2014 Buick Regal GS AWD
Buick’s 162-mph performance flagship is back for 2014 with a new AWD option and a revised engine design for quicker turbo boost. The 2014 Regal GS keeps all the styling elements that make it such a showstopper: the polished 20-inch alloy wheels and satin metallic intake/exhaust breathers.
There are new headlights and taillights to mark out the latest model but it will take a real spotter to differentiate the two from most angles. Up front, the projector ball is now toward the outside edge of the headlight assembly and a new LED design brings a much brighter corner graphic. Out back, the chrome trunk bar now runs the full width of the car and a wrap-around LED design brings wider tail lamps.
The GS now shares its engine with the 2014 Regal Turbo but stands alone when it comes to exterior presence, dynamic performance and interior materials. The AWD option is a welcome addition to the GS package but is only offered with the automatic transmission. Relax, the 2014 Regal GS is still available with a manual on the front-drive cars.
This hot midsize sport sedan is clearly a huge visual upgrade over the base Regal but is actually priced with a minimal $2000 jump above the loaded Regal Turbo.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Buick Regal GS with extra information on the extensive engine update and AWD option.
2014 Buick Regal GS AWD
Transmission:6-speed Manual, 6-speed Auto Available
Horsepower @ RPM:259 @ 5300
Torque @ RPM:295 @ 1700
Energy:Direct Gasoline Injection, Turbocharged
0-60 time:6.2 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:162 mph
Layout:Front-engine, Front-drive (AWD Opt.)
The Buick Regal GS has always been a very handsome car with premium shapes and panels that seem shrink-wrapped over the huge wheels. While clearly based on the Vauxhall Insignia VXR, the Buick nose actually looks much better than the European versions.
Unfortunately, the black chrome and grey grille will no longer be a GS exclusive as it replaces the chrome grille on the Regal Turbo.
The new headlights are the biggest change. They change the look quite a bit even with the lights off with a wider mounting position for the dark-tinted projector balls. The old lamps had the turn signal outboard of the projector, while the revised lamps have a turn signal element in the lower center corners.
The LED execution is vastly improved. The previous “wing” design (as Buick calls it) was not very bright and not nearly as cool as the latest BMW and Audi models. The new design puts the LED in a wider downward “L” shape directly above the regular lamp.
The GS now shares its headlight design with the Regal Turbo and eAssist but is the only one to come with standard bi-xenon HID bulbs. These new lights have a flash-to-pass strobe feature that sounds pretty useful in clearing the fast lane.
In back, the new trunk and chrome design corrects one of the only issues with the original Regal GS: a tail that seemed very narrow from some angles. The wider taillights look good with LED optics but are not as sophisticated as the latest taillights from BMW and Jaguar.
2014 Buick Regal GS – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||62.4|
|Track - Rear (in.)||62.5|
2014 Buick Regal GS – Exterior Features:
- New-for-2014 LED daytime running lights
- New-for-2014 LED taillights
- Grille, Black chrome/spectre Gray waterfall premium finish with bright chrome surround and Buick tri-shield
- GS-exclusive Wheels: 19-inch 5-twin spoke alloy (STD)
- GS-exclusive front Brembo brakes with vented discs in the rear
- GS-exclusive Wheels: 20-inch polished alloy, 5-Twin Spoke
- GS-exclusive Moldings: body-color lower rocker, unique
- GS-exclusive Sill plates: front, bright
- GS-exclusive unique front and rear fascias
- Automatic Headlamps: high intensity discharge (HID), Bi-Xenon projector lamps flash-to-pass feature,
- Mirrors, outside heated power-adjustable, body-color, manual-folding with integrated turn signal indicators
- Glass, Solar-Ray light-tinted
- Windshield, solar absorbing
- Wipers, front intermittent
- Door handles, body-color with chrome strips
The interior of the GS feels worth the price upgrade alone over the Regal Turbo. This GS trades some gaudy fake wood veneers for a rich black that circles the cabin and panels. Perforated leather shows up on the new steering wheel and the overall finishes feel darker and more serious. Mercifully, the GS comes only in black.
The big news inside is a new center stack design, the addition of two levels of active safety systems, and enhanced IntelliLink connectivity and infotainment features. There’s a new center stack for climate and infotainment that looks sharp. The individual auto temperature controls are a nice luxury touch.
The latest generation of IntelliLink is very sophisticated and comes paired with OnStar for a wide range of connected services.
2014 Buick Regal GS – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||38.8|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||36.8|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||42.1|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||37.3|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||56.7|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||54.4|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||55.4|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||52.3|
|EPA Cargo Volume (cubic-feet)||14.2|
2014 Buick Regal GS – Interior Features:
- GS-exclusive sport leather seats – black; Heated driver and passenger front seats; Twelve-way power driver’s seat
- GS-exclusive Chassis continuously variable real time damping
- GS-exclusive Interactive Drive Control System with Sport, Tour and Standard modes (GS replaces Tour mode with GS mode)
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Eight-inch color touch screen radio with Buick IntelliLink, AM/FM/Sirius XM (three months of service) stereo with CD player and auxiliary input jack, USB port and Bluetooth wireless connectivity for select phones
- Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
- Electric parking brake
- Ice blue ambient lighting
- Harman/Kardon 336-watt, 5.1 Matrix Surround, 9-speaker system
- Steering wheel controls, mounted audio and cruise controls
- Bluetooth for phone and music, personal cell phone connectivity to vehicle audio system
- Seats, rear split-folding; Armrest, center, rear with 2 integral cup holders
- Steering column, tilt and telescopic, manual; Steering wheel, leather-wrapped, 4-spoke
- Compass display, located in the Driver Information Center; Display, driver instrument information enhanced, one color; Sensor, humidity and windshield temperature
- Retained accessory power, power windows, audio system and sunroof (where applicable) remain operational after ignition is switched off for 10 minutes or until a door is opened
- Remote Keyless Entry, extended-range
- Two 12V outlets
- Mirror, inside rearview auto-dimming
- Lighting, interior overhead courtesy lamp and dual reading lamps; Lighting, interior, roof, rear courtesy and dual reading lights; Lighting, interior, front floor, cargo and glovebox
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
There is good news and there is bad news about the mechanical specs of the 2014 Regal GS. For good news, the six-speed manual continues on the front-drive GS and the new AWD system has an electronically locking differential setup.
