Cynthiana, Kentucky — The manufacturers would like you to treat the Buick Regal and Buick Regal GS as completely separate vehicles. And so you should. Though both trims come with the same peppy 2.0L four-cylinder turbo engine, they actually feel significantly different.
Monday, we talked about the Regal, today the Regal GS. The difference in base price between the two is $7,555. I drove both GS with front-wheel drive and stick-shift—you can have automatic at no extra charge—and the more expensive all-wheel automatic ($2,275 more). They’re not offering manual with all-wheel drive because they believe too few people would want it to make business sense.
So here’s what comes with the increase in the price for the GS.
It’s the same athletic powertrain as the Regal, but with a wider maximum torque band. You need to put your foot down hard to notice it, but it’s definitely there when you want it.
The most impressive difference between the two trim lines is the GS’s Interactive Drive Control, which offers three modes, each providing a significantly different drive experience. Even the base-touring mode is enjoyable and mildly sporty because the GS is the most spirited ride Buick offers. However the steering is loosey. No worries, the other modes cure that lickety-split.
The sport mode is especially noticeable if you upgrade to the all-wheel drive where there’s greater torque delivered to the rear wheels. There was a beautiful unfinished Kentucky road which was perhaps a week from being officially opened. I did doughnuts around the ‘Road Closed’ sign on freshly lain tarmac, much to the discomfort of the Buick engineer accompanying me. It didn’t provide oversteer but we got some delicious sway. Normally I’m no AWD advocate but this was gripping stuff.
Finally, the GS mode kicks the ride up into ultra-sporty territory. The steering and suspension are noticeably firmer and the accelerator highly attentive. Hills and corners were satisfying as three-course meals. Definitely try these modes out if you’re in the market. They’re the cream of the drive.
Other differences include an 8-inch colour info-tainment system, Brembo brakes, navigation radio, 19” machined wheels, metal sport pedals and more but we have a limited word count. Put it this way: Forget what you thought you knew about Buick. If you were impressed by the Cadillac ATS, you definitely also will be with the Regal GS.
2014 Regal Buick GS FWD (with manual or automatic transmission): $40,650
2014 Regal Buick GS AWD: $42,925
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.
Photo courtesy of the author.