$20,511 - $32,403

2018 Buick Regal Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Buick Regal was new.


Performance: 8.1

The redesigned 2018 Buick Regal offers capable engine choices, responsive transmissions, and a comfortable ride. The base engine provides respectable performance, but its fuel economy – like that of the entire Regal lineup – is unimpressive. The top-level GS trim has a muscular V6 for quicker launches and better passing power. The Regal’s ride is soft, but not overly so. The TourX (wagon) model feels a little floatier than the Sportback (hatchback), due in part to its size. Handling ability is competent, but some class rivals are nimbler.

  • "The overall driving experience in the Regal Sportback honestly doesn't feel that much different from a high-spec Chevrolet Malibu, with which it shares a platform and powertrain, but the Regal doesn't advance the sport or luxury quotient appreciably." -- Cars.com
  • "This isn't a hardcore performance sedan, but it's quiet, comfortable, and sporty enough for most people." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The Buick Regal comes standard with a 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive models with the turbo-four come with an eight-speed automatic. Powering the GS is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. The V6 comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel economy is below average for a nonhybrid midsize car. With the base engine and front-wheel drive, the Regal returns 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive models with the base engine get 21/29 mpg city/highway. The Regal GS yields 19/27 mpg city/highway.

The base engine provides plenty of power for the daily drive. It builds up speed evenly and rapidly, whether in the city or on the highway. Both automatic transmissions do a good job harnessing the Regal’s potency. The performance-oriented Regal GS' meaty V6 delivers an enjoyable driving experience. Still, the GS is no sports sedan, and it falls short of the precision and athleticism of some rivals. Buick did away with a manual transmission and paddle shifters in the Regal for 2018.

  • "It's hard to find a situation where the Regal Sportback doesn't have enough power. It gets up to speed quickly on the highway, and it produces a growl you wouldn't expect from a Buick." -- Motor Trend
  • "Transmission tuning proved to be excellent – both the eight and nine speed boxes decisively picked gears and provided quick shifts." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "After driving the two turbocharged models, stepping behind the wheel of the GS was a breath of fresh air. Power builds smoothly from down low, pulling hard all the way to redline. This isn't a screamer; it's just a quietly confident sedan." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

The Regal’s suspension soaks up most bumps in the road with ease, providing a quiet and smooth ride that doesn’t feel boatlike. The TourX (wagon) wallows a bit over big bumps, but that’s to be expected with its lengthier and heavier body.

Although it’s not the most engaging midsize car, the Regal has good composure on the road. Its steering is a little overassisted but has a good feel to it otherwise. Front-wheel drive comes standard. All-wheel drive is available in the Preferred II and Essence trims and standard in the TourX and sport-tuned Regal GS.

  • "It's on par with the level of engagement and entertainment one would find in an Acura TLX, but dynamically, a new Honda Accord turbo or a Toyota Camry V-6 is a more enjoyable vehicle to drive quickly." -- Cars.com
  • "Steering was a little overboosted for our taste, but accurate and easy to point. Above all, ride quality on both test cars was neither too stiff nor too soft, but instead balanced enough to soak up undulating backroads and provide a comfortable highway ride." -- Autoblog
  • "The TourX is a bit floaty over bigger bumps in the road. It makes a decent poor man's/woman's Volvo V90 XC." -- Automobile Magazine

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