If you’re interested in an entry-level luxury sedan, you’ll probably notice that Buick offers two: the 2016 Buick Regal and the 2016 Buick Verano. Both boast handsome lines, offer fuel-efficient engines and tout reasonable pricing that starts well below $30,000 with shipping. So what exactly separates the Regal and the Verano? We’ve created a close comparison between both models in order to help you find out.
Although the Buick Regal and Verano clearly share some styling cues, we think the two sedans offer more disparities than similarities. The most obvious difference is size: The Verano is smaller, and it shows, with a design that clearly makes the sedan look narrower in width and shorter in length than its larger Regal stablemate. But there are a few other differences, too. The most notable difference is in the sedans’ wheel designs, their rear-end designs and the Regal’s highly distinctive, unique character line that runs down the side of both front doors. While you may have difficulty telling these two models apart from afar, you’ll have no trouble spotting the difference when they’re parked right next to one another.
The Regal and Verano also offer some differences on the inside. Once again, size is a big one, as the Verano is clearly smaller than the Regal, especially in rear-seat room, where the larger Regal has a noticeable advantage. But the two models also differ when it comes to dashboard design, as the Verano offers a more traditional General Motors center control stack design compared to the Regal’s button-filled look. As far as we can tell, quality of cabin materials is about the same between both the Regal and the Verano.
Both the Regal and the Verano offer a base-level powertrain and a sporty optional engine. The base-level powertrain on both models is a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, which is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy reaches as high as 21 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the Verano or 19 mpg city/ 31 mpg hwy with the Regal.
Drivers who want more performance can step up to a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which makes 250 hp in the Verano and 260 hp in the Regal. That engine is offered with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission in both sedans, and it boasts the same 21 mpg city/30 mpg hwy in both the Verano and the Regal.
Despite differing sizes and shapes, the only real mechanical difference between the Verano and Regal is drivetrain. The Verano is only offered with front-wheel drive, while the Regal touts front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.
Features & Technology
When it comes to features and technology, there are few items you can get in the Verano and not in the Regal, and vice versa. This is a common new strategy in the auto industry, as automakers are now offering most available features in all models in order to give drivers a wide selection of equipment regardless of the size class they’re interested in.
The result is that both the Verano and the Regal offer a long list of options and extras, ranging from leather upholstery and a Bose audio system to a power sunroof, forward-collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, heated seats and more. Admittedly, the Regal adds a few additional options, such as available adaptive cruise control and an automatic forward-collision braking system, plus aforementioned all-wheel drive. But otherwise we suspect you won’t find too many features available in the Regal that are missing from the Verano’s options list.
We enjoy driving both the Verano and the Regal, though the two models offer surprisingly different driving experiences. Specifically, the Verano seems to be positioned a little more toward comfort and smoothness, while the Regal is a little sportier and more enjoyable in the corners. That might be the opposite of what you’d expect, but the Regal’s European roots help to give it an edge over the Verano and its larger stablemate, the LaCrosse.
Still, neither model disappoints, especially if you happen to opt for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, which is downright fast. It’s just that the Regal seems a little better equipped to handle this speed thanks to a more refined suspension and improved driving dynamics.
In crash testing carried out by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, both the Verano and the Regal earned a perfect 5-star overall score. Unfortunately, neither model has undergone the full battery of crash tests carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
As for safety features, the Verano and Regal offer most of the same equipment, with a few exceptions in the Regal’s favor. For instance, both models offer a blind spot monitoring system, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. But only the Regal touts automatic forward-collision braking and adaptive cruise control, giving it a leg up for shoppers who want all of today’s latest and greatest safety features.
If you’re interested in an entry-level luxury sedan, both the 2016 Buick Regal and the 2016 Buick Verano should be on your shopping list. The one you’ll want will largely depend on your priorities. For a cheaper car with a smoother, more luxurious ride, there’s the Verano, which starts from just $22,000 with shipping and boasts a supple, comfortable driving experience. For more room and more performance, there’s the sportier Regal, which starts at around $28,000 with shipping. The Regal is also the only choice for drivers who want the year-round security of all-wheel drive. Either way, we suspect you’ll find that the entry-level Buick sedan of your choice offers strong value, a lot of features and a well-appointed cabin.