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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2019 Buick Regal GS

      ...Identity Crisis in Car Form...

    Expectation can be a very dangerous thing. You come into something thinking it will blow your mind and more often than not, it comes up short. That’s how I felt during the first few days into a loan of a 2019 Buick Regal GS. What was being presented didn’t match up with my experience. But over the week I had the vehicle, it began to grow on. That isn’t to say some issues need to be addressed.

    At first glance, you might think Buick decided to stick with a sedan shape. But the sloping rear hatch gives away its true identity as a Sportback. This helps give the impression that the Regal is sporty, helped further by short overhangs. By adding small touches such as large front air intakes, GS-specific 19-inch wheels. Brembo front brake calipers finished in Red, and a small lip spoiler, the GS transforms the Regal into looking like a red-blooded sports sedan. 

    The interior sadly doesn’t match up with what is being presented on the outside. While there was some effort to make the GS stand out with faux carbon-fiber trim, special sport seats, and GS badging, it doesn’t quite match with what is being presented outside. Not helping are some cheap plastics littered throughout the Regal GS’ interior. If this was a standard Regal, I may have given it a slight pass. But considering this GS carries a price of almost $43k, it becomes a big issue. The interior does redeem it somewhat with a logical and simple layout. No one had any complaints about whether the controls were confusing or hard to reach.

    Let’s talk about the front seats, The Regal GS comes fitted with racing-style front seat with aggressive side bolstering and faux holes towards the top where the belts for a harness would go into. This design seems more at home in a hardcore Corvette than a Buick. Before you start thinking that the seat design only allows a small group of people to fit, Buick has fitted adjustable bolstering to allow a wide set of body types to sit comfortably. With this and other power adjustments, I was able to find a position that suited me. Over a long drive, the seats were able to provide the right amount of support and comfort.

    The back seats don’t get the same “race car” treatment as the front, but they do offer ample head and legroom for most passengers. Cargo space is quite impressive with 31.5 cubic feet with the seats up and 60.7 when folded. The Kia Stinger I drove back in January pales in comparison with 23.3 and 40.9 cubic feet.

    The Regal GS features an eight-inch touchscreen with the new Buick Infotainment 3 system. As I mentioned in my Silverado/Sierra 1500 review, the new system is worlds better than Intellilink. The interface has been cleaned up with simpler graphics and fonts that are much easier to read. Also seeing noticeable improvements is the overall performance. The system is much faster when bringing up different functions or crunching a route on the optional navigation system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and OnStar 4G LTE round off the system. 

    With the effort Buick has put in, you might have the feeling that the Regal GS has something special under the hood. That isn’t the case. Under the hood of the GS is GM’s venerable 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet. While the V6 packs 40 more horsepower than the 2.0L turbo-four from the last-generation model, it is also down 13 pound-feet. This absence becomes apparent when you decide to sprint away from a stoplight or exiting a corner as you need to work the engine to get that rush of power. A numb throttle response doesn’t help. If you resist from attack mode, the V6 reveals a quiet and refined nature. But again, you will need to work the engine when merging or making a pass.

    Before someone shouts “put a turbo on it”, Buick cannot do that as there isn’t enough space in the engine bay due to the design of the platform. We’ve known about this issue since 2016 when Holden was gearing up to launch the Commodore - its version of the OpelVauxhall Insignia.

    Quote

    “According to media reports, Holden pushed for the V6 and all-wheel drive combination for their requirements. There were rumors of the Commodore getting a twin-turbo V6 - possibly the twin-turbo 3.0L or 3.6L from Cadillac. But that isn't going to happen for a simple reason - it can't fit in the Insignia/Commodore's platform (E2XX).”  

    The nine-speed automatic transmission goes about its business with unobtrusive shifts when going about your daily errands, but offers up snappy shifts when you decide to get aggressive. A glaring omission on this sports sedan is the lack of paddle shifters. 

    Fuel economy for the 2019 Regal GS is 19 City/27 Highway/22 Combined. I saw an average of 20 during the week. This can likely to be attributed to the test vehicle having under 1,000 miles on the odometer. 

