One Year Later, Buick Regal Still Turning Heads
DETROIT Jaclyn Yuppa of Atlanta considers herself an early adopter. The 31-year-old Duke MBA and Fortune 50 marketing professional favors handbags by new, lesser-known designers, likes to try the latest niche cuisine before it goes mainstream, and prefers driving a car that isnt commonplace. Thats why she recently traded her Mercedes for a new 2011 Buick Regal luxury sport sedan.
The Regal turns heads, Yuppa said of her experiences driving around Atlantas uptown Buckhead district. Complete strangers have told me what a great-looking car it is. Theyre usually pleasantly surprised to find out that its a Buick.
Yuppa is like many new-to-Buick owners in that she cross-shopped luxury imports, but was won over by the Regals luxury amenities, contemporary styling, fuel efficiency, overall high quality and value. In many cases, Regal, which launched from Germany one year ago this month and is now produced in Canada, is the first domestic vehicle these buyers have considered, much less owned. By early 2011, one in three Regal buyers was trading in an import vehicle, according to Power Information Network (PIN) data.
The addition of nicely styled, more efficient, fun-to-drive products like the Regal opens Buick up to consideration by a completely different set of buyers, said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, a marketing research and consultancy firm. They will tend to be younger, and young-at-heart, more adventuresome and more enthusiastic about the cars they drive. The fact that the Regal is attracting these people to the brand shows Buick is on the right track.
Consumer interest in Buick, the fastest-growing mainstream automotive brand in the United States, is on the rise. At Main Street in Motion, a touring test-drive event that pits Buick against other brands, exit polls revealed that public opinion of Buick improved by 125 percent and purchase consideration improved by 65 percent.
Another recent convert to Buick is Joshua Hutchison, a 23-year-old Kentucky Wesleyan College graduate and software engineer who chose Regal over cars made by VW, Toyota and Nissan.
When I was looking at cars with my friends they tried to steer me toward foreign automakers, but the Regal is the absolute perfect car for me. I love it, said Hutchison, who drives 70 miles a day commuting between Kentucky and Indiana. I spend a lot of time in my car, so comfort is key. The Regal rides as smooth at low speeds as it does at high speeds, and handles like a sports car without having a sports cars rough-riding suspension.
Regal's chassis and structural systems deliver a dynamic driving experience on par with the best import sport sedans in the segment. This solid structure and Regal's relatively long wheelbase support more precise suspension tuning without losing the quiet, refined ride and road manners expected of a Buick. In addition, Regals firm, highly bolstered seats were benchmarked against the top import competitors for comfort and support.
On the Regal Turbo, the available Interactive Drive Control System changes the driving dynamics by altering suspension, shift pattern and steering sensitivity through the variable effort steering system. Tour mode offers a comfortable, relaxed driving experience for long journeys. Sport mode enhances road-holding capability. And the standard, or default, mode is optimized for all driving situations.
When equipped with a six-speed manual, Regal Turbo gets an EPA-rated 32 mpg on the highway, which is better than the Acura TSX and Volkswagen CC Sport. On the open road, Regal Turbos 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine delivers 220 hp and 258 lbs-ft of torque also better than its rivals.
With its sweeping silhouette, coupe-like profile and sculpted body lines, Regal exemplifies Buicks contemporary design aesthetic also embodied in the 2011 Enclave crossover, LaCrosse full-size sedan and the upcoming 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan. Regals fenders, for example, are flared to wrap around the tires.
Regal has a very athletic stance, which is the opposite of what people expect from Buick, said David Lyon, executive director, global design. The mix of aerodynamic sheet metal and contemporary sculptural elements make Regal look dynamic even when its parked. The look gives Regal a signature like nothing else on the road an individuality that car buyers are attracted to. People can expect to see more of that from Buick going forward.
Buick is a modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors with thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning models, including the Enclave crossover, LaCrosse sedan, Regal sport sedan and highly anticipated all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan. Buick is the fastest growing major brand in the U.S. and remains a best-selling brand in China, with continuing record growth. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick or at www.facebook.com/buick .
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