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2011 Buick Regal

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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 88 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
    9.1/10

Europeon GM Model

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 750

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Larger and heavier than my 2006 SAAB 93 2.0LT 6M. GM has kept the feel of a real'Euro' sports sedan. Biggest difference for me is the twin scroll turbo and 6 sp auto trans. GM can shift faster than you can :). Interior is very nice, much higher grade then my SAAB I have Premium 1 package (no sun roof). This car is a lot of car for the $ (look for rebates and use GM $) refined and pretty fast. I run premium gas per GM power train web site."

13 people out of 33 found this review helpful

What's not to love?

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Features, Price, Style"

Cons: "Radio display looks slightly dated"

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

"Picked up my 2011 Regal Turbo with about 25k miles on it in November 2014 for $14k. Beautiful car with a ton of features and plenty of power from the turbo. Heated leather seats, bluetooth, moonroof... So much luxury for not much money at all. Can't beat this car. No quality or reliability issues at all. I'll definitely be a Buick owner for a long time."

31 people out of 59 found this review helpful

only similarity from past is the name buick regal.

By on Monday, January 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "LOOKS QUALITY LUXURY"

Cons: "PAST REPUTATION"

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

"Went to buy a Lexus....came home with a Buick Regal. Huh? AND I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I had a 06 is250 and this regal is so much more luxurious. True it has less punch but the tech, quiet ride, quality, and did I mention LOOKS?? Definite eye catcher! Nobody can believe its a Buick. This is the up and coming car to own.. For the value and quality it is a no brainer!"

13 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Was exactly what i was hoping it would be.

By on Sunday, January 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"Great interior, great styling, everything you want or need comes standard. Great power with the 2.0 Turbo. Good fuel economy if you can keep your foot out of it. Great fun car to drive."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great reliablity and drivng experience

By on Saturday, January 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

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
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This car has 90000 miles and only one thing has gone wrong with it, which was then covered under the factory warranty. The heated seat (driver side quit working). Great gas mileage, awesome power (for its size), comfortable ride and handles great in the snow. The interior is comfortable and quite. Its a shame that the resale value has dropped so far. That would be my only complaint. I guess I'll drive it until it drops!"

17 people out of 26 found this review helpful

One of the nicest GM cars I've ever owned

By on Wednesday, January 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Strong performance with amazing MPG"

Cons: "Not enough interior storage compared to an Impala"

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

"Started out to get a 2014 Impala to replace my '08 Impala LTZ which I completely loved. Stumbled upon this 2014 Regal Turbo while walking the lot of a Buick dealer who had a few Impalas for sale. Salesman convinced to test drive the Buick and I was sold within 3 miles. Got back to the dealer, wrote a check and left my LTZ in the rear view mirror. This black on black Regal is an absolute total package: looks, performance and mileage. It is not my grandfather's Buick. Only negative is the awkward placement of the window controls and cup holders. Other than that it is a blast to own and drive."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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