    On paper, the Regal GS’ handling credentials seem top-notch with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system and a GKN all-wheel drive system featuring a twin-clutch torque-vectoring rear differential. The latter allows a varying amount of power sent to each rear wheel to improve cornering. In the real world, the GS is more Grand Tourer than Gran Sport. While the sedan shows little body roll, its reflexes are slightly muted due to a nearly 3,800 pound curb weight. The steering provides a decent amount of weight when turning, but don’t expect a lot of road feel. What about that AWD system? For the most part, you really won’t notice working unless you decide to push the limits or practice your winter driving skills in a snowy and empty parking lot. 

    Thanks to the CDC system, the Regal GS’ ride is surprisingly smooth. With the vehicle in Tour, the suspension glides over bumps and imperfections. The ride begins to get choppy if you One area that I’m glad Buick is still focusing on is noise isolation. Road and wind noise is almost non-existent. 

    The 2019 Buick Regal GS is a case of expectations being put too high. Despite what the exterior and sports seats of the interior may hint at, this isn’t a sports sedan like a Kia Stinger GT or something from a German luxury brand. But my feelings began to change when I thought of the GS as being more of a grand tourer. It has the ingredients such as a refined powertrain, a suspension that can be altered to provide either a comfortable or sporty ride; and minimizing the amount of outside noise.

    There lies the overall problem with Regal GS as Buick doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sport sedan or a luxury sedan with grand tourer tendencies? This confusion will likely cause many people to look at something else which is a big shame.

    How I Would Configure a 2019 Buick Regal GS.

    My particular configuration would be similar to the vehicle tested here with the Driver Confidence Package #2, Sights and Sounds, and Appearance packages. The only change would be adding the White Frost Tricoat color, which adds an additional $1,095 to the price. All together, it comes out to $44,210.

    Alternatives to the 2019 Buick Regal GS:

    • Kia Stinger: The big elephant in the room when talking about the Regal GS. For a similar amount of cash, you can step into the base GT model with its 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel drive setup (AWD adds $2,200). I came away very impressed with the styling, performance on tap from the V6, and handling prowess. Downsides include the interior design being a bit too minimalist and the ride being a bit rough.
    • Volkswagen Arteon: The other dark horse to the Regal GS. There is no doubt that the Arteon is quite handsome with flowing lines and sleek fastback shape. Having sat in one at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, I found it to be very roomy and upscale in terms of the interior materials. I hope to get some time behind the wheel in the near future to see how it measures up in handling.

    Disclaimer: Buick Provided the Regal GS, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2019
    Make: Buick
    Model: Regal
    Trim: GS
    Engine: 3.6L V6
    Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
    Torque @ RPM: 282 @ 5,200
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
    Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Rüsselsheim Germany
    Base Price: $39,070
    As Tested Price: $43,115 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Driver Confidence Package #2: $1,690.00
    Sights and Sounds Package: $945.00
    Appearance Package: $485.00

    Edited by William Maley



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    I would think a turbo 4 banger tweaked to maximum performance in balance with long life would be a better solution for a GS over a buttery smooth V6.

    I expect this auto to be gone by 2021.

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    After never having seen a new GS ever on road...far upstate NY the last week, I counted 3 of them.

    Nondescript, and not as interesting as the previous one in some details, but bigger and smoother. Good look on road, and total sleeper. Nothing looks different, at all. Add in white, gray, and silver as the 3 I saw...and nope.

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    Faster and smoother engine than an Arteon, not as nice of an interior.
    Slower than a Stinger GT, about equal on the interior.

    Still, a decent handler, but a total sleeper. 

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    Identity Crisis in Car Form...”

    i would say that tagline is quite apropos. 

    Now that the 2.7t is out, that might not be a bad mill to try to stuff in this thing. 

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    12 hours ago, Larry C. Brown said:

    Is any Buick being manufactured in America anymore?

    As you correctly point out, most Buicks are built overseas.

    Encore - S. Korea
    Envision - China
    Enclave - US
    Regal - Germany
     

    When they were still around:
    Lacrosse - US
    Cascada - Poland

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    11 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    As you correctly point out, most Buicks are built overseas.

