The Buick Regal is the “fun-to-drive” sedan from the once-stoic automaker. Re-released for the 2011 model year, Regal has taken on a totally new persona with this iteration, one that harkens back to the mid-80s when a younger (in body and spirit) and more enthusiastic driver discovered just how well the words “Buick” and “Turbo” go together.
Every now and then, Buick has snuck more powerful engines into mainstream production model cars to deliver some great “street sleeper” vehicles. These days the Regal lineup fits that bill with its T-Type turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder engines under the hood of the midsize sedans in premium and GS trim level.
For 2014 Buick gives the Regal lineup a mild makeover in exterior styling to include its new signature wing-shaped LED lighting up front as well as outfitting the cars with next-generation Intellilink infotainment technology and newer, more advanced safety features.
At the heart of the “beast” however is the 2.0-liter turbo four that also features direct injection generating an exhilarating 259hp and 295 lb. ft. of torque. This latest turbocharged Ecotec has quickly become one of my favorite engines, and I would like to see GM implement it across all brands and as many model lines as possible, even a sport version of the Silverado and Sierra pickups.
The 2014 Regal Turbo models feature Interactive Drive Control allowing drivers to tailor suspension damping with choices of standard, tour and, of course, sport modes. For those drawn by the lure of the turbo the latter mode will most likely be your “huckleberry.”
The new safety features I mentioned are technologies I have quickly grown both fond of and quite used to in a new vehicle. These include rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert, side blind zone alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert and, the one that drives my wife crazy when “testing” it, collision mitigation braking. Pull up really, really fast behind someone or something and brace yourself for the vehicle slamming on the brakes – it’s a blast. This is the one that gets Tish to yell all my names when scolding me…”David Paul Joseph!”
But seriously, the advancement in the technology both in safety, operational and technological systems in vehicles on the road today is amazing. I can watch the weather radar on the large color display monitor on the dash while listening to my favorite music while clinging to a warm steering wheel in freezing weather with the peace of mind that I am bathed in a cocoon of safety.
Pricing for this modern “cocoon” begins at $33,760 with this loaded 2014 Buick Regal Turbo with the premium II package coming to a final sticker of just over 38 grand. Fuel economy with the turbo four is 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The new Regal is offered in choice of front- or all-wheel drive with this tester arriving in FWD form.
The new Buick Regal is a great midsize sedan. Fun? Yes. Safe? Yes. Stoic? Anything but.