Grinding Gears Top 5 from 2016

It still surprises me just how many vehicles grace the test driveway each calendar year. It also surprises me what has not yet made it down our way when I look at the number of new or refreshed vehicles that have hit the market this year. Here is a look at my top five faves from 2016.

2014 Buick Regal Turbo Might Just Be Your Huckleberry

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.

2014 Buick LaCrosse Is Quite the Premium Sedan

Many of the reviews written around stately, premium sedans these days at one point or another use a reference to Buick including my review of the Hyundai Azera where I accused that Korean sedan of being so “Buicky.” Well, let’s take a look at the latest large car from General Motors’ premium brand in the form of the 2014 LaCrosse.

2013 Buick Encore is the new ‘Cute-Ute’ on the Block

Buick is celebrating its 110th birthday. A quick trip down memory lane brings back such iconic models as Century, Roadmaster, Skylark, Riviera and Regal. The new era of Buick features a new Regal as well as a LaCrosse, an Enclave, and now – an Encore. Yes, Buick’s newest member of the fold is also its smallest, entering the staid brand into the subcompact crossover market with a new American entry with global DNA. The 2013 Buick Encore is built in GM’s Korean theater but is designed to appeal to consumers who may still be hesitant to venture over to “that…

The 2012 Buick Regal GS Is a ‘Hot Wheels’

Growing up it seemed as though it was all about my “Hot Wheels,” riding backwards in the rear-most seat of the family truckster, and watching the Indy 500 on Memorial Day weekend. Since then, not too much has changed really. Substitute the Daytona 500 for the Indy race, and I hardly ever ride anymore as I am always driving news cars to review, but it is still all about the “hot wheels” and I don’t just mean the kids’ toy. Sure I have a sizable collection of the little metal cars (including many I owned as a child) but being…

2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist

Poor Rip Van Winkle, if he were to awake today he would not recognize so many things that have exist today that were not here when he laid down to take his nap. Things like smartphones, American Idol, children not being spanked – and Buick. Sure, Buick was a division of General Motors 20 years ago but it looked nothing like it does today. Perhaps no other automotive division has undergone such a radical product transformation as Buick has in the past two decades. As one of the surviving members in the GM family, Buick dealerships no longer resemble the…

Buick Gets eAssist but Chevy Brings the Thunder

The Chicago Auto Show brought powertrain announcements from General Motors anchoring each end of the economical scale. First, Buick. If we as consumers are not already befuddled by all of the “e” and “i” lower case leading letters for proper names in our world today, GM is going to throw another into the mix. eAssist. eAssist will arrive on a pair of 2012 Buick sedans ¬– LaCrosse and Regal – to up the ante in the fuel economy game. This new technology is a sort of “hybrid lite” if you will as the electric-assist motor and battery pack offer much…

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…

Eruption to Evolution: 2011 Buick Regal

I was excited to see Buick resurrecting the Regal model this year. My first real experience with the badge dates to my car cruising years of the mid-1980s and the popular scene on Cooper Street in Arlington, Texas. Those were also my ear-shattering car stereo years where us early adopters were tearing out complete interiors to accommodate our rolling sound systems. I drove a 1983 Olds Cutlass and had been hearing about a fella out there in Arlington who drove a maroon Regal nicknamed “Eruption” as an homage to Eddie Van Halen.

LaCrosse driving force behind modern Buick

With Buick being one of the four remaining cornerstones of the General Motors family, executives in the division find themselves in a difficult but familiar dilemma: Deliver competitive vehicles that attract new buyers while not alienating a loyal demographic. The new Buick LaCrosse is completely redesigned for 2010 and is built on global architecture at the Fairfax plant in Kansas City. It offers all-wheel-drive, a suite of advanced intelligent personal technologies and safety features and choice of (eventually) three engines. “The new LaCrosse builds on the success of Enclave as the next step in Buick’s renaissance and great attention to…

What ‘Wood’ Tiger Drive?

Had he not been on TV competing on a rain-soaked Doral golf course in Miami, folks might have thought Tiger Woods was in Dallas on Easter having dinner at Trader Vic’s. Parked right up front was a pair of shiny new Buick Enclave luxury crossover utility vehicles, the vehicle Tiger helped launch at its auto show debut last year.