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Buick Updates Regal for 2013

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer February 2012
  • A new base engine features hybrid power.
  • The sporty Regal GS adds an available automatic.
  • Other changes to the sedan are minimal.

Although Buick only recently released its stylish Regal midsize sedan, the automaker is already making several updates for the 2013 model year. While the biggest news is the availability of an efficient new engine, Buick also says the enthusiast-oriented, high-performance Regal GS will gain a new transmission aimed at enhancing its appeal to a wider range of buyers.

According to Buick, the base-level Regal will lose its traditional gasoline-powered four-cylinder engine for 2013 in favor of a new standard hybrid powerplant. Dubbed "eAssist," the new engine uses the sedan's outgoing 2.4-liter four-cylinder as its basis but adds a small lithium-ion battery and an electric motor designed to improve efficiency without reducing horsepower.

While Buick hasn't announced final details for Regal's new eAssist motor, the automaker released the engine last year in its larger LaCrosse sedan, where it produces 197 horsepower - a boost of 15 horses compared to its gas-powered predecessor. The eAssist engine also achieves 25 city miles per gallon in the LaCrosse and a whopping 36 mpg on the highway, making it far more efficient than the gas engine's 19 city mpg and 30 mpg in highway driving.

The other major update to the 2013 Regal is a newly available 6-speed automatic transmission for the sporty Regal GS. Released for 2012, the high-performance Regal GS was initially only available with a 6-speed manual mated to its potent 270-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. But while the stick shift is the preferred transmission of many automotive enthusiasts, the automatic will broaden the GS's appeal among consumers who appreciate the sedan's sporty styling and muscular engine but don't want the hassle of rowing their own gears.

According to Buick, the 2013 Regal was otherwise unchanged and will go on sale later this year. While the automaker hasn't announced finalized pricing for the revised sedan, we don't expect the base price to increase substantially from today's figure of around $27,000 including destination despite the new powertrain.

First sold by General Motors in Europe as the Opel Insignia, the Regal made its debut in the US market for 2011 in an effort to inject new products into Buick's lineup. The upscale midsize sedan has proven popular so far by recording more than 40,000 sales in 2011, its first full year on the market.

What it means to you: The highly efficient eAssist motor gives buyers a whole new reason to check out Buick's already competent Regal.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Buick Updates Regal for 2013 - Autotrader