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November 23, 2013

Buick Regal adds appeal with all-wheel drive

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Buick also offers a larger, but less powerful, four-cylinder engine in Regal. That engine incorporates a start-stop feature that GM calls “eAssist.” Available only on front-drive versions, the feature conserves gas by automatically shutting down the engine at stops, and restarting it when travel resumes. With the eAssist four-cylinder, Regal’s fuel-economy numbers move to 25 mpg city, 36 mpg highway.

The spirited and athletic attitude of Regal gets its fullest expression in the GS version. A sport-oriented variation, the Regal GS wears a more aggressive front end, with tall, vertical air inlets that flank the low bumper, and additional intake slots around the front corners near the wheel wells. The model rides lower than a standard Regal, with body extensions low on its sides to produce a hunkered-down appearance. The GS comes with larger, 19-inch alloy wheels, along with suspension turning and selectable steering modes that provides greater feedback to drivers who want to tighten their control of the automobile.

You can also purchase the Regal GS with a six-speed manual transmission, for added engagement while driving – available only in the front-drive configuration. The GS is the highest level Regal, with a list price about $7,000 above the starting-level version.

Even at its base level, the Regal includes generous amounts of equipment. Standard features include leather-trimmed upholstery, two-zone air conditioning, high-level audio systems, back-up camera, split, folding rear seat-backs (expanding the hauling capacity of a noticeably large trunk), integrated controls on a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, and more.

It adds up to a lot for the money. The availability of all-wheel drive in the 2014 Buick Regal adds extra incentive to local drivers who want maximum winter traction.

“The all-wheel-drive Regal is bringing new people into the dealership,” Fichera said.

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