Buick is hoping to make another splash in the mid-size car segment with its latest Regal, which it has completely redesigned for 2018 into a new-generation sedan and a hatchback -- dubbed Sportback -- that is the first five-door Buick in as long as we can remember that isn't an SUV or minivan.
As with the outgoing Regal, what we know as a Buick started out as the Insignia, a well-known nameplate in GM's European and UK divisions, but we share the Regal name with the Chinese market, where this car is highly regarded by consumers looking for upscale transportation.
Key among this car's engineering traits is a body significantly lighter than that of the outgoing car, owing to the use of high-strength steel. Meanwhile, the Sportback boasts 892L of cargo space, and Buick says there is more overall cargo room (with the rear seats folded) than in an Audi A5 Sportback or BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Carried over from the previous generation car is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that powers most Regal trims. It makes a healthy 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque in front-drive variants, while adding the optional AWD system brings another 35 lb-ft with it. Front-drive models get a nine-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drivers get an eight-speed.
Also returning for 2018 is the high-performance GS trim, which ditches turbo power in favour of a 3.6L V6 that makes 310 hp and 282 lb-ft and comes standard with AWD and a nine-speed transmission.
Other GS-specific features include unique exterior styling cues, 19-inch wheels, upsized brakes with Brembo-branded calipers, an adaptive suspension with adjustable ride stiffness and sport seats with heating, ventilation and massage functions.
The GS also comes with an 8.0-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster, in addition to the 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen that's available across the Regal range.
Buick says this is its first-ever car with an active hood pedestrian safety system, which raises the rear of the hood by 100 mm in the event of a collision with a pedestrian to lessen the impact and help reduce injury.
Other more common active safety kit is optional here. A driver confidence I package bundles lane change assist with blind zone monitor and rear cross traffic alert and rear park assist. Ante up for the driver confidence II group and you get front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert and adaptive cruise control with forward automatic braking.
Buick's fuel consumption estimates for the Regal are 10.7/7.4 L/100 km (city/highway) for 2.0L turbo cars with front-wheel drive, and 11.0/8.0 with AWD. The GS's ratings are 12.4/8.7.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed