Photo Gallery:
2011 Buick Regal

Day 1

2011 Buick Regal CXL
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And now for something completely different: an American car built in… Germany? That is right — this week I’m behind the wheel of Buick’s latest offering, the 2011 Buick Regal built in Germany, at least until spring 2011 when production is expected to switch to Oshawa. Perhaps that is why the front bumper is actually the European bumper, with space for a longer European number plate rather than our more square versions.

Why is this vehicle built in Germany? It is actually an Opel Insignia in Euro-land, and rebadged for China and North America as a Buick Regal. Aimed directly at vehicles such as the Acura TSX and Volkswagen Passat CC, this is a truly modern Buick that GM hopes brings a younger buyer to the brand.

2011 Buick Regal CXL
Click Image to Enlarge

The Regal actually has enthusiasts excited about, as it will be available with a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 220hp and 258lb/ft of torque and come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. When’s the last time anyone was excited by a Buick? My tester is the Ecotec 2.4-litre version, outputting 182hp and 172lb/ft of torque and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

With a base price of $31,990, the Regal is really well equipped in standard trim. Some of the standard features include: 12-way power driver’s seat, 18-inch alloy wheels, six airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lamps, leather seating with heated front seats, StabiliTrak stability control system with brake assist and traction control and steering wheel mounted controls.

This is Buick’s attempt at a modern sports sedan with European DNA and a modern sleek design that mimics that of a coupe with a host of standard features. Whether it will attract a younger buyer to the brand, only time will tell. For now let’s put it through the daily grind in the hands of someone smack directly in Buick’s target age group: me!

2011 Buick Regal CXL
MSRP as tested (excluding destination): $34,615

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