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.
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
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’.