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First Drive: 2011 Buick Regal Turbo

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Hi all - last week I had the chance to drive a few hundred miles in the 2011 Regal, with most of that time spent in the Regal Turbo. Nice car! Let me know what you think of the review. A few snippets:

Though the exterior shape is modern and cohesive, the interior is where the Regal impresses most. The leather seats in the CXLs are constructed of decent leather, and though they did not have any substantial side bolstering, the seats did feel supportive on my back and bottom after many hours behind the wheel. The upper dash is constructed of soft-touch plastic material, and the structure was rattle-free over pavement imperfections.
That being said, plenty of people have driven the Regal without the turbo; it’s available on dealer lots right now. I really wanted seat time in the Regal Turbo, so I was always happy to find an unclaimed Regal Turbo at the beginning of each leg of the drive.

When I started the Turbo I felt as though I had found a paragon of four cylinder refinement. The Turbo’s drivetrain was quieter, less frenetic, and it shifted more smoothly than did the base car’s with the 2.4 liter direct injection four cylinder. The Regal Turbo is not only more refined than the 2.4 liter Regal, but far quieter and placid than GM’s former applications of the related 2.0 liter turbo direct injection fours found in the likes of the Cobalt SS Turbo.

The Regal Turbo’s exhaust is muted (perhaps too much, given its intended buyer) and the only hint that it is turbocharged is a faint turbine-like whistle from under the hood under harder acceleration. The Regal Turbo’s mill is toned down to 220 horsepower from 260 in previous applications, and torque is basically the same, dropping slightly from 260 to 258 lb-ft. The Regal GS should cure that deficit when it hits the market – but if Buick sticks with 255 horsepower, its sportiest car will be outgunned by the 278-horsepower Hyundai Sonata turbo right out of the gate.

More: http://www.autosavant.com/2010/06/02/first-drive-2011-buick-regal-turbo/

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