2018 Buick Regal GS
Need a V-6? Look no further!by Ciprian Florea, on LISTEN 09:46
Redesigned for the 2018 model year, the Buick Regal is heavily based on the European-made Opel Insignia and shares most of its features with the German sedan. Featuring a transverse front engine and front-wheel drive as standard (AWD optional), the new Regal has already spawned Sportback and station wagon versions, just like its European sibling. Come 2017 and the Opel Insignia GSi, the brands higher performance version is coming to the U.S. as the Regal GS, a nameplate that Buick has been using since the 1990s.
Described as a vehicle in which "spirited driving meets attainable luxury and sleek, sporty design meets modern usefulness," the GS is a massive improvement over its predecessor. Not only boasting an extra 51 horsepower, it also has all-wheel-drive and all the new technology available in the standard Regal. “The new Regal GS is in the sweet spot of the market: more refined and luxurious than the mainstream, more value for the price with style and premium features on par with higher-end competitors," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick. Let’s find out if this is true in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick Regal GS.
2018 Buick Regal GS
Horsepower @ RPM:310
Torque @ RPM:282
0-60 time:5 sec.
Top Speed:150 mph
Much like its predecessor, the new Regal GS stands out by means of revised front and rear fascias.
Naturally, the first question that comes to mind is what makes the current GS special on the outside. Much like its predecessor, the new Regal GS stands out by means of revised front and rear fascias.
Up front, we can see a sportier bumper that ditched the horizontal oriented side vents for vertical ones. These feature chrome surrounds that add a cool contrast to just about any exterior color available. Below, the slim grille is now wider, which gives the car width and a more planted stance. The grille was also revised, mainly by changing the waterfall-like mesh for what appears to be a squared off honeycomb pattern. A red "GS" badge rounds out the front end upgrade.
Changes are less evident around the sides, but Buick did replace the standard side skirts with sportier elements.
Changes are less evident around the sides, but Buick did replace the standard side skirts with sportier elements and crafted a set of bespoke, 19-inch rims. To the rear, we can see a few features that enhance the sedan’s sportiness. There’s a small, body-colored spoiler atop the trunk lid, fake vents with red lights at each side of the bumper, and revised lower section with large, trapezoidal exhaust pipes in place of the round ones seen on the standard model.
Overall, I think that the new GS is a significant update over the regular Regal as far as design goes. My only complaint is that the trunk lid spoiler is too small an almost invisible due to its body-colored finished, but other than that, the new GS is a solid package and has what it takes to stand out in the Regal lineup.
Old Vs. New Buick Regal GS
|2012 Buick Regal GS||2018 Buick Regal GS|
|Overall length (Inches)||192.9|
|Overall width (Inches)||73.3|
|Overall height (Inches)||57.3|
|Track front/rear (Inches)||62.8/63.0|
The GS did get a few extras, starting with specific performance seats with solid bolstering.
But what about the interior? Do we get any extra features? For starters, I’d like to reiterate that the new Regal comes with a gorgeous cabin that feels more luxurious than ever and boasts the best technology General Motors has to offer right now. So truth be told, I’d be happy with a GS that doesn’t have any special features on top of the usual Regal package.
But thankfully, the GS did get a few extras, starting with specific performance seats with solid bolstering. The units are also fully adjustable, heated, cooler, and have massage functions, which is pretty neat. Buick also added a sports flat-bottom steering and unique sports pedals. The sill plates are also GS-specific.
Buick also added a sports flat-bottom steering and unique sports pedals.
Other than that, the GS is mostly a well-equipped Regal, although the head-up display isn’t included as standard. But needless to say, the GS offers a comprehensive infotainment package with an eight-inch touchscreen and eight-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster as standard equipment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility both come standard.
Opt for the full-color head-up display that’s available with the optional Driver Confidence II package and you also get safety features like Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking.
|Headroom front/rear (Inches)||38.8/37.4|
|Legroom front/rear (Inches)||42.1/36.9|
|Shoulder room front/rear (Inches)||56.9/55.4|
|Hip room front/rear (Inches)||55.2/54.1|
|Max cargo room seats up/folded (cu ft)||31.5/60.7|
The Regal GS comes with a 3.6-liter V-6 under the hood.
While the standard Regal Sportback gets its juice from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, the Regal GS comes with a 3.6-liter V-6 under the hood. The new engine is rated at 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet, which accounts for a solid 60-horsepower and 22-pound-foot upgrade over the regular sedan. The new GS also boasts an extra 51 horses compared to its predecessor.
The V-6 is equipped with direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and stop/start technology and mates to a standard nine-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive system with active twin clutch. The standard exhaust system was also ditched in favor of a sport-tuned unit, while the regular brakes were swapped for a performance combo with Brembo front calipers.
The new GS boasts an extra 51 horses compared to its predecessor.
The GS also comes with a five-link rear suspension and Buick’s second-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which is capable of 500 adjustments per second via the Interactive Drive Control. The latter allows the driver to tailor the car’s dynamics based on different drive experiences through a standard setting or Sport and GS modes selected via the center console.
There’s no word on performance figures, but the Regal GS should be able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in a little less than five seconds. Top speed should be rated at more than 150 mph.
|Engine / Type||3.6L V-6|
|Horsepower||310 HP @ 6,800 RPM|
|Torque||282 LB-FT @ 5,200 RPM|
|Base curb weight||3,796 lbs /1,722 kg|
The new Buick Regal GS starts from $39,990, which makes it nearly $2,500 more expensive than the outgoing model. Interestingly enough, the standard Regal is some $2,000 more affordable than the previous sedan, but I guess the extra features are worth the extra dough. Still, the Regal GS is more affordable than most premium cars coming from Germany.
While comparing a Buick to an Audi doesn’t seem right when it comes to premium features and output, it’s really difficult to find a vehicle this size that matches the output of the GS, especially since Honda dropped V-6-powered Accord for 2018. So if you’re looking for a vehicle of similar shape and size that delivers in excess of 300 horsepower, the S5 Sportback is a good bet. Motivated by a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6, the S5 hits the pavement with 354 horsepower and 369 pound-feet, which enable it to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Granted, that’s significantly more power than the Regal GS and a much quicker sprint to 60 mph, but I have a feeling that many of you wouldn’t complain. However, the S5’s sticker of $54,400 is a thing to complain about, especially since it’s almost a $20K premium over the Regal GS.
Read our full review of the Audi S5 Sportback.
But if you don’t mind having less oomph at your disposal, you might as well have a look at the latest Accord. Refreshed for 2018, the Japanese SUV is sexy as heck and boasts a well-equipped, near-premium interior with all the technology you need in a modern car. And while it may not have a V-6, the range-topping 2.0-liter four-cylinder packs quite the punch at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of twist. The good news is that pricing is similar to the Regal GS, so you can get the range-topping model for a little over $30,000 before options.
Read our full review of the Honda Accord.
The Regal has become a symbol of high performance back in the 1980s, when the GNX and its turbocharged engine changes the way gearheads looked at forced induction. This tradition continued in different forms for the next generations, but most performance-oriented Regals came with a "GS" badge. Buick wants to keep this version of the Regal alive and based on numbers alone, it seems that the new GS will get the job done. And unlike most offerings in this category, it still has some oldschool V-6 grunt. It’s also pretty affordable, which combined with the new design and state-of-the-art technology might turn it into a popular choice in the U.S..
Read our full review on the 2012 Buick Regal GS.