Buick’s near-luxury accession has prompted it to agreement with some atypical ideas, such as actuality one of the aboriginal brands to acquaint an flush auto crossover with the Encore as able-bodied as architecture its next-rung-up Envision SUV in China. Added abnormal is the wheeled platypus that is the new-for-2018 Regal Sportback, a Germany-built four-door with the glassy contour of a auto and the abundant burden breadth of a hatchback. Abundantly refined, acutely practical, and with appearance to spare, the Sportback, at atomic in its added bashful front-wheel-drive form, is acute in means that the antecedent Regal auto never was.
For alike added advantage of the Regal Sportback, appearance our buyer’s adviser all-embracing review.
Sharing abundant of its belvedere with the latest Chevrolet Malibu, the balanced Regal is beyond yet lighter than before, with added all-around rear quarters. While both the Buick and the Chevy accept a strut abeyance up advanced and a multilink bureaucracy at the rear, the Regal’s anatomy has been adapted to board its alternative torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, a $2000 added on Preferred II and Essence trim levels and accepted on the V-6–only Regal GS. At 3426 pounds, our front-drive, Essence-level analysis car advised 119 pounds added than a commensurable Malibu 2.0T yet 596 beneath than the antecedent Regal GS with all-wheel drive, a turbo four, and an automatic.
Regardless of configuration, the Regal Sportback is a attractive aggregation of abounding curve and affected creases, handsome but not pretentious. And its advanced auto aperture is accurately chip into the design. While the maximum-versatility accolade goes to the full-wagon Regal TourX, the Sportback’s burden authority will absorb 32 cubic anxiety of stuff, about dispatch the block amplitude of best mid-size sedans. Drop the 40/20/40 split-folding rear bench begin in top versions (base and Preferred trim levels accomplish do with a 60/40 split) to accessible up an almost-flat bulk attic and a big 61 cubes of accumulator space. However, after any power-opening or -closing mechanism, accessing that amplitude requires manually appropriation and shutting the beefy liftgate; with its abounding chip allotment of glass, it is appreciably added than a approved trunklid.
Except for the range-topping GS, all Regal Sportbacks are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four authoritative 250 horsepower. Whereas best torque is 295 lb-ft at 3000 revs on all-wheel-drive versions, front-drivers are detuned to 260 lb-ft at 2000 rpm. The bargain bulk of aberration absolutely after-effects in little tugging at the caster beneath adamantine acceleration, but the advanced acquaintance patches do scrabble for absorption back the disciplinarian punches the burke from a asleep stop. Front-drive Regals additionally affection a smartly acquainted nine-speed automated chiral in abode of the eight-speed assemblage currently adapted to all-wheel-drive, non-GS models (Buick says it will eventually appearance in the nine-speed on all versions).
Despite the association of the Sportback nameplate, the Regal is beneath able-bodied than it is abundantly competent. Effort from the electrically assisted council is light, and loading up the anatomy in corners engenders a absolute if aerial chat with the driver. The adequate abeyance band out burst pavement well, alike on our analysis car’s 18-inch auto adapted with 245/45R-18 Continental ProContact TX all-season tires (17-inchers are accepted on lower trims), but at the amount of some anatomy cycle at the limit. Admitting the Regal’s European roots—it’s about a reskinned Opel Insignia—its role as a Buick is of a composed cruiser. However, it doesn’t do a abundant job of isolating alley noise—impacts are about heard added than felt. At the track, our analysis car clung to the skidpad with 0.87 g of crabbed anchor and basal understeer, a solid performance. As with abounding newer General Motors vehicles, the Sportback’s anchor pedal is affably close and accessible to modulate, and its fade-free stop from 70 mph appropriate aloof 162 feet—two anxiety beneath than the best we’ve apparent from Audi’s far pricier A5 Sportback.
Michael SimariCar and Driver
Most Regal buyers should be added than agreeable with the front-drive Sportback’s softer dynamics as able-bodied as its solid straight-line performance. The 2.0-liter revs calmly and with little lag from the turbo. Although non-GS Regals do after selectable active modes and the nine-speed about upshifts to top accessory as bound and calmly as possible, the gearbox is quick to affair kickdowns in acknowledgment to burke inputs; the dart from 50 to 70 mph happens in a admirable 4.0 seconds. Our analysis car additionally able 60 mph in a advancing 5.6 abnormal and covered the quarter-mile in 14.2 at 101 mph. Our quickest runs were able with the nine-speed in its automated mode, which Buick’s engineers abnormally calibrated to skip third accessory beneath abundant burke applications because the arrangement change from additional is so small. Third accessory is active alone in affable active or back application the transmission’s chiral mode, but the arrangement change from additional is absolutely about ephemeral and, back aggravating to drive quickly, it’s about absurd to abstain colliding with the ammunition blow in third.
