2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Track Test on Edmunds.com
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2014 Buick Regal GS AWD: Track Tested

Less Power, More Driven Wheels


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Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

When the turbocharged Buick Regal GS was first announced, there were comparisons with Buick's famous Grand National. Ultimately, however, the GS fell a little flat. Its 270-horsepower four-cylinder didn't move the 3,700-pound sedan with much authority, and the car's front-drive nature had us longing not just for the Grand National, but for the all-wheel-drive Opel Insignia on which the GS is based.

With that in mind, Buick shuffled the deck a little. There is now just one turbocharged engine available in the Regal, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 259 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard on all models, but the GS gets a few performance tweaks to help it deliver improved performance. More noteworthy is the fact that the revised engine can be set up to send its power to all four wheels. Does the added traction make up for the loss of horsepower? We took it to the track to find out.

Vehicle: 2014 Buick Regal GS AWD
Odometer: 2,229
Date: 11/12/2013
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $39,270

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,998/122
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 259 @ 5,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 295 @ 2,500
Brake Type (front): Ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type(front): Modified MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
Tire Size (front): 255/35ZR20 97Y
Tire Size (rear): 255/35ZR20 97Y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 4,000

Test Results:
Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.4 (3.0 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.4 (5.1 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 7.3 (8.0 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.0 (7.6 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 10.7 (11.4 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.3 @ 89.2 (15.8 @ 89.2 w/ TC on)
Braking
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 113
Handling
Slalom (mph): 66.1 (63.1 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.89 (0.89 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 2,250

Comments:
Acceleration: Unlike the Regal Turbo AWD with the low-rolling-resistance tires (versus these summer tires) there was no wheelspin at all in any mode. Still, there was a little hesitation from a standstill regardless of technique, and I sense the power is being "managed" until some point mid-1st gear. After this, the power feels reasonably linear (for a turbo-4) and one might even assume it's a V6 instead. Gear ratios work well with this engine and upshifts are smooth. Good, consistent trap speeds indicate ample engine/turbo cooling.

Braking: Medium-soft pedal with ample travel remained so from first to last stop, with straight and steady stability and little fade. First stop was the longest, second was shortest.

Handling:
Slalom: There's a large difference between the electronic stability control's (ESC) intrusiveness with traction control enabled/disabled. Clearly, there's a "dynamic" mode here with a longer leash between full-on and full-off. With traction control disabled, I could predict and avoid the ESC's distinct and short-lived brake applications. With traction control back on, ESC would intervene earlier and for a prolonged period, where it would also disable the throttle. It deployed the proverbial "boat anchor" until the car had settled with the steering pointed more-or-less straight. Steering feel is distant but precise. The car was good in side-to-side transition (particularly in the firmest GS mode) unless done with too much haste or if it began to slide, where ESC would intervene.

Skid pad: With trac off, there's very little (if any) ESC intrusion here as the car began to drive wide of the circle without any brake or throttle interference. With ESC/TC on, it merely closed the throttle at the same point the car began to push wide, hence the nearly identical result. Steering feels more weighted here than in the slalom and almost spring-loaded rather than influenced by the tires.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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Comments

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    1. So how do these numbers compare to the prior test? Are they better? Worse? 2. The engine setup has no impact on where the power is directed, that would be the drivetrain's job.

  • emajor emajor Posts:

    So, with 259 hp and almost 300 lb-ft of torque, this Buick is somehow still as slow as a 200hp 184 lb-ft Lexus IS250. Not very impressive.

  • alsas alsas Posts:

    Numbers from the test of the previous Model would be good to post here for comparison sake.

  • ba27 ba27 Posts:

    Wow - Where is all the power going?? My old 2004 Audi A6 2.7T S-line weighed the same as this Regal, was rated at about the same power (250) but LESS torque (258), ran a 5 speed auto vs. the Regal's 6 speed, and yet it was MUCH quicker and faster. (0-60 in 6.4, 1/4 in 14.8 @ 96). Methinks GM is fibbing about the power this engine makes...

  • Here's a few cars according to Edmunds that will put the 2014 Buick GS AWD to pasture: 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE (God that would be embarrassing) 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT 2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR 2013 Ford Focus ST (God that would be embarrassing) 2013 Acura ILX 2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SEL 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Lariat SuperCab 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T SE (God that would be embarrassing) 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata (God that would be embarrassing) 2010 Subaru Legacy 3.6R (God that would be embarrassing)

  • @ne_blackshirts: God only thinks your list that proves you have too much time on my hands is embarrassing.

  • Karen_CM Karen_CM Posts:

    test

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Yes, Karen@Edmunds, we can comment here. No, Karen@Edmunds, we still can't comment on the long term posts...for like 4 days now. Fix it.

  • typer_801 typer_801 Posts:

    Embarassing acceleration for a performance oriented model costing nearly $40K. A run of the mill Accord Sport 6MT or '14 Mazda 3 2.5 will go door to door and those are just ordinary people movers. A lot of style, but short on the substance here.

  • @patinthecity: sorry you must be a Buick GS owner. Don't worry my Great Grandmother just bought a new Buick GS and she shares the same stop light blues.

