Quality » 8
Shopping for a new Buick Regal?
SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS
QUALITY | 8 out of 10
The Regal has form-fitting seats at all four corners, seats that still remained comfortable after more than two hours of driving.
One attribute of older Buicks that has been kept is quietness. Listen carefully and the hiss of a spooling turbo can be heard. But close the windows and it’s easy to have a conversation at 70 mph.
Road & Track
The seats even look and feel like something out of Germany — firm, supportive, well bolstered and extraordinarily comfortable, they even have extending thigh supports.
The backseat was surprisingly spacious in legroom. It has 3 more inches of it than the TSX, and it's noticeable. At 5-foot-10, though, headroom was tight back there; it has slightly less space in that category than the TSX.
The rear seat doesn’t feel as accommodating as, say, an Accord’s, although the quoted legroom of 37.3 inches is a hair better than the Honda’s and nearly two inches better than an Audi A4’s.
Car and Driver
The 2011 Regal’s cabin is a little deceptive. For a car with a long wheelbase, the Regal seems to have a little less interior space than some other new near-luxury sedans and family four-doors. It’s not far behind on paper, in truth, except in trunk room.
Firm front bucket seats are a great place to work the Regal’s controls. They’re covered in leather in the Regal CXL (and likely cloth-covered in the base Regal yet to come). Power adjustments let you dial out the flatness from the bottom cushion. The Regal has less headroom and front legroom than many competitors, though, so raising the seat or moving it back are more limited. An example, the big Hyundai Sonata has about 40 inches of headroom, from bottom cushion to headliner; the Regal has 39 inches and a relatively deep, thick sunroof. The Sonata has 45 inches of front leg room; the Regal, 42 inches. The Regal’s seats are suppler than those in the Hyundai, for sure—but if you don’t fit, you don’t fit. And it’s far more likely the big guys are going to sit up front.
The Regal does have a relatively spacious back seat. The three-person bench offers riders about as much leg room as a Honda Accord, and about 3 inches more than an Acura TSX or the Sonata. The Regal’s a little shy on headroom, though, and its cozy, thickly bolstered seats left us with the impression that the Honda and Hyundai had more usable rear-seat room.
Cargo capacity’s no question: the Regal sits on the small side of the scale, with just 14.3 cubic feet of trunk room. Most four-doors in its class have about 3 or 4 cubic feet more; the Ford Taurus’ enormous trunk is a vast 20 cubic feet.
The 2011 Buick Regal may seem smaller inside than other sedans, but it’s mostly optics—except in the downsized trunk.