2012 Buick Regal GS — Flash Drive
This 2012 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Buick Regal GS looks good in black. The sinister paint matches the cool whistle made by the Regal's turbocharger. It's a car that naturally exudes character, alluding to one of my favorite Buicks of all time: the Buick Grand National. Inside, the GS has a chunky feel to it. The steering wheel is thick-rimmed for bigger hands, or hands that don't flex like they used to. Perhaps this is the product of all the research General Motors put into designing vehicles for a broader range of customers. I have small hands, so it took a little getting used to, but I believe that eventually it would feel natural. Hopefully, the turbo whistle never becomes normal or commonplace — I just love that sound. –Paul Hagger
The Buick Regal is a good-looking car, and the GS adds a bolder fascia and bigger wheels and tires for a more aggressive look. Our test car in Carbon Black Metallic with polished 20-inch wheels grabbed a lot of attention. The Regal GS is quick and fun to drive, with tons of power from the high-output turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a slick 6-speed manual transmission. The only problem is all that power is going to the front wheels, so you end up dealing with torque steer and asking the front tires to do too much. It left me longing for the balance this car would have if power were delivered to the rear axle. The interior is really nicely done, with a smart layout and quality materials. The only exception is the steering wheel, which feels overdone with too many materials, shapes and textures — just install the Corvette wheel and be done with it. –Mike Meredith
This is a Buick with a manual transmission and a turbocharger, not what you would typically expect from this brand, but it is a great combination. It still has the signature Buick grille, but this version of the compact Regal gets larger fender flares, bigger tires and a more aggressive-looking front end. Inside are sport seats that might feel a bit tight for what was once the typical Buick buyer. The Regal GS is fun to drive, with plenty of power and a smooth-shifting transmission. It handles very well ; again, a nice surprise for a Buick. That this is a surprise is probably one of the biggest hurdles Buick needs to conquer with the Regal - most consumers won't think of Buick when shopping for a sporty sedan. Price is the other issue. The Regal can be easily optioned up to almost $40,000, and there are a lot of choices in this range. But if you're looking for a stylish sedan with impressive performance from an American brand, the Regal GS is a great choice and definitely worth consideration. –Perry Stern