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1999 Buick Regal Review
Don’t judge a fun car by its dull cover.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Buick Regal is a midsize sedan that was redesigned in 1997. The Regal coupe was put to rest, leaving only the LS and GS sedan trims. The new and improved Regal is larger in size. Body and structural enhancements have reduced squeaks and rattles. The front-wheel-drive Regal is very competitive in price, while outperforming competitors. Buick has also loaded the vehicle with standard includes to further entice buyers away from competing cars like the Toyota Camry and Nissan Maxima.
Inside the 1999 Buick Regal, GM’s acclaimed 3800 Series II V-6 engine powers the LS model at 200 horsepower. This engine boasts five more horses than the 1998 model due to an improved low restriction air cleaner and a bigger induction system. Powering the sporty GS model is a supercharged 3.8-liter V-6 engine pumping 240-hp through a heavy duty four-speed automatic transmission. Buick doesn’t necessarily promote the fact that the Regal GS is most likely the best performing, American built, midsize sedan on the market. There really aren’t too many midsize sedans manufactured in the U.S. or overseas with an engine as powerful as the GS supercharged 3.8-liter V-6.
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Buick Regal GS, Buick Regal LS
The 1999 Buick Regal enters the 1999 model year with a number of improvements. The LS model gets sportier steering and suspension, more rigid motor mounts, and an under hood strut tower brace. The LS engine also gets modest power boost of five horses. Buick has added even more standard includes like an anti-lock braking system, perimeter lighting, Concert Sound II sound system, traction control, and a tire inflation monitor. Options added for the 1999 model year include 15-inch alloy wheels, a Monsoon eight-speaker surround sound system, and a self-dimming outer rearview mirror. Auburn Nightmist has been added as an exterior paint color.
The 1999 Buick Regal doesn’t pack much of a punch visually. The styling can be labeled conservative at best. The Regal’s front fascia is unique, although the rear styling is perhaps too similar to the Buick Century. The LS model is chrome laden with a chrome accented grille. The GS model is devoid of chrome, opting for a blackout trim instead with 16-inch alloy wheels and the option for chrome. Both the GS and LS models have identical dimensions. They each ride a 109-inch wheelbase with standard 15-inch tires. The Regal is 196 inches long, 73 inches wide, and 56.6 inches tall. It has rack-and-pinion steering and full independent suspension.
The Regal seats up to five people. The front of the vehicle is spacious. The large bucket seats are quite comfortable, especially on long drives. They are neither too soft nor too firm. The backseat is also comfortable and can easily accommodate three adults. The backseat provides adequate room for most adults. There is about 37 inches of legroom in the backseat. The dashboard features a sweeping curve design that somewhat resembles the exterior’s coke bottle beltline. The analog gauges are cool looking with large numbers and colorful dials. The center console has a storage bin door with a handle grip. One complaint about the Regal interior is the use of a visually boring gray plastic on the center console and door panels. The illuminated front door panels are attractive but the lenses, constructed with this cheap plastic, look generic. The same plastic is used around the shifter.
Despite the 1999 Buick Regal interior plastics, buyers definitely get their money’s worth, thanks to the abundant standard includes. In particular, the GS is loaded with power accessories, heated exterior mirrors, dual zone air conditioning, automatic headlights, and more. The trunk is spacious without hinges taking away from available cargo space. The Regal has a total cargo capacity of 16.7 cubic feet.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Buick Regal is strong off the line. The 3.8-liter V-6 engine naturally has some muscle to it, as it can take a 3500 pound midsize sedan from zero to 60 mph in roughly 6.6 seconds. This definitely outperforms the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord V-6 engine, which are similarly priced.
The 1999 Buick Regal has a semisoft ride, without being overly soft. It corners well and remains quiet on imperfect roads. A new intermediate steering shaft has resulted in a much improved steering response. The added strut tower brace has also given the Regal a more precise road feel. Handling isn’t quite as impressive as the power. There is a noticeable body lean, although most maneuvers can be handled quite well.
The 1999 Buick Regal comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, an anti-theft alarm system, daytime running lights, driver and passenger front airbags, fog lights, and traction control. NHTSA crash test results have rated the Regal with three stars for passenger safety in frontal impact crashes, four stars for driver safety in frontal impact crashes, and three stars for performance in front and rear side impact crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Buick Regal GS: 18/27 mpg city/highway
- Supercharged engine
- Comfortable front seats
- Uncluttered interior
You Won't Like
- Cheap leather
- Cheap plastics
- Bland interior styling
- Conservative exterior styling
- No folding rear seat
Don’t judge a fun car by its dull cover.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Accord
- Chrysler Concorde
- Dodge Intrepid