2018 Buick Regal: Two Versions, but only One for Canada

The new Buick Regal Sportback has just been revealed in Detroit, during a press conference at GM’s Design Center. It will be available this fall as a 2018 model in Canada.

Based on the same platform as the previous-generation model, which in turn is based on the European Opel Insignia, this Regal benefits from fresh new styling. A successful brand in China, one of the most popular in fact, Buick is looking to introduce a more dynamic style to its vehicles, characterised among other things by a new front grille design. The Buick Enclave, which will be launched at the upcoming New York Auto Show, should boast similar styling.

This 2018 Buick Regal relies on a turbocharged, 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 250 horsepower to bring us from point A to point B, matched to a nine-speed automatic transmission. An “intelligent” all-wheel drive system will also be available, although variants equipped with it will get an automatic gearbox with only eight speeds. Torque peaks at 260 pound-feet in front-drive versions, and 295 lb.-ft. in AWD cars.

The TourX, for USA only

We’re a little disappointed that the magnificent Regal TourX wagon, unveiled during the same press conference, won’t be coming to Canada. We’ll only be getting the five-door Sportback, which will make this new Regal more practical.

The cockpit was also redesigned. As a matter of fact, Buick clearly stated their intention of rivalling some well-established luxury brands. Did you know that Buick outsells Audi in the United States? However, they’re still far from reaching Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.

Buick also developed a new safety system that’s quite interesting for city driving. If the car senses a frontal impact with a pedestrian at speeds of less than 60 km/h, a pyrotechnic actuator will lift the back of the hood in order to mitigate the impact and causing less injury.

Let’s not get overexcited

Despite what the press release says, we must remain realistic about the new Regal. We obviously didn’t drive it yet, but it’s likely that the new 2018 Buick Regal won’t match the dynamic prowess of a BMW. In China, Buick is the third most popular brand, right behind Volkswagen and Honda. Chinese consumers don’t want luxury cars with sporty handling characteristics. They prefer more comfortable and more civilised vehicles.

So the Buick Regal Sportback is a gorgeous American luxury car, just sporty enough to please the Chinese market, and the North-American market too.

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