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1991 Buick Regal

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Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 4
1991 Buick Regal 4.0 3
$ 5,830-6,870
February 24, 1991
The Buick Motor Division knows a sporting proposition when it sees one, and the division sees one in its Regal Gran Sport.

The Gran Sport provides both sporting embellishments and a back seat. It is one of those automobiles that can be many things to many people.

Buick makes no pretense the model is a flat-out sports car. It isn't. But for those who want a set of wheels combining a sports theme with utilitarian practicality, the car can deliver motoring with a flair.

The Gran Sport has moderate size and weight. It is powered by Buick's 3800 V-6, the engine upon which most of the Buick racing power plants are based. Its Gran Touring suspension system works through 16-inch tires.

When all these design features are wrapped in a single package, you have an automobile that can be driven in a manner far above the mundane. And driving - under severe winter driving conditions - the Gran Sport coupe that General Motors Corp.'s Tom Beaman provided for a test car was anything but mundane.

While the model was slanted toward the sporting life, it gave definite indication that it can handle virtually any situation.

Layers of snow from sitting outside quickly were disposed of by efficient defrosting systems. The engine fired right off, just as if it were summertime. All systems sprang immediately to life upon a turn of the ignition key.

The car drove easily and well, although the big tires make the steering effort a little heavy when maneuvering at slow speed. Driving in a crosswind in which blowing snow seemed to defy the laws of gravity, the wide-tread front tires pulled the coupe along over the interstate as if it were on rails.

Gusts that ordinarily would rock a car and cause it to swerve had no effect. And inside it was as snug and comfortable as sitting in your living room.

All this comes at a price, of course, a touch more than $21,000. But a Gran Sport isn't an econobox, and Buick makes no apologies for offering all the accouterments of a luxury automobile.

The coupe is a midsized vehicle with individual front seats and a center console. As a consequence, controls are grouped around the driver. The exception is the instrumentation. All the gauges are present, but they are spread out across the instrument panel. I would have preferred to have them a little bigger; they are easier to read at night when illuminated.

For all of its sports orientation, the ride was very good. There were traces of firmness for roadability, but in general the ride was very comfortable.

For the style conscious, the seats were leather and the doors had a very plush-looking fabric trim.

Purist sports car buffs may sniff at the Gran Sport. But for those who want a sports theme with luxury and practicality, the car has a lot going for it.

1991 Buick Regal Gran Sport Base price: $15, 890As tested: $21, 287Type: Front-engine, front-drive, five-passenger, sports coupeEngine: 3.8-liter, 12-valve, 170-horsepower, fuel-injected, V-6 Mileage: 19 mpg (city), 28 mpg (highway) Acceleration: N.A.Length: 193.6 inchesWheelbase: 107.5 inchesCurb weight: 3, 315 poundsOptions: Gran Sport package, anti-lock brakes, leather seats, compact disc player, remote keyless entryArea dealers: Dave Mason, Stitzer, Ogle-Tucker, Wiese, Dave Mason Noblesville, Jaggers-Harris, Hildebrandt

    Expert Reviews 2 of 4

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