With a massive redesign, the 1997 Buick Regal becomes a major competitor in the midsize sedan market. With sleek but reserved styling, the Regal offers comfort and class with a powerful enough engine to accelerate and handle well. After many years of poor sales, the Buick Regal now boasts a long list of standard features, a roomy interior, and decent safety ratings.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 195-hp 3.8-liter V-6, 240-hp 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Buick Regal LS, Buick Regal GS
Buick gives the Regal a complete redesign for 1997. This redesign includes standard anti-lock brakes, battery-rundown protection, heated exterior mirrors, and a lot more. Buick removes the Regal's coupe models and instead focuses on making the best sedans possible. Styling remains nearly the same in the rear end, but Buick redesigns the front end. The interior also gets completely redone for more luxury and comfort than past models.
The 1997 Buick Regal LS sports a chrome grille, while the GS gets blackout trim and 16-inch alloy wheels. The LS features 15-inch wheels, and both models have the option of chrome instead of alloy. Designed with older generations in mind, the sleek design is not overstated or flamboyant. Buick offers more than 30 color options for the Regal. Power heated exterior mirrors make for a safer ride. Overall, the exterior looks sleek, plainly styled, and non-offensive to the senses.
The interior looks attractive and simple. The 1997 Buick Regal LS comes standard with cloth seating, but leather remains optional. The GS comes standard with leather. Other seating options include a child safety seat, heated front seats, and powered driver and passenger seats. Other standard features include temperature controls for the driver and passenger, air-conditioning, and power door locks. The AM/FM/cassette stereo system can optionally be replaced with an AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo system. Other interior options include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and steering wheel audio controls.
Performance & Handling
The 2800 Series II V-6 engine provides plenty of power for the Buick Regal. The LS contains a 195-hp, 3.8-liter V-6. The GS offers the more powerful 240-hp 3.8-liter engine, which makes the 1997 Buick Regal a powerful, sporty sedan. The GS' engine produces 280 lb-ft of torque and the LS makes 220 ft-lb of torque. The standard traction control and anti-lock brakes make handling even better than before. Power steering and cruise control make longer trips less exhausting on the driver.
The 1997 Buick Regal comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes and traction control for improved handling and safety. Daytime running lights and fog lights make the Regal visible during inclement weather and during the night and early morning. A standard anti-theft alarm deters theft. In crash testing, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards the Regal three out of five stars for passenger, front side-impact, and rear side-impact tests. The NHTSA gives driver’s-side front impacts a safety rating of four out of five stars. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the safety of the Regal as ?Acceptable? overall.
EPA Fuel Economy
Buick Regal LS: 17/27 mpg city/highway
Buick Regal GS: 17/27 mpg city/highway
- Standard features abound
- Anti-lock brakes
- Battery run-down protection
You Won't Like
- Low resale value
- No manual transmission
Feature-heavy, midsize sedan with sleek and simple styling.
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