This ain't your grandma's Buick!

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This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby camera_man » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:34 pm

As you may or may not have noticed, recent Buicks have been trending away from their stereotypical "old people car" image. GM has been trying to liven up the brand by updating the styling and aiming the new cars to appeal to a younger generation. This is along the same lines as what has been going on with the Cadillac brand and their new design for the CTS and the CTS coupe. Well, the most recent (and possible the most dramatic) iteration of the new found youth in the brand is the 2012 Regal GS.

Redesigned styling gives the car a more aggressive look.

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Performance

Standard on the Regal GS is a 2.0L inline four. The engine is then turbocharged and intercooled to produce 270 HP and a pretty impressive 295 FT-LBS. For a car that weighs in at 3700 lbs, there is a surprising amount of get-up-and-go. Put your foot down, and the car has no problems with taking off. As to be expected, there is noticeable turbo lag, but once you hit the sweet spot between 2300 and 4900 RPM it's game on. One grudge I do have with the power delivery (while very smooth and predictable) is that the car really falls on it's face from 5000 RPM all the way up to its 6500 RPM redline. Buick claims 0-60 times in the mid 6s. Didn't really have the chance to confirm. One final note is that the speed you are going is very deceiving. The car is very quite, but if you stomp on it on the freeway to pass, you'll be going 90 MPH before you know it. Even at close to redline, there is very little noise coming from the engine bay. It's kind of a shame, because the vehicle has a really nice, deep exhaust note that I'd love to hear more often. You can hear the turbo, which is sweet.

Most importantly, this is the first Buick in a LONG time that has been offered with a manual transmission. The transmission has a relatively short-throw with a very positive feel and good feedback. Overall, it's really nice to drive, but it's kind of strange shifting for yourself in a mid-lux car.

So the car has the goods to get going, and get going quickly, but can it stop? Yes, yes it can. Hiding behind the 20 inch rims are 14 inch diameter rotors, paired with large Brembo calipers. The stopping power is immense, with a very linear brake feel. It's not overly grabby, but very firm and confidence-inspiring.

Handling is where this car shines the most. The one I've got came with 20 inch wheels and matching Pirelli P-Zero tires. They grip and grip, no-holds-bar. Specs say the car will pull 0.90 Gs in the bends... I'd believe it. On top of the good tires is a very good suspension. The suspension is definitely on the stiff side - but that's what the car is aimed for. In the default setting, it's comfortable. You can tell there are imperfections in the road, but it's not obtrusive or annoying. Looking closely at the center stack, you'll see two buttons in the upper left corner, "Sport" and "GS." Pressing them offers two different levels of handling changes. Sport mode features a stiffer suspension, while GS boasts an even stiffer suspension, along with increased steering response. On some more interesting on-ramps and back roads, the GS mode is awesome. The car will fly through the corners in a way I'd never had expected from a Buick. Ever. This car is great to drive from just about every aspect.

Comfort

I touched on the briefly, but there's not much to it. This car is comfortable and competent. The stiffer suspension allows the the excellent driving characteristics, but it would still be comfortable to drive 500+ miles. The seats are incredible - very deep and well-bolstered. The driver's seat has more aggressive lateral support than the passenger seat. For someone like me with a little wider shoulders, it was almost too much. Almost. The back seats are also comfy, with plenty of leg and head room for someone who is 6 foot plus.

Driver controls and radio/info center buttons are all within reach. They are also easy and pretty intuitive to use. Only grip is the location of the cup holder. If there's a taller drink in there, the drink gets in the way while you are going for a shift.

Practically, Economy, and Standard Features

Lots of storage space in the cabin, as well as a very large trunk space. About what you'd expect from a car in the category.

Fuel economy is 19 city and 27 highway. Seeing as it is only a 2.0L, this seems feasible, as long as you can keep you foot out of the go pedal (which is kinda tough, because the turbo is so addicting).

This car is very well-equipped, coming with just about everything you would want. Nav, power windows, locks, keyless entry and ignition, sunroof, leather, heated seats... the list goes on and on.

Reliability

Can't say...


