2017 Buick Regal GS: Midsize remains classy with new generation in sight

By Mike Blake Carlisle Events
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Buick Regal enjoyed a 31-year-reign as a classy, quiet, upscale sedan, ending its production run in 2004. Reintroduced to North America in 2011 (production and sales have been ongoing in China since 1999), a new-generation model is due out for 2018. But within this incarnation, Regal, based on the European-market Opel Insignia, upgraded with a mid-generation tweaking in 2014 that added sportiness, expressiveness and advanced tech to the Buick Regal GS. For 2017, Buick has added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and has increased its exterior palette with Graphite Gray Metallic, Black Cherry Metallic, Pepperdust Metallic.

The Regal GS I tested boasts of an upscale Euro-style interior, aggressive design cues, and state-of-the-art tech features while continuing to enforce its legacy of reliable quiet comfort and road worthiness.

The 2017 Regal is available in five retail trim levels: Regal 1SV; Sport Touring; Regal; Premium II and GS. Standard features on all models include such safety items as six air bags, including side curtain air bags; StabiliTrak electronic stability control with full-function traction control and four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Intelligent Brake Assist

Standard tech items include: OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with Wi-Fi hotspot (includes three-month/3GB data trial); eight-inch color touch screen radio with Buick IntelliLink, AM/FM/Sirius XM (three months of service); stereo with CD player and auxiliary input jack; USB ports; Bluetooth wireless connectivity for select phones; and rear-vision camera system.

Also standard are cruise control, power windows with driver and front passenger express up/down, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-appointed seating, heated driver and passenger front seats, 12-way power driver’s seat, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, electric parking brake and Ice Blue ambient lighting.

The four-door, five-passenger front engine midsize sedan comes in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. Its architecture conveys a low, wide stance and an upscale ambience. Prominent, sweptback headlamps are available in halogen projector beams and Xenon high-intensity discharge. At the rear, LED wing-shape taillamps with chrome accents enhance Regal’s elegant styling.

GS models are distinguished by unique front and rear fascias, exclusive 19-inch wheels (20-inch wheels available) and a lowered ride height. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard on all other models.

Built in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, the midsize sedan is constructed with a steel body frame integral (unibody) with front and rear crumple zones; galvanized steel front fenders, hood, roof, door panels, one-piece bodyside outer panel and thermal plastic olefin bumper fascias. The Buick Regal GS measures 190.2 inches in length, 73.1 inches in width, and 58.4 inches in height on a 107.8-inch wheelbase, with a curbweight of 3725 lbs.

Regal is available with two engine offerings. Its 1SV trim comes with a 2.4-liter engine, rated at 182 horsepower and 172 lbs-ft of torque, and is EPA rated at 25mpg in the city and 36mpg on the highway in FWD. My test GS trim was powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine rated at 259 horsepower and 295 lbs-ft of torque. This system is EPA rated at 19/27 for AWD automatic. My week of mixed-use tests (though most of my driving was on Interstates) achieved an average of 24.1mpg on unleaded, though premium fuel is recommended (not required).

My GS accelerated slowly. But had plenty of passing power at speed. A zero-to-60mph sprint took 7.3 seconds, and the quarter-mile was accomplished in 15.8.

Steering was responsive, and the ride was confident. Regal’s HiPer Strut front suspension and four-link independent rear with all-speed traction control using engine torque reduction and brake intervention made for a very smooth and attentive experience.

Inside, Regal blends sculptural beauty and refinement with technology. The instrument panel center stack is designed for easy operation with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. Headroom is a bit tight at 38.8 inches in front and 36.8 inches in row two; legroom is an accommodating 42.1 inches in row one and 37.3 for the second seat and shoulder room is 56.7 and 54.4.

The 2017 Buick Regal Base model 1SV starts at $26,865 plus destination and continues through five trims: Sport Touring at $28,615; Regal at $31,465; Premium II at $34,0405 and the top-of-the-line Regal GS starting at $36,540 (all plus destination charges) with AWD, the 2.0-liter turbo engine and automatic transmission, and coming standard with GS-specific front and rear fascia, rockers and rear spoiler; 19-inch V-spoke alloy wheels; GS-Sport seats and steering wheel; Brembo front brakes, HiPer Strut front suspension, Buick® IntelliLink® audio system with Navigation; Parking Assist front and rear; and interactive drive control with standard, Sport or GS mode.

Exterior colors are extra for some reason and Crimson Red Tintcocat cost $495 and was coupled with an Ebony interior with leather-appointed seats. Driver Confidence I package added $1040 for Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Following Distance Indicator and Driver memory seat, Driver Confidence II package added $1195 for Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Automatic Braking The power moonroof added $1000; side window air deflector added $89; front and rear premium all-weather floor mats were $100 and destination freight charges of $925, for a sticker price as tested of $41,195, but with a new model coming next year, you might be able to get a discount deal from the dealer.

> Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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