The 2019 Buick Regal GS is an impressive performance machine for a price that starts at around $40,000. Its performance credentials include a 310-horsepower V6, a sophisticated torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension and powerful Brembo brakes that result in a sport sedan that is shockingly responsive, competent and, yes, fun to drive. Plus, it looks pretty cool too, especially when done up in spicy Sport Red paint.
Beyond its performance credentials, the Regal GS boasts the same sleek, hatchback body style introduced last year when the Regal was completely redesigned. Not only does it result in a handsomely distinctive silhouette, but it provides cargo space and versatility that rivals some compact SUVs. Basically, the GS provides show, go and stow.
Really, if you’ve been admiring the recent wave of "4-door coupes," like the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, but can’t quite make your budget work, the Regal Sportback is honestly a pretty good substitute. Not only does it ape the look, but you’ll get stronger performance and more features for less money than the base models of those cars. Sure, its cabin quality is more akin to a mainstream brand and you don’t get the fancier badge, but on the whole, the GS is an intriguing choice.
What’s New for 2019?
The Regal GS is unchanged for 2019 after being redesigned last year. See the 2019 Buick Regal models for sale near you
What We Like
Versatile and attractive hatchback body style; shockingly adept handling; superb seats; strong value given its performance
What We Don’t
Disappointing interior quality for a "premium" car
The 2019 Buick Regal GS comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine good for 310 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque. It has a 9-speed automatic and standard AWD. It returns 19 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Regal GS Sportback is the high-performance version of the Regal Sportback. There is also the Regal TourX wagon.
The Regal GS ($39,070) comes standard with 19-in wheels, a torque-vectoring AWD system, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, an electronic locking rear differential, Brembo sport brakes, sportier styling than the base Regal, LED running lights, heated mirrors, a backup camera, proximity entry and push-button start, remote ignition, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front sport seats with adjustable bolsters and massage functionality, leather upholstery, a 40/20/40-split back seat, a sport steering wheel, an 8-in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar emergency services, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, two USB ports and a 7-speaker sound system.
The Appearance package adds auto-leveling LED headlights and wireless smartphone charging. The Sights and Sounds package adds integrated navigation, an 8-speaker Bose sound system and HD radio. The Driver Confidence II package adds adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection and lane-keeping assist. A sunroof is a standalone option.
The 2019 Regal GS comes standard with front and front-side airbags, front knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, a rear cross-traffic warning system and OnStar emergency communications (includes automatic crash notification, an emergency response button and stolen vehicle location services). Safety systems are available on all but the base trim. The Driver Confidence II package adds forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection and lane-keeping assist.
The Regal has not yet been crash tested by a third party.
Behind the Wheel
Consider for a moment that an Audi A5 Sportback starts at about $3,000 more than the Regal GS, yet comes with less equipment and is down nearly 60 hp. That means you’re getting some serious performance value with the Regal GS, and that’s not even mentioning its adaptive suspension that constantly varies itself to match the road ahead (and provides regular and Sport settings), nor the Brembo brakes that have serious stopping power. You also get a smart torque-vectoring AWD system that proportions power side-to-side as well as front-to-back — (something Audi’s vaunted Quattro AWD doesn’t do in the A5) that contributes to what is a sport sedan with shockingly adept handling. We had far more fun behind the wheel of the Regal GS than we ever expected, and indeed, found it more gratifying to drive than the A5 and any number of other entry-level luxury sedans with sporting intentions like the Acura TLX or the Infiniti Q50.
Unfortunately, despite the luxury-beating driving experience, the interior is no better than what you’d find in midsize family sedans like a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry. Actually, it’s probably worse. As much as Buick touts itself as a premium or even luxury brand, the Regal’s interior has a long way to go before it could be described as such. Then again, if you’re wondering why the Buick costs so much less than that Audi described above, this is a main reason why.
At least interior space is excellent, as the standard "Sportback" body style provides far more versatility than you’d get with a typical sedan. In fact, with 61 cu ft. of maximum space, it can carry as much or more than many compact SUVs.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Kia Stinger — The Stinger has a similar hatchback body style and its driving experience can be filed under the heading of "shockingly good" as well (it is available in RWD and AWD variations). Unlike Buick, though, Kia did a much better job of creating a luxury interior.
2019 Audi A5 Sportback — Yes, it costs more and can’t match the GS’ performance, but it’s also the real deal that the Regal is arguably copying. Interior quality, general refinement and high-end tech offerings are superior.
2019 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe — Here is another luxury "4-door coupe" with a hatchback. Like the Audi, it costs considerably more than the Regal, but is also, subjectively, the higher-quality automobile.
Used Audi S4 — The S5 Sportback is too new to realistically find a used one, but there should be S4 sedans available that will offer the same attributes — albeit with less distinctive style and versatility.
The Regal GS is a sleeper car to be sure, as you get an awful lot of performance, style and versatility for a pretty decent price. We’d suggest opting for at least the Driver Confidence II package, because although it raises the price even further, it should still come under that of the most basic A5 Sportback. Find a Buick Regal for sale