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2015 Buick Regal GS Review By Larry Nutson


2015 Buick Regal GS (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Buick Regal GS

2015 Buick Regal GS Fifty Years On
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
1965 Buick Riviera GS

The GS badge, or Gran Sport if you will, first appeared on Buick brand cars around 1965. The GS designation, a trim package that sometimes included performance enhancements, found its way onto the Skylark, Riviera, Wildcat, Century and eventually the Regal. A Regal could be had in GS trim from 1988 to 2004, when production ended.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2011 Buick Regal

The Regal came back in 2011. Now in its fifth generation, GM’s Buick Regal is a nicely refined midsize car. It has been said by some experts that the Regal delivers a dynamic driving experience on par with the best import sedans in the segment. The Regal GS model with its performance orientation is even more a European brand alternative.

Buick sold about 1.17 million cars last year in their global markets. Over nine hundred thousand sales were in China. About 230,000 Buick's were sold in the United States. Regal sales for 2014 closed out at 22,560, up 20.7% up from 2013. Regal is bringing younger buyers to Buick and the Regal GS even more so.

The midsize car segment has the most offerings of any in the U.S. market. A buyer can choose a main-stream, plain-jane midsize car or, opt for something more unique and stylish with sporty performance. I think there is something to be said for not seeing yourself coming and going at every street intersection.

2015 Buick Regal GS (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Buick Regal GS

Consider that midsize cars cover a wide price range and stretch from the traditional family sedan to near-luxury and also into the luxury segment. Some models are priced starting around $21,000 and luxury maker’s midsize cars can be far north of $65,000. (Compare all mid-size Sedans HERE)

The near-luxury 2015 Buick Regal is priced starting at $30,915 for a front-wheel drive model. All-wheel drive takes you to $33,340. The Regal GS prices are $38,310 for FWD and $40,735 for the GS AWD. These prices include $925 destination charge.

The Regal comes with a standard 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder SAE-rated at 259 horsepower. Acceleration from stop to 60mph is as quick as 6.2 seconds in the manual transmission, yes manual, GS. AWD models get it done in 6.8 seconds. The AWD GS is EPA test rated at 22 mpg combined, or 4.5 gallons per 100 miles. The EPA city test rating is 19 mpg and highway test rating is 27 mpg. For the best Regal fuel economy, GM’s eAssist is an available powertrain in 2015 Regal Premium I and is EPA test rated at 25 city mpg and 36 highway mpg.

A six-speed automatic transmission gets power to the pavement and all-wheel drive is available on Regal and Regal GS. And for those who like three pedals, a six-speed manual transmission is offered for no cost on the GS front-wheel drive. I

spent a week driving the city streets and urban highways of Chicago in a smoke gray metallic all-wheel drive GS automatic. Options fitted on my media loan car included two radar- and camera-based Driver Confidence packages, as Buick calls them. Package one priced at $1,040 provided forward collision alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert and memory front seats and outside mirrors.


2015 Buick Regal GS (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Buick Regal GS
Package two includes adaptive cruise control and automatic collision preparation for $1,195. I also got to enjoy a $1,000 power moonroof. All this brought the bottom line to $43,970.

On the outside the GS features unique front and rear fascias, 19-inch wheels with 20s available as an option, and a lowered ride height. The stance of the Regal GS is very dynamic, in my view, and conveys a sense that this car is ready to perform.

The all-wheel drive system that improves traction in dry, wet and snow driving conditions coupled with the HiPer Strut front suspension makes for enhanced ride and handling. GS has an interactive driver control system that allows for the selection of different driving modes including a GS mode and track-oriented competition setting.


2015 Buick Regal GS (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Buick Regal GS

2015 Buick Regal GS (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Buick Regal GS
On the inside the GS is very quiet to drive. Ingress and egress are easy and the seats provide good comfort and driver support with firm bolstering. Niceties like heated seats, heated steering wheel and rear vision camera make for comfort and ease of maneuvering. Sport alloy pedals remind you of the potential under your foot.

Standard on the GS are Goodyear Eagle RSA P245/40R19 tires that provide a nice balance for dry and wet roads as well as occasional spirited driving. If you opt for the 20-inch wheels you get Pirelli P-Zero P255/35-ZR20 summer rated tires. The 35-series tires might do what you want to max-out spirited driving behavior, but they will be a challenge on pot-holed city streets and for surely will need to be replaced with winter tires in cold winter snow-regions.

The driving oriented Regal GS driver also gets a unique eight-inch configurable color instrument cluster screen. It allows the driver to customize the displayed information with adjustments via steering wheel controls. This instrument display is framed with chrome accents and delivers chronograph-style graphics in two modes: Touring and Sport. It is also complemented with a pair of semicircle mechanical instruments for the tachometer and other vehicle functions.

New for 2015 on Regal is OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that includes 3 GB/three-month data trial keeping us more connected than ever. You also get IntelliLink with Text Messaging Alerts and Siri Eyes Free.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Buick Regal GS
There’s lots more detailed information and specs on the 2015 Buick Regal models only a mouse click away at www.buick.com. If you want to compare the Regal to other midsize sedans you can do that right here on TheAutoChannel.com.

Worthy of note is that Buick’s Warranty includes two years/24,000 miles of scheduled maintenance, including oil changes, oil filter changes and tire rotations included. Recognizing that this is really not free but included in the cost of the car, I like this approach that makes routine service very customer friendly.

Regal has gotten a number of accolades including an IIHS “superior” when equipped with available Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Braking System. 2014 Kelly Blue Book rated Regal one of the ten Most Comfortable Cars under $30,000. Also, Consumer Reports ranked Regal a Recommended Buy and Cars.com a Best Bet.

The 2015 Regal GS offers good value in a near-luxury midsize sport sedan and is worth a look.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy