• The 2013 Buick Regal starts at $29,990.
  • The hybrid eAssist engine is now standard.
  • The Regal goes on sale in September.

Buick recently announced that its revised 2013 Regal sedan will start at $29,990 including destination when it goes on sale later this year. While that figure represents a price bump of nearly $2,000 from last year's model, the increase is almost entirely due to the removal of a base model from the sedan's lineup.

According to Buick, last year's 182-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine isn't available in the 2013 Regal. Instead, base-level versions of the upscale sedan will include the automaker's mild hybrid eAssist system as standard equipment. Formerly a $2,000 option on the Regal sedan, Buick's eAssist engine is capable of producing 197 hp and returning up to 25 miles per gallon in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway.

Buick says the eAssist technology, which is also used on the recently redesigned Chevrolet Malibu, provides a similar experience to conventional gasoline engines but returns better mileage. One reason for the fuel economy boost is standard start/stop technology, which turns off the engine when idle. The eAssist system also uses regenerative braking to capture energy that would otherwise be lost when stopping. Like other mild hybrids, eAssist uses an electric motor that reduces the load on the standard gasoline power plant.

"With eAssist, Buick is redefining what a 'conventional powertrain' means to customers," said Stephen Poulos, eAssist global chief engineer for Buick's parent company, General Motors. "It changes the fuel economy--but not the experience--for the 97 percent of new car buyers who aren't buying hybrids."

While Buick didn't give a reason for discontinuing the Regal's base engine, the decision likely helps the automaker distinguish the sedan from the smaller Verano. Released late last year as a 2012 model, the Verano offers a starting price of just under $24,000, putting it in close competition with entry-level versions of the Regal.

No other major changes should affect the 2013 Buick Regal, which goes on sale in September. In addition to its eAssist engine, the Regal offers a 220-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder power plant in Turbo Premium models, and a 270-hp version of the same engine in the wild Regal GS. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery with heated front seats, Bluetooth, 18-inch alloy wheels and curtain side airbags.

What it means to you: With its newly standard eAssist hybrid power train, the Regal is a great choice for shoppers looking for a premium sedan that's good on gas.


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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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