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2011 Buick Regal

Overview
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2011 Buick Regal Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

It's been a long time since Buick brought us any car we'd put in the same sentence as "sporty," but the 2011 Buick Regal is here to change that. Armed with sleek European style, engaging driving dynamics, eighteen-inch wheels and an available 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the new Regal is not your grandmother's soft Buick sedan. However, the road to a younger fan base is lined with attractive competitors like the Acura TSX and Volkswagen CC – vehicles that no one has trouble calling "sporty."

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Buick Regal offers a hefty dose of Euro cool in a well-packaged, premium-leaning American sedan.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2011 Buick Regal may be the sportiest Buick in the lineup, but don't confuse it as an answer to rear-wheel-drive performance standouts like the BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G37.

What's Significant About This Car?

With engaging driving dynamics, fresh design and an available turbocharged engine for under $30,000, the upmarket 2011 Buick Regal is a step in a new direction for the brand.

Driving the Regal

Driving Impressions While there's nothing to complain about in regards to the naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that comes standard on the Regal, the real star is the turbocharged 2.0-liter four. It's quiet,...

refined, and although it's not the fastest turbo out there, it has decent passing power and little off-the-line lag. Torque steer in this vehicle is also negligible, which is all the better since the vehicle is only available - for now - in front-wheel drive guise. Opting for the turbocharged engine also nets you variable power steering. A Buick wouldn't be a Buick without a quiet ride, and you can expect just that inside the Regal. However, don't expect the soft ride of Buicks past. Although the Regal isn't as spry as the Acura TSX or the Volkswagen CC, it is sportier than any Buick of recent memory and perfectly willing to have a little fun.

2.0-liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine
While the Volkswagen CC also offers a turbocharged four-cylinder turbocharged engine, Buick's 2.0-liter powerplant offers more horsepower and torque.

Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS)
A first for Buick, this system is available with the turbocharged engine and allows you to choose from three different operating modes that modify the vehicle's suspension, stability settings, throttle response, shift pattern and steering sensitivity. What does that mean for you? Choose "Standard" when cruising around town, "Tour" for a softer ride when on the open highway, or "Sport" for more dynamic driving on a curvy section of asphalt.

2011 Buick Regal Details
2011 Buick Regal photo Interior

The interior of the 2011 Buick Regal is where the vehicle's premium designation really becomes apparent. All of the switches and knobs have a smooth, weighted feel to them, and although the interior shares some of its features with the larger LaCrosse sedan, the overall treatment is spiced with a bit more European flavor. This is especially evident with the BMW-like, center stack-mounted lock/unlock buttons and the optional navigation system's iDrive-esque control knob that sits just below the shifter. Our only complaint? Rear headroom is a little tight, so those over six feet tall might find sitting in the back a bit uncomfortable on long rides.

Exterior
2011 Buick Regal photo

While trademark Buick design cues remain - namely the waterfall grille - the rest of the 2011 Regal sedan is sculpted, sleek and carries over more than a few styling cues from the Opel Insignia, the award-winning European vehicle upon which it's based. In fact, if you were to look at the two vehicles side by side, you'd find that not much has been changed for duty in the Buick lineup, aside from the aforementioned grille, headlamps and badges.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Inside the Buick Regal CXL you'll find leather upholstery (unlike the Volkswagen CC, which has leatherette as standard), a 12-way adjustable power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker audio system with USB port. Motivation is supplied by a 2.4-liter in-line four cylinder engine paired to a six-speed automatic transmission (with tap up/ tap down shifting), and power is put to pavement via 18-inch alloy wheels. To help keep you safe, six airbags are standard on each Regal, as are stability and traction controls, Brake Assist and the latest and OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.

