All photos by GM
It seems these days that many of the new hits for American Automakers are coming out of design studios in Europe. The Buick Regal CXL Turbo , which has DNA traced back to the Opel Signia, is no different. It's not easy reinventing a brand, and getting the new look and feel to stick takes determination. GM had some tough choices a few years back on what the new GM would carry, but we're very pleased that Buick is still building cars. It appears they are turning a corner with the Regal.
Our test model 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo was quicksilver metallic with impressive 19-inch alloy wheels, which gave the car a sleek look. That's right, I said "sleek." Until you take a good look at the 2011 Regal you won't realize it's a Buick. The CXL trim is very sporty and modern with dual bright exhaust tips, aerodynamic and high intensity halogen headlamps with automatic on/off, front fog lamps and an overall appearance of a true sports sedan. The 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo has flowing lines and a sculpted hood, which show the Regal is designed not only for looks but efficiency.
The interior of the 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo has come a long way. Our loaner had black leather seating, a power moonroof, an interactive drive control system with sport & tour modes, OnStar, premium 9-speaker system and an audio system with navigation and single CD/DVD player. Some of the other options were 120 volt power outlet, ultrasonic rear parking assist, Bluetooth, front heated seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, XM radio and steering wheel controls. The dashboard and control panel were well thought out with dials easy to reach and an elegant but sporty feel to the cabin. Some of the materials were still what we feel to be hard plastic, a drawback when comparing the Regal to her competitors. Seating for five is no problem with the 2011 Regal and trunk space is right on target.
As Buick continues to redefine the brand, performance will play a key role in the transformation process. The 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo we drove was equipped with a 2.0-liter DOHC 4-cylinder intercooled turbo engine combined with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The turbo delivered 220 horsepower, 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway for a reasonable overall driving experience. The weight of the 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo is approximately 3600 lbs., which has the 4-cylinder working overtime to provide the sports sedan drive that you would expect from this vehicle. With a little more horsepower under the hood and a weight reduction the driving experience would be vastly improved for this good-looking car. The combined driving of both city and highway was more smooth than sporty and body lean was something than can go in the improvement category for the next refresh.
The 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo is one of the vehicles that Buick is counting on to revive the brand with the young professional consumer base. If Buick can continue to build off the current Regal, a larger share of the near luxury market can be had. Changing the image and perception of a brand doesn't happen overnight, and it most likely won’t be complete with the 2011 Buick Regal. At a sticker price of $34,435 the Regal Turbo we tested had most options that car buyers are looking for when deciding on a sports sedan purchase or lease. They key for Buick will be to hold the line on pricing and keep improving the Regal inside and out. In the meantime GM has a winner on their hands with the 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo.
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