Its clue after-effects put the Regal on clip with added big-ticket competitors such as the Acura TLX V-6 SH-AWD and the BMW 430i xDrive Gran Coupe, both of which acquaint agnate dispatch times admitting lugging about their added all-wheel-drive systems. A added absolute allegory is to the accomplished 2018 Honda Accord with its alternative 252-hp turbo 2.0-liter agent and 10-speed automatic. A able 10Best Cars–winning auto that weighs aural a few pounds of the Regal, the Accord 2.0T is added agreeable to drive and allotment agnate achievement numbers, save for a 70-mph stop that was eight anxiety longer. The front-drive Honda and Buick allotment the aforementioned EPA fuel-economy figures—22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway—and both averaged 24 mpg in our testing. (All-wheel-drive Regals are rated 1 mpg beneath in the burghal and 3 beneath on the highway.) The Accord, however, bettered the Sportback’s 31 mpg on our 75-mph artery analysis bend by 4 mpg.
The central of the Sportback is aerial and inoffensive, with accustomed GM switchgear and abounding allowance for four occupants, although allowance for the average rear-seat addition can be limited. The Regal’s advanced seats are almost bendable and action abstinent crabbed but decidedly advancing thigh support, and an absolute automated about-face batten adorns the centermost animate instead of the blue joystick Buick fits to some of its models. Noise levels are abundantly hushed—75 decibels at abounding burke and 70 decibels at a 70-mph cruise—if not as quiet as in a added big-ticket Audi or BMW. However, the Buick interior’s clean, across-the-board architecture layout, while ergonomically sound, borders on bland, and the mix of characterless plastics on the council wheel, centermost console, and lower aperture panels looks and feels low rent. Here, too, the apprehensive Accord’s latest uptick in clarification makes a stronger showing.
Michael SimariCar and Driver
Although appraisement for the Sportback in its base, cloth-only 1SV trim starts at aloof $25,915, the top-level Essence archetypal apparent actuality raises the access point to $32,695 and bags on the accepted kit, including covering upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable and acrimonious advanced seats, a acrimonious council wheel, a 4.2-inch blush affectation in the barometer cluster, and Buick’s 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment arrangement (a 7.0-incher is standard) featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE abstracts affiliation with Wi-Fi.
Inflating our car’s as-tested amount to $35,615 was $395 for Darkmoon Blue Metallic paint, the $945 Sights and Sounds Package (navigation and a exceptional Bose audio system) that frustratingly additionally replaces the accepted additional annoy with an inflator kit, and the $1580 Disciplinarian Confidence Package I (LED headlights, rear parking assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change and blind-spot alerts, a wireless charging pad, four-way lumbar front-seat adjustments, and anamnesis settings for the driver’s bench and the acrimonious exoteric mirrors). Active-safety features, such as adaptive cruise ascendancy and automated emergency braking, amount added as allotment of the $1090 Disciplinarian Confidence Package II that our car didn’t have.
The Regal’s airy ride, adventurous looks, and affable active behavior augur able-bodied for Buick’s adventure to augment its appeal. We’d catechism spending abundant added than our analysis car’s amount for its near-luxury finish, but the Sportback’s adroit architecture and auto versatility are acute virtues at any of its trim levels.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door auto
PRICE AS TESTED: $35,615 (base price: $25,915)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, absolute ammunition injection
Displacement: 122 cu in, 1998 ccPower: 250 hp @ 5400 rpmTorque: 260 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automated with chiral alive mode
CHASSIS:Suspension (F/R): strut/multilinkBrakes (F/R): 12.6-in vented discs/11.3-in vented discsTires: Continental ProContact TX, 245/45R-18 96H M S TPC SPEC 1478
DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 111.4 inLength: 192.9 inWidth: 73.3 in Height: 57.3 inPassenger volume: 98 cu ftCargo volume: 32 cu ftCurb weight: 3426 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS: Zero to 60 mph: 5.6 sec Zero to 100 mph: 13.8 sec Zero to 130 mph: 28.8 sec Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.1 sec Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.9 sec Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.0 sec Standing ¼-mile: 14.2 sec @ 101 mph Top acceleration (governor limited): 131 mph Braking, 70–0 mph: 162 ft Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.87 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY: Observed: 24 mpg 75-mph artery driving: 31 mpg Artery range: 490 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY: Combined/city/highway: 26/22/32 mpg
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