Hot 6 Test Drive: 2012 Buick Regal
Six things you need to know about the 2012 Buick Regal.
1. Slim Shady. Historically, the Buick Regal has always been a pretty large car. No mas. This incarnation is sleek, smooth and sports car-like. From the rounded all-business exterior to the small, light-as-a-feather gearshifter, this car looks like it’s designed to move. Fast.
2. Triple threat. There are three ways to navigate the display. You can swap settings via the big touch-sensitive screen in the dash as well as via two knobs, one just below the screen and another between the two front seats, just south the gearshift. This between the seats location is something we often see in much more expensive premium cars. Obviously, the Regal aims to hold its own. The first and the third option work exceptionally well, the second knob—accessed via a confusing combination of rotating a dial and pushing it into the dash—not so much.
3. Big Brother. The Buick Regal shares the same basic information display as the lower priced Chevy Cruze so it shares some of its blessings and curses. For example, the system is a bit slow to pair your Bluetooth phone, but the picture viewer is pretty dandy. Just pop your SD card into a slot near the armrest and viola, you can share your pictures with everyone in the vehicle. The remote start feature is always a fave too. Especially when it’s chilly outside.
4. Tiny Tim. It’s a fuel-efficient car, so it gets better than usual gas mileage but, to us, it seemed like the gas tank was pretty small, which kind of defeated the purpose. We found we had to fill up more often than we would with typical gas cars possessing large capacity gas tasks.
5. The guillotine. The Regal is smaller and sleeker for sure, but not always in good ways. To wit, the USB port in armrest is located inside an area that isn’t big enough to fit an iTouch or iPhone—so it’s really a space for a small MP3 player, but who has those any more? Also, after plugging up our iTouch and snaking the cord out of the armrest to a better location, the cord was almost severed because there was no opening for it.
6. Can you see me now? The Regal’s headlights dim when using turn signals at night. It definitely looks cool but that’s not the point, is it? It also helps the turn signal stand out visually to the cars in front and behind, making life on the road just a wee bit safer.
Advertised avg. MPG: 28
Base price: $29.5K
Price, as tested: $34.4K