Last summer, Buick announced that they were releasing a new Regal GS with an impressive 310HP and all-wheel drive to help put that power to the ground, and we couldn’t contain our excitement. Could this new GS be the modern day Grand National that we’ve all been waiting for? To find out, we headed down to Atlanta a few weeks ago to put this ferocious Buick to the test.
Buick has been shaking things in recent years as they attempt to shed their “old” image, with more attractive offerings than they are traditionally known for, and going after untapped niches (aka white spaces). The new Regal continues this trend, getting completely revamped for 2018, and ditching the traditional sedan layout for three variants – a hatch (Sportback), a wagon (TourX), and a performance sedan (GS).
We had a chance to drive the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback a few months back, and I found the car to offer a nice balance of comfort, sportiness, and utility. So I couldn’t wait to see how an extra 60 horsepower and a bunch of performance tweaks would transform the car.
In a word.. Impressive! The 2018 Buick Regal GS most definitely brings the heat, with 310HP and 282 lb-ft of torque from its 3.6-liter V6 engine, more aggressive styling front and rear, performance brakes with Brembo front calipers, a sports-tuned suspension with Interactive Drive Control, Recaro-style performance seats, a throaty exhaust, 19″ wheels, a nine-speed automatic (sadly no manual this time around), and AWD.
With all of the other automakers moving to turbocharged engines, we were thrilled to see Buick do the exact opposite with the GS, opting for a large-displacement, naturally-aspirated motor. Power delivery is immediate and linear, with the car rocketing from 0-60mph in a respectable five seconds.
Buick’s Interactive Drive Control system lets you choose between three drive modes: Regular, Sport, and GS. Clicking the ‘Sport’ button increases steering effort, firms up the shocks, and quickens the shifts. And as you would expect, the GS mode dials things up another notch. Naturally, we spent most of the time in GS mode, grinning from ear to ear as we made our way through the hilly switchbacks of Georgia, the car hugging those corners, with tons of grip and no body roll whatsoever.
Visually, Buick did a nice job with the Regal GS, giving it just the right dose of sportiness without overdoing it. There’s a more aggressive front bumper and grill, with that familiar air ducts from the previous generation GS. Out back, the rear fascia and spoiler really work to hide the fact that this is a
hatch Sportback. The red brake calipers hiding behind those 19-inch wheels complete the look.
Step inside, and the first thing you notice are the GS-specific performance seats, which look like they belong in a racecar rather than in a Buick. Not only are these bad boys supportive, but they’re heated and ventilated and come standard with a massage function. The interior also features a standard heated flat-bottom sport steering wheel and GS-specific pedals and sill plates.
The 2018 Regal GS can be equipped with all of the technology bells and whistles you want, keeping drivers entertained (with an 8-inch infotainment screen), connected (with OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi), and safe (with the optional Driver Confidence II package).
Overall, we think Buick knocked it out of the park with the new Regal GS, delivering a confident, spirited, and efficient luxury vehicle that is ready to face off against the competition (Acura, Infiniti, Lincoln, etc) head on. And with a starting price of just $39,990, it undercuts those “premium” brands by a significant margin.
While it’s not quite the Grand National successor that we were hoping for, the Regal GS is one fun ride, and it will have you looking at Buick in a whole new light.
“The cure for the common commute” indeed!
How To Know When It’s Time To Get A New Family Car
Whether you have a sensible sedan, a standard minivan, or a versatile SUV, you place a lot of trust in your family car. However, no matter how reliable your vehicle is, you’ll have to replace it with a new model eventually. How do know when it’s the right time to upgrade? Here are some of the top signs it’s a good time to buy a new family car.
1. You’re Paying Expensive Repair Costs
No matter how well you look after your vehicle, time, wear and tear, and age eventually take their toll. When you find yourself having to make minor repairs often or taking your car into the shop several times a year for substantial and expensive fixes, it may be time to consider moving on.
Keeping a car past its prime can cost a lot of money in terms of repair costs. Older cars are generally less efficient as well, so you could be overspending on gas. Mileage is another important factor to consider. Some makes and models can be reliable past 200,000 miles, whereas others become unstable before this milestone. Do some research on your car to determine how likely it is that you’ll run into constant problems if you continue driving it.
2. Your Family Is Growing
Your compact car may have worked fine when you had your first child, but squeezing multiple car seats in the back can be a challenge. If your family is growing in number, or simply growing up, chances are you have more car seats, luggage, backpacks, and sports gear you need to fit in your vehicle. If you’re constantly trying to maneuver things around to make riding in your car comfortable, it may be time to consider an upgrade.
If you choose to upgrade your family car, you can look forward to several benefits beyond just having more space. Newer cars generally have more features, and models designed for families (such as minivans) may have numerous helpful additions. You may find that having a new car with more cupholders, configurable seats, automatic doors, and entertainment systems makes your time driving with the family exponentially more comfortable.
3. You’re Moving to a Different Location
If you are moving to a place with a drastically different climate, it could be wise to buy a new family car. For example, if you’re moving to a sunny coastal climate, you may want to trade in your four-wheel-drive for something smaller and more efficient. Alternately, if you’re moving to a mountain state, it’s probably a good idea to consider switching your convertible out for a reliable and maneuverable SUV.
4. You’re Financially Ready
One of the most challenging parts of upgrading your family car is the financial burden. Whether you buy new or used, chances are taking home a new vehicle will require paying a hefty chunk of cash or signing a big loan. Either way, your personal financial status plays a large part in deciding when it’s time to buy a new car.
However, you can look at it the other way as well. If you are in a good financial spot with excellent credit and a comfortable safety net in the bank, you may want to think about investing in a new car. Buying at a time when you can afford a large down payment and qualify for a favorable loan can make more financial sense than waiting until repairs force you to buy a new car quickly. If you wait, you may not be in such sound financial waters as you are now.
Being able to afford a new car or qualify for a good loan also gives you the flexibility to choose the best option for your family. Maybe you want to move to an electric car to save money on gas and help the environment. Perhaps you want to get an SUV to make it easier and safer to spend weekends camping in the mountains. When you have the time and resources to do all the research and choose the best model for your family, it can take a lot of stress out of the whole process.
Deciding when to upgrade your family car can require a lot of thought. However, there are some standard signs that can indicate it’s time to start considering a new vehicle. Mounting repair costs can make it financially more affordable to get a new car. You may also want to consider upgrading when you’re in a good financial spot with the assets to either pay cash or secure a favorable loan.
The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe Will Set You Back $111,900
Last month, BMW unveiled the long-awaited 8 Series Coupe to the delight of enthusiasts from around the world, who have been waiting nearly two decades for the Bavarian car company to bring back the iconic luxury sports coupe.
BMW gave us a full run-down on the the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe, which is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that puts out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, launching the car from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.
The BMW M850i is equipped with xDrive rear-biased intelligent all-wheel drive, mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that has been updated with wider ratios and sportier gear shifts. Standard performance features include M Sport brakes and Adaptive M suspension with Active-Roll Stabilization.
Standard equipment on the BMW M850i xDrive Coupe includes Full LED headlights with BMW LaserLight technology, BMW Individual Merino leather seats, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and more.
That all sounds great, but how much will it cost?
The 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe starts will start at $111,900 plus a $995 Destination and Handling fee, with cars arriving in dealerships nationwide on December 8th.
Naturally, BMW has a plethora of options to push that sticker price much higher, including an optional Driving Assistant Professional, a 1,400 watt Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, a carbon fiber exterior trim package, just to name a few.
The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Is The Demon’s Spawn
As you’ve probably heard, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has already reached the end of its limited-production run, with 3,300 of them produced in less than a year.
Missed out on your chance to purchase one? Well today is your lucky day, because Dodge/SRT just unveiled the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye today, a slightly less powerful Demon spawn, with “only” 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque, with an eight-speed automatic transmission as the only option.
The Hellcat Redeye will rocket from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, run the quarter-mile in 10.8 seconds at 131 mph, with a top speed of 203 mph, earning it the bragging rights as the “most powerful production V8” and “quickest production muscle car” currently in production.
Needless to say, the Mustang Shelby GT500 is going to struggle keeping up with this bad boy. Same with the Corvette ZR1, which comes up short with 755 horsepower.
Like its Demon brethren, the Hellcat Redeye has 25 major component upgrades, including a larger supercharger, strengthened connecting rods and pistons, high-speed valve train, fuel injection system and improved lubrication system.
It also has the Torque Reserve system that delivers up to 3.9 psi of boost at launch and up to 55% more engine torque, along with the SRT Power Chiller and After-Run Chiller (which use the air conditioning system to cool the intercooler and reduce engine temps).
And new for 2019, the Redeye offers two final drive ratios, a standard 2.62:1 or an available 3.09:1 for enhanced launch capabilities. Helping put all that power to the ground is a high-strength steel prop shafts and 41-spline half shafts, both of which increase torque capacity.
Furthermore, the SRT Hellcat Redeye is available with the Demon’s Widebody package, which allows for some meatier tires (275mm on the standard body cars, 305mm on the widebody cars). That extra rubber helps shave off 0.3 seconds in the 1/4 mile (10.8s vs 11.1s), so to us it seems like a no-brainer. It also looks pretty bad-ass.
No word on pricing just yet, but expect it to fall somewhere between the Hellcat and Demon. And if that ends up being too rich for your blood, you can always go with a “normal” Hellcat, which gets a modest power bump to 717 horsepower and 656 lb-ft of torque.
The 2019 Challenger lineup will roar into dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2018, so you’d better start saving your money now.