First Look – 2011 Buick Regal

All of us here at Davis were excited to hear we would be receiving one of the first 2011 Buick Regal’s in Western Canada, but we were all a little bit unsure of what we were going to be getting – seeing as we’d only been able to see a few photos from Auto Shows and spy shots from the internet. 

When it did arrive we were all blown away.

Based on (and almost an exact replica of) the 2009 ‘European Car of the Year’ Opel Insignia, you can see the obvious European flavor in the Regal. It is sporty yet sophisticated, and based on looks alone you could easily place it with the BMW 3-series, Audi A4, and Lexus IS series that it is here to compete with (albeit at a smaller price tag.) Have a look for yourself at the pictures and you’ll understand how far Buick has come in the last few years – the Regal continues the trend that the Lacrosse and Enclave have recently set in completely overhauling the Buick image.

But its not just the exterior styling that had our jaws dropping, opening the doors also showed the Regals European sport sedan heritage. The leather, heated seats are firm and supportive, not to mention nice to look at. The piano black interior inserts in our Regal are also a nice touch in a world where we’ve grown accustomed to wood grain. Every Regal comes standard with Bluetooth capability as well as XM Satellite radio, and there is also an available voice activated Navigation system with a 40GB hard drive available on every model.

Now comes the fun stuff – the base engine on the Regal is an Ecotec 4-cylinder engine with Direct Injection and Variable Valve Timing which produces a respectable 182-hp. Later this year, the Regal CXL Turbo will arrive, sporting a 220-hp 2.0L Ecotec with a dual-scroll turbo and intercooler for those of us who always need just a little bit more power. The CXL Turbo will also come with an available Interactive Drive Control System – which allows you to select Normal, Tour, or Sport mode depending on your current driving conditions. Each setting automatically tunes the suspension, steering, throttle and stability control systems to match your driving style.

The best part about the Regal? It’s price. It may be an Audi/Lexus/BMW fighter, but its far from the wallet hit you would expect from a European sport sedan. The CXL starts at $31,990 (our particular Regal has a price tage of $34,935) and the soon-to-arrive CXL Turbo will start at $34,990.

Think you already have a perception of what a Buick is? Come on in, we’d love to let the Regal change your mind.