2011 Buick Regal Turbo Review

Like never before, the Regal Turbo is a Buick for drivers

2011 Buick Regal Turbo Review

Take all your preconceived notions about Buick, ball them up like a snowball, and hurl them at a brick wall for that satisfying “splat” sound. That’s what the all new 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo did for us during our test drive.

FAST FACTS

1. Powered by a turbocharged direct-injection 2.0L 4-cylidner the Regal Turbo makes 220-hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and delivers a 0-60 mph time of under 8 seconds.

2. Fuel economy is 20/32-mpg for the manual transmission and 18/28-mpg for the automatic.

3. The optional Interactive Drive Control System has three models to control the continuously adjustable dampers, throttle response, shift times and steering sensitivity.

4. Priced at $29,495 it’s just $2,500 more than the 182-hp 4-cylinder.

As you first approach the vehicle you notice the abnormally wide sport tires. Past Buicks featured large flabby side-walled tires, which gave the car added comfort. Not in 2011 though. The optional 19-inch aluminum rims and Goodyear Eagle RSA high-performance tires are ready for the track and not just an old couple’s Sunday drive.

Once you’re finished gawking at the tires, the vehicle design will catch your attention. The sleek body lines blend aspects of traditional Buick design with all the proportions of a sporty coupe. Plus, they’ve still incorporated the chrome waterfall grille – a signature in Buick’s design set.

TURBOCHARGED ENGINE DELIVERS PLENTY OF EXTRA THRUST

Out on the road you’ll have a perpetual grin on your face with 220-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque under your foot. The 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder turbo engine uses direct injection technology to optimize performance and a twin-scroll turbocharger to build more power at lower rpm. This all translates into some serious G-forces pushing you back in your seat when the light goes green.

Another reason to smile is the 2.0L engine’s fuel economy. You can drive like a race car all day long and it won’t cost you a fortune in fuel with the 32-mpg highway rating (28-mpg with the automatic). City consumption isn’t as impressive however, at 20-mpg for the manual and 18-mpg for the automatic; the result of using that turbo a lot more often.

Assisting those fuel economy numbers is a six-speed transmission (your choice of manual or automatic), with the auto-box featuring a driver selectable gear shift control so you don’t need the manual model if you want to have some fun.

STYLISH, IF CRAMPED, INTERIOR

The sport designed front seats really hug the driver and passenger while the rear seats are a bit plusher. Buick designers took all the signature styling cues distinct to the brand, added some black leather, and came up with seats you’d expect to find in a sport sedan. A word of warning to all you six-plus footers out there; your skull and the headliner in the Regal are going to become good friends whether you like it or not. Low and sleek body design has translated into less head room for the vertically gifted.

The seats were just a starting point for the work that was done to the interior. Between the front seats a flow-through console (originating from lines on the dashboard) provides plenty of space to store your stuff. However, the design of the storage bin lid interferes with the cup holders. Lids on coffee cups get caught and pull off, drinks spill, and additional trips to the drive-through window will be taken.

The design is pretty though, especially with all the silver trim and accent pieces guiding the twists and turns of the plastic. Inlays of Kibo wood compliment the lines and give the interior a more luxurious feeling.

Intuitively placed knobs and buttons make operating the Regal’s “infotainment” screen easy. This gives the driver access to the audio system, optional navigation, and Bluetooth or OnStar hands-free calling.

The Regal’s stereo performs like its engine. The Harmon Kardon speakers coupled with iPod compatibility, an internal flash drive, XM satellite radio, and a 10GB hard drive for music means that you’re prepared to turn the volume knob to 11 and enjoy your favorite songs – singing along (terribly) still optional.

ADJUSTABLE STEERING, TRANSMISSION AND SHOCK SETTINGS

After figuring out the ergonomic stereo system we came across a pair of buttons near the upper left corner of the console: one labeled “Sport” and the other “Tour.” We tentatively punched the Sport button and while there was no noise, no change in vehicle height, and no indication that anything had changed aside from a small orange indicator light illuminating inside the button, after taking the next corner a little aggressively we knew it was working.

Also aiding the competent handling is a fully-independent suspension, as well as the optional 19-inch wheels and IDCS (Interactive Drive Control System). So what does IDCS really do? When you start up the Regal it’s in the “Standard” suspension mode. This offers a balance between touring comfort and sporty performance. The “Tour” mode optimizes comfort by allowing the suspension to soak up more of the bumps on the road – great for long drives or rough road conditions. The “Sport” mode not only stiffens up the suspension components but it also instantly changes the transmission shift patterns, throttle response, and steering sensitivity. Translation – giv’er.

The system is also adaptive in that it constantly senses and recalibrates itself based on driver input. Imagine you’re driving down the highway in “Tour” mode and large rocks begin spilling out of the Dump Truck in front of you! Don’t fret, the IDCS has your back. The system reads the sudden change in steering and suspension roll input and adapts accordingly within milliseconds to keep you in control while making your chicane-like escape around obstacles.

Oh, but be sure to check your blind spot before you make those turns. The small exterior rear-view mirrors, with that aesthetically-pleasing yet vision-obscuring triangular shape, creat an extra large blind spot. Stylish, yes. Safe, not so much.

Other safety features include dual stage frontal airbags, side-curtain air bags and sizeable four-wheel disc brakes that give you power to stop safely and quickly.

THE VERDICT

The all new 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo is a wicked car. Yeah, we never expected to use the word “wicked” and “Buick” in the same sentence either. What you’re getting with this vehicle is a feeling of youth that still maintains its connection to class and refinement.

Priced at $29,495 it’s an attractive package that’s worth a comparison to European and Japanese rivals, not to mention an incredible alternative to fully-loaded V6-powered family sedans from anywhere in the world.

Buick says that this car was “Bred on the Autobahn.” Thankfully, you don’t have to move to Germany to get it.

RELATED READING

2011 Buick Regal Review [Video]

2009 Acura TSX 2009 Volkswagen CC Sport Review 2011 Volvo S60 Review 2010 Lincoln MKZ Review

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked