1.23.2016

The Most European American Sports Sedan?: The 2016 Buick Regal GS AWD

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Buick Regal GS
The 2016 Buick Regal GS.
Some say if it weren't for China and it being a hot market for Buicks, the brand wouldn't have survived the bankruptcy reorganization that saw Pontiac and Hummer walk the plank.  If that's true, then thank goodness for China, because it allows us to have the most European American sports sedan I can think of, the 2016 Buick Regal GS.




Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Buick Regal GS
2016 Buick Regal GS.
Those of you who have been brushing up on your General Motors lineage know, of course, that at its heart, the Regal is a European sedan...the Opel Insignia.  But in the bad old days, Americans would get "Americanized" versions of cars from over there.  The truly good news is that Buick understands what it has in the Regal and especially the Regal GS...an American alternative to the Audi A4 and BMW 3-series.

The 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four and its six-speed automatic transmission gives great bursts of power rightnow...no turbo lag. Steering is properly weighted, the car is perfectly balanced and the available all-wheel-drive keeps the Regal GS planted on the road as if guided by magnets.


Interior view of 2016 Buick Regal GS
2016 Buick Regal GS interior.
$36,490 gets power everything, dual-zone climate control, sport alloy pedals, GS heated sport seats, big Brembo brakes, a premium Bose 9-speaker audio system, 19-inch alloy wheels, its own 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot and OnStar. Our tester added an upgrade to 20-inch aluminum wheels for $700 and the optional Crimson Red tintcoat paint for $495. With $925 destination charges, the bottom line came to $38,610.  Good luck finding a 3-series or an A4 for that kind of  money.  About the only place the Buick falters (either than badge-related status concerns) is on fuel economy.  Its 19 city/27 highway lags a shade behind the A4's 21/30 and the 3-series 22/34.

It's the kind of car you'd have bet GM could either never build or would never sell in North America a decade ago.

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