1995 Buick Regal

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1995 Buick Regal
Available in 15 styles:  Regal 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
Estimated MPG

19 city / 29 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 2
1995 Buick Regal 4.0 3
$ 786-3,446
December 11, 1994
Sometimes so much attention is paid to the vehicles sporting new sheet metal that the old standbys get short shrift.

Such is the case with the 1995 Buick Regal. If an athlete, Regal would be dubbed an unsung hero. Being a car, it's simply a midsize charmer, a vehicle that does what you call on it to do time after time with little fan fare. Perhaps Regal simply got lost in the shuffle. The bigger Park Avenue and Ultra, after all, are the big-buck profit machines for Buick and the midsize Riviera is the newest kid on the block and thus the beneficiary of the most attention and advertising plugs.

For 1995, changes to the Regal are minimal, basically a remake of the interior. But don't underestimate a comfortable, user-friendly passenger cabin because most of us will spend far more time in the car than we will admiring the outside of it.

Regal has numerous strengths-dual air bags, anti-lock brakes and automatic power door locks that pop down when you engage the gear selector into drive and then pop up when you send it back into park-but while Regal's bigger brethren (Park Avenue, Ultra, Riviera and LeSabre) offer traction control, the Regal won't have it until it is redesigned in 1997 or 1998.

Our test vehicle, a '95 Limited sedan, comes with GM's 3.8-liter, 170-horsepower, V-6 engine with 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3.8 has a few years under its block, but has been continually upgraded and refined so it's peppier yet quieter despite the age, and you need only tap the pedal gently to make your move into or out of traffic. The 3.8 has enough muscle to make you feel Regal is carrying less than its 3,500 pounds in curb weight.

Another attraction of the 3.8 is the fuel economy rating. Regal is loaded with hardware and software, gimmicks and gadgets, bells and whistles, yet the V-6 is rated at 19 miles per gallon city/29 m.p.g. highway. Admirable, and you have to suspect that by the time the next generation appears, Buick will have that rating up to 20/30, a mark once deemed the domain of subcompacts, not midsize luxury sedans.

The Limited we drove also was blessed with wide, supportive, well-cushioned Bucket seats, grand touring suspension and 16-inch tires. Buick sets the industry standard for seats in which occupants blend in rather than bounce off. Grand touring suspension provides a firm but not harsh ride and allows for aggressive driving without body lean or sway in sharp corners or turns. The 16-inch tires, which are fond of sticking to the road, are part of the grand touring package.

Other noteworthy pluses are a large, spacious trunk and the availability of radio controls in the steering wheel hub so you simply move fingers to adjust stations and don't have to take your eyes off the road. Nice feature.

For those of us who have found that once you start putting on years the first thing to go is . . . is . . . is. Well, whatever it is, for those of us who have found that with advancing age comes declining eyesight, Buick designers deserve applause for coming up with large numbers and letters on all controls, dials, switches, digital clock face and radio station displays. It takes only a quick glance to spot the control you need. No hunting, no searching, no reaching for the reading glasses. Coupon clippers and wannabes say thanks.

Despite the goodies, Regal leaves a few things to be desired. Dual air bags are great, but the passenger bag carries neither an "air bag" nor an "SRS" (supplemental restraint system) advisory. You know the protection is there, but will the person who takes your trade-in home in a few years? The only tell-tale evidence of two bags is a light in the instrument panel that flashes on when the key is turned on and a tiny advisory on the passenger's visor. Come on, Buick, stamping "SRS" on the dash won't drain the treasury.

Another gripe, especially after stylists went to pains to come up with large letters and numbers on controls, is that the sideview mirrors are a bit too small. OK, small mirrors are in keeping with the aerodynamic styling of the Regal, but those small mirrors don't give you as wide a view-side or rear. Maybe with bigger mirrors the anti-lock brakes and air bags wouldn't have to be used.

Though minor, we also were annoyed that the trunk release button is in the glove box, meaning that if only the driver is in the car, he or she has to reach over, flip the lid and press the button. A dash-mounted lever would be more convenient. And when a smidgeon of space is found for that button, how about drilling a hole and adding one for the fuel filler door release in that same easy-to-see-and-reach dash location?

And if you've reached the age at which you appreciate bigger numbers, you probably also have reached the age at which you'd like Buick to join its rivals in offering not only door lock/unlock buttons on the keyless entry fob, but also a panic button as well to push when you approach the vehicle in the dark mall lot and find someone following/waiting. The panic button sounds a alarm with flashing lights and honking horn.

The base price of the Limited sedan is $21,235.

Our test car added $200 for a compact disc player and $745 for the Grand Touring package, which not only provides the recommended suspension, but also the 16-inch tires, variable assist power steering and leather-wrapped steering wheel, the latter hardly a necessity. And the seats are cozy enough so you really don't need to spend $550 to have them clothed in leather. Our test car also included a $1,150 Prestige option package that includes a host of goodies of which power mirrors, remote keyless entry and radio controls in the steering wheel hub were the most viable.

>> 1995 Buick Regal Limited sedan
Wheelbase: 107.5 inches. Length: 193.9 inches. Engine: 3.8-liter, 170-h.p., V-6. Transmission: 4-speed automatic. EPA mileage: 19 m.p.g. city/29 m.p.g. highway. Base price: $21,235, plus $535 freight. Price as tested: Add $745 for Grand Touring package which includes suspension upgrade; $1,150 for Prestige option package including power antenna, deluxe remote outside mirrors, sound, remote keyless entry, radio controls in the steering wheel hub; $550 for leather bucket seats. Pluses: Dual air bags, anti-lock brakes standard. Automatic power door locks open/close on their own. Peppy yet quiet V-6 with above average fuel economy. Seats like easy chairs. Large numbers/letters on controls. Radio controls in steering wheel hub. Minuses: Should have traction control. Small outside mirrors don't provide ample visibility. Keyless entry should add panic button feature. >>

    Expert Reviews 2 of 2

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