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2013 Buick Regal Photo
8.4
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE
INVOICE
$27,854
BASE
MSRP
$29,015
Quick Take
The 2013 Buick Regal is a worthy sport sedan with arresting looks and sweet handling--so long as you stick with the turbos. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

…Just look at the thing, it's gorgeous…The entire layout is sculptural and quite handsome

Jalopnik »

The front is modern and unoffensive, the profile and rear quarter bring BMW to mind, and the rear looks like it came from Acura — from before when that brand forgot what a curve was.

Cars.com »

The Regal's interior is handsome, well-designed, and a huge leap over Buicks of the recent past, but it lacks the pizzazz of the new LaCrosse interior, and its plastics fall a bit short of those in not only cars like the Volkswagen Passat but even the Hyundai Genesis.

Automobile »

It’s handsome to look at….it looks far more expensive inside than do the U.S.-market Chevy Malibu, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry. The Regal has more soft-touch plastic surfaces and more elegant finishes, such as satin-metal door pulls and piano-black trim.

Car and Driver »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$29,015 $34,980
MSRP $29,015
INVOICE $27,854 Browse used listings in your area
4-Door Sedan Base
Gas Mileage 19 mpg City/31 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas/Electric L4, 2.4L
EPA Class Midsize
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.4 out of 10
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The Basics:

The 2013 Buick Regal has a traditional name, but if you've wandered into a showroom looking for a V-8 and rear-wheel drive....well, things have changed. Today's Regal is a front-drive four-door. Sometimes it's a mild hybrid. It's never a V-8--it's never even a V-6. Under the skin, it's an Opel, from Germany.

And it's the best modern-day Regal yet, and the best Buick you can buy today.

That doesn't make it a perfect fit for everyone. The 2013 Regal has a premium price tag to go with its brand, and performance numbers and rear-seat specs are down when compared to some bargain family four-doors. If you're past that, you'll see the Regal is insistently handsome, and in GS trim it's truly entertaining--and that's an entirely new place in the world for Buick, though it's also a place that could take some time for value-minded buyers to find.

The Regal's essentially our version of GM's global mid-sizer, sold in Europe as an Opel Insignia. It's a dynamic shape, with an optical hook stamped into its side flanks and a petite interpretation of Buick's waterfall grille applied to the nose to let you know it's still a domestic sedan. The interior's modern GM, not old GM, too, with a big shield of controls and a trio of finishes that dress up a soberly styled cockpit.

This year, Buick's dropped the standard four-cylinder from the Regal lineup, and has inserted its mild-hybrid "eAssist" powertrain in its place. With 182 horsepower and a 20-kilowatt lithium-ion battery, and an electric motor and six-speed transmission playing tag in between, the eAssist aims to split the difference between dull hybrid driving and exceptional hybrid gas mileage. It does: it delivers what's now middling gas mileage for the class, and middling handling for the otherwise dandy Regal lineup. The tires give up more easily and tell you less about the road--while the drivetrain turns in less EPA-rated highway mileage than the larger, gas-only Nissan Altima.

We'd gladly give up the notion of saving the planet for either of the Regal's punchy turbocharged four-cylinders. Both the 220-hp turbo four and especially, the 270-hp GS four, have the zesty, immediate feel of other front-drivers in the class. The Regal has Euro-feel baked into its ride and handling, with the muted damping of a good German sedan (hint: that's where it was developed), and reasonably good steering feel in turbo cars. The GS' three-mode adjustable driving feel pushes the performance envelope to a pleasing level, but one shy of true sports sedans like the BMW 3-Series.

The Regal's tidy shape doesn't endow it with the vast interior room you'll find in a VW Passat or a Hyundai Sonata, but it's only in the back seat where it can be an issue with adult passengers. The trunk's a bit small, too.

As for safety, Buick's earned five stars from the NHTSA, and a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS, but a rearview camera and blind-spot monitors aren't yet in its tech goodie bag. Navigation now works with IntelliLink and Bluetooth voice controls, though, and connectivity with mobile apps puts the Regal on par with other leading mid-size luxury sedans.

With its premium price and its class-average space and gas mileage, the Regal doesn't shine on a spec sheet. It does in person, so long as you steer in the direction of forced induction.

Likes:

  • Dramatic, exciting sheetmetal
  • Tight, composed handling (GS)
  • Turbocharging replaces big sixes, eights
  • Nav system finally welcomes your touch

Dislikes:

  • Priced at a premium
  • Rear-seat room at a premium, too
  • No rearview camera or all-wheel drive
  • eAssist isn't a flat-out mileage champ
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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