$15,539 - $21,704

2016 Buick Regal Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Buick Regal was new.


Performance: 8.0

Test drivers say the 2016 Buick Regal delivers nimble handling, particularly in the GS model. They find the base engine uninspiring. Opinions differ about the available turbocharged engine, with some saying it provides ample power and acceleration and others complaining about turbo lag. Most critics agree that the ride is smooth and quiet.

  • "The Regal doesn't excel in any one category, but it remains composed and confident." -- Edmunds
  • "Regardless of the model you choose, the Regal offers sharp responses, especially in the sport-oriented GS." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The Regal GS still delivers fully athletic agility thanks to its sport suspension, 20-in wheels and powerful brakes. Even hardcore enthusiasts will be impressed with its high-performance dose of power and track-caliber capabilities." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The GS is, unsurprisingly, our choice of the Regal lineup, not in small part due to the attention Buick slathered on it to produce a truly buttoned-down, engaging ride." -- AutoWeek (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Buick Regal base model features a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower. Higher trims get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 259 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The base Regal earns an EPA-estimated 19/31 mpg city/highway, which is subpar for the class.

Critics say that the base engine’s acceleration is underwhelming. Some think the available turbocharged engine offers good power and strong acceleration, but others say there is obvious turbo lag. Test drivers complain that the automatic transmission occasionally shifts late.

  • "When equipped with the turbocharged engine, the 2016 Buick Regal provides drivers with an ample amount of spunk. It's not the most refined four-cylinder in this price range, but real-world acceleration is strong in most situations. Unfortunately, the base 1SV model suffers from lackluster acceleration due to its outdated, non-turbocharged engine." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder offers plenty of torque and smooth, quiet operation in the Regal and Regal GS." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Unfortunately, the turbocharged engine does suffer from a noticeable lag when launching from a standstill." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "… [All-wheel drive] also seems to bog down the car coming out of corners. That's partially the fault of the turbo four, which still suffers a bit of lag, and the six-speed automatic, which occasionally downshifts too late." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard with the 2016 Regal, and all-wheel drive is available. Reviewers praise the smooth ride the Regal delivers, and most agree that it provides better-than-expected athleticism and agility. The GS trim features an adjustable sport suspension. Critics note that steering response is somewhat light.

  • "No matter the powertrain, all Regals ride smoothly, and the cabin remains remarkably quiet at speed. Handling is rather capable with the sport-tuned suspension, though the base setup isn't designed for enthusiastic driving. Either way, steering is light but reasonably precise." -- Edmunds
  • "This Regal's Euro-tuned suspension was designed to show off its athleticism on quick-cutting switchbacks and in high-speed maneuvers." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "While the Regal GS has a stiffer ride than the rest of the lineup, all Regals are smooth and exceptionally quiet on the road." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Out on the road, the Regal isn't a true sport sedan, but it offers tighter handling than one might expect in addition to a luxuriously smooth ride." -- Left Lane News (2015)

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