All-in-all, the new Buick line-up is really different from Buicks of the past. If I was in the market for a car in this category, the Regal GS would definitely be on the top of my list. It's great to drive, yet still comfortable - almost the perfect combination. Fully loaded it tops just under $40K, so it's not THAT bad for what you get.
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby Shadow » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:01 pm

I actually really like the styling of that car. It looks great. The only problem with it is that it's a Buick. I just don't see Buick getting away from the stigma of being an old man's car.
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby Shadow » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:08 pm

camera_man wrote:...Most importantly, this is the first Buick in a LONG time that has been offered with a manual transmission...



I honestly can't even remember when a Buick was offered with a manual transmission. Maybe back in the 50s or 60s? Back in the days of 3-speed and 4-speed manuals? I'm pretty sure no Buick has ever been offered with a 5- or 6-speed manual transmission before...
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby camera_man » Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Shadow wrote:I actually really like the styling of that car. It looks great. The only problem with it is that it's a Buick. I just don't see Buick getting away from the stigma of being an old man's car.

Exactly, but GM is working hard to change that. This is just one step. I'm sure there will be more down the line with a more youthful focus.
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby potownrob » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:34 am

DO WANT :o :!:
BUT DEM FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

For Pizza!!!!

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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby AHTOXA » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:18 pm

I've liked these since I saw one live at the auto show.
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby 94Corolla5Speed » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:56 pm

That looks fantastic. And I'm so happy they offered the hi-po version in manual. Damn, American automakers sure are coming up. I like :mrgreen:

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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby vedran » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:58 pm

Don't care too much about the interior, but the outside is absolutely gorgeous.
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby ColJessip » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:24 pm

Love that car. I saw one of those at the car show and wanted one.

FOSE??

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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby 94Corolla5Speed » Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:44 pm

vedran wrote:Don't care too much about the interior, but the outside is absolutely gorgeous.

NO ROOM TO SPEAK YOU AUTOMATED HEATHEN.


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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby eggwich delfiero » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:19 am

I like the new Buick lineup. I like the last Lucerne and LaCrosse Super models as well. Sure, not as good looking as the newer lineup, but still, 5.3L V8 in an unassuming grandpa looking car, that's awesome in my book.

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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby Shadow » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:55 am

paul34 wrote:
Shadow wrote:
camera_man wrote:...Most importantly, this is the first Buick in a LONG time that has been offered with a manual transmission...



I honestly can't even remember when a Buick was offered with a manual transmission. Maybe back in the 50s or 60s? Back in the days of 3-speed and 4-speed manuals? I'm pretty sure no Buick has ever been offered with a 5- or 6-speed manual transmission before...


I think the GNX used to come in stick, but that was a time when Buick was a different kind of car (not just grandpa's grocery getter). I hope they're going back in that direction. I like the newest Regal. I'm sure elderly people will still buy it, but I'm sure many will be turned off by the more aggressive, modern styling. At the same time, that is fine, because old people should drive better looking cars than they currently do.

Actually, they seem to just buy Camrys and Avalons, so maybe this won't make a difference anyway.


I remember the days of the Grand National very well. I'm quite sure that no Grand National (including the top dog GNX) was ever offered with a manual trans.
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby tankinbeans » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:31 pm

Isn't this an Opel Insignia (or something like that - I know nothing about the Opel names since I'm from the states and nowhere near this car's ancestral Germany) in wolf's clothing?

Also, it looks like Buick, GM, ditched the portholes on the sides of the hood to designate how many cylinders were there. Were they embarrassed that having 2 on each side would get strange looks?
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby six » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:45 pm

Reminds me a little of a Bentley. Kind of like a Maserati and a Bentley mixed together.
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Re: This ain't your grandma's Buick!

Postby camera_man » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:53 pm

tankinbeans wrote:Isn't this an Opel Insignia (or something like that - I know nothing about the Opel names since I'm from the states and nowhere near this car's ancestral Germany) in wolf's clothing?

Also, it looks like Buick, GM, ditched the portholes on the sides of the hood to designate how many cylinders were there. Were they embarrassed that having 2 on each side would get strange looks?

Haha, never thought about the porthole thing...

Yes, this is essentially the sister car to the Opel Insignia. One major difference being the Opel is currently offered with a manual and AWD - this would be a much better combination IMO
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