Drives Good? - 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Buick Regal Long Term Road Test

2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo: Drives Good?

April 01, 2011

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One time in a previous life I had to come up with an on-the-spot video standup for a Bentley Continental GT Speed. One of my colleagues at the time stared at the car, and offered: "Hmm...looks good, goes good, drives good. There you go." Gee, thanks a lot for the help, knucklehead.

Obviously the Bentley deserves more hyperbole than just "goes good."

I was reminded of this exchange as I drove the Buick home yesterday. "Looks good, goes good, drives good" is a pretty apt description of the Regal Turbo. And I don't mean that in a negative way in the least.

Looks good: Okay, this is a pretty subjective category. But in my humble opinion the Regal is a sharp looking sedan, with chiseled lines and a set of stylish 19-inch wheels filling up the fenders. Even better, when I look at the Regal I don't instantly think: "Buick."

Goes good: You'd think with 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,000 rpm the Regal Turbo would be quick. But a healthy case of turbo lag means it hesitates off the line, and then can't even spin the front tires under full wood. But once it's moving, the little turbo-four offers more than adequate midrange punch. It's smooth, too, although the engine's sound is completely devoid of character. The quick (but overly light) steering works with a chassis that's definitely not afraid of corners.

Drives good: Much like Mark Takahashi mentioned a few posts back regarding the Regal, sometimes you just want to get home, with no need to be bowled over by a car's sportiness. The Regal's quiet interior, cushy seats (which actually do offer a minor amount of lateral support), good armrests and supple but composed ride do the trick just fine. In other words, the Regal Turbo is a damn good piece with which to while away the miles and traffic.

No, it's not going to blow you away with its capabilities in any one particular area, but yeah, the Regal Turbo does look good, go good and drive good. And sometimes, that's enough.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 3,502 miles.

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