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2011 Buick Regal CXL Specification Features Engine Price Rebates Top Speed and Colour List

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Badge Engineering Is Alive And Well At The New GM

2011 Buick Regal CXL
2011 Buick Regal CXL - Click above for high-res image gallery

Haven't we seen this play called before? Take a well-regarded European model, tweak it for the U.S. market, slap on a badge from a beleaguered North American brand, and hope for a touchdown. Indeed, the Buick Regal conforms to what has become General Motors' version of the spread offense. Never mind that this wasn't a winning strategy for Saturn, which tried selling various derivatives of Opel models from The General's European operations before its demise – GM is back at it with the Regal.

Dredging up a name from the past is a curious move for a brand that wants to reinvent itself to appeal to a younger audience. (Even more curious is that the Regal moniker has dubious value, having been hung on all manner of mediocre and mostly badge-engineered cars over the past four decades.) Yet for all the skepticism inherent in the "new" GM going back to its old playbook, the Regal might actually be the car that makes this offense click.



With a base price of $26,245, the midsize Regal CXL is surely an affordable entry-luxury sedan. It's turned out well enough that we can certainly see it tricking the uninformed into thinking it costs much more. Of course, GM is playing its own tricks, meaning that the price goes up pretty quickly for the more desirable trim levels. For instance, you'll have to add $2,500 to the bill for the turbocharged, 220-horsepower version of the car (the model we're not reviewing here). GM has also promised a cheaper Regal, one with cloth seats, and a sportier model, the Regal GS, for 2012. Pricing for the GS model has yet to be announced, but with a loaded Regal CXL Turbo running some $34,000, the new top-of-the-heap won't come cheap.

The Regal makes a good enough first impression, with several visual cues to tell you it's a near-luxury sedan, like the chrome window trim and attractively simple alloy wheels. Buick's color palate is heavy on metallic earth tones, no doubt chosen to make sure that every Regal on the road at least leaves the factory looking classy. Even parts of the design that seem, shall we say, "inspired" by other brands (like the BMW-esque bustle on the trunk or the wannabe Infiniti front end) tell you you're looking at something better than a Chevrolet.

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