Expected reliability is the single most important factor in deciding on a car, according to J.D. Power. Whether you want a vehicle for off-roading, track days, or everyday commuting, you definitely don’t want one that will cost you a lot of extra money, time, or frustration in repairs. J.D. Power’s annual Vehicle Dependability Study, now in its 27th year, polls owners of 3-year-old cars to determine the number of problems they experienced during the previous 12 months. The company then ranks each maker and model by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles.
My father bought me a yellow 1954 Buick convertible that I drove to college. It was the most garish car on campus, by far, and embarrassed the hell out of me until I got kicked out of school and drove the thing ignominiously home.
That was the era of heavy, sluggish Buicks, three-on-the-tree transmissions and a lot of chrome inside and out. These were not just grandpa-grandma cars; they were for people who wanted to make a splash.
GM has gone just the opposite way, at last, with the 2012 Regal GS, a sports sedan for the world market based on Opel’s Insignia, with some interesting technical and performance features. As I’m sure you know, the company is reaching out to a younger market.
The GS is not only sharp-looking but, from what I read, competitive with most anything Audi, Volvo or Lexus can offer in its price range. Engine, drivetrain, suspension and handling appear to be well-matched and very competent.