The bad news is that peak power is down by 11 horsepower to a new total of 259. Torque stays the same at 295 pound-feet available from just 1700 rpm. This is down quite a bit versus the 325 horsepower turbo 2.8-liter V-6 from the Insignia VXR that sprints to 60 in 5.6 seconds. The previous GS came in at 6.2 seconds for the automatic front-drive model. Official times are not yet available but likely to stay the same for 2014.
Despite the loss in official power, the engine has come a long way since the gritty first iterations of this 2.0-liter turbocharged four-banger first appeared a few years ago.
The new engine builds boost levels faster through new boost solenoid programming that replicates unlimited boost scenarios under even partial throttle loads. This design is like a manual anti-lag system and feels more progressive than the old engine’s on or off turbo power. Overall max boost pressure spikes to 24.5 psi at the torque peak from 3000 to 4000 rpm.
Newly-refined ECU programming and numerous mechanical tweaks to the engine promise the same performance as last year with a slight bump in fuel economy. EPA figures are not yet available but the GS may crack 30 mpg on the highway.
Buick cites a number of changes to the internals of this 2014 engine that allow it to be smoother and build revs faster:
- Balance shafts located in the oil pan
- A forged-steel crankshaft
- Inverted-tooth chains for the camshaft and balance shaft drives
- Two-piece oil pan design, with an aluminum upper section to provide structural support and a stamped steel lower section to dampen overall noise
- Cast iron bearing cap inserts in an aluminum bedplate
- Integrated sound cover on the intake manifold
- Structural engine covers
2014 Buick Regal GS - Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||GS Manual FWD||GS Auto FWD||GS Auto AWD|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||259||259||259|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||295||295||295|
|Transmission||6-Speed Manual||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic|
|0-to-60 mph||6.2 seconds, est||6.2 seconds, est||6.4 seconds, est|
|Top Speed||162 mph, est||162 mph, est||162 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Highway/Combined)||18/29/22, est||18/29/22, est||17/28/22, est|
The Regal Turbo’s crash results can be safely extended to this high-performance upgrade. The Regal continues its safety mission as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS and five-star car from the NHTSA.
The Regal GS can be equipped with all the low trim’s optional active safety systems.
The new active safety features are grouped into two options packages:
- Driver Confidence 1 package includes camera-based Forward Collisions Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Following Distance Indicator.
- Driver Confidence 2 package adds Collision Preparation (with Collision Mitigation Braking) and full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control that conveniently works in stop-and-go traffic
2014 Buick Regal GS – Standard Safety Features:
- Daytime Running Lamps, switchable
- Head restraints, 2-way adjustable (up/down), front
- Air bags, dual-stage frontal and side-impact, driver and right-front passenger and head curtain side-impact, front and rear outboard seating positions
- OnStar, 6 months of Directions and Connections plan
- Automatic Crash Response
- Stolen Vehicle Assistance
- Safety belts, 3-point, driver and front passenger, height-adjustable includes pretensioners and load limiters
- Safety belts, 3-point, rear, all seating positions
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control with full-function traction control
- Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Intelligent Brake Assist
- LATCH anchors in rear
The GS’s 2014 prices have not yet been announced but are expected to rise less than $500 over current 2013 models. The current model is priced just below $36,000 before options (and discounts).
The A4 is available exclusively in 2.0-liter turbo form. It comes with a CVT front-drive for $34,000 before options and a quattro drivetrain for about $39,000. The A4 is looking very dated in the face of the new competition but can still hit 60 mph in just over six seconds.
The ATS is a big thorn in the Buick’s side. Not only does it pack a rear-drive chassis with optional AWD, but also a giant optional V-6. The ATS generally costs about $5,000 more when similarly equipped.
There’s no question that the new Buick Regal GS is a contender versus the Audi A4. The two cars are actually really closely matched in performance as well as price.
Where the Buick falls down a bit on interior style, the base A4 falls even farther with its dull exterior styling. The Buick’s latest interior updates help move the car significantly upmarket versus the first-gen cars.
The old car had metallic cans around the main gauges (like a Toyota Matrix), the new model switches to white electroluminescent analog dials with embedded LCD screens (like a Porsche).
Like those cars, it goes and grips like flypaper on a racetrack. The Regal GS would be the best to ride home in, however. The performance stats are the real question and will have to wait until the new Regal GS arrives in early September.
|Driving||A-||Adjustable Dampers And Switchable Drive Settings Are Nice|
|Performance||B+||Unknown Sprint Stats for 2014 Engine And AWD|
|Look||A||Still Gorgeous; Those Wheels Are Very Special|
|Value||B||Very Affordable $2,000 Extra Versus Regal Turbo|
|Overall||A-||Worth Considering, Even For Badge Snobs|