Optional Equipment

Most notable of the 2011 Buick Regal's options is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine rated at 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. If having the latest and greatest in technology is more important to you than added power, you can add a 320-watt, nine-speaker harman/kardon sound system or a hard drive-based navigation system. Those who aim for creature comforts in their vehicle can opt for a rear parking assist system, a 12-way power adjustable passenger's seat or a sunroof, while those with safety on their minds can get seat-mounted rear thorax airbags. Extras for the exterior are limited to 19-inch machined alloy wheels.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Regal is the first Buick to be offered exclusively with four-cylinder engines. The standard 2.4-liter in-line four produces 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque, and delivers fuel economy in the range of 20 city/30 highway miles per gallon. Those looking for more power can get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which delivers 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque for a small penalty in fuel economy – 18 city/29 highway. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with tap up/tap down shifting, although paddle shifters are available with the turbocharged engine. Later in the year, a six-speed manual will also be offered, bringing the Regal more in line competitively with the Acura TSX and Volkswagen CC Sport.

2.4-liter in-line 4
182 horsepower @ 6700 rpm
172 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30

2.0-liter in-line 4, Turbocharged
220 horsepower @ 5300 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/29

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2011 Buick Regal Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 73 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Transmission

By on Monday, August 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Turbo is GREAT"

Cons: "Trans. BAD"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Trans. is a little rough below twenty miles per hour, up or down. Buick says that is normal I say that is NOT right. I had a 99 Regal it was much smoother, and milage was better."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle In It's Class

By on Thursday, July 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Price, Fun to Drive"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I traded in my BMW for the Buick Regal and I am totally blown away with this car. I like it so much better than the BMW. Plus it handles the curves in the road 10 times better than the BMW, not to mention the gas mileage is 10 times better as well. It has get up and go, when I step on the gas this car hauls butt, no drag at all. I highly recommend the Buick Regal."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

This review isnt from a Grandma! I'm only 24!

By on Saturday, February 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "gas mileage, fun to drive on windy roads, space"

Cons: "the back up sensors randomly goes off sometimes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've had this car now for a little over 2 years now and I got it with 7000 miles on it. I have had little problems with this car. I live in the frigid north in Minnesota and I have to have the heated seats. The only problem is that the diverside seat broke in 2013, after only having it for 1 year, but it was no hassle to get it fixed since it was under warranty. The turbo cuts my gas mileage way down for city to average about 17.5mpg. Straight highway is average about 28. I've seen it hit 34 when I'm on the hey for more that 15 min but am mostly a city driver. Plenty of room in the car for my 6'2" husband and my two 100 pound dogs. Good trip car. Driving from twin cities to Minot ND (500+ miles) in less than 2 tanks of gas. Really smooth ride and it has that giddy up to beat out that other car trying to cut you off. I don't like going slow and this car doesn't disappoint me at all. It's the ultimate sleeper car because the guy next to you will only see a Buick and think granny but when you pass him he'll realize his mistake!"

14 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Love this car. Fun to drive & nice to look at.

By on Thursday, January 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive and great looking"

Cons: "my tall husband finds it a little cramped"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned this car for over two years and it has proven to be a very reliable car. Except for maintenance, it has not been in the shop. It is great looking and fun to drive."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Solid European handling and driving experience

By on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "european turbo acceleration and handling/feel"

Cons: "loud sunroof and clunky bluetooth"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I was a SAAB owner and was looking for a replacement after the SAABs downfall. The Buick Regal Turbo has the european scale, handling sensibility, gas mileage and turbo to get close to the SAAB without breaking $35K (although the latest versions may do that). Only issues I've had with the car are 1) a loud sunroof that two dealers still could not get right - I just close the solid panel to cut down noise if it is loud and 2) bluetooth and entertainment connectivity was very clunky at first - but now I've figured out how to work around the system. I normally lease and turn in, but I'm going to buy this car and give it to my college age daughter to use - a solid buy."

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

great car

By on Friday, November 08, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "enjoyable ride, good mileage, looks great"

Cons: "bulky key"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I like driving this car it rides comfortably with enough power to move well at highway speeds. Gas mileage has been about 21 city and 30 highway. The edge of the roof liner was not finished properly, the dealer replaced all the parts it looks great now. The key for the push button start is bulky in my pocket and the "switchblade" manual key pops open in my pocket too often also the other buttons get pushed in my pocket. i have found my trunk open more than once. car looks great i realy like it"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?