$18,496 - $24,790

2017 Buick Regal Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Buick Regal was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.7

Buick tries to cover two bases with the 2017 Regal. It endeavors to be both athletic, with its nimble handling and turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and luxurious, with its quiet and comfortable ride. However, it doesn’t strike the balance between a supple ride and composed handling as well as rivals like the Honda Accord.

If any trim accomplishes this two-part goal, it’s the Regal GS, with its agility around turns, sport-tuned suspension, and turbocharged power, although it does suffer from turbo lag. Conversely, the base Regal (1SV) underwhelms due to its meager acceleration, though it does ride smoothly and quietly.

  • With an image portrayed as ‘sporty luxury,’ the Regal doesn't excel in either area. But it has a little of both, if you get the right trim." -- 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)

Acceleration and Power

Standard in the Regal 1SV is a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which gets below-average fuel economy: 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. A 259-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine powers the rest of the Regal lineup. With this power plant, the Buick gets 21/29 mpg city/highway. Those figures will be a little lower with available all-wheel drive. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration with the Regal 1SV is weak, but the turbocharged engine in the other trims is fine for everyday driving conditions, though drivers may notice turbo lag (the short delay in power delivery felt when the car takes off, due to the time needed for the turbocharger to generate power). Another component that may hamper performance is the Regal’s available all-wheel drive. It saps some of the power from the turbocharged engine, resulting in sluggishness after taking turns.

  • When equipped with the optional turbocharged engine, the 2017 Buick Regal provides enough dynamic motivation that you'll likely be satisfied. It might not be the most refined or efficient four-cylinder in this price range, but real-world acceleration is more than ample in most situations. The base model engine doesn't provide any advantages other than small cost savings, so making the upgrade is a good idea." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Handling and Braking

With the exception of the Regal AWD, all models come standard with front-wheel drive, with rear-wheel drive as an option on higher trims. Although it’s no Mazda6, the Regal’s handling is impressive for a car of its personality. However, steering is somewhat numb. The ride is both smooth and quiet, but the GS trim’s suspension conveys a more responsive ride and handling combo, though you can adjust it to suit your preference.

  • What perhaps is holding the Regal back most from being engaging is a lack of steering feel. However, it's light and reasonably precise, so most will find it agreeable in casual driving." -- Edmunds
  • "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
  • "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)

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