I have to confess, I’m excited about a royal wedding this spring. All the hullaballoo has been contagious and heck, I love a royal ceremony as much as the next person. But this attention laid upon Kate Middleton as the next “People’s Princess” made me realize that I have the perfect car for her (should she ever need to drive herself anywhere ever again). The 2011 Buick Regal would be a good car for Kate. Not pretentious, but pretty and sharp. Lean, and athletic but also graceful. Not over-the-top, but full of features. Big enough for a couple passengers, or just her and a ginormous wedding gown on the way to the Abbey.
The Buick Regal would fit nicely in the narrow streets of London, it’s not too huge. It is definitely European in styling due to its Opel rebadging, so it would blend in just fine. Of course it would probably have an entourage of epic proportions, so blending in may not be a reasonable expectation. Anyway, the car looks great from all angles and would certainly present itself well in any traffic situation.
The interior is very sleek and pretty. I don’t mean that in a princess, girly way, in an aesthetically pleasing way. Chrome accents that are judiciously appointed detail the instrument cluster and the gearshift. Lovely wood-like accents abound and highlight the curvy dash. The brushed metal door pulls are curvy and continue the pleasing details throughout the car. The only spoiler in the front is the center stack, whose dominant feature is black plastic. But then I recall that my test car’s price is $29,995. This is a very gracious, well-appointed vehicle for that price.
When I said spoiler earlier, I wasn’t referring to the spoiler built in to the trunk lid. That’s a really sharp design and I like it a lot. Thank you for the beautiful rear end of the Regal, Buick! Speaking of the trunk, the cargo space in the back of the Regal would hold a bevy of tea and crumpets. Groceries, a couple suitcases or a bunch of small parcels fit without a hiccup.
Now, I’m not one to press the royal couple about what they plan to do next, but I would tell Ms. Middleton that my kids also fit without a hiccup, and their car seats did too. I’m happy to report that this sedan is quite family friendly. Car seats fit fine in the back, and cupholders built into the armrest were handy and easy to use.
The controls on the center stack were not quite as easy. There were buttons aplenty, and while they were easy to read and decipher, it just felt a little overwhelming for a while. The one that got me every time were the door lock and unlock buttons. They are on the center stack, not by the window up/down buttons where they usually reside. But I did retrain myself as to their location, and powered through the rest of the buttons as best I could, knowing that if I owned the Regal, I’d get it worked out over time.
Oh, driving? You want to know how it drives? It’s pretty straightforward. It’s got a 2.4l 4-cylinder that’s obviously a 4-cylinder: a little slow on the uptake. It’s okay, it has power to merge onto the roundabout and exit seamlessly. I can run all my errands with grace and dignity like I were a People’s Princess. But if I were looking into buying a Regal, I’d likely spring for the 220-hp turbo with the Interactive Drive Control.
Buick keeps picking up the pace with its vehicles and the Regal is no exception.
On the TFLcar.com recommendation scale of:
– Buy it
– Lease it
– Rent it or
I give the 2011 Buick Regal a tflcar.com rating of…
Growing up in Colorado Sara Lacey was always kind to her cars. These days however, she spends her time punishing automobiles with the help of her children. Reviewing cars from the unique perspective of a woman and mom, Sara also writes for MotherProof.com and Cars.com. In addition, she sits on the board of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press Association.