2016 Buick Regal

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2016 Buick Regal Review

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

Buick’s Regal sedan for 2016 appeals to savvy buyers with its reasonable size, fuel-efficient engine lineup and impressive array of technology. Among the Regal’s highlights are its 4G LTE connectivity, built-in Wi-Fi hotspot (requires a monthly fee) and Siri Eyes Free and CarPlay technology that permits seamless integration with Apple’s iPhone voice-recognition feature. This level of gear is usually found on luxury cars such as the Audi A4, Volkswagen CC and Acura’s TLX, but with the 2016 Buick Regal, customers get all this plus a European-inspired chassis, compliments of GM’s Opel car division. Three distinct models include a mild hybrid with eAssist, the base car and the sporty Regal GS, the latter two offered with available all-wheel drive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a midsize sedan that offers sophisticated styling both inside and out, handles like an expensive European luxury sedan and is loaded with technology and creature comforts, Buick’s 2016 Regal just might work. Driving enthusiasts will appreciate the all-wheel drive’s added grip.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For the money required to get into a 2016 Buick Regal, you can pick up a Hyundai Azera with more room and a V6 engine, or an Audi A3 whose 4-ring grille badge will likely impress far better than the 3-shield Buick emblem.

What's New for 2016

The big news this year is a dramatic price cut on all 2016 Buick Regal models. The GS trim, for example, is cut by nearly $3,000 with no loss of content. Apple’s CarPlay can now seamlessly integrate an iPhone with the Regal’s IntelliLink system, which features new screens and revised controls.

Driving the Regal
Driving Impressions

Buick offers the 2016 Regal sedan in three flavors and as front-wheel or all-wheel drive (FWD, AWD). The eco-friendly eAssist mild hybrid sips fuel to the tune of...

... 36 mpg, although performance is somewhat tepid. Standard on the Regal 1SL and Regal GS is a 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that significantly bolsters the Regal’s street credentials. The base car is quick, but its suspension is decidedly relaxed. Those seeking to carve up the curves should move to the GS, which converts this otherwise docile sedan into an agile and responsive driver’s car. A 6-speed automatic transmission comes standard on all trims. When combined with AWD, we think Regal becomes a true driver’s car and is the best choice for performance fans. Although the Regal GS does deliver a stiffer ride, all models have exceptionally quiet cabins, a Buick tradition we’re glad to see stick around.

The Regal’s 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is a torque-happy monster of an engine. Quick, smooth and quiet, the engine delivers excellent performance yet is surprisingly fuel-efficient.

All-wheel drive seems a no-brainer to us, especially for anyone living where rubber boots and snow shovels hang in the garage. From a performance standpoint, the Regal’s AWD setup improves cornering, able to transfer power front to rear as well as side-to-side as needed.

2016 Buick Regal Details
2016 Buick Regal photo Interior

It's important for a premium sedan to coddle its driver and passengers, and here the 2016 Regal family sedan scores very well. The design and materials are all first-rate, and we especially like the easily readable instruments, the available user-friendly navigation system, and the steering-wheel-mounted thumb wheel for scrolling through function menus. Apple CarPlay integrates the iPhone with IntelliLink, while Siri Eyes Free provides better integration of Apple's voice-recognition technology. The downside is the Regal's rear-seat headroom, with the sleek roofline meaning passengers taller than 6-feet will likely rub against the headliner.

2016 Buick Regal photo

The 2016 Buick Regal is a classy-looking sedan, thanks in no small part to its European roots, where the same car is called an Opel Insignia. On this side of the pond it wears Buick's signature waterfall grille, flanked by LED-enhanced headlights. The proportions are tidy, but sleek, and the low roofline helps keep the smallish Buick from looking too stubby compared to its competitors. The wheels are pushed out to the corners of the car, giving it a sporty stance, especially with the sporty GS and its standard 19-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Buick’s 2016 Regal midsize sedan comes nicely equipped, from the base model up. There's leather upholstery, and both the 12-way-power driver's seat and passenger's seat are heated. Dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch color touch screen with Buick's IntelliLink infotainment system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a 7-speaker audio system with USB port are also part of the package. A 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is standard, sending power to the 17-inch front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission (with tap-up/tap-down shifting). Active safety features include GM's StabiliTrak stability control, traction control and antilock brakes with brake assist.

Optional Equipment

The most noteworthy stand-alone option available across the 2016 Buick Regal lineup is all-wheel drive. Otherwise, options are grouped into packages. The eAssist mild hybrid is grouped into the Premium I package, while the Premium II smartens up the standard turbocharged engine. With the Premium packages you get keyless entry and push-button start, a remote-starter system and a heated steering wheel. Other options include a hard-drive-based navigation system, power sunroof, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels (20-inchers on the GS), HID headlights and a 120-volt outlet. Adaptive cruise control is available, along with blind-spot, lane-departure and rear cross-traffic alerts.

Under the Hood

Standard power for the 2016 Buick Regal comes from a smooth and refined 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. It's the primary engine across the board, including the Regal GS. An option for fuel-efficiency-minded customers is the eAssist mild hybrid. Using a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, a dual-function generator/motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack, the eAssist Regal enjoys improved fuel economy over the standard setup. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard for all Regal models, regardless of engine.

2.4-liter inline-4
182 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/36 mpg (eAssist mild hybrid), 19/31 mpg (without eAssist)

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 (FWD), 19/27 mpg (AWD)

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: 21/30 mpg (FWD), 19/27 mpg (AWD)

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