The 2014 Buick Regal gets a host of refinements and upgrades to push it solidly into the premium category. This is a definite step forward. Until now, the Buick Regal has occupied an odd netherworld between mainstream midsize sedans like the Honda Accord, and premium cars like the Acura TSX. It wasn't quite luxurious enough to qualify as a luxury car, but it was too expensive to be in the same conversation as a family sedan.
However, Buick's upgrades include a new and more premium interior, including an easier to use center console. The exterior gets styling enhancements to, thanks to LED accents in the headlights and a reshaped tail. The 2014 Buick Regal Turbo now shares its engine with the Regal GS: a 259 horsepower four-cylinder. That GS--a sporty version of the Regal--finally gets a much-needed all-wheel drive, however by sharing the Regal Turbo's engine, it actually goes down 11 horsepower...go figure. Anyhow, none of that includes things like active cruise control, an LCD instrument cluster, and other electronic upgrades that keep the Regal fresh and feeling high-end.
Who It's For
If there's one car the Buick Regal has in its sights, it's the Acura TSX. Both are relatively affordable, look good, put a premium on the driving experience, and have pretty small rear seats. But Buick is making a good case for itself as being the better buy. It offers up decent power with the Turbo, a compelling driver's package with the GS, and a host of innovative features that make the TSX look dated by comparison. It also does this at a price that's not significantly higher than a more mainstream car, like a Honda Accord...or the Chevy Malibu, which is based on the same basic underpinnings.
The Regal was already a pretty good car, but there are some features worth noting in the update.
- Active cruise control. This is a pretty handy feature, made doubly so with the fact that the Regal's system will actually stop the car in traffic, and resume once traffic moves again.
- Redesigned interior. One knock we had against the Regal GS we drove a while back was the numerous buttons on the dash. The new Regal looks much cleaner.
- More power. The standard Regal's newfound power is just what this sedan needed, although we're saddened to see the GS actually lose power in the process.
What We Think
The 2014 Buick Regal looks like it addresses many of the complaints we had about the Regal when we drove it. The interior looks much improved, and the slew of new features certainly put it ahead of the game. We'll know for certain after seeing the car in person at the New York Auto Show, and getting behind the wheel, too.
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