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Consumer Reports Gives Buick Regal Thumbs Up

Buyers echoing sentiment as sales up 40% this year.

by on Jul.23, 2014

Consumer Reports recently gave the Buick Regal a glowing review, putting it in a tie for second-best vehicle in its segment.

Buick was at death’s door just a few years ago. A staid image and a mandate to cut down the number of brands in its portfolio, it looked like General Motors’ oldest nameplate would be heading to the scrap heap of automotive history.

However, GM surprised everyone by keeping Buick and repositioning the brand. And now those efforts are paying off in spades as Consumer Reports recently gave the Buick Regal a big pat on the back and sales of the Regal and the brand are both up double digits.

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Consumer Reports, after testing the Regal and the new Volvo S60, described both cars as serious competition for the more prestigious competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Apparently, the magazine was a bit late to the party as Regal sales are up nearly 40% through the first half of this year. Buick’s overall sales are up 12.5% in the first half of the year.

Consumer Reports’ engineers found the Regal’s performance, handling and easy infotainment system appealing. That helped the Regal beat the Volvo S60 in a head-to-head road test, the magazine said. Ultimately, the Regal wound up finishing just one point shy of the class-leading BMW 328i and tied the Mercedes-Benz C250 for second place in the organization’s overall ratings of upscale sport sedans – while costing thousands less, the magazine said.

“The Regal is a thoroughly developed and satisfying mid-sized sports sedan that’s more reminiscent of a German sports car than the softly sprung luxo-barges that Buick was once known for,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing.

Consumer Reports engineers found the Regal’s revised 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes the car quicker and more fuel-efficient than when it first came out. The turbo engine accelerates effortlessly, posting a 0-to-60-mph time of 7.4 seconds. The smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission is quick and responsive.

(Buick helping to lead GM to blazing sales in China. For more, Click Here.)

The reports, along with evaluations of the new Mercedes-Benz S550 (“Excellent” overall score), Audi A3 (“Very Good”), and Maserati Ghibli (“Very Good”), appear in the September issue of magazine, which goes on sale Thursday, July 31.

Consumer Reports measured the Regal’s fuel economy at 24 mpg overall, which is mid-pack for the category. But unlike many turbocharged engines, the Regal doesn’t require premium fuel. The Regal rides very well, with a trace of firmness at lower speeds while handling is agile and tied down, according to the magazine. On the track, the Regal was quite capable, snaking through Consumer Reports’ avoidance maneuver at a commendable speed of 53.5 mph with plenty of grip.

(Click Here for details about buyers desire for trouble-prone tech features.)

The Regal is currently on Consumer Reports Recommended list, and Regal’s showing is generally good news for General Motors but not necessarily for the Cadillac Division since some customers may look at the two brands as equal even though GM has tried mightily to separate them.

(To see more about Opel taking over GM Europe operations, Click Here.)

Time and again Buick’s product development budget has been cannibalized to help pay for new vehicles at Cadillac. Buick’s popularity in China, however, works to protect it nowadays since global automakers must pay greater attention to the preferences of Chinese customers. GM hopes to establish the Cadillac brand in China to compete with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

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3 Responses to “Consumer Reports Gives Buick Regal Thumbs Up”

  1. Jorge says:

    While the new Regal is an improvement I wouldn’t ever consider it to be in the same class as the BMW or Mercedes. Implying that it’s the same level car for thousands less is disingenuous IMO.

  2. Drew says:

    GM finally got smart and utilized Opel from their European division to bring some serious sport sedan credentials into play. They utilized Opel drivetrains in Saab when they had them and they proved to be robust and reliable choices (at least with the 2.0T).

  3. Debbie says:

    I have owned both the Benz & BMW 3 series and there is not comparison. My Buick Regal is head and shoulders over the Benz & BMW. Fabulous vehicle. I am enjoying it.