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2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo Review

German-Born Buick Sedan

A three-quarter front view of a black 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo

In short: A sporty, Euro-inspired, turbocharged midsize sedan.

This turbocharged take on Buick's revamped Regal showcases a sportier, more youthful side of the long-running American brand best known for its luxurious yet sedate sedans. Designed and assembled in Rüsselsheim, Germany, the new Regal shares much in common with its European cousin, the Opel Insignia, and benefits greatly from the cross-cultural connection.

Wrapped in sleek sheet metal that is suggestive of its improved driving dynamics, this easy-to-drive, Autobahn-approved sedan offers a somewhat sporty ride thanks to its sure-footed feel and enhanced engine performance. With its direct-injected, turbocharged inline-4, the CXL Turbo boasts an increase of 38 horsepower over the base model, boosting its output to 220 hp. Unfortunately, the engine's ECOTEC appellation is little more than a misnomer, as the Regal achieved an unremarkable 17.4 mpg combined during our time with the vehicle.

A look inside the 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo

The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine of the Buick Regal CXL Turbo

Although the Buick Regal CXL Turbo fails to impress at the pump, it's hard to deny the charms of its comfortable, well-equipped interior. Driver-friendly features like the OnStar Directions & Connections plan make getting around town easy, while XM satellite radio and an iPod-compatible USB port make it that much more fun. We had some trouble with our Bluetooth phone connection; however, overall we found the Regal's interior technology to be both smart and sensible.

So can this European-born sports sedan really compete with true German exports like BMW and Mercedes-Benz? We hate to say it, but Buick still has a ways to go in terms of both performance and luxury refinement. However, with a base price of only $28,745, the Regal CXL Turbo offers a reasonable alternative to the often exorbitantly priced options found in the sedan segment.

A three-quarter rear view of a black 2011 Buick Regal CXL Turbo

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Warranty/Service: Five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty

Base Price: $28,745 / As Tested: $35,185

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 2.0-liter, ECOTEC DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with VVT
Horsepower: 220 hp @ 5,300 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 2,000-5,500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Curb weight:
3,600 lbs
Wheelbase: 107.8 in
Length/Width/Height: 190.2/73.1/58.4 in
Turning circle: 37.4 ft

4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and brake assist
Suspension: MacPherson strut front; 4-link independent rear
Stabilitrak stability control system with traction control

0-60 mph: 7.3 seconds
Top Speed: 150 mph (governor limited)

EPA City:
18 mpg
EPA Highway: 28 mpg

dual-stage front airbags; front seat side impact airbags; head curtain side airbags; rear seat thorax airbags

Likes: evolution for the brand; size

Dislikes: tricky side mirrors; trunk operation; limited space in back seat


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Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW022811 (Updated: 02/16/12 NW)

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