Buick Regal is back after a six-year hiatus

We haven’t heard of the Buick Regal in a few years, six to be exact.  However, with Buick bringing this one back it certainly does have quite a bit to offer for 2011 in the CXL, one that I drove a few weeks ago. 

Considered a midsize sports sedan, the Regal is definitely not what your parent’s drove way back when and, the suits at Buick were all about making this morphing more polished and modern.  The result is Buick’s 2011 entry-level option.

Buick Regal 2011Buick Regal 2011

One little note, this Regal is fresh out of the General Motor’s Opel Division and that means a more European feel.  Competition in the American market is the Acura TSX and Lexus IS 250, but most folks will wonder how you can compare these apples to oranges. Get behind the wheel and you will likely see why.  For sure the new Regal is all guts and glory and it really does have more a sporty driving feel to it, with a luxury attitude for good measure.

Early on, the Buick Regal will only be available with a 2.4-liter inline-4 with 182 horsepower and 172-pound-feet of torque. Later into 2011 expect to see the better option in my opinion, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.  The 2.4-liter comes in a six-speed automatic with a manual shift capability.  When the turbo debuts, it will tout the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission.

With lots of standard features, the Regal is a go-to car if you’re looking for a sporty-style with a well, regal, demeanor.  This midsize sedan comes in only one trim and that’s the CXL right now so you don’t have to do a lot of thinking when you’re making your choices. 

On the standard package its 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated side view mirrors, a keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, full power accessories, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a trip computer, a 60/40-split rear seatback, a seven-speaker stereo with all the extras including Bluetooth connect.  If you opt for the extras you’ll get a sunroof, rear parking sensors, a hard-drive-based navigation system, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and a power passenger seat.

As for the inside of the Buick Regal it’s easy to navigate the interior and the buttons and knobs are easily placed.  Some metallic on the interior makes for a splashier look despite the simple aesthetics otherwise. On the steering wheel expect the normal steering-wheel-mounted control options for easier navigation while driving.

While the legroom in the backseat is not the most comfortable for tall folks, there is a center armrest to offer the allusion of some comfort.  Up front, there is plenty of room though and it’s easy to enjoy the ride in the passenger seat.  I couldn’t argue about the trunk either with 14.2 cubic feet and that was plenty of room.

Safety is pretty cut and dry too, the standards you expect with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front seat side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags as well as OnStar.

Least You Need to Know: Currently only a 2.4-liter inline-4 with 182 horsepower and 172-pound-feet of torque is available. Later into 2011 the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque will also be offered. 

Miles Per Gallon:  In this one it’s 19 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon highway, we say “good.”

Cost: I drove the CXL coming in at $28,840, a small price to pay for a lot of car.

-Rita Cook, The Washington Times

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