Friday, February 1, 2013

First Drive:2012 Buick Regal CXL Turbo

The Buick Regal has been around in North America since 1973. In 1999, the Regal made its way to China. From 2004 to 2010, Buick and General Motors stopped selling the Regal in North America, but sales of the Regal continued in China. In 2009, an new Regal went to production. From 2009 until early 2011, the Regal was produced in Germany at the Opel (the German subsidiary for General Motors) Russelheim Assembly facility. In German, the car was called the Opel Insignia. In 2011, the Buick Regal began being produced in Oshawa, Ontario. The Regal is a front engine, front-wheel drive four door mid-size sedan. At the 2012 Houston Auto Show, I took one out on a test drive with my father sitting in the back.

On the outside, nothing special. Nothing really stands out. It just looks bland compared to other mid-size sedans. On the inside, there is not much head room. My dad is 5'5"/5'6" and his head was hitting the roof. The seat was not comfortable what so ever. My back stated hurting just one minute into the test drive.

The Regal I test drove came with a turbocharged 2.0L I4 engine that produced 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Regal goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. I had no desire to test the acceleration of the Regal. My back was hurting. Also the car has a stiff suspension. The other two Buicks that I drove were very comfortable and had a soft ride. Why did Buick need to make the Regal have a very stiff ride. It is not a car people would take to the track. It is a luxury sedan. Prices for a Buick Regal Turbo start at $30,260. That is not a lot of money for a luxury mid-size sedan with a turbocharged engine, but the ride is too uncomfortable for me to recommend.

Overall, I did not like the Buick Regal Turbo. The ride was so stiff that my back was hurting after one minute of driving it. For as much as I did not like the Chevrolet Volt, at least the Volt was not trying to kill my back. The Buick Regal was not available for test drives at the 2013 Houston Auto Show, but one was on display inside. I sat in a 2013 Buick Regal and it too was uncomfortable. At the 2012 Houston Auto Show, I drove the Buick Verano and Buick LaCrosse and both cars were very comfortable to sit in. I even drove the Buick Enclave at the 2013 Houston Auto Show and that was comfortable to sit in. I just do not understand why the Buick Regal was designed with a stiff suspension. It is not a car someone would drive on track day. The Buick Regal is the most uncomfortable car I drove in 2012. I cannot recommend someone buying this car. If you want a turbocharged four-door sedan, I recommend almost anything else.

Photo was taken from the Buick Regal Wikipedia Page.
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