The Regal’s appeal will reach even farther this year, Fichera predicted, due to improvements Buick made in the restyled, 2014 model. Along with all-wheel drive, the new Regal also received an upgraded engine that delivers more power while also increasing fuel economy.
“The performance customer likes it more now because Buick increased the horsepower of the turbocharged engine. That, and the all-wheel drive, are the big two factors that we expect to lead to improved sales this year,” the manager said.
Buick introduced the contemporary Regal three years ago as a 2011 model. It was an Americanized offshoot of the Opel Insignia, a sport sedan sold in Europe by General Motors, the parent of the Buick brand. The Insignia had been named the 2009 European Car of the Year.
The 2014 Regal that just arrived updates that vehicle with equipment additions, engineering improvements and body modifications.
Changes on the outside are minor, consisting mostly of some reshaping of the nose and changes to the head and tail lights – including LED tail lights and optional front running lights that aim to dress the sedan more elegantly.
Inside, the 2014 Regal has new instruments, controls and displays, with a bigger, 8-inch color touch screen in the center for activating communications, entertainment and cabin comforts. Equipment upgrades include new audio systems and the next generation of GM’s “IntelliLink” information and entertainment controller that operates through the touch screen and allows spoken interaction with the vehicle.
The engine improvements that Jim Fichera finds particularly beneficial boost the power of the turbocharged four-cylinder inside Regal by 18 percent, to 259 horsepower, delivered smoothly and effortlessly. When combined with a new six-speed automatic transmission in this year’s Regal, the engine helps deliver a 17 percent improvement in fuel economy. A front-drive Regal with the turbocharged engine earns a fuel-use rating of 21 miles per gallon in city driving, and 30 mpg on the highway. With all-wheel drive, fuel economy dips to 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway.