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Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Buick, GM, New Car Reviews

A Great Sport Sedan With One Big "But"

Of the remaining General Motors nameplates, Buick is the one that's most difficult to wrap your mind around. On the one hand, it's supposed to be a premium brand, but on the other, it's selling vehicles with sticker prices that tend to start in the $20,000 price range, seemingly encroaching on Chevrolet territory. To wit: The Buick Verano is a bit over $23,000 and the Buick Regal starts just under $28,000, while Chevy sells its Cruze, Malibu and Impala in that same range. Even the Buick LaCrosse, whose price shot up nearly $4,000 this year, starts at $31,045. Indeed, GM must be using a mandoline to price the different versions of its sedans clustered around the $25,000-$30,000 price range.

But it's over that threshold where things get really perplexing. Because whether we understand GM's strategy or not, a twenty-some-thousand dollar Buick makes sense. You look at all the boxes you have to tick on a mainstream brand product to get the amenities that Buick offers and you dump that and all the data about the premium competition in a spreadsheet, and you can probably justify a Buick as a wise purchase. If you're an actuary or an accountant, all the better.

A Regal GS with a $35,310 base price (or an as-tested cost of $38,155 like ours), however, has stepped onto an entirely different playing field, like a junior varsity kid getting bumped up to play on Friday night. This isn't the sort of car you research over the Internet and lease after a five-minute test drive. It's purportedly a driver's car, something to seek out and manhandle. We thus find it rather disingenuous to compare it with cars from Acura and Volvo - the Regal GS is really scrapping with vetted sports sedans like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, and even its kissing-GM-cousin, the larger Cadillac CTS.Continue reading 2012 Buick Regal GS

2012 Buick Regal GS originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Feb 2012 11:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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