$8,614 - $10,247

2013 Buick Regal Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Buick Regal was new.


Performance: 8.5

Test drivers applaud the 2013 Buick Regal for its composed handling and numerous engine options. They like that the Regal eAssist offers good fuel economy, while Regal GS and Turbo models will please midsize car shoppers who don’t want to give up performance.

  • "Regal's engines have a refined sound to them despite having just 4 cylinders." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "In any guise, the Regal runs smoothly and feels competent on the road, if not quite as light on its feet as a Volkswagen CC." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's a Gran Sport. And that's a good thing for car guys and gals. They might choose the Regal because it is responsible, but they choose the GS because they like to drive." -- AutoWeek (2012 Regal GS)
  • "I couldn't quite get over the fact that I was driving a Buick that was running in the fast-moving flow of BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes-Benzes, and yet I didn't feel the least bit deprived." -- Automobile Magazine (2011 Regal Turbo)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Buick Regal eAssist comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a small electric motor. Combined, the mild-hybrid powertrain makes 182 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission transmits power to the front wheels. Regal Turbo and GS models feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which generates 220 horsepower in the Regal Turbo and 270 horsepower in the Regal GS. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available with both models. The EPA reports that the 2013 Regal eAssist gets 25/36 mpg city/highway, which is quite good for the class. Regal Turbo and GS models earn slightly lower fuel economy ratings.

While most reviewers prefer the additional performance that the Regal GS offers, they note that it may be worth sacrificing some power for the Regal eAssist’s great fuel economy. They also write that the eAssist powertrain has a refined feel, and that its fuel-saving start/stop system operates quite smoothly. Many reviewers speak highly of the Regal’s available transmissions, though one critic says that the automatic is a better choice, noting that the manual’s shift throws could be shorter and quicker.

  • "The 2.4-liter engine with battery assist is very refined, if not especially fast. The transitions when the gas engine shuts off at stops and automatically restarts when the brake pedal is released are exceptionally smooth." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Either of the turbocharged engines can be had with a manual gearbox but the shift throws are long and slow enough that we prefer the automatic." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's fast. The power and torque come on quick and stay strong all the way to redline." -- AutoWeek (2012 Regal GS) 
  • "Aside from our overly critical issues with the shifter itself, the transmission is a joy to use. The clutch is nicely weighted with a linear action, though there's quite a bit of overall travel to the pedal." -- Autoblog (2012 Regal GS) 

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers report that a few minutes driving the Regal will erase any memories of the floaty, ponderous Buicks of the past. They say that even the Regal eAssist is well-balanced, with nimble handling. Reviewers recommend the Regal GS for driving enthusiasts. It features an adjustable suspension system with three modes that alter handling dynamics and steering feel. Those who have tested the system say it makes the GS composed and fun to drive.

  • "Nimble and balanced in quick direction changes, even on base cars. The steering is direct and smooth." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Suspension action is compliant and well damped, and the Interactive Drive Control (optional on Turbo, standard on GS) provides three selectable levels of firmness." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The weight of the steering is similarly not-too-hot, not-too-cold, with just enough heft to keep things interesting, but it transmits only soft whispers from the Pirellis. We like that we can feel something, but more communication wouldn't hurt." -- Car and Driver (2012 Regal GS) 
  • "Charging into the first turn with this newfound speed, we notice another big difference. There's serious braking power and a much firmer pedal than what we're used to in the Regal." -- Edmunds (2012 Regal GS)

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