Could Buicks be cool again?
Any real car person will argue at length why Buicks are cool. And to be fair, most young people's experience with Buicks is limited to either visiting grandparents (where they'd take you into town to pick out your favorite candy) or inheriting a non-supercharged Buick Regal from the tail-end of GM's dark years.
What most people don't realize, though, is that Buicks used to be serious street brawlers that looked great and were ultra-sophisticated -- think Dean Martin here: former bootlegger, speakeasy croupier, and street fighter-turned-legendary Rat Pack crooner who's too old for most young people to remember but who is absolutely brilliant. The Buick 455 cu in V8 engine, for example, was rated at 510 lb. ft of torque. That was more than any other factory muscle car, and due to engineering advances, the engine weighed only 25 lbs. more than a 350 cu in Chevrolet V8. Not to mention, Buick has produced some seriously striking cars that will often make the list of any publications "100 most beautiful cars ever produced."
As you can imagine, those cars were from some time ago, but with the release of the 2018 Buick Regal, it makes me wonder if we could be seeing the beginning of another Buick renaissance![gallery ids="21979,21980,21978,21984"]
Okay, so maybe I wouldn't go so far as to call it a renaissance, but the Buick-Opel marriage is finally paying off, and it might just be what the brand needs to head that way. Sadly, the days where healthy V8s power seemingly docile sedans (with the exception of a few cars like the SS) are limited, and all automakers are engineering to meet European economy standards. That means turbo 4 bangers are everywhere, and while it doesn't provide that rumble, for your average person that's not necessarily such a bad thing. The entry-level Buick Regal reportedly produced 250 hp and 260 lb. ft of torque which is 10 more horsepower and five more lb. ft of torque than a BMW 328i, and that's more than enough for most people.[gallery ids="21971,21972,21973,21974,21975"]
In the end, the new 2018 Regal/Opel Insignia -- whatever you want to call it -- is targeting the less-than-BMW but more-than-a-Camry segment, and the design conveys that perfectly. It almost looks like a mix between a Volvo and a Subaru. And unlike the interiors on some other cars, this one actually looks like a car and not the Apple Store. I guess we'll just have to see if this Buick has what it takes to win over the older millennials and their parents alike.