The Big Biceps Factor - 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo Long-Term Road Test

2011 Buick Regal Long Term Road Test

2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo: The Big Biceps Factor

April 20, 2011


At last I’ve figured out the reason why there’s all this whining about the Buick Regal CXL’s steering. It’s big biceps.

These young guys around here have these big biceps, so naturally they seem to think that they should be using them all the time while they’re driving. You know, whipping the steering wheel back and forth, maybe sweating a little. Afterwards they beat their chests.

For them it’s all about steering effort, not steering. If it’s heavy, it must be good. Never mind communication, precision, quickness, linearity (or non-linearity) or a dozen other terms that encompass the vocabulary of steering. Instead heaviness prevails above all, perhaps because it is associated with straight-line stability.

Maybe it comes from my time with cars that have skinny tires and bad suspensions, but light-effort steering is fine with me. You drive with your fingertips, just like you do in a fast corner when you’re trying to feel the limit of adhesion from the tires. Steer too much and you can feel the tires sag and then give up, and then the car slows down. You can whip the steering wheel around and muscle the tires through a corner, but it’s an exercise largely for entertainment, not speed.

Light-effort steering just doesn’t bother me. Now that I no longer have biceps of any consequence, I no longer feel compelled to exercise them on the steering wheel. Maybe this puts me in the traditional Buick demographic, eh?

Michael Jordan, 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo

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