Today's Buick Regal should completely blot out the image conjured up by the awesome notchback Regals of the past--and even the more anonymous four-doors that wore the badge more recently. Since it was new in 2011, the Regal has worn its sheetmetal like athletic gear, tightly drawn, with a sporty swoop down its door panels.
The pings of the past are few: the Regal has a waterfall grille, and the 19- and 20-inch wheels are more a concession to old-school American taste than to modern-day handling and engineering. The Nike-like swoosh pressed into the doors is the telling detail: the Regal may be the best-looking four-door GM has in its stable today, still a knockout, trimmed out even better with LED "wings" factored into its headlamps and taillights for the new model year, along with a retouched grille and a metallic band that connects the taillamps.
The GS' front end is broken up with bladed, vertical air intakes. In back, the exhaust tips are reshaped, and the small decklid spoiler is a bit larger.
The Regal's handsome interior's grown simpler for 2014. The low instrument panel is highlighted by crisp LED-lit gauges, and the shield-shaped center stack of controls are framed by high-quality trim. The big shield of controls on the center stack melds better into the dash, and an 8.0-inch LCD touchscreen replaces a smaller screen there, while a 4.2-inch screen tucked in between new gauges displays info from the available nav system, phone, audio system, and vehicle. On the Regal GS, the center of the gauge cluster swaps out for an 8.0-inch LCD screen with customizable looks for different driving modes.
The doors have glints of metallic trim and sweeping lines that read upscale, and on GS cars, the white-stitched black leather seats do the same. Regal owners can choose from satin metallic interior trim, piano-black plastic or a dark wood called Kibo; we come down in favor of the satin trim, which doesn't date the cabin or leave it smudged with fingerprints.