Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

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January 24, 2011 • Autos, Reviews

2011 Buick Regal, Part Deux

“I never quite thought of the Regal as a sports sedan myself, but the GNX from 1987 did get close and the new car will offer a turbo motor once more to tempt eager drivers.”
That is what I wrote last summer after my first experience with the new 2011 Regal from Buick. Recently I took delivery of the turbocharged CXL T-type model and well, not much has changed.

My hope is that Buick will soon regale us with a GNX knock-off as this car did little to up its ante in the sport sedan game. Sure, there is a turbo motor under the hood and yes, there is selectable sport and tour modes, but for the most part it all falls short of my expectations.

While I could feel a difference in the harshness of the ride when selecting sport mode, I did not see much of a change in anything else. No excited throttle tip-in, same vague steering feel and only a gear downshift every once in a while and in corners found that to be very rough. Third gear returned a bit of vibration not found elsewhere nor when the Regal was set to normal or tour mode.

All-in-all I still like what GM is doing with the Regal and look forward to future updates for the nameplate. I find the styling attractive inside and out and build quality is up to global competitive standards.

While the equipment list showed my tester to include a premium audio upgrade I found it to fall short of today’s “premium” mark for both the automaker and the industry overall. The leather package was very nice but the seats took FOREVER to warm up via the seat heater on a week we experienced our lowest temps of the season so far.

The turbo powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter Ecotec inline four-cylinder engine with a dual-scroll turbocharger, all of which generates what GM calls “V-6-like power” of 220 ponies. Well, maybe a couple of years ago that was V-6-like but not by today’s standards. A six-speed automatic gearbox backs up the engine and offers manual shift control and all power is sent to the front wheels and tires (19s on our CXL turbo model Regals).

Fuel economy comes in at 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway on regular unleaded fuel.

Final assembly for the 2011 Regals is Russelheim, Germany so one would expect the little Buick to give European badged vehicles a run for their money. The Regal is nice and is heading in the right direction for both the badge and the brand. It is not there yet but with delivery of performance-based concepts we have been teased with in recent past, who knows?

Pricing for the 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo sedan begins at $28,745 with out tester coming in at $32,190.

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