Attempting to bring into play statistics from Chinese sales probably isn’t the best way to convince North Americans of the greatness of your new car. But fortunately for Buick, they’ve got good looks on their side.
Indeed, 64,000 Regals have been sold in China since the car debuted eleven months ago. Buick’s only sold about 81,000 total vehicles so far this year. Surely a beautiful new entry-level sedan would help.
Building on the Enclave’s curvaceous ways, the LaCrosse arrived as a competitor in a slightly larger, slightly more expensive segment than the Regal’s. Buick is positioning the Regal with two four-cylinder engines, a 182-bhp 2.4L and a turbocharged 2.0L with 220 horsepower.
Finding the Regal looks familiar? Take a look at what was once considered the next Saturn Aura, known in Europe as the Opel Insignia. In all but a handful of ways, that is the new Buick Regal. We even get to use the Interactive Drive Control System, allowing the driver to choose between three settings for unique dynamics. Normal, Tour, and Sport vary suspension settings, throttle response, shift pattern, and steering sensitivity. New GM or not, expect Sport to be absolutely necessary for a Buick if you want to come close to replicating the feel of your German sport sedan. Given this car’s pedigree as an Opel, however, it’s not too crazy to expect a substantially firmer Buick than in the past.
Though the LaCrosse has appeared on roads ’round here already, thus providing everyone with opportunity to see the car in real-world lighting and in base form, preliminary pictures of the Regal in the Gallery below make me think Buick strike a harmonious chord with the Regal. This car does make Honda’s Accord, the Toyota Camry, and even Chevrolet’s Malibu appear conventional, conservative, and cautious.