    Encore - S. Korea
    Envision - China
    Enclave - US
    Regal - Germany
     

    When they were still around:
    Lacrosse - US
    Cascada - Poland

    and none of these carry the Buick nameplate anymore; just the tricolor logo.

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    2 hours ago, Larry C. Brown said:

    and none of these carry the Buick nameplate anymore; just the tricolor logo.

    I don't have as much an issue with that.  Benz and Audi don't put their name on the car, just the logo. 

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    I saw a new Regal at the grocery this morning...was about 75 feet away, w/ the lights on.  At first I thought it was a BMW 3/4 hatchback from that distance in the early morning gloom...gray, with a round badge and those taillights..

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    On 8/6/2019 at 12:54 PM, dfelt said:

    I would think a turbo 4 banger tweaked to maximum performance in balance with long life would be a better solution for a GS over a buttery smooth V6.

    I expect this auto to be gone by 2021.

    I saw one today.  A black sportback.  I realized I was looking at "a German Buick."  The sportback has some clean lines, so it's okay.  Even though it's a passenger car and a high line GM, it's really not for me.

    I'm agreeing with your second sentence.  I don't think it will stick around.  The only thing that makes it practicable for Buick and GM is that it is not assembled here.  Having it built in Germany is like a tentacle of their operations that they can prune.  Germany is not GM country.

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    On 9/29/2019 at 10:50 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    I don't have as much an issue with that.  Benz and Audi don't put their name on the car, just the logo. 

    Every car you mentioned is manufactured in Europe (including the Regal). They do things differently than vehicles built in the US.

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    12 hours ago, Larry C. Brown said:

    Every car you mentioned is manufactured in Europe (including the Regal). They do things differently than vehicles built in the US.

    Chevy and Cadillac don't put their names on their cars either, just the badge.   

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    7 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Chevy and Cadillac don't put their names on their cars either, just the badge.   

    You are correct. It only started in 2013. The change was intended to give a cleaner, less congested branding appearance and was communicated through a GM Marketing Administrative message. I haven't been on GM lot in a while.

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      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00
  • Posts

    • Genesis is the low price value leader now and has no volume.  Even taking out the fact that they needs crossovers, their sedans don’t even sell well.     The G70 is a sales dud, big warranty and good JD Power ratings did nothing for it.     I think G80 is a better effort than G70 was but I still think it comes up short of where they need to be.  Likewise with GV90, it falls short.
    • So first off, WHO THE FUCK CARES about Formula 1, Championship, LeMans, etc. The bulk of the people do NOT watch racing or care. Mercedes is already DATED!!!!, Blah brand style. You have NO FACTS of the actual Taxi Whore price spent on the plastic interior taxes and the real reason that the E-Class has been a taxi for so long is in Europe as long as you drive 150,000 kilometers a year, you can write off the price of the auto over 2 years. Yup 50% cost write off in year 1 and the other half in year 2 and the auto is worn out. The Taxi's are driven hard, put away wet and are pretty much worthless in 2 years and worn out. Ready for scrap. I will grant you that MB has a long life as Taxis. History shows that the founder thought taxi's were the logical use of Auto's and the first ones built in 1897. https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/lifestyle/classic-magazine/daimler-motoren-gesellschaft-supplied-the-worlds-first-motorized-taxi/ The W123 being the model that was sold as a fleet auto till the W124 came out with the name E-Class in 1993. At this point the wiki pages say that MB had 80% of the Taxi market till subpar quality reduced it to 50% and allowed VW to catch up. Since then world wide Taxi share has gone to 60% due to MB Vito Taxi Van that is popular. MB web site and wiki both clearly state that the taxi versions are very different than the luxury version sold. As such, one can infer that the plastic interior with vinyl seats are sold much cheaper than the Luxury model they sell in the US. I could go on but will not bother since you cannot even compare apples to apples. Data supplied by the web site above and the following two wiki pages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_taxicab https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_E-Class In regards to GENESIS, and just about all other brands, I doubt Genesis wants to have a Taxi image as to why no one else goes after the taxi market. Value and higher ATP is clearly the focus.
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