The 2012 Buick Regal GS (Gran Sport) is possibly the best looking four-door car you car buy for under $45,000.
Its large wheels, brake ducts, Xenon headlights and special exhaust ports at the rear make sure this car stands out on the road. Buick has managed to make the Regal GS impressive while still in keeping with good taste and moderation.
If you want cartoonish spoilers and vents there are plenty of other cars on the market to meet that need. Since the first showing of the Buick Regal GS concept car in 2010 there has been much anticipation about its release. When you compare the Regal GS to other premium cars, its quality measures up well. Despite lacking all wheel drive this Buick is intended to be a serious sports sedan that competes with the Acura TSX, BMW 328 and the Mercedes C350.
The big question is: will premium car buyers write the check for this latest entry into the market?
On the inside the Buick Regal GS is nice to look at.
The dash has a nice sweeping curve, and it looks like it fits in well with other interiors in the class.
No matter where you look the materials seem to be of a good quality.
The inside of the doors have an aluminum grab handle with a rubber backing that provides a quality feel when you close the door.
In truth all Buick Regals are based on the European Opel Insignia, and it shows throughout the inside of the car.
The Regal GS has a unique flat bottomed steering wheel and special seats that are on available only on this model.
The steering wheel looks great and is nice to hold whether in a traffic jam or doing some high speed cornering.
The seats are comfortable and offer about a thousand times more side support than anything Buick has ever put in a car before.
The Buick Regal GS has every electronic gadget you would expect from a premium car: Bluetooth, USB port, Navigation, front and rear park sensors, the list goes on an on.
When not equipped with the Navigation system you get Buick’s IntelliLink technology that allows for Bluetooth audio streaming, smartphone radio stitcher and almost anything else you could think of.
Like many premium cars the buttons along the center stack of the Regal GS look very complicated to operate to un-initiated.
In reality functions like climate control, radio and Bluetooth are very easy to use. The touch screen in high-resolution and easy to operate. It is easy to program the Navigation system using the wheel control in front of the arm rest.
Overall the interior gets top marks.
The only downsides are the fact that to plug in an iPhone or iPod you have to leave the center console open, and that when navigation is ordered you lose the wireless audio streaming function and internet radio stitcher.
On the road the Buick Regal GS is much like the cheaper turbo model- until you take a corner quickly or brake. Special adjustable suspension and massive Brembo brakes make for impressive handling.
The beauty of a car like the Regal GS is that in the normal suspension setting the car has a pleasant ride and normal steering, but when you activate the GS mode the suspension stiffens right up and the steering gets much sharper. The g-force generated in a corner is amazing especially given you are driving a four-door Buick. Slam on the brakes from 60mph(100km/h) and you will feel like someone is trying to pull your face off. Our Regal GS was equipped with the 20″ wheel option and summer only tires.
Buyers looking to drive year round will want to consider sticking with the less dramatic 19″ wheels that have all season tires from the factory.
Without doubt the Buick Regal GS is of the best handling four-door cars that money can buy.
The only thing that really lets the car down is the engine.
Buick rates the 2.0L 4 cylinder engine at 270hp and is receives and larger turbo than the standard Regal turbo model gets.
In spite of all this the acceleration is just not that vicious.
Make no mistake with a 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds the Regal GS is not slow by any means. The problem lies in the feeling you get when you drive it, you feel like the engine does not match up to the rest of the car. A 300+ hp V6 and all-wheel drive would be a welcome addition in an upcoming model. Are you listening Buick?. Overall the sub par drivetrain is not enough to keep this from being a great car.
Between the fantastic handling, looks and build quality the Buick Regal GS is still impressive.
The bottom line: If you march to the beat of a different drum, or you don’t want to be like all the other people you know that bought a BMW or Infiniti then take the time to check out a Buick Regal GS.
-By David Louis Johnson
Article Source: 2012 Buick Regal GS Review and Road Test