2014 Buick Regal GS AWD – Review and Winter Road Test
MIRABEL, QUEBEC — “When better cars are built, Buick will build them” is an advertising slogan that goes back roughly one hundred years. One better car coming from Buick is the 2014 Regal GS AWD.
This clearly isn’t your father’s Oldsmobile, or even Buick for this matter. From the driver’s seat, I would say it’s the best-handling sedan to come from GM. This may be partly due to its German heritage: it began life as an Opel Insignia and the first wave of Regals sold in the U.S. were made in Germany although production has since shifted to Oshawa, in Ontario, Canada.
As part of a mid-life refresh, the Regal received a revised grill, LED daytime running lights, and new more aggressive LED taillights, as well as the new IntelliLink infotainment system that features an 8” color touch screen. The Regal gets a 4.2” display in the instrument panel but the GS comes with an 8” display that can be customized. The refresh also allowed Buick to add driver assistance technology including forward collision warning, blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, a following distance sensor, and rear cross-traffic alerts. These items are included in the Driver Confidence I package ($890) while radar-controlled adaptive cruise control and collision preparation, which pre-loads the brake system when an imminent collision is detected, are part of the Driver Confidence II package ($1,695).
The big news, however, is the addition of all-wheel drive. Before anyone says “so what, almost all cars have all-wheel drive these days,” allow me to clarify: there’s all-wheel drive and then there’s all-wheel drive.
Buick is using a Haldex all-wheel drive system that can transfer up to 90% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels when needed. An electronic limited-slip differential adjusts the torque split between the left and right rear wheels as required.
Buick touts the new system – which it says is the most advanced of its kind at GM at the present time – as a performance enhancement in addition to a stability control for inclement weather. As such, adjusting the car’s performance parameters by selecting a sportier driving mode such as GS, fine-tunes the AWD for a sportier ride.