Consumer Reports gives Buick Regal top marks

(August 27, 2014) YONKERS, NY ─ The recently freshened Buick Regal and Volvo S60 are giving their sportier and more prestigious competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz serious competition, in Consumer Reports latest tests.

Consumer Reports engineers found the Regal’s performance, handling and easy infotainment system appealing.  That helped the Regal beat the Volvo S60 in a head-to-head road test. Ultimately, the Regal wound up finishing just one point shy of the class-leading BMW 328i and tied the Mercedes-Benz C250 for second place in the organization’s overall ratings of upscale sport sedans — while costing thousands less.

“The Regal is a thoroughly developed and satisfying mid-sized sports sedan that’s more reminiscent of a German sports car than the softly sprung luxo-barges that Buick was once known for,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing.

Consumer Reports engineers found the Regal’s revised 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes the car quicker and more fuel-efficient than when it first came out. The turbo engine accelerates effortlessly, posting a 0-to-60-mph time of 7.4 seconds. The smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission is quick and responsive.

Ratings and road test reports for the Buick Regal and Volvo S60 are available at The reports, along with evaluations of the new Mercedes-Benz S550 (“Excellent” overall score), Audi A3 (“Very Good”), and Maserati Ghibli (“Very Good”), appear in the September issue of Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports measured the Regal’s fuel economy at 24 mpg overall, which is mid-pack for the category. But unlike many turbocharged engines, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Regal doesn’t require premium fuel. The Regal rides very well, with a trace of firmness at lower speeds. Handling is agile and tied down. On the track, the Regal was quite capable, snaking through Consumer Reports’ avoidance maneuver at a commendable speed of 53.5 mph with plenty of grip.

Consumer Reports found the Volvo S60’s new, 240-hp, 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission, is a marked improvement in drivability, fuel economy, and refinement over the previous five-cylinder engine. Power is generous and smooth, with a well-integrated turbo that makes the car very responsive and provides effortless power. Fuel economy is decent, at 25 mpg overall.

Testers found the S60’s handling is fairly nimble and secure. The ride was so firm that it borders on being stiff. The S60’s interior is well-finished, and reasonably quiet with a simple and a clean design. Front seats are roomy and very comfortable, but the rear seat is snug, with tight leg and head room. The coupe-like styling limits rear visibility and contributes to a cramped rear seat. Trunk room is good.

While the Regal is currently Consumer Reports Recommended, the organization doesn’t yet have reliability data on the S60’s new powertrain. Previous generations of the S60 have had average reliability.