2011 Buick (German) Regal “Update”


A lot of my friends have German cars, as a result I have clocked a few thousand miles on behind the wheel of  these vehicles.   A 5 year old  3 series BMW, two year old Mercedes E class a few weeks ago I drove a creamy new Audi 8 to Manteca.   German cars are all about the business of driving, they aren’t gimmicky like Japanese cars, the controls are solid and the suspension are planted. American cars are distracting, its about comfort, quiet with soft  floaty suspensions.     With the exception of the Audi, I have spent quite a few hours behind the wheel of these cars.

When your a big or tall  man, your always concerned if  you will fit.  Its something thats always in the back of your mind when your a person of size.  I happen to be big and tall and  someone,(a former friend) said they would give me twenty bucks  to sit in a new Ford Fiesta for five minutes.   I don’t remember what happened but I was told the fire department was called and a large  can of  Crisco was involved  Not sure if I got the twenty.

Fitting is a challenge in some American ,Korean and Japanese cars and trucks .  For some reason  I have never had a problem in German car , they seem to toss out the red carpet,welcoming me.   I fit in the tiny  Smart Car.   One of  the roomiest cars for me is the VW New Beetle, I considered buying one, but my daughter said she would never speak to me again

It’s been a while since I’ve been in a Buick.   You see a lot  the older LeSabre’s and Park Avenue’s throughout Sacratomatoville with the 20 plus inch rims, the Buick are popular with the hip hop crowd.  The old Buick’s were soft riding non exciting cars, pretty much like most of the current Toyota line up, decent cars but nothing exciting.

Buick never made the cut  when I thought about cars to drive.  When the woman at the rent-a-car would tell me ” We have a Century” I would always ask what else do you have ?  That changed last year with the sexy Lacrosse.      It was Buick quiet but the float was gone…   It was well connected and this interior was just as sexy as the interior.   While I had suffient  leg room, the wide console (a current trend in cars )made things a bit crowded for this big and tall driver.

I was initially surprised  GM kept Buick over Saturn.   The typical buyer of a new Buick was near seventy.  What I later learned was Buick is a major hit in China.   Buick has been in China since 1929 and  GM is the number one Company in China where it is considered an upscale car.

The 2011 Buick Regal was designed in Germany by GM’s  subsidiary Opel .   The Opel Insignia (called the Vauxhall Insignia in the UK, Chevrolet Vectra in Chile and the Buick Regal in China) was built in 2008.    The vehicle has won numerous awards including Europe’s Car of the year in 2009.

Passing on Buick’s for all these  years  was problematic.  I don’t have any relationships with the few Buick Dealerships here in the Sacramento area  ,so an extended test drive wasn’t possible.   However, I am very clumsy and hard of hearing……   Opps, I was supposed to turn there?   Whattt you want  me to get off here? (oh sorry)  extended my test drive.

VIEWS

Exterior:  Nice lines nothing exotic…… Looks more expensive than it is.   The fit is very good The Waterfall Grill tell you its Buick

Interior:   Bright and airy, unlike the Lacrosse.   The fit and finish was very good, there was nothing lost in translation, this is a German Car    I had more room in this car than the Larger Lacrosse.

Test Drive:  I drove the standard 182 horsepower  2.4 Ecotec 4 cylinder  the engine felt fine in the city and was had adequate  power for the freeway ramp but it seemed a bit course.    The transmission was very good.  The ride was clearly European, while it wasn’t the Bimmer it would  give the Benz a run for its money.  It was very rewarding to drive, the steering was excellent as was the brakes ( the Salesman was uncomfortable with the breaking test)  I really wanted to take the car on a twisty road, something I cant say about most mid-size cars  American or Japanese.    The EPA mileage rating is 20 city and 30 highway.

I love the Looks of the Lacrosse, but for my money this is a better car.   If you want more power you can opt for a Turbo Version.    A sportier version is coming soon with a manual option (yes a Buick with a stick!)

The sticker on the White Regal I drove was a tick under 28,000 this car had leather and heated seats.

Only the CXL trim is available for 2011.   The 2011 Buick Regal is a good value.   I think it will attract   the Camry, Accord and Acura  buyers middle inLets hope  the american built version loses nothing in translation

UPDATE

In the July 2011 issue of Consumer Reports, rate the Regal  higher than the BMW328i, Volvo S60, Mercedes C300 Sport,Audi A4 (Premium Quattro) and the Saab 9-3 Turbo.

“The Regal is a well honed sedan with a taut ,steady ride, sporty handling and excellent fit and finish’.

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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