By Cars.com EditorsOctober 25, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2011 Buick Regal. It competes with the Volkswagen Passat and Acura TSX.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com. When you hear the name Buick, European inspired sports sedan probably doesn't come to mind right away.
But the brand's hoping to change all that with the redesigned Buick Regal, which is all new for 2011. By some accounts, Buick is the fastest growing automaker in the US, and that's largely due to the LaCrosse sedan, which is actually beating competition from Lexus. Buick hopes to do the same with the Regal as it takes on the Acura TSX. The interior is pretty good looking too, especially when you get it in black. Because that comes with this piano black finish up on the dash, and metal and chrome accents everywhere. On the shifter, on the steering wheel, and the doors. It's a really nice look. The higher-level CXL trim that you see here starts around $29,000. That comes standard with heated leather seats, Bluetooth, and a USB port for your iPod. Now, the one we have here is also equipped with navigation, which brings a price closer to $30,000. But no matter which way you go, it's still about $2,000 less than comparably equipped Acura TSX models. In terms of driving performance, there's some good news and there's some bad news. The good news is, the steering and the handling is quite good and the ride is very comfortable. So if you're looking for a good commute car, the Regal's perfect for you. However, the bad news, it's the power. The standard Regal comes with a 182 horsepower four cylinder, and at highway passing speeds it feels very anemic. Luckily, if you want to spend some extra money, let's say $2,500 or so, you can get a turbo model with 220 horsepower, and that's a lot more fun to drive. When I first saw pictures of the Regal, I thought it'd be really cramped in the back seat, but as you can see here, I have plenty of room. At five foot 10, I have the driver's seat exactly where I had it while I was driving. And I have a couple inches here for my knees, and definitely a few for my feet. It actually has three inches more leg room than an Acura TSX. And let me tell you, you can really tell the difference. At 14.2 cubic feet, the trunk of the Regal is also pretty big for the class, and you can fit stuff like golf clubs and luggage, no problem. If I told you a few years ago that Buick would build a great looking sport sedan with European handling, you'd tell me I was nuts, but they've done just that. And they've done it for a good price with lots of content. Now there's still the issue of that anemic standard four cylinder engine. So I'm gonna actually advocate you to splurge this time on the turbo. (upbeat music) <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.