  • jeffinoh jeffinoh Posts:

    So ya didn't answer your own question- does AWD make up for less power? By the way, your "sense" that the power is being "managed" on takeoff? Its called turbo lag.

  • cynic783 cynic783 Posts:

    wow doesn't your average V6 accord or camry smoke this turd? and get better gas mileage? for 10k less?

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    no video?

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    the AWD combined with the auto tranny makes this a boat ancor i would much rather get the FWD manual and be faster and nimbler

  • csubowtie csubowtie Posts:

    The numbers and stats are abismal, and yet I still lust after this car. I've never driven this thing, but I've seen it around town and sat in it at the car shows, and it outsexies just about everything on the road, including the Maseratis.

  • shatner shatner Posts:

    40 grand and not very good styling. As a bonus you get to see a 22k Honda Accord sport pull away from you at stoplights.

  • shatner shatner Posts:

    The numbers and stats are abismal, and yet I still lust after this car. I've never driven this thing, but I've seen it around town and sat in it at the car shows, and it outsexies just about everything on the road, including the Maseratis. ++++++++++++ Wow, opinions sure vary. I find this car very awkward looking, small and narrow. It looks like the Saturn Aura, which is pretty much is.

  • rwatson rwatson Posts:

    I, too find this car attractive, though it doesn't outsexy much. It's a good, solid interior; at least the one I sat it and drove its first model year here. I understand their made in NA now, so I'm sure something will suffer. As for the price, typical GM. It's been a turd company for 30+ years, took the tax payer's bail out, and overcharges for a 4-cylinder Opel. 40k for an Opel? If I ever buy a GM product, it may be this, but I doubt it. I refuse to float rip-off companies.

  • john1168 john1168 Posts:

    There is ssooooo much I don't understand with this car. I wanted to buy it. REALLY I did! It looks great inside and out! It's got a great new engine and a decent transmission. It has 295 lb/ft of torque!!! It has a fantastic all wheel drive system. I do realize it's 200 lbs heavier than the fwd version but it has more traction to better use the big torque of this engine and it's ssooo much slower!!! WTF???If I did mods to this engine to give it 70 more hp and tq, then it would JUST go as quick as the accords, sonata turbos, etc etc. So, what does Buick do? I get the impression that if this Regal GS lost 200 pounds, kept the Haldex AWD, had an engine that had 300 hp AND tq and had an 8 or 9 speed auto with good final gearing then it MIGHT go 0 - 60 in..... 6 seconds??? I just don't get it! This car has a lot of great stuff in it but all of it combined? Although it handles and drives very well, it just doesn't go quickly..... I'm sorry but for a car, a NICE car, that costs $45k... I expected more...

  • john1168 john1168 Posts:

    Car and Driver got the AWD GS to go 0 - 60 in 6.2. Sounds good but I wonder what they did to get it to go that fast. I wonder if the Edmunds track has one to two thousands feet of elevation and high temperatures to deal with???

  • I noticed the same thing - 0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds for the GS AWD by Car and Driver. This number seems more reasonable. Readers have commented periodically that Edmunds test acceleration numbers are typically slower than those of other sites and magazines. Also, I have read comments here that the Regal GS is too expensive. I think that it is as expensive as you choose to make it. Buick is a premium brand and the Regal GS is not competing with Accords and Camrys. It is intended to compete against cars like the Acura TL and Audi A4. The smaller Verano squares off against the ILX and A3. If you can resist the options and packages and keep the price under or close to 40 K, this is a competitive car. A TL SH-AWD or A4 with generous options and packages is not cheap.

  • gmcbob gmcbob Posts:

    I think for this kind of money and I was shopping GM I'd go with the ATS or the new Chevy SS. I will say though, in defense of this car posting a relatively slow 0-60 time would be that I always notice Edmunds tests seem to have slower 0-60 and 1/4 mile results for a lot of cars compared to other auto rags. This 2014 Regal was just tested over at C&D and they turned a much quicker result (full second quicker 0-60). See here: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-buick-regal-turbo-awd-gs-awd-test-review

  • john1168 john1168 Posts:

    Does anyone at Edmunds read these comments? I have a question. Car and Driver said that they tested two Regal GS' because the first one had big time engine failure. Something to do with the bearings. When Edmunds did their road test, did they test the car that had the engine failure? Edmunds said that they thought the engine power was being held back in the beginning of their runs and I'm wondering if that was a first symptom of engine failure. I've read in the past that sometimes car reviewers test the same car. That's why I ask.

  • macduach macduach Posts:

    Not sure why ne.blackshits 12/11/13 said that the 014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT 2013 among others would put the GS 'out to pasture'. On what basis? Amount of manure that could be carried out to the south 40?

  • macduach macduach Posts:

    Not sure why ne.blackshits 12/11/13 said that the 014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 LT 2013 among others would put the GS 'out to pasture'. On what basis? Amount of manure that could be carried out to the south 40?

  • greg128 greg128 Posts:

    Motor Trend had a 6.2 sec run to 60 for this car.

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