2014 Buick Regal GS Review: You Better Regalize
I have a thing for Buicks. Back in the day, my Grandfather was man about town in Brooklyn. He drove a 1979 Buick LaSabre. Everyone saw him coming in the gleaming sedan and oftentimes, I was the youngster riding shotgun, keeping a tab on the goings in and around around Flatbush. He bought a matching one for my Mom. Life began in a Buick.
So when I heard the early excitement about the new Regal GS, I was eager to get behind the wheel and see what’s what. Having co-founded Classic Car Club Manhattan, I’ve been very lucky to own and spend a lot of time with hundreds of the best cars ever made. It might be an unfair pairing to have me review something that costs much, much lest than the defense fund of most small countries but life is rarely fair. With a starting MSRP of $40,195†, the GS is great value compared to anything else in the garage. When the Regal pulled up in GS trim and a spectacular red coat of paint. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. I was greeted by an insistent grill built for business and massive, race-bred Brembo brakes peeking out from behind beautifully sculpted wheels.
This wasn’t my grandfather’s Buick. Overall, the exterior looked great. The Regal GS sports an athletic silhouette to make one think those Brembos are more than posturing. Buick has done a tremendous job of fitting all the necessities into an efficient shape that’s ideal for the modern city sedan while still being plenty big for a family, the exec shuttling from meeting to meeting or the golfer that needs to fit a country club’s worth of golf bags in the trunk. Inside, the love affair continues. The crack design team at Buick has made excellent use of high quality mix of materials to give a plush, comfortable feel. Ergonomically speaking, it’s as if I’ve owned the Regal GS for years. The radio, climate control, indicators and everything else you need was right where your hand fell. Everything was placed with a purpose. If you don’t feel like using your hands, that’s okay too.
The latest-generation IntelliLink infotainment setup† was happy to tell me everything from directions to the weather, all on voice command that didn’t leave me shouting “Lafayette St!!! LAFAYETTE ST!” as so many other voice command systems do.
But enough of that. Time to power up and put the Regal GS through my New York paces. With a push of the starter button, the GS’s turbo-charged four-banger comes on line quick with an impressive pounce. The 259 horses produced get off the line giddy up power from 295 torques. I dropped the six-speed auto transmission with manual override, got on the gas and headed to my favorite taco spot for some lunch before Brooklyn. I never thought I’d see a Gurney Flap on a Buick, but it did an excellent job of keeping the rice and beans from sliding off the deck.
Back in the driver’s seat, the Regal GS instantly spun up and jumped right into the sea of city cabs and angry delivery trucks and swam up to speed instantly. The available all-wheel drive system does a wonderful job of delivering the power efficiently. Within minutes, the GS and I were flying down Delancy, dicing through the cabs and making our way towards the Brooklyn Bridge for an outer-borough experience to check out my motorcycle I’m building with famed builder Tim Harney. NYC is known for a few things – skyscrapers as tall as the clouds and potholes the size of swimming pools amongst them.
While the Regal GS’s suspension kept things tidy and roll-free, the ride was still plush enough to glide right over the swimming pool-sized pot holes and metal plates that litter the streets of Gotham. Steering was crisp, turn in was precise and when exiting a corner and the torques kick in and do a brilliant job of driving the car out of the bend , propelling it back up to traffic speeds instantly. Once we hit the Brooklyn asphalt another thing became obvious quickly. This thing has street cred. While weaving our way down Broadway under the elevated J train, the Regal GS and I received a lot of looks and nods of approval.
Here, in Nets country, compliments don’t come easy, but as one guy said to me at a red light, "Fresh whip man. Fresh whip." † MSRP excludes tax, title, license and dealer fees. See dealer for details † Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and Smartphone. Some devices require USB connectivity. Data plan rates apply. Go to gmtotalconnect.com to find out which phones are compatible with the vehicle.