In its bid to rejuvenate its image and woo a new generation of buyers, Buick has largely cut ties with its past so that the Regal is the only nameplate longtime brand loyalists would recognize.
And while it's attached to a car that looks like a sedan at first glance, that traditional shape hides a large hatchback tailgate that is the reason Buick calls this car a "sportback."
A brand-new design for 2018, the Regal Sportback largely carries over save for the addition of an Avenir trim that now serves as the poshest variant, slotting in just below the performance-oriented GS model.
Like 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. We share the Regal name with the Chinese market, where this car is highly regarded by consumers looking for upscale transportation.
In Canada, the Regal is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque when matched with front-wheel drive and adding another 35 lb-ft when powering all four wheels. Exclusive to the GS is a 3.6L V6 that makes 310 hp and 282 lb-ft and comes standard with AWD.
Four-cylinder FWD cars and the GS use a nine-speed automatic transmission; four-cylinder AWD variants get an eight-speed.
Underneath its tailgate, the Regal Sportback can swallow 892 L of cargo space, which according to Buick is more than either the Audi A5 Sportback (Audi used that label first) or BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe can accommodate.
The Regal starts out in Preferred II trim, with features like dual-zone automatic climate control, passive keyless entry, seven-speaker stereo, heated steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, LED daytime running lights and taillight accents, 4.2-inch colour driver information centre, 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Upgrades and options available in Essence, Avenir and GS trims include 19-inch wheels, an auto-dimming driver's side mirror, adaptive cruise control, navigation, front seats with bottom cushion extension, front and rear park assist, performance bucket seats and wireless smartphone charging.
The GS gets high-performance Brembo brakes and an adjustable suspension that responds to the car's sport mode selector.
Buick offers a full suite of active safety gear here, too, like forward automatic braking with collision alert and pedestrian detection, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.
This is also Buick's 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.
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