The Buick Regal GS is a sportier tackle the brand new Regal Sportback, itself a reasonably large departure from the automaker’s current crop of luxurious automobiles. Obtainable solely with a three.6-liter V6, a nine-speed computerized transmission and all-wheel drive, the GS is supposed to draw a youthful, extra enthusiastic set of patrons.

The Regal GS undoubtedly gives a extra emotional design, and packs the newest and biggest onboard tech. However the space the place it actually must succeed — driving dynamics — is sadly the place the place it in the end misses the mark.

Sporty, sort of

The GS’ V6 produces a good 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. With regular, Sport and GS driving modes (consider that final one as Sport+), I count on this Regal to have three totally different personalities. But the truth is a automobile that hardly has any character.

In its normal mode, the GS’ nine-speed transmission upshifts rapidly, as anticipated, tuned extra for straightforward commuting and gasoline economic system than enthusiastic driving. However push the Sport or GS buttons and… nothing actually occurs. Sure, the transmission will maintain gears a bit of bit longer, however there is not any obvious immediacy to the throttle response or transmission’s shift mapping. It would be good to simply shift gears myself, however Buick would not supply paddle shifters with the automated transmission. Do not even take into consideration asking for a handbook.

A zippy little nook carver it isn’t.

Buick

Sport and GS modes are stated to stiffen the suspension, with Steady Damping Management that may alter chassis traits on the fly. The Regal GS can assault turns with sufficient gusto to fulfill most kinda-sporty drivers, simply absorbing bumps. The experience is comfy, not agency. However as soon as once more, I can not really feel any discernible distinction between the three drive modes. In reality, the one factor I can really feel is steering weight. In regular mode, it is super-light, and in GS, it is received a pleasant quantity of weight.

The GS’ stop-start system is generally unobtrusive, which is an effective factor, since you may’t flip it off. In principle, this fuel-saving expertise ought to assist the Regal GS obtain gasoline economic system scores of 19 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 27 mpg freeway and 22 mpg mixed. I did not see numbers fairly that top — strive 19.2 mpg mixed — however I am going to admit to attempting to eke out each final drop of this automobile’s supposed sportiness.

Horny outdoors, low-cost inside

The pull-me-over Sport Crimson of my check automobile is a wealthy hue, utilized to the Sportback’s smooth physique with curves you would not usually count on from a modern-day Buick. The silhouette is paying homage to the Audi A5 Sportback, and the entrance fascia’s skinny headlamps and huge air intakes offers off an impression of inherent sportiness.

Sadly, the inside is not so candy, with cheap-feeling buttons, chunky plastics and an total dated design. If it weren’t for the Eight-inch touchscreen, I’d suppose this was a automobile from the mid-2000s. There’s hardly a curve available on the staid dashboard, and a number of the buttons are simply hilariously enormous. That is fairly dangerous, GM.

The entrance seats, nonetheless, are pleasant. The GS comes normal with sport seats which are greater than prepared to cradle your hindquarters. With heating, cooling and therapeutic massage capabilities, I by no means wish to go away these chairs. I have not been hugged like this shortly.

The Regal Sportback physique fashion does wonders for cargo house. You’ve got received 31.5 cubic ft behind the rear seats, increasing to a whopping 60.7 with the again bench folded. That is about as a lot as you get in a Mazda CX-5 crossover and simply bests numerous different compact CUVs. In the event you’re the form of one that wants to hold plenty of stuff however hates SUVs, the Regal is likely to be of curiosity.

Nice, helpful onboard tech

Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system is housed in that aforementioned touchscreen. There’s just one bodily button, for the house display screen, and every little thing within the infotainment interface is intuitively organized.

I actually like the assorted apps constructed into the IntelliLink system, just like the quick, podcast-like tales from information sources, and the Market perform, which exhibits me my current orders from Dunkin’ Donuts and permits me to reorder from contained in the automobile. The onboard navigation system is simple to make use of and understands the bizarre pronunciations of some California streets.

A cabin that is simply sort of “meh” takes a number of the pleasure out of the GS.

Buick

Must you wish to skip IntelliLink altogether, each Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are each normal, as is a Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-fi smartphone charging is out there, however even with out that, the Regal GS has three USB ports — two in again — and a 12-volt outlet.

A head-up show is out there, with clear, vivid graphics and customizable info, projected proper onto the windshield. I may even see it whereas sporting polarized sun shades.

Each Regal GS comes normal with blind-spot monitoring and a rear-seat reminder. Adaptive cruise management is simply accessible with the Driver Confidence II bundle, although not like different techniques, it could actually’t be set at low speeds underneath 20 miles per hour. As soon as set, adaptive cruise can carry the GS to an entire cease and pause for three seconds earlier than disengaging.

Take away that crimson, white and blue badge and also you would possibly suppose the Buick is an Audi. 

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Sportback attraction

The Regal GS begins at $39,995, not together with $925 for vacation spot. I would add the Driver Confidence Package deal II for $1,690 as a way to get adaptive cruise management, however that is about it, which means my good GS is simply $40,760.

The closest competitor is Kia’s attractive new Stinger, which could be had with a twin-turbo V6 engine and rear- or all-wheel drive. Even the bottom 2.Zero-liter Stinger is a hoot, and it begins at $31,900. Costlier options embody the Audi A5 Sportback or BMW four Collection Gran Coupe.

I just like the Regal GS as a result of it is practical and cozy to drive on daily basis, and is not simply one other sedan or crossover. I am going to definitely applaud Buick for doing one thing totally different, even when the tip end result leaves loads to be desired.

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