Santa Rosa and Back - 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo Long-Term Road Test
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2011 Buick Regal Long Term Road Test

2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo: Santa Rosa and Back

June 27, 2011

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Over the weekend, our 2011 Buick Regal CXL 2.0T and I went off on another adventure, this time to Santa Rosa, California, some 428 miles to the north, for a wedding.

This was a lot of mileage to pack into 52 hours, so I didn't attempt any fuel economy heroics and just stayed with the flow of traffic on Interstates 5 and 580, and U.S. 101. The drive back on Sunday was littered with numerous traffic delays due to the Sprint Cup race at Infineon and roadwork near Bakersfield. So I didn't come close to my 30.8-mpg average for the Vegas trip.

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But we still did pretty well, always running on 91 octane. Behold:

Fuel Stop #1 (Santa Rosa): 467.9 miles --> 17.034 gallons --> 27.5 mpg

Fuel Stop #2 (Los Angeles): 454.3 miles --> 16.299 gallons --> 27.9 mpg

Total: 922.2 miles --> 33.333 gallons --> 27.7 mpg

Since I've already regaled you with various details about what our turbo Regal is like on a road trip, I was a little worried that I wouldn't have any new ramblings to share. But not to worry. Turns out there's a lot to think about over 900 miles, and this time my boyfriend was along and had plenty of his own opinions.

One thing we agreed on is that the HID headlights were not up to snuff when driving at night on Santa Rosa's dimly lit streets nor on Highway 12 between Santa Rosa and Sonoma. The brightness of the lights is just OK in low-beam mode, and the range is very limited, so I was always feeling like I needed to switch to the high-beams -- which is a hassle when there's a lot of opposing traffic. Time permitting before our 6-month loan ends, we'll see if we can have these headlights re-aimed.

Below is a short video (with my significant other acting as the in-car mount) from I-5 to give you a very rough idea of how far the headlights reach. And below that are a few shots of the Sprint Cup trucks that kept us company yesterday evening.

cattruck.jpg menardstruck.jpg cheeriostruck.jpg crownroyaltruck.jpg

More thoughts from the road coming tomorrow.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 8,219 miles


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