“That’s a Buick???” I was asked that numerous times during my week with the 2019 Buick Regal. It’s an attractive midsize sedan with modern lines and sure doesn’t look like something your grandpa would drive.
The Regal is the last sedan made by Buick. The larger LaCrosse will be discontinued at the end of this year. Buick has shifted away from sedans as consumers choose crossovers and SUVs instead and has had success with its Encore and Enclave models.
The five-passenger Regal was redesigned for the 2018 model year and receives only a few tweaks for 2019 including the addition of the Avenir trim. It’s available in two body styles, Sportback and TourX Wagon, and in six trims: Base, Preferred, Preferred II, Essence, Avenir, and GS. Starting prices range from $25,070 to $39,070.
Front-wheel-drive is standard on all Sportbacks. All-wheel-drive is available on the higher trims of the Sportback models and is standard on the GS trim and the TourX Wagon.
The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.0-cylinder engine that makes 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. My tester, the GS, gets a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 that generates 310 horses and 282 pound-feet. The transmissions are either an eight- or nine-speed automatic, depending on the trim.
Fuel efficiency is below average for a midsize sedan. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway with a combined rating of 22 mpg. I got 24 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is pleasant but materials are not as upscale as many rivals and there’s a fair amount of hard plastics. On the plus side, the cabin is roomy, comfortable and quiet. Adults in both rows of seating enjoy good leg- and headroom.
Standard features in the Regal include a rearview camera, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, cloth upholstery, seven-inch touch screen, seven-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and. and Teen Driver, which lets you set speed and volume limits for your young drivers.
Available features include remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, wireless device charging, eight-inch touch screen, premium Bose audio, satellite radio, HD Radio, and a moonroof.
Available driver assistance technologies include blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, a following distance indicator, rear parking sensors, and adaptive headlights.
The infotainment system is user-friendly and can be controlled via the touch screen or by the physical controls.
Both body styles have a ton of cargo space. The Sportback has 31.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 60.7 cubes with the second row folded down. The TourX Wagon has 32.7 cubes behind the second row and 73.5 cubes with the rear seats folded.
Roomy and pleasant cabin
User-friendly infotainment system
Lots of cargo space
Competitors have peppier handling
Interior not as upscale as many rivals
Fuel efficiency is below average
Starting prices are higher than average for the class
My tester starts at $39,070. The Sights and Sounds Package is $945 and adds the Buick Infotainment System with eight-inch, high-definition touchscreen with navigation, HD radio and a premium audio system. The Driver Confidence Package 2 is $1,690 and adds adaptive cruise control, following distance indicator, forward collision alert, forward automatic braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, front pedestrian braking, and head-up display. The Appearance Package is $485 and adds wireless charging, LED headlamps, cornering lamps and automatic headlamp control and leveling. Destination charge is $925 bringing the grand total to $43,115.
The 2019 Buick Regal is an attractive sedan with composed driving dynamics, a roomy and comfortable cabin, and user-friendly infotainment system. However, other rivals offer better handling and nicer interiors. The midsize sedan segment is so competitive that you’ll want to shop around.