Car review: Buick Regal

Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 2:00pm

When GM imploded a couple of years ago, a lot of us wondered if they could recover. And if they did, would they finally build the cars we knew they could…those cars that appeared every so often and wowed us like the Malibu, the Solstice or the GTO.

Well, the answer is yes and nowhere is it more emphatically yes than at Buick. Yes, stodgy old Buick that built overweight, spongy land yachts and was the overwhelming choice of that demographic that takes advantage of that “last time buyers” program.

The new Lacrosse is an affordable Lexus, and now the Regal is here to show Acura how it’s done. And like the GTO, GM has gone to one of it’s overseas branches, in this case Opel in Germany, for a new sedan. The Opel Insignia has been transformed into this gorgeous, luxurious little Buick.

Outside, the car just flat works, with crisp lines and beautiful assembly. Inside the Regal is more luxurious than most of its competition and roomier to boot.

Power initially comes from a 2.4-liter twin-cam 4-cylincer with 182 horsepower. Later this year comes the 2.0-liter turbo and 220 snarling ponies. Ultimately, a 6-speed manual will be available. That’s right, there’s frost in Hades as Buick offers a stick shift.

Handling is excellent, if not exactly sports car tight. The new Regal can scoot to 60 miles per hour in the mid-8 second range, and the turbo can do it in the 7’s. Mileage ranges from 20 to 30 miles per gallon city and highway and the Regal starts at around $27,000.

A good deal, and proof that GM has gotten that old time great car religion.

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