2018 Buick Regal GS has power, luxury to spare
Buick has been working hard to reinvent itself as a sporty premium brand with appeal to those looking for top-tier luxury and performance features at a more economical price point than the Europeans tend to offer.
The 2018 Regal GS is the flagship of Buick's line, and it's a worthy contender to compare with luxury mid-size competitors like the BMW 5-Series or Audi A6. In part that's because this Buick is also a German car, adopted from GM's former Opel subsidiary. The Regal may not have the speed of the top German performance models, but you won't pay the same sticker price, either.
What you will get is a 3.6-liter double overhead cam engine rated at 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an advanced 9-speed automatic transmission and a smart all-wheel-drive system that provides traction under all conditions. With that setup, the Regal GS will hit 60 MPH from a standing stop in just 5.4 seconds. That's half a second faster than the baseline Audi or BMW competitors, for about $10,000 less than their base prices.
Moving inside, there are some features to note. The Regal offers heated and ventilated front seats, and the GS trim gets you some very nicely adjustable sport seats with a massage function. There's an optional head-up display on the windshield, too. Like all GM products, the Regal has an onboard 4G/LTE data connection and it creates a wi-fi hot spot. There's also an optional Bose audio system with an 8-inch touchscreen interface with Android and Apple support.
One of the most important features is the rear hatch. Instead of a traditional sedan trunk, a large rear hatch opens to reveal an easily accessible cargo area. You can flip the rear seats down and create 60.7 cubic feet, which is enough space to put in two adult-sized bicycles. We tested that. However, you won't really want to put adults in the back seats for very long. It's a little close back there.
On the road, the Regal GS is a truly satisfying car to drive. There's plenty of power underfoot and it's available without waiting for a turbo to spool up. Push the "Sport" or "GS" buttons on the console for even more power and response. The transmission is smooth and certain. The suspension is firm and sporty without being jarring. The cabin is quiet and all controls are easy to find and use.
The bottom line on the 2018 Buick Regal GS is that this is a premium mid-size sedan that can compete with the best of Europe's offerings and win on price and on its merits.
2018 Buick Regal GS
Base price: $39,995
Price as tested: $43,920
Type: Mid-size sedan
Engine: 3.6-liter V6 (310 hp, 282 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 19/27
Overall length: 192.9 inches
Curb weight: 4,270 pounds
Final assembly: Russelsheim, Germany