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2011 Buick Regal Photo

2011 Buick Regal - Review

 

2011 Buick Regal CXL in New York City's Soho district

This is not a Buick.

At least, it's not a Buick if you haven't paid attention in the last three years.

Before that time, Buick was the car for funeral directors, geriatric drivers, and Florida retirees who disliked the newly edgy styling of Cadillacs. Four years ago, its customers had an average age of 68. The endpoint of that story is well-known: Your customers all die.

Now the 2011 Regal is just the latest in a line of far more appealing and competitively styled Buicks that--most important--handle and are featured like cars of the current century. It's a tall order, but GM wants Buick to compete across the board with Lexus.

Cars like the Regal offer the potential of changing Buick's image from geriatric to gotta-have-it. The product renaissance that started in 2008 with the big Enclave crossover SUV seems to be doing just that: Buick is now the fastest-growing brand in the U.S. market.

If our 2011 Buick Regal was any indication, the brand has a far brighter future ahead of it than anyone would have guessed just a few scant years ago. And note that it's the smallest Buick since the demise of badge-engineered GM compacts like the Skyhawk.

After putting almost 300 miles on a Regal CXL in Granite Grey Metallic over a day and a half, we liked the handling and performance, loved the styling, and had reservations about the control layout.

Handsome, athletic

The 2011 Regal is the sleekest car Buick has sold in many years. Its sloping roofline and the hockey-stick accent line in the doors add up to a handsome, athletic shape that's sporty without being boy-racer-ey.

The Regal looks a little smaller than the typical U.S. midsize car (think Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion), but Buick hopes it will compete against sportier contenders like the Acura TSX (and sit between the Lexus ES and IS) rather than those more mass-market sedans.


 
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Comments (3)
  1. The Regal will not overwhelmingly convert Lexus or Acura buyers - and it shouldn't be marketed to do so. If anything, the new Buick Regal will help to fill the Pontiac\Saturn void and perhaps allow some jumping Chevy owners to land a few steps closer to a Cadillac - which, appropriately, is the reason Buick exists in the first place.
     
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  2. I've just come back from the UK after putting in 650 miles in the UK version; the Vauxhall Insignia. However, it was the diesel version and turned in 45mpg UK, 37.5 US MPG but that didn't improve the interior; looked great in brushed metal and black leather until you reach out and touch it; then it's all razor sharp plastic and controls sprung with mushy peas. Throw in a dose of random computer faults and bad user experiences with the onboard nav and you have the makings of a solid "also-ran".
    MPT
     
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  3. The Regal was previously a far better car, w/ std. equipment of a 3.8 v6 with far more hp and torque and got as good or better gas mileage (29-31) mpg than this 2011 Buick crackerbox. What happened? I looked into the 2011 Regal because of all the hype and found out that its been turned into a Ford Focus. Sleek? I say it looks pretty much like any other car of this rather high price range.
     
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