By Aaron Bragman on March 26, 2013
GM is unveiling a ton of new machinery at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, and Buick is getting some much-needed attention with its refreshed 2014 Regal and Regal GS. Sales of the sedans have suffered since the introduction of the less expensive yet equally nice Buick Verano, but with the updated-for-2014 Regal, Buick is putting some distance between it and its smaller sibling. The new Regal has sportier styling, more electronic equipment and a more powerful turbocharged engine.
Styling changes to the 2014 Regal are minimal - new headlights and taillights are pretty much it on the outside; they incorporate the new Buick family "winged" LED running lamps and a full-width chrome trim strip across the LED taillamps.Inside, the center console is cleaned up considerably; the new Regal loses the Battleship grid of confusing black plastic buttons. In their place are well-organized controls and capacitive-touch instruments for climate control. Leather-equipped models look more upscale, with nicer materials and more extensive use of wood trim. A new 8-inch reconfigurable display screen now resides in the gauge cluster as well, allowing for customized information.
One of the Regal's two powertrains is also updated for 2014. The eAssist 2.4-liter four-cylinder mild hybrid base model engine carries over unchanged, but the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder receives a healthy bump in power. Available in both the Regal Turbo and Regal GS trims, the new engine makes 259 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to either a six-speed automatic in the Regal Turbo or an optional six-speed manual in the GS.
The GS also gets a unique interior and exterior just like the current model, with more aggressive front and rear ends and 19-inch alloy wheels (20-inch wheels are optional). Buick's Interactive Drive Control system is exclusive to the GS, as are a sport-tuned suspension and larger front Brembo brakes.
Just like its big brother, the LaCrosse, the Regal gets a bunch of optional safety features. These now include forward collision alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, Following Distance Indicator, precollision warning (with collision mitigation braking) and full-speed-range adaptive cruise control.
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman grew up in the Detroit area, comes from an automotive family and is based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Email Aaron