I bought this car in October 2012 with 160K miles on it for 1300 dollars. It's beat up, neglected, and been abused by it's previous teenage owners. The engine is 16 years old and has never let me down. I replaced the water pump and two faulty coolant elbows. All four struts were pretty shot, and I replaced the rear ones. I did pads and rotors all around. Total spent for parts is under 500 bucks including oil changes. I'm getting close to 170K and haven't touched it since I did the original work when I bought it. I'll do plugs/filters in the spring and let that carry me to 200K. The 3800 series II is easy to work on - I have little mechanical experience.
Update: The timing chain stopped being a chain in June 2015. The engine had 201k miles on it. The only work additional work I had done to the car before it's death was regular maintenance like pads/rotors/oil change. I put a lot of miles on this car - 50+ a day commuting, and plenty of driving on the weekend. Until the day the camshaft and crankshaft stopped talking - it never failed me.
I inherited this car from my parents as they moved on to a newer vehicle (Volvo S60). We've had it in our family for about 10 years now and it's served us well - I just ticked over 201,000 miles this week and the car still runs great. Even though the car is 15 years old, it still has most of what I want in a car: smooth ride, nice pick-up when needed, reasonable MPG (25 combined, 27-28 hwy), leather, sunroof, premium audio (aftermarket), seat warmer (aftermarket) and nice handling in winter weather. One funny note was that I recently visited the junk yard to look for a spare part (armrest) and all of the Regals were newer than mine (1997), hehe. Guess they last if you take care of them!
Got my Regal GS back in September. I have been very pleased with this $1900 in every aspect except the fuel usage (of 93 no less). I get an averaged combined of 16 mpg. Its up from the 14.5 I got before I changed the fuel filter, air filter, and added injector cleaner @1500 miles ago. But that is unacceptable considering its rated at 19mpg combined. Also the rear windows dont work. The seats are not particularly comfy and the ac blows heat sometimes. BUUUUUTTT its fast for a big ol granpa sedan. Also its very reliable.
Engine, Steering wheel controls,
Well the new Regal looks like quite the improvement. But realistically the LaCrosse is the real successor (size and price are more similar)
I bought my Regal GS used with 58,000 miles. I chose the GS over the LS because of it's sharper handling. Less than a month after my purchase, the supercharger went bad and the car wouldn't start! But it was repaired in less than a week. Shortly after, the front passenger footwell began filling with water after a hard rain. It took the dealership two weeks to remedy that problem. But from then on I had no problems. The car's accelleration is great and ride comfort is excellent. Fuel ecomony with the supercharger isn't great, but could be worse. The stereo system has great sound. Leather seats held up very well. Despite my problems, I would still reccomend the Regal,
Great accelleration and ride comfort. Good legroom front and back. Large trunk. Fairly sporty looks. Very quiet engine, even with the supercharger whine! Good instrumentation. Large digital clock.
Fuel economy could be better. Averaged 19 mpg at start but by adjusting my driving habits I was soon up to 21 mpg. Interior materials (cupholders and armrest storage lid are very flimsy.
After exhausting research for a third round vehicle (~100K, well maintained, clean), I decided to go with the Buick GS. For $4300, I stole this car. (Which, by the way was the private party value). Fully loaded and fast as heck, I couldn't be happier. Read these reviews, they are true. For a 1997 that has the same styling as a 2004, I have what others think is a newer car, 36mpg at 55mph, 240HP on tap, incredibly comfortable seating, and a record of superior reliability and safety. I turned down Camrys, Accords, Volvos, and countless others. I pay $298/year for 250/500 insurance in NY (no collision), and found this to be the most cost effective, fun to drive foreign or domestic vehicle
Power, economy, comfort, standard options, soft quiet ride, safety, reliability of the 3800 II supercharged engine, and the tight, aggressive (perf shift on) or silky smooth (perf shift off) transmission. People think its a grandpa car (Buick stigma). This helped me to afford it!! new = $28,000
Cupholder is designed by James Bond wannabe and is as functional as a swing for an elephant. Radio is mediocre in this year. Monsoon available in 1999, and is not interchangeable. Sunroof can't be opened unless ignition is on. My wife thinks it's a grandpa car and doesn't want to be seen in it.