Back in November I attended an OnStar Immersion event in Detroit that was co-sponsored by Buick. I have worked with General Motors for a few years now, but was mostly driving Chevrolet and GMC vehicles* (loved every single one!). This was my first up close and personal look at Buick.
That weekend I rode in a Buick LaCrosse and was even an accessory to (simulated) Grand Theft Auto of a Buick Enclave, but spent the most time riding shotgun in a Buick Regal.
Before that weekend, the Buick brand was never on my radar much. I knew it was under the General Motors umbrella, of course, but that’s it. I knew that Buick has had a long-standing reputation for being a brand for, ahem, older folks. Great news I discovered back in November: these aren’t your grandparents’ Buicks anymore!
When I found out that the average age of the Buick Regal buyer is 43, I thought, “Huh, that’s not as old as I thought; that’s in MY age neighborhood!” When I experienced the Regal, I thought, “The Regal has a great mix of sporty and luxurious!” and “Wow, this is a great-looking car!” and finally, “Huh, I think I may have to consider this car when we go car shopping in the spring!”
Yes, all, of that within a couple of hours.
I had previously fallen in love with the Cadillac ATS but the more I thought about it, it occurred to me that as much as I adore that automobile, I don’t equate the pure luxury of the Cadillac brand with me, Melisa. That’s why I started leaning towards a Chevrolet Malibu. I have driven a Malibu a couple of times and thought it was a fantastic vehicle and fun to drive. (My other choice in the Chevy family would have been a Camaro but um, that’s more of a fantasy selection.) That said, I wanted “more”. More of what, I didn’t know.
When I was introduced to the Buick Regal, it was love at first sight. And it was the missing puzzle piece. The Regal, in my mind, falls comfortably between a Malibu and the ATS. In fact, I’m not the only one who thinks so: I found an article online just now that states basically the same thing:
“Buick is wedged right between GM’s mass-market Chevrolet brand and upscale Cadillac.”
The Regal is the perfect mix of what I wanted. I ended up borrowing one from the kind folks at GM (waving at Fred) for my road trip to Columbus.
It was a pleasure being able to take advantage of the extended test drive and by the time I returned home I had made my final decision. Last week, we jumped in and bought one (a Regal GS in Crystal Red Tintcoat, to be more specific).
This is by far the nicest car I’ve ever owned, er, financed.
Things I love about it, in no particular order:
1. The Adaptive Cruise Control. BIG PUFFY HEART LOVE that I don’t have to do silly things like step on the brake or the gas or readjust the cruise control manually anymore when I’m not the only one on the road.
2. The IntelliLink infotainment system, which has my beloved XM Radio so I can listen to Ryan Seacrest live on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles as well as four of five of the original MTV VJs (RIP J.J. Jackson!) on the 80’s at 8 station. The screen also has click-and-drag functionality, which is pretty amazing. (I was given a tutorial on the system at the dealership and there is SO MUCH for me to customize, too!)
3. The steering wheel, which is heated, and has all of the buttons I need at my fingertips so I don’t have to reach across to the center of the dashboard, which means I’m driving more safely.
4. The seat warmers, because SEAT WARMERS.
5. The radar- and camera-based safety features: Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Collision Mitigation Braking.
Oh, and there’s one more pretty cool safety feature worth mentioning. J and his girlfriend were checking out the car when I brought it home, and J asked, “Hey Mom, how many dead bodies can you fit in the trunk?”
That’s actually a standard question in our house whenever I am test-driving a General Motors vehicle, asked to get an idea of trunk size. We don’t condone actually putting dead bodies in the trunk of a car, or anywhere.
I said, “It’s got a huge trunk! Let me show you!”
I opened up the trunk and as we were all ooh-ing and ahh-ing over it, he noticed this:
(Sorry, it’s blurry and I’m too lazy to go take another picture.)
He exclaimed, “Oh! this is cool! I saw this on ‘Top Gear’! You pull this if you get stuck in the trunk. See the guy running away?”
His girlfriend said, “I want to try it!!!”
Always thinking, I told her I thought that would be hysterical and asked if she minded if I took pictures and shared it in my blog post. She agreed to it. (Thanks, H!)
Ever the gentleman, J helped her get into the trunk.
I reassured her that I had the remote in hand and was ready to press the trunk release button if she panicked (Project my own fears, much?). She didn’t seem worried in the slightest and that’s when I knew that those two are watching way too many scary movies. They’re desensitized!
Anyway, after getting situated, she said she was ready.
J closed the trunk and we waited.
And then, after just a couple of moments, the trunk flew open.
She said, “It even glows in the dark! That’s so cool!”
So there you go. If you happen to put a live body into the trunk of a Buick Regal (which, ahem, we don’t condone unless it’s under very controlled circumstances like this, you know?), that live body can see the emergency interior release and escape without any help from you, thank you very much!
I am over the moon about my new car (but I bet if you’re still reading, you know that). I spent a total of nearly seven hours in it yesterday, doing an airport run, a back-to-college run, and a “going an hour out of my way to see a friend” run, and it was pure joy. So if you need me and can’t seem to find me, look in my car.
*I’ve never been loaned a Cadillac, for some reason. Smiling and raising eyebrows at Connie Burke. Ahem.
Non-disclosure disclosure: This post was not sponsored in any way. I mean, I just signed paperwork for a multi-year car loan, you know?