2011 Buick Regal
Somebody shoot me – I like a new Buick!
GM has placed the 2011 Buick Regal CXL sedan in competition with some of the higher positioned players in the game and priced it competitively against such vehicles as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and even the Lexus ES350 and Infiniti G25 (a new, lower cost and smaller engined variant about to hit showrooms).
When most people think of Buick these days, it’s retention of the staid, conservative, boring visage the brand has been known for without fail over several decades. But this is not your grandfather’s Buick. The brand survived GM’s big purge because of the China connection – it’s a best seller in the Far East – and also because it slides quite nicely in the range between Chevrolet and Cadillac.
New for 2011, the Buick Regal CXL is a front-wheel-drive, four-door sedan with a humongous 14.2-cubic-foot traditional trunk. It’s 190.2 inches long, 73.1 inches wide, stands 58.4 inches tall and rides on a 107.8-inch wheelbase. Curb weight is 3600 pounds. The chassis dynamics are based on GM’s German partner Opel, whose Insignia model sets the tone for this American sedan.
The sole motive power is an inline four-cylinder DOHC 2.4-liter ECOTEC engine with variable valve timing and spark ignition direct injection (SIDI). It makes a somewhat tepid 182 horsepower at 6700 rpm and 172 lb-ft of torque at 4900; as a reference, redline is 6400 on the tachometer and the speedometer registers an optimistic 160 mph. A 2.0-liter turbocharged mill is coming down the road with an additional 38 horsepower and a 6-speed manual transmission available. In a Buick, no less!
Still, 70 mph equates to a quiet 2300 rpm, and much of the credit for that goes to the six-speed automatic transmission with floor-shifter that has manual capabilities that change the demeanor of this car. Really, thanks to Opel, the newest Buick is quite a sporting sedan and has very good handling for its size.