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(Contributing Editor: Tomasz Paluch, Roadblazing.com)
Your father was very fortunate if he was driving a 1967 Buick Skylark Grand Sport coupe back in the day. With its big block 400 ci. OHV V-8, 4-barrel carburetor and 10.25:1 compression, making 340 gross hp and 440 lb-ft torque, "[His] Father Never Told [Him] There'd Be Buicks Like [That]."
"Drive...He Said" admits the 2016 Regal GS AWD is no muscle car. But with the recent addition of all-wheel drive, Regal GS is "Definitely Not Your Father's 4-Door Buick."
WHAT: 2016 Buick Regal GS (Epsilon II) : Sporty mid-size executive sedan based on GM's Opel Germany's Insignia OPC and Vauxhall UK's Insignia VXR. Regal GS was originally released in 2011 as front-drive only; Cosmetic refresh came with the 2014 Buick Regal model (Turbo Premium reviewed here) ; as did GS de-tuning and all-wheel drive option.
WHAT (A) DIFFERENT LOOK: √ smooth Coke-bottle fuselage; √ Narrow nose; wide, short smoked waterfall grille; deep lower fascia featuring vertical matte metallic air ducts "Fangs" ; √ High arching fenders with "Buick Bling" [non-functional] hood louvers; √ Sharply raked roofline; √ Tapering rear quarters with wrap-around LED taillamps; √ Lower rear valance diffuser; √ Duck-bill integrated trunk-lid spoiler.
WHY: Lustworthy 20" mirror-polished honeycomb wheels. Affordable German engineered and designed executive sedan, now with all-wheel drive, occasionally benign, otherwise a lively driver.
WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since summer 2015
WHERE: Buick new car dealers
WHERE MADE: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
HOW STRONG: 2.0L DOHC twin-scroll turbocharged gas I-4 gets 11 hp cut to 259; Haldex Gen. IV all-wheel drive shuttles up to 90% of the 295 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels with torque vectoring; Robust 6-speed transaxle is capable of smooth 3 gear downshifts and momentarily strikes redline before any fuel cutoff; Makes but a house cat's mellow purr at WOT.
HOW LIMBER: Hi-Per Strut with separate steering knuckle = shorter spindle length, > steering axis radius, < tugging force on lower ball joint. H-rear lower control arm nets 5-links for +1 camber control = truer cornering;
√ Interactive Drive Control GS Mode electronically quickens damping, without compromising too much compliance; √ Already fast steering rack livens up in GS and Sport modes, transmitting feel from meaty Pirelli P-Zero summer rubber; √ 4-Piston fixed Brembo front calipers and 1-Piston sliding rears clamp down on vented rotors all around with linear and predictable bite; √ Supremely stable at Triple Digit Speeds;
HOW FAR: Enthusiastic use during poor fuel atomizing cold weather = 21 combined miles per gallon.
HOW BIG : Advertised for 5 occupants but effectively a 2+2;
HOW LITTLE: Sloping roof gouges enough headroom that we sustained bleeding head wound in quest for cockpit photographs; Low seat cushions make view forward and over wide B-pillars challenging; Wing mirrors remain toy-like , but at least now Blind Spot Warning is available.
HOW USEFUL: √ Wide trunk pass through, upon folding split 2nd Row seatbacks; √ 1x USB ports √ 1x 12V power outlet; +1 110V power outlet aft of front center console; sparse Pre-Smart Phablet Phone center console storage; Door panel grab handles too far forward.
HOW SAFE: √ 10 airbags including rear outboard torso; Driver assist technology: √ Blind spot, Lane departure, Rear cross traffic Warning, √ Rear camera w/ audible fore + aft Park Assist alert √ Forward vehicle time interval: apparently popular in Europe;
HOW FRIENDLY: √ +1 Hip bolstering in front bucket seats is worth price premium over Regal Turbo Premium model, though snug for wider or girth; √ Contrast stitching on all dark surfaces √ Rippled leather seating inserts for improved long-distance support; √ Such a thick, heated leather-wrapped D-shaped steering wheel is joy to hold; √ Euro-large primary control rotary dials, thumb toggles & stalks have been spotted in less pricey GM models; √ Impressively isolated cabin save for some tire slap; Drive Control switches are discouragingly remote from driver; Glovebox door damped for abrupt drop; Why bother which such unnoticed carbon fiber accents?; Rear parcel shelf underside unfinished;
√ Climate control temperature and seat heating switches are resistive soft touch type making them trying to adjust.
√ 8"-inch TFT polychromic gauge cluster information screen with chronograph style Sport Theme displaying Accelerative forces, Lap Times & drivetrain data; Flanking ELD dual analog gauges are too unadorned.
√ Matte-finish 8"-inch touch, pinch & release LCD media display occasionally laggy;
HOW "APP" -LICABLE: Buick Intellilink = exemplary infotainment interface: Apple Car Play already here; Android Auto arrives in 2017; Handsfree communications; SMS text messaging; Voice commanded GPS SD Navigation; free apps: Pandora, search; subscription fee based OnStar telematics and live concierge services and 4G hot spot via AT&T; 11-spearker Bose Centerpoint audio is thunderous if not crystalline.
HOW MUCH: $40,650 = 2016 Buick Regal GS AWD w/ Driver Confidence I That's a $5900 price drop < 2015 [GM has announced 20% discount incentives as of this writing].
WHAT'S MISSING: > Headroom & rear legroom; +1 cabin trim; an Estate (Wagon) variant; Bring back the 6-speed manual.
ANY COMPETITION: Nissan Maxima +1 cabin detail; but no AWD; Acura TLX: +1 craftmanship, nearly anonymous but including some autonomous driving tech; Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E : pedestrian avoiding, w/ +1 front seat but -1 for cluttered center stack and slowww 3G connectivity; Volkswagen CC: +1 fit and finish, < Row 2 headroom, AWD only on thirstier VR6.
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Filed under: Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Gallery - Executive Sport Sedans, Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Gallery - Sporty Executive Sedans, Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Review - Premium Executive Sedans, Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Reviews - Four Door Coupes, Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Reviews - Sporty Executive Sedans, Lifestyle - Transportation - Automotive - Reviews - Sporty Executive Sedans w/ AWD
Tags: 2016 Buick Regal GS AWD review, 2016 Regal GS, Acura TLX competitor, all wheel drive, awd, Buick, Buick Regal GS, executive sedan, images, Nissan Maxima Competitor, Opel Insignia OPC, premium, Regal GS, review, specifications, turbocharged 4 cylinder, Vauxhall Insignia VXR, Volvo S60 Competitor