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Buick Regal Successfully Woos Younger Buyers!

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In the five years since Buick started revamping its vehicle lineup, the average age of buyers has dropped seven years, officials say; they’re also quick to point out it is the only brand in North America to see such a drop.

While the average age of a Buick Regal buyer is 55 (45 for a Regal GS buyer), the company hopes to attract younger buyers with a redesigned 2014 mid-size sedan that gets fresh styling, a fancier cabin, more safety gadgets, an available all-wheel-drive system and an all-new turbocharged four-cylinder engine with better power and improved fuel economy.Buick-Regal-2014-1280-07

One strong selling point is price. The Regal starts at $33,095 for the base FWD model, which is well equipped with fog lamps, cruise control, 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear-view camera, an eight-inch colour touch screen, power windows, leather seats and heated front seats. Add AWD and the price is $35,375. Besides the base Regal, you can get the Premium I, Premium II, and GS models – the most expensive costs $40,650 for the GS FWD and $42,925 for the GS AWD.

There are two powertrains. The new standard 2.0-litre, turbo, four-cylinder produces 259 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque – 18 per cent more power than the outgoing 2013 Regal Turbo. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, it also delivers a 17-per-cent improvement in city fuel economy over the Regal Turbo. The second engine is a carryover – the 184-hp, 2.4-litre four-cylinder with eAssist light-hybrid – which wasn’t available for testing.

Driving through Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, the new 2.0-litre turbo powering my Regal Premium II FWD tester was a dream to drive on the winding roads. Nail the throttle and the power is instant. The ride is refined, smooth and comfortable. It feels composed and secure; there’s no body roll and the noise and vibration has been significantly reduced. The steering, however, feels a little light at times.

Switching to the Regal GS AWD tester was more exciting thanks to a drive control system that lets you switch between different driving modes – standard, sport, or GS – each offering tighter suspension and swifter steering response. The result was quick acceleration, agile road manners and a spirited ride, especially in GS mode. The six-speed automatic was smooth – shifting gears seamlessly. You can also get a six-speed manual, but it’s only available on the GS FWD model.2014-Buick-Regal-Turbo-taillight-2

The GS’s styling is distinct and sharper than its siblings. The front fascia includes big bold vertical air intake slots while the rear has funky satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets, rocker panel extensions and a rear spoiler extension. It also has a lowered ride height and beefy 19-inch aluminum wheels, which give it a muscular stance (20-inch wheels are also available). The other trims have a more conservative, yet attractive design with new headlamps, standard LED daytime running lamps and a revised grille. At the rear, a new chrome accent runs horizontally across the back, bridging the LED wing-shape tail lamps to give the sedan a wide, elongated stance.

Also new for 2014 is an advanced all-wheel-drive system. It’s a fully automatic on-demand system with electronic limited-slip differential and standard HiPer Strut front suspension. Electric power steering is now featured on all models.

The cabin is spacious and dressier with a new steering wheel, and redesigned central instrument panel and console. An eight-inch colour touch-screen radio with Buick’s next-generation IntelliLink is simplified with fewer buttons – seven compared with the previous 17. You can swipe through screens as you would on a tablet or smartphone.

The Regal comes with more safety technology, too. But it’ll cost extra for the two optional packages. The Driver Confidence 1 package comes with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert and a rear cross-traffic alert; while the Driver Confidence 2 package adds collision preparation (with collision mitigation braking) and full-speed-range adaptive cruise control that works in stop-and-go traffic.

The 2014 Buick Regal rolls off the line at GM’s assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont. – another strong selling point for this value-packed sedan

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2013 by in Buick and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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