2011 Buick Regal CXL: Blends In
June 07, 2011
I'm going to go ahead and agree with Monsignor Takahashi that the 2011 Buick Regal CXL is one of the finer vehicles in our fleet at tuning out the world and simply commuting. In this regard, I'm thrilled with the Regal: It's not numb, it's easy. Astronauts living on the space shuttle say that it's a disconcerting feeling being so separated from Mother Earth and this is, unfortunately, the way some car makers view isolation. The 2011 Regal isn't like that. The steering is light but feels connected to something. The suspension does the work of absorbing virtually all road imperfections, but there's an audible and reassuring *pfft* of compression to let you know that something happened -- think Audi suspension or that of our G8 GT. The brakes slow the car without requiring effort. And maybe most of all, the engine does everything I need on a commuting basis without beating me over the eardrums that there's an engine with a turbo in this thing.
These aren't enthusiast traits and that's okay. Not all cars have to be enthusiast cars and not all enthusiasts have to want to commute in a race-spec Miata. I've tried that. It's not fun. There is, however, one area the Buick falls flat: Visibility. And not the kind you're thinking of....
Driving some 150-200(?) +- cars a year, you not only get a sense of what different vehicles are like, but how they're perceived by the public at large. You want road respect? Grab an S-Class; people get out of the way. You want to steer clear of cops but still make time? Acura RL. You want to pick up chicks? Get a Wrangler. Trust me. You want to get cut off by every person trying to merge onto the roadway? Drive a Buick Regal.
It's like this car is invisible here in LA. I can't remember a car that has been so blatantly ignored by the driving public and not just today. I've been ranting in the office about this for a while now. Maybe it's the color. Maybe I'm so busy being isolated from the world I'm leaving gaps. I don't know. I only know that when I drive the Regal, I get cut off. A lot. Good thing about those light brakes, ey?
Any traffic respect stories our there? I know one of you has family with a Unimog, that's gotta do something to people...
Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Inside Line @ 6,375 miles
PS: Unrelated, but I saw more Veyrons this weekend than I did Regals with a final count of 3:1.