By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
Buick characterizes its 2014 Regal as a "dynamic midsize sedan," and compares it to the Acura TL, Audi A4 and Volkswagen CC. Thanks to a new all-wheel drive option, more power from the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, and revised suspension tuning, those comparisons are more credible for 2014. Riding a solid platform from Opel (GM's European subsidiary), the updated Regal has a distinct import character in its feel and road manners, particularly in the sporty GS. For 2014, the Regal comes in three models (base, standard and GS), the first two of which offer three trim levels. The base Regal engine is a 182-horsepower eAssist mild hybrid, whereas the standard and GS operate with 259 horsepower from a new version of its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo.
If you're looking for a blend of sophisticated styling and surprising agility, and you like making a slightly unexpected choice, you might find the 2014 Buick Regal to be something of a delightful sleeper among sporty midsize sedans.
While the 2014 Regal's freshened styling is sleek and the car drives with the refinement we associate with imports, that Buick badge may not project the kind of image you associate with established midsize sports sedans.
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For 2014, the Regal gets freshened front and rear styling, updated interiors, enhanced connectivity and infotainment, new safety features, a new version of the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged engines, a new electric power steering system, and the addition of an all-wheel-drive option.
Driving Impressions The 2014 Regal has three distinct personalities: the eAssist mild hybrid, with tepid performance and strong fuel economy; the standard Regal, its suspension tuned more for comfort than athleticism; and...... the Regal GS, whose sleek sheet metal disguises a surprisingly agile sports sedan. New suspension components and a new electric power steering system give the 2014 Regals sharper responses, particularly in the GS. The standard Regal and the Regal GS share the same 259-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, new for 2014. Throttle response is instantaneous and the GS offers presets that firm the suspension and alter shift programming in the 6-speed automatic transmission. There's still a 6-speed manual for 2014, but it's limited to the front-drive GS. All-wheel drive Regals deliver sure-footed grip in hard cornering, and help keep cornering attitudes level. While ride quality is firmer in the GS, all the Regals are smooth operators, as well as exceptionally quiet.
NEW 2.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED 4-CYLINDER ENGINE
An evolution of the previous 2.0-liter turbo, the new engine propels both the Regal and Regal GS. Horsepower is down slightly from the previous GS, but with its fat torque curve, smooth operation, ready response, and improved fuel economy the new engine ranks with the best in class.
New for 2014 and limited to the Regal GS, this optional Haldex system, which incorporates an electronic limited-slip differential, involves two clutches, one to transfer power front-to-rear (up to 100 percent), another apportioning power side to side between the rear wheels contingent on available traction.
This is where premium-car credentials really count, and the Regal scores well. Upgraded for 2014, the design and materials are first-rate, with read-at-a-glance instrumentation in a new display, a user-friendly navigation system (optional), and a steering-wheel-mounted thumb wheel for scrolling through function menus. The 2nd-generation IntelliLink system provides improved infotainment and connectivity, and the number of switches and buttons has been reduced from 17 to seven. If the 2014 Regal's interior rates a demerit, it's for slightly restrictive rear-seat headroom. The sleek roofline means anyone over 6-feet tall will likely have his head against the headliner.Exterior
Buick's signature waterfall grille has been updated for 2014, and the front and rear fascias updated, highlighted by LED displays. Aside from those changes, plus new wheel patterns and colors, the Regal's styling is otherwise unchanged. However, the 2014 Regal sedan continues to have a striking and sophisticated presence on the road. Based on GM's European Opel Insignia, the 2014 Regal has a sleek profile, and its fast roofline and clean lines are both elegant and distinctive. The wheels are pushed to the car's outer corners, lending an athletic look, especially in the sporty GS, with its 19-inch wheels.
Inside the 2014 Buick Regal you'll find leather upholstery, a 12-way adjustable power driver's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an 8-inch color touch screen with Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system, a rearview back-up camera, Bluetooth and a 7-speaker audio system with USB port. A 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is standard, sending power to the 17-inch front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission (with tap-up/tap-down shifting). Active safety features include GM's StabiliTrak stability control, traction control, and antilock brakes with brake assist.
Aside from all-wheel drive, the 2014 Buick Regal options are mostly grouped into packages: Premium I (included with the eAssist mild hybrid) and Premium II. (The GS is considered its own trim level). Among the many available options in the groups are a 9-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, a hard-drive-based navigation system, rear parking assist, an 8-way power adjustable passenger's seat, power sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels (20 on the GS), E-Z Key push-button start, HID headlights and a 120-volt outlet. Side blind-spot alert, lane-change alert, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control are also available.
The Regal was the first Buick to be offered exclusively with 4-cylinder engines. For 2014, a new version of Buick's turbocharged 4-cylinder becomes the standard engine. Output ratings are the same for both Regal and Regal GS, with a fatter torque curve and improved fuel economy ratings. The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with mild-hybrid eAssist continues to be the mpg champ. Regenerative braking, a dual-function generator/motor and a lithium-ion battery pack help power the car's electrical systems and offer a slight boost under acceleration. Fuel efficiency is the big payoff, with EPA city/highway figures of 25/36 mpg. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard for all Regal engines. The 2014 Regal continues to offer a 6-speed manual gearbox with the turbocharged engine, but it's limited to the front-drive GS model.
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg (eAssist mild hybrid)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
259 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3000-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/27 mpg (all-wheel drive)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Regal GS)
259 horsepower @ 5,300 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2500-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/31 mpg (manual), 21/30 mpg (automatic), 19/27 (all-wheel drive, automatic)
The 2014 Buick Regal Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $30,615 for a base Regal sedan. The Premium I option package is $32,485, as is the eAssist hybrid. The Premium II option package takes a Regal to $34,685. The Regal GS starts at $37,830. All-wheel drive adds $2,175 to the Regal bottom line, $2,365 to the MSRP for the Regal GS. To make your best deal, see what others in your area have paid for their Regal by checking the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price. As for resale, we expect the 2014 Buick Regal sedan to retain its value nearly as well as its Asian and European rivals.