2011 Buick Regal

November 13, 2009

Updated: I realized that I didn’t get my point across very well, so I rewrote it…also fixing some grammatical errors.

Following on the heels of the Buick Lacrosse, comes the ‘11 Buick Regal. I’m not too sure about this model: a four cylinder only car that has almost nothing to do with its heritage.

Buick has been doing some strange things since retiring their old models:

  • The Lacrosse took the place of two models – the Regal and the Century. The Century was a little shorter than a Regal, but was the same car with a different engine. It was almost as if the Regal was a trim line for the Century – a little more upscale inside, with a nicer engine and different front and rear fascia. The 2005 Lacrosse offered an updated version of the same platform, a Series III version of the 3.8L engine in the Regal, a 3.6L DOHC engine option, and an interior that benefited from Buick’s QuietTuning.
  • The Lucerne also took the place of two models – the LeSabre and the Park Avenue. The LeSabre was on the same platform as the Park Avenue, and both models had the same engine – the 3.8L. The Park Avenue had an Ultra version of the engine, which was a supercharged 3.8L. The Lucerne brought the same type of upgrades as the Lacrosse had for the Century/Regal – update version of the same platform, a Series III version of the 3.8L engine, a 4.6L Northstar V8, and a QuietTuned interior.

What does this have to do with the 2011 Regal? Well, I feel like the Lacrosse should have been called Regal – but Buick felt that it needed to move away from the negative connotations of its older models. But, the Lacrosse was rightly the successor to the Regal. We shouldn’t have a new Regal that is small, and only has four cylinder options – I just don’t feel it is right.

The Lacrosse got “tiny” upgrades in 2008 – a new radio cluster, new interior trim, new front end styling – but then got a brand new platform, with new engines, roomier and much nicer interior (but a smaller trunk), for 2010. Since the Lacrosse went so upscale, there was room for a smaller car in the lineup. And that’s fine. But don’t name it Regal. Maybe Lacrosse should have been called Regal, and then this smaller car could have been the Century, or the Skylark. The Skylark was the small car in Buick’s lineup for years, with the Century a little bigger, the Regal roughly the same size, and the LeSabre and Park Avenue at the top of the Lineup.

The 2010 Lacrosse pretty much takes the place of the Lucerne (which I think is a mistake), so the Regal takes the place of the Lacrosse. Now, don’t get me wrong: the Lucerne is still here, but the Lacrosse is a much newer vehicle, with plenty of room for most people, so the Lucerne is between a rock and a hard place. Bigger, with thirstier engines, it is outclassed in the showroom by a smaller vehicle.

The ‘11 Regal might sell well, and it does look like a beautiful vehicle. It looks slightly “squished” to me – the design looks good from some angles, not from others. It’s a four cylinder only car for now, so the clientele that buys Buicks (sadly, mostly older folks) will not have their choice of more powerful V6 engines. The reason for this is going to need to be in another post though….

Pictures and a short article are at this link:

http://www.insideline.com/buick/regal/2011/revealed-2011-buick-regal.html

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