2011 Buick Regal: Bachelor Party No. 2
February 23, 2011
No, we didn't take a third car on my bachelor party. This past weekend I ventured to another one for my buddy Chris (the blond guy in aviators), this time taking our long-term Buick Regal.
Unlike the smooth sailing we enjoyed to Vegas for mine, this time around, Mother Nature had the audacity to rain us, turning our Friday night drive into a living hell. With the added thanks of a blown-out traffic light, it took us an hour and a half just to get from Los Feliz to East Pasadena, a trip that should normally take 22 minutes. From there, I had to deal with driving rain, poor drainage in I-210's carpool lane (I consequently did not observe that double yellow), traffic up I-15 through clouds, massive wind and other motorists. We arrived in Vegas at 12:30 six hours after we left ... it sucked.
As for the Regal, I thought it handled it well. I left the car in Sport to maximize my control in such crap conditions. The steering is never as tactile as I'd prefer, but it's firmness on center is at least reassuring. There is also a noticeable difference in the suspension settings -- to appease the hungover bachelor on the drive home, I left it in Tour, which does a spot-on job of smoothing out junk pavement without float.
I was also pleased with the engine. It's not going to put up stellar numbers at the track, but its torquey, turbocharged power delivery makes it quite strong on the freeway when passing left-lane dawdlers. Turbocharging also makes it a champ as elevations rise.
The Regal is no Equus when it comes to bachelor party transportation, but it was hard to flaw the way it drove. It does have other issues, however, which I'll get into tomorrow. For now, I'm going to stop writing/thinking. I'm zonked.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 1,564 miles