Family buyers looking for a mid-size luxury sedan that’s sporty and offers mild hybrid technology and fuel efficiency may find what they’re looking for in the 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist.
Buick announced that the mild hybrid version of the 2012 Regal will start at $29,530, including an $850 destination charge.
Opting for the mild hybrid is a $2,000 bump from the base 2.4-liter Regal model. Fuel economy in the 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist, as rated by the EPA, is 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Buick notes that the fuel economy boost is the result of pairing the direct-injected 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine with advanced lithium-ion battery system and electric motor generator that enables regenerative braking capability.
What’s different about eAssist versus hybrid technology? As our sister publication, GreenCarReports notes, the 2012 Regal with eAssist can’t run solely on electric power – at any speed. GCR also wonders if that’s why GM refers to the system as “light electrification” instead of hybrid.
It’s also worth noting that the eAssist in the 2012 Regal is largely the same as that in the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, and although eAssist is the base model in the LaCrosse, it isn’t in the Regal. Buick will continue to offer the base Regal without eAssist as well as the 2.0-liter turbocharged model.
Standard features with the eAssist include:
- A driver-selectable, fuel economy-optimizing mode for the air conditioning system. This enables more frequent and longer-duration engine stop periods.
- An ECO gauge on the instrument panel that continuously monitors and responds to driver behavior. This enables increased driver efficiency.
- A power readout in the driver information or color infotainment center that shows energy flow through the Regal’s electric assist system. Readouts will show, for example, battery charging from regeneration and electric power directed to the engine.
Buick also announced that, later in the year, the Regal with eAssist (and the 2012 Regal GS) will both come standard with Buick IntelliLink. This system uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a new seven-inch, high-resolution and full-color touch-screen display.