2020 Buick Regal

#6 in Wagons
Consumer Reviews
0 Reviews
2020
The Car Connection
2020
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
September 26, 2019

Buying tip

The 2020 Regal TourX offers the best blend of space, pace, and value, but you’ll have to add the Driver Confidence Package to gain active safety tech standard on nearly every competitor.

features & specs

4-Door Sedan Avenir FWD
4-Door Sedan Essence AWD
4-Door Sedan Essence FWD
MPG
22 city / 32 hwy
MPG
21 city / 29 hwy
MPG
22 city / 32 hwy
MSRP
$35,770
MSRP
$33,870
MSRP
$31,770

The 2020 Buick Regal is offered in a wide lineup, but you’ll need to shop closely for the best value here.

There’s not much the 2020 Buick Regal doesn’t try to do, and that’s just fine with us. This duo—a mid-size fastback and a high-riding wagon—make a compelling alternative to conventional sedans and crossovers, though some quirks in the trim-level structure makes finding the versions we recommend a challenge.

We rate the 2020 Regal line at 6.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Regal line moves into 2020 with few notable changes and remains available in base, Preferred, Preferred II, Essence, and Avenir trim levels. All are based on a European-market design by Opel, which Buick parent General Motors once owned.

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The base Regal sportback and TourX wagon make use of a 250-horsepower turbo-4, while the sportier Regal GS utilizes a 310-hp V-6. A high-tech all-wheel-drive system comes on most Regals, though front-wheel drive is standard on the base car. Acceleration and ride quality are good no matter the badge on the back, and the Regal GS boasts sports sedan-grade moves that almost belie its portly curb weight. 

The Regal’s interior offers decent space but just average materials and attention to detail. Expansive sound deadening helps the cabin feel more luxurious. 

Equipment-wise, the Regal is a mixed bag. Standard 7.0-inch and optional 8.0-inch touchscreens work well either on their own or with an Apple or Android device plugged in. A wireless charging pad is available. The Regal hasn’t been crash tested, and Buick’s insistence on walling off active safety features we consider essential in only the top trim levels is a head-scratcher since rivals make features such as automatic emergency braking standard fare. 

No Regal is especially thrifty when it comes to fuel economy. The greenest front-drive versions check in at 26 mpg combined, while the GS is a guzzler at just 22 mpg combined. Pricey premium unleaded fuel is recommended. 

7

2020 Buick Regal

Styling

The 2020 Buick Regal has Euro-light looks with a little American flair thrown in.

Buick parent General Motors formerly owned German automaker Opel, and the Regal is sold across the pond as the Opel Insignia. That helps explain its continental looks inside and out, which help it earn a 7 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Regal sportback body is actually a clever hatchback that opens up for good cargo space. Its details aren’t as polished as those on the Audi A5 that boasts a similar profile, but the Buick is available at a much lower price. Chrome hints here and there give it a little more American personality without going overboard.

The Regal GS makes use of a sportier body kit and upsized 19-inch alloy wheels, and it looks especially dashing in bright red.

Regal TourX wagons share their basic looks with the rest of the line up front, but their rooflines continue back in a conventional wagon design. Unpainted fender flares give the TourX a chunky look. The 1-inch raised suspension contributes some degree of off-roadability, though the relatively short tire sidewalls should dash any rock-crawling plans.

Inside, the Regal has a clean, if somewhat unadorned look. A 7.0-inch touchscreen comes standard on base versions and is supplanted by an 8.0-inch unit on higher-trim Regals. GS versions add bolstered sports seats and a few zippier trim details but share the same shapes and lines otherwise. 

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7

2020 Buick Regal

Performance

The 2020 Buick Regal earns points for good straight-line acceleration and a comfortable ride on all versions.

We rate the 2020 Buick Regal at 7 out of 10 points for performance thanks to its powerful engines and its composed ride quality. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Most versions of the 2020 Regal pack a smooth, zippy 2.0-liter turbo-4 that provides them with decent thrust, while the Regal GS uses a healthy V-6 for added pop. The base turbo-4 is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission with the standard front-wheel-drive system. Opt for the all-wheel-drive system (it’s mandatory on the rugged TourX) and Buick swaps in an 8-speed automatic that we think behaves better. 

Base cars have a compliant ride and responsive moves. TourX wagons ride softer and their higher-riding suspension gives less-zippy handling. Don’t look to conquer mountains in the TourX. The wagon sits lower to the ground than the Subaru Outback but high enough to make snow-covered roads less of a worry. 

A sophisticated twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system is optional on the Regal sportback and standard on TourX and GS versions. It sends most power to the front wheels in normal situations and uses the two clutches to shuttle power rearward quickly when needed. Though the Regals sit lower to the ground than SUVs, this system is more sophisticated than what you’ll find on most crossovers in the GM lineup. 

The Regal GS uses a 9-speed automatic that unfortunately lacks the paddle shifters that usually mark performance cars, but the sport and GS drive modes hold gears longer for more enthusiastic motoring. Tipping the scales at about 3,800 pounds unladen, the Regal GS is unusually heavy, but more steering heft than in standard cars and a taut suspension with dampers that adjust to road situations helps it prove adept at slicing through curvy roads. Hefty Brembo brakes provide confident stopping power.

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7

2020 Buick Regal

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Buick Regal is spacious but could feel more special inside.

If Buick aims to straddle the line between mainstream and luxury, the 2020 Regal misses the mark. Its interior is just ordinary, especially given a price tag that can escalate to $50,000 with a few options. 

We give it two points above average for its five-passenger seating and good utility in TourX versions. That brings it to a 7 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The comfortable front seats lack power adjustment in base versions but provide good space. Rear-seat riders will find good head and leg room—a reasonable 37 inches of leg room. Cargo space is terrific in sportbacks and extraordinary in TourXs. The sportback boasts 31.5 cubic feet with the rear seats upright, while the TourX can lug an extra foot or so. Fold the back seats in the TourX and its space balloons to nearly 74 cubes. 

The Regal might be German, but it’s not cut from the same cloth as Teutonic luxury cars. Interior materials are ordinary, and we’ve noted inconsistencies in the seat stitching on some test models. 

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2020 Buick Regal

Safety

No crash tests have been performed on the 2020 Buick Regal.

Federal and independent testers haven’t taken the time to smack the 2020 Buick Regal into walls in the name of safety yet, so we’ll have to hold back on assigning a score here until we know more. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Standard gear includes eight airbags and a hood that pops up a couple of inches should the car make impact with a pedestrian. The picture isn’t as rosy on base Regals when it comes to active safety tech that really should be standard by now. Two option packages build on one another with features that come on most rivals. The Driver Confidence Package 1 adds rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitors, while the creatively named Driver Confidence Package 2 adds automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control. We highly recommend both packages. 

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5

2020 Buick Regal

Features

The 2020 Buick Regal can be had in a wide range of trim levels, though features we consider essential are costly add-ons.

With three models and four trim levels on offer, the 2020 Buick Regal lineup could be daunting at first glance. It’s easy enough to whittle it down once you’ve picked the body style you like, and from there we can only recommend higher trim levels that offer advanced active safety tech soon to be standard on nearly every new car.

We figure that the wide lineup and good infotainment gear is canceled out by a weak base trim level and the high-cost active safety tech, so we wind up at a 5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Sportback comes in base, Preferred, Preferred II, Essence, and Avenir trim levels.

For around $27,000, the base Sportback includes typical mid-size car features such as cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and keyless ignition. You’re stuck with silver or white paint unless you spend about $2,500 more to step up to the Preferred that adds a few features and serves as the gateway to more options. 

The range-topping Regal Avenir is draped in quilted leather upholstery and rides on 19-inch wheels. 

TourXs are equipped about like equivalent Sportbacks, albeit with a $3,000 price hike and no Avenir grade.

The Regal GS adds sporty gear such as upgraded brakes and dampers, upsized wheels, heated and cooled front seats with bolsters that can be adjusted, and more for about $40,000. It’s a good value given the performance on offer.

We think the best buy in the lineup for most buyers is the TourX Essence with optional active safety tech. Its $40,000 price tag may be tough to swallow, but the Regal is often discounted. 

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5

2020 Buick Regal

Fuel Economy

The base 2020 Buick Regal is reasonably thrifty, but all-wheel drive and the V-6 drink more premium unleaded.

The 2020 Buick Regal is about par for the class given its strong engines, though all versions are rated to run expensive premium unleaded fuel. Based on the Regal Sportback’s 26 mpg combined, we arrive at a 5 out of 10 score for fuel economy. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Front-wheel-drive Regals are rated at 22 mpg city, 32 highway, 26 combined. All-wheel-drive and TourX versions come in at a thirstier 21/29/24 mpg. 

More power almost always means more consumption, and such is the case with the Regal GS. At 19/27/22 mpg, it’s the thirstiest of the lot. 

Buick formerly offered a mild-hybrid version of the Regal, but no electrified model is currently available. The start/stop system that quietly cuts out the gas engine at stoplights while keeping accessories running is among the least-obtrusive systems we’ve experienced.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$25,370
MSRP based on 4-Door Sedan FWD
 
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6.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety N/A
Features 5
Fuel Economy 5
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