The 2019 Buick Regal line is in the process of transformation. As is common to many brands, the 2019s are a whole new eye-catching Regal but not quite all it could be yet. To get the style and function with the refinement a Regal should have, it may be necessary to wait another year or two. Meanwhile, it has the power, driving enjoyment and Euro-styling which are the model's new pedigree and it is available in hatchback and even wagon configurations.
What's the inspiration for Buick Regal's Euro-style look in 2019?
The swept look of the new Buick Regal certainly gives it an energy which transforms the line, but those who have been on the roads in Europe may recognize the lines of the German Opel brand, until a few years ago part of GM. This could also explain the hatchback and wagon versions, already part of the Opel line. The Opel Insignia looks much like the Buick Regal Avenir and, it seems, Opel will be building the new line of Buick Regal models.
How do the hatchback and wagon build on the basic sedan design?
Both the [search label="hatchback" items="best hatchback cars|Volkswagen Golf|Mazda 3|Honda Civic"] and wagon stretch a bit more than their competitors in the U.S., offering a more luxurious version of each style. The hatchback provides plenty of additional cargo space over the sedan while also offering ample headroom. The wagon, or TourX, is a more sporty version of this family-sized staple, like a stretched Regal GS with 19-inch wheels.
Are there new 2019 engine and transmission offerings?
Only a year old, the recently introduced GS offers a surprisingly quick 310-hp 3.6-liter V-6, enough to make the performance match the aggressive styling of the new Regal. The GS engine comes with a 9-speed automatic transmission. There's also an all-wheel-drive system which helps apply the power more effectively in all conditions with responsive handling and stopping. The Sportback version relies on a 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine for energetic acceleration and has decent handling.
Does the Regal still perform with dignity, or more like a sports car?
The Sportback has decent performance, but it has been tuned for a smooth transition between gears and fluid acceleration unless conditions call for a quick jump -- it can do that if needed. The handling has been designed to be responsive but not distractingly sporty, giving the passengers a more [search label="luxury car" items="Luxury sedan|Lexus GS|Cadillac CTS|Audi A6"] feel. This reflects the balance which the new model Regal presents: a dynamic, well-performing vehicle without the edginess that many sporty models feature.
Why are reviewers critical of the fit and finish?
The introduction of a new (to U.S. markets) model of Buick Regal may have focused more on bringing the whole package to the market and letting some details wait. As with many car manufacturers, the first of a new model (or revision of that model) can come up somewhat short in the brand-specific styling. That appears to be the case with the 2019 Buick Regal but look for further work in that area in 2020 if experience is any guide.
What kinds of technology features does the 2019 Regal have?
The Regal offers a new feature which pops the hood to reduce the impact of a collision with a pedestrian. The higher-level models also receive a package of advanced safety features common in other vehicles. Regal takes the interesting approach of providing a 7-inch display (8-inch optional) for the infotainment system and hiding many of the discrete controls below for a cleaner look.
What about the high-end Avenir? What kinds of features does it have?
The Avenir version of the Regal has more sophisticated trim, unique 19-inch wheels and grille, special upholstery and a wealth of standard equipment.
How's the interior comfort and style?
Like the simplified center console controls hidden below the infotainment display, the interior is comfortable but elegantly simple. Buick Regal is aiming for a more energetic appearance, it seems, but providing a smooth cabin in which to ride which matches the line's restrained but quality performance on the road. It provides both a fun family car, especially in the wagon format, and an energetic executive car, but stops short of adding in the complex details which inhabit a true sports model.