“This is a sport sedan designed for everyday driving,” Buick’s vice president Duncan Aldred said of the unveiling of the 2018 Buick Regal GS today, “but one that makes every drive special.”
We’ll be the judge of how special a drive the next-generation Buick Regal GS provides in the real world, but the on-paper formula certainly goes down smooth.
Priced at $39,990, the 2018 Buick Regal GS forsakes four-cylinder power in favor of the 3.6-liter V6 we told you about more than three months ago before receiving further confirmation last week. The V6 sends 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Manual option? No.
The GS is the top trim in a lineup that no longer features a true sedan. While the TourX is not destined to receive the GS moniker, this Regal Sportback brings its high-performance derivative under the $40K mark.
Though roughly $2,000 more expensive than the outgoing Regal GS, this is substantially more car.
At $39,990, the 2018 Regal GS includes heated, cooled, massaging seats. Continuous damping control, Brembo brakes, and 19-inch wheels are also standard fit. “The new Regal GS is in the sweet spot of the market,” Aldred says. He’s not mixing up semi-premium sporty hatchbacks with SUVs. Rather, he’s discussing the Regal GS’s value equation. The 2018 Regal GS is, “more refined and luxurious than the mainstream,” Aldred says, but it offers, “more value for the price with style and premium features on par with higher-end competitors, and with standard features like AWD with active twin clutch and a rear sportback design that will surprise customers with its usefulness.”
Meanwhile, the basic Buick Regal is now less costly than before. At $25,915, the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback’s price point — $4,080 below the Regal TourX — is $2,075 lower than the 2017 Regal sedan’s base price. There’s also 31.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity on the Sportback, up from 14.2 in the fifth-gen Regal sedan. Standard on 2018 Regal’s is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque; 295 lb-ft when linked with all-wheel drive. AWD Regals with the 2.0T use an eight-speed automatic, not the nine-speed of other Regals.
Before the Buick Verano arrived to steal the entry-level Buick limelight, Buick sold 40,144 Regals in America in 2011, its first full year after a half-decade hiatus. Regal sales have faded ever since, however, averaging only 21,000 annual units since 2012.
[Images: General Motors]
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.