technology. The low instrument panel holds crisp gauges with LED lighting, while the centerstack is framed with more high-quality trim. An available 8.0-inch LCD touchscreen dominates the dash, while a 4.2-inch screen between the gauges displays information from the available navigation, phone, audio systems. On the Regal GS, the LCD screen can be changed for different driving modes.

Buick recently upgraded its IntelliLink infotainment system to a simpler and brighter interface from Cadillac’s CUE, without its haptic feedback. It can select 60 favorite apps and store 1000 contacts, as well as integrate smartphone streaming audio and command the nav system by voice. The package features a Bose sound system.

Also available with the Regal is 4G LTE connectivity via OnStar, and WiFi capability.

Trunk space in the regal isn’t great, at 14.3 cubic feet. That’s one full suitcase less than the 20-cubic-foot trunk in the Ford Taurus.

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