When Buicks were Buicks, they were an awful lot like the 2017 Buick Regal. It's more prestigious than a mere Chevrolet and not as pretentious as a Cadillac. It's that in-between sweet spot where sensible people make sensible decisions to buy sensible cars that reaffirm to the world just how darn sensible they truly are.
With that in mind, the 2017 model year is very much a carryover year for the Regal with few changes from 2016. It's all in anticipation of the next Regal generation appearing in time for the 2018 model year. That may be to buyers' advantages as inventories are sold down. But we expect the next Regal to be a significant leap forward from the current aging machine.
Buick first used the Regal name back in 1973 on its midsize two-door coupes and four-door sedans. Back then midsize cars were enormous and had V8 power and rear-wheel drive. Today's Regal is actually a redecorated version of the German-designed Opel Insignia. It's a midsize (by 21st-century standards) four-door sedan with front drive, but with just enough shiny pieces and design flourishes to tie it back to previous Regal models.
Now assembled in Ontario, Canada, the North American market Regal is slightly different from the version built in and optimized for China. There are five different trim levels to choose from, starting from the basic Regal 1SV powered by a gravel-voiced, 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder that's best avoided. The four higher trim levels — Sport Touring, Regal, Premium II and GS — are all powered by a more advanced, turbocharged 2.0-liter four making 259 hp and a truly impressive 295 pound-feet of torque between 3,000 and 4,000 rpm. Both engines are backed by standard six-speed automatic transmissions. Trust us, you want the turbo engine.
Oh yeah, all-wheel drive is an option. Particularly for those of you who live in snowy areas and don't want a Subaru.
While the Regal drives well and looks pretty good, it's cramped in the rear-seat area and not generous in truck room either. There are better practical choices on the market, even if they aren't as powerful or good-looking as a well-equipped Regal.
The Regal that returns the best fuel mileage, at least according to the EPA ratings, is a front driver equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo four. It's rated at 24 mpg combined (21 city/29 highway). The thirstiest Regal is an all-wheel-drive model also equipped with the turbo four. That car is rated at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway).
To find a great deal on the Regal, use the resources here on Edmunds and find one from a great dealer at a good price. We're here to help.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.