I’ve read a bunch of first-drive reviews of the 2012 Buick Regal GS (GM invited the car media to its Milford test track). Verdict: Nobody found any real flaws. And everyone loved the handling, braking and power, the car’s performance generally, even its appearance.
Now, many car reviewers are an easy sell, some for obvious reasons, but many of these guys are also serious, knowledgeable car enthusiasts. I always thought Marty Padgett of Motor Authority was one of the latter.
He went bananas for the Buick, with particular praise for the engine:
Here, the turbo massage raises output to 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, and the torque number plays a big role in the GS’ happy urgency. It spins out 95 percent of its peak torque from 2300 to 4900 rpm, and the three low gears in the six-speed manual are staged tightly to keep the turbo on boil, and to keep the GS in that band, while the upper gears seek out fuel economy.
The formula works. Buick says the Regal GS manual will hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, about the times [sic] promised for a Hyundai Sonata turbo.