2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo: Road Trip Comfort
June 18, 2011
You've already seen the fuel economy results for my road trip to Vegas in our long-term 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo. Now I'll give you my verdict on comfort.
Ride quality is pretty agreeable. On some roads (the less good ones), it's a tad harsh/brittle, and I wonder if the optional 19-inch wheels aren't to blame (yep, I'm quick to blame). Mostly, though, the Regal is to my liking -- the ride is controlled with just enough compliance dialed in for the interstates of the American West.
Meanwhile, the steering has a comfortable dead spot on center and just enough feel to make the car feel buttoned down as you're cruising. The effort level is OK as you steer through cloverleaf on- and off-ramps, but there's not enough feedback to remind you that this is the sporty turbo model.
The cabin stays pretty quiet. The main thing you notice on the highway is some road noise. Again, I waggle my finger disapprovingly at the 19s, which aren't even that attractive as 19s go. Lemme see the brake calipers, for pete's sake, even if they're generic looking sliding calipers.
Seat comfort in the Buick is better than I expected, given that the cushioning looks and feels pretty flat. For long-distance travel, this driver seat is more supportive than the one in the TSX. On the 4-hour drive to Vegas, I had zero complaints.
On the trip home, I drove around the city and stopped to take photos, and it ultimately took about 6 hours to get back to L.A. After the 4-hour mark passed, a case of "dead butt," as Bryn calls it, began to set in even though I used cruise control whenever reasonable. Still, I didn't get a backache, and credit is likely due to the firm cushioning Buick/Opel used for this seat. (Cruise control works great in this car, by the way. I love how GM never makes you turn it off so you can "save" your speed and keep hitting resume.)
Bottom line, if I had to take another road trip in our Regal CXL Turbo, I wouldn't be disappointed.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,063 miles