2014 Buick Regal: Up Close

Buick fixed the element of the Regal that was most in need of improvement by revamping the center control panel as part of the car's updates for 2014. In the process, it dramatically simplified the interfaces for the audio and climate systems, making them easier to use at a glance compared to the grid of buttons that dominated the prior Regal’s dashboard.

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It appears Buick designers couldn't contain themselves, though, as more buttons have appeared on the Regal's new steering wheel, which now has what appears to be 17 functions. Some of the features are oddly grouped: the button for the heated steering wheel, for instance, is on the same four-way rocker switch as the cruise control settings.

Exterior updates are subtle and don't dramatically alter the Regal's appearance. That's not a bad thing as the Regal has an appealing, if understated, style to it. The taillights see the biggest changes with new elements that extend into the trunk lid. Though different than the 2013 Honda Civic's revised taillights, they resemble them.

When some cars get an update, you wonder why the automaker didn't go further with the changes. That's not the case with the Regal, which had the benefit of already being a solid offering in its class.

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Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle.  Email Mike