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Despite its performance-oriented nameplate, the sportiest Regal can't recreate the excitement found on the legendary Buick GS models of old. Still, this sleek-looking hatchback—cleverly disguised as a sedan—packs a potent engine and above-average driving responses. Based on the detuned Regal Sportback, this version is distinguished by bigger front intakes and unique 19-inch wheels as well as trim-specific badging and red-painted brake calipers.
Engines, Ride, and Handling
Every Regal GS is motivated by a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 that develops 310 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. Its engine pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission that, oddly, lacks paddle shifters. Instead, manually selecting gears is handled through the center-console-mounted shifter. The standard all-wheel-drive system not only improves traction in slippery conditions, it also helps the GS corner better. The version we tested accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, which was surprisingly only 0.2 second quicker than our front-drive, four-cylinder Regal. The GS rides on adaptive dampers that can be adjusted via the three selectable drive modes—Touring, Sport, and GS. These settings also alter the transmission's reactions and steering effort. A pair of Brembo front-brake calipers helped haul the GS from 70 mph to zero in a notable 164 feet. While this hi-po Regal failed to get our blood pumping from behind the wheel, it's definitely more entertaining (but also more expensive) than the regular Regal.
Interior and Technology
Inside, the GS boasts snazzy and supportive front seats that have heating, cooling, and massaging functions. A flat-bottom steering wheel and metal pedals hint at sportiness even though the rest of the cabin is mostly subdued. A responsive 8.0-inch touchscreen is standard and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Desirable options include a head-up display, wireless charging, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system. A host of driver-assistance technology is available, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