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2016 Buick Regal Overview
When considering a spiffy high-end sedan for an affordable price, take a look at Buick’s 2016 Regal when it goes on sale in the fall of this year. This 5-seat, 4-door commuter-scooter offers solid performance numbers, some surprising agility, a boatload of standard features, and an MSRP that won’t strain the budget. And depending on the trim, the 2016 Regal is slated to offer turbocharged power, all-wheel drive (AWD), and a mild hybrid engine, which Buick has branded eAssist.
This quasi-luxury sedan is expected to return in 4 trims: the entry-level Base, the well-equipped Premium I, the fancier Premium II, and the sporty GS. There’s also a turbocharged version of the Base Regal known simply as the Turbo. Unfortunately, all versions of this handsome sedan keep the cramped rear seat, and toting space--already a comparatively small 14.2 cubic feet in standard editions--shrinks to a mere 11.1 cubic feet in the mild-hybrid eAssist editions due to the bulky lithium-ion battery pack located in the trunk. All 2016 Regal trims retain standard front-wheel drive (FWD), and higher trims offer full-time AWD.
A couple of upgrades are scheduled for the 2016 Regal, including the debut of Android Auto and Apple Carplay, each of which interfaces with the Regal’s standard OnStar-integrated IntelliLink infotainment, the recently offered 4G LTE WiFi, and smartphone apps. Buick claims these latest technological innovations will keep the driver and passengers informed about such things as phone messages, driver's information, and audio settings, with a bit less overall distraction. And 2016 will see four new color options: Ebony Twilight Metallic, White Frost Metallic, Dark Forest Green Metallic, and Crimson Red Tintcoat.
Look for the standard 259-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) mill and 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to power the 2016 Regal lineup. Boasting 295 lb-ft of torque, this engine is also available with a 6-speed manual transmission in the GS trim. Expect 21 mpg city/30 highway/24 combined in FWD Regals boasting the automatic shifter, with the AWD automatic-shifter versions estimated at 19/27/22 and the FWD GS trim with the stick-shift coming in at 20/31/24.
The non-turbo Base trim comes with a normally aspirated 2.4-liter flex-fuel (FFV) I4 engine boasting 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque, combined with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic. Look for an estimated 21/30/24 from this low-key powerplant.
The eAssist mild hybrid engine, available only to the Premium I trim, is a tweaked version of the 2.4-liter I4 that offers an electric motor and regenerative braking to remove some of the fuel-burning strain. Expect 182 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque from this gas-electric powerplant, with its special version of the 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Its mileage estimates are slated to remain a healthy 25/36/29.
Appearance-wise, and depending on the selected trim, the 2016 Regal stable is scheduled to offer 17-, 18-, or 19-inch alloy wheels, with the GS throwing in a standard rear spoiler.
All Regal editions are expected to include leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, cruise control, and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Each trim variant is also scheduled to feature a rear-view camera, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Higher trims add such extras as remote engine start, a remote garage door opener, a heated steering wheel, and front and rear parking sensors, with the GS also slated to carry standard sport front seats.
Techno-goodies are expected to include Bluetooth-integrated OnStar Directions and Connections telematics (IntelliLink), with the above-mentioned Android Auto and Apple Carplay planned as late season upgrades. The Base trim features a single-CD player, 7 speakers, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio input (USB) port, while both the Premium II and the GS feature a standard 9-speaker Bose premium audio system. Both sound systems are operated by a 4.2-inch touchscreen display. The Premium II and GS also include an OnStar-interfaced GPS navigation system with voice-recognition technology.
Look for upper-echelon 2016 Regal trims to again offer such bells and whistles as a power sunroof and upgraded 20-inch wheels, while lower trims will offer higher-trim features as options.
Standard safety equipment expected back for the upcoming year’s Regal includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head protection airbags, daytime running lights, and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. A post-collision safety system is also standard for 2016, as is a remote antitheft alarm. A pair of Driver Confidence packages are also planned for higher trims in the upcoming season, and will include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure and rear cross-traffic alerts, and forward collision warning and mitigation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the current Regal its best score of 5 stars for crash-worthiness, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awards this classy 4-door its highest rating of Good.
Competition for the 2016 Regal will come from Volvo’s safety-minded S60 and BMW’s similarly-priced 3 Series. Owners of current Regal editions find the cramped rear seat to be an inconvenience, along with a too-small center console and problems with the IntelliLink display. On the positive side, owners laud this quasi-posh sedan’s family-friendly value, surprising agility, and turbocharged power.
Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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