Review: 2012 Buick Regal GS

Posted on 09. Dec, 2011 by in Auto News

Based on the emails I receive, some of you badly want to love the new 2012 Regal GS. In my review of the Buick Regal 2.0T, I noticed that his strengths "subtle" and therefore unlikely to be enthusiastic about love at first sight. The GS adds more aggressive styling, 50 hp, Brembo front brakes, improved suspension, better and stronger seats. If you have to be hit in the preparation,?

The exterior tweaks are working for me. They give the Regal a sportier face without being over the top. The optional-Dubs maybe bit of an over the top. Even the standard 19s looks a little too big for the car. Inside … Also the interior is pretty much the same, only with bigger boosts in their seats. Thus, the parts look and feel of high quality and are subtly stylish. But why no improvements to the GS or a lift?

A little colored thread could go a long way to alleviate the cabin almost overwhelming darkness. While they're at it, my brain would process much easier tach in the thousands, to the current count, which is numbered (late model VW style) in the hundreds. The revised front seats do not offer more lateral support, but as in the regular shelf are not particularly luxurious or comfortable. The rear seat is more cramped than it should be generous outside measurements in view of the car. The average adult is there, but not very comfortable.

Quite a few people were to learn that the Regal GS from a 270-hp 2.0-liter turbo four driving only the front two wheels would be driven disappointed. In Europe you can buy the closely related Opel Insignia with a 325-hp V6 and all-wheel drive. But GM is probably true that the over $ 40,000 price would require the OPC drive train would be too high for too many prospective North American buyers.

My personal fear: sound of the hi-po 2.0T and would feel too much like the previous incarnation hoarse that the initially-hot-soon departed driven Pontiac Solstice GXP and Saturn Sky Redline. Maybe good for supercharged resurgence memories shelf 1980s, but not for a semi-premium brand. I need not be alarmed. If anything, the new engine is smooth and quiet, revving., To its 6,350 rpm fuel cut with absolutely no drama and surprisingly little noise You're cruising a residential street with the tachometer needle 5k and not to win a glance. At idle, the exhaust is barely audible above the idling speed there is only a subtle hum. The proof of the turbo is limited to a faint puff of cases where always on or off gas. There is no sharp transition boost builds.

The disadvantage of this unexpected refinement: if I did not know better, I'd never guess it was somewhere near 270 horsepower under the hood. Oshawa could have installed the wrong engine? On paper, GM's latest 3.6-liter V6 is not as strong through the midrange with 20 fewer pound-feet (275 vs. 295) to a much higher peak (4,900 vs. 2,500), but my butt dyno reports differently. While the car 3710-pound curb weight does not help, the bigger problem is the engine flat torque curve and a lack of audible feedback., The Regal GS is faster than it feels If you have, would you rather be a car fast or feel fast?

The shift lever for the six-speed manual (only transmission offered initially) glides smoothly and with a minimum of effort from gear to gear. Although I personally would prefer more "snick" as each gear is engaged, this is a tremendous improvement over the past manuals GM front-drivers (which was in the late, unlamented Pontiac G6 GTP among the worst I've ever experienced).

Delivered even with nearly 300 pound-feet of torque through the front wheels only, there is no evidence of torque steer. Credit GM HiPer strut front, where the upper steering shaft to move from the spring strut with a ball joint is located outboard of the strut. This results in a further vertical "kingpin" axis about which rotates the tire and wheel as the steering wheel is rotated to a reduced offset between the axis and the tire contact area and a reduced steering rolling radius of the distance between (where this axis makes the way and the tire contact patch).

Although this suspension design was first used in the Buick LaCrosse CXS that offered firmer, better damped suspension tuning of the Regal GS much better recognize its potential. Aggressive driving along a winding road the car feels, if anything, too confident and planted. With the HiPer Struts' superior geometry, the wheels almost perpendicular to the road by keeping much of their travel offer 255/35ZR20 Pirelli P-Zero tires have a surprising amount of grip in the face of the shelf front-heavy weight distribution. On each, but the most demanding public roads you are not yet out of the sticky edge protectors' boundaries and is hardly a tax. Partly because the front tires slip as little typical driving and partly because of some side effects of the HiPer Strut suspension geometry, there is not much in the way of steering feedback. Rack-helmet is still reassuringly precise, while the chassis exudes the calm competence usually found in the best German sedans. drama? Not here. A Cadillac CTS Touring Edition and Volvo S60 R-Design (reviews in near future, feels) rambunctious compared. Much bigger and heavier, as well. Regal drives smaller and lighter than it actually is. They show goes on the shelf. Just pay attention to the speedometer it's likely going to perform much faster than the senses .

The Regal GS features adaptive dampers with three selectable modes as standard. I did not notice much difference between the drive settings apart from a slightly jiggly in "GS" mode. But even in this mode, the ride is far from harsh-the shelf one of the best riding cars I've tested in recent memory. Not remotely cushy or floaty, but maintaining an even keel and precise control of the body through all but the worst pavement. Some cars with premium labels you throw and push you a lot more.

Download a Regal GS with all available options, such as with the test car, and the sticker will increase from $ 35,310 to $ 38,785 (including $ 495 for the "white diamonds" paint). Too high for a not-quite-mid-sized Buick? The problem is, if you are looking for a powerful sedan manual, you will not find many less expensive options. Make that a single less expensive option, by my quick count:. A Subaru Legacy GT is less than $ 3,400 But adjusting for feature differences with True Delta cuts the car price comparison tool this. Although in half of the Subaru all-wheel drive to go for a $ 1,700 adjustment in their favor The Buick is a much more solid car with a much higher level of content.

Any other car with over 200 horsepower and a manual transmission costs considerably more. The least expensive is about cars, the Infiniti G37, lists for about $ 4,000 more. A 211-horsepower Audi A4 2.0T? Over 6,600 $ more even after adjustment for $ 1700 its all-wheel drive system (the two are otherwise closely matched in terms of the functions). Of course, if you want (or at least need) an automatic, there are far more expensive choices, including a couple from Korea.

The big mistake with the Regal GS follows his greatest strength. Some teams clearly within GM say a huge effort in refining the powertrain and chassis of this car. The result is smooth and quiet to a fault. Want a car that you can drive fast with a minimum increase in the pulse? The Regal GS supply. But if you are looking for a car will increase your heart rate, you will probably be disappointed when the roads go regularly rotate and turn like an epileptic snake be. Even in the Regal GS form a car remains subtle strengths.

Car tested by Carol Moran-Charron of Art Moran Buick provided in Southfield, MI. Carol can be reached 248-353-9000.

Michael Karesh operates, an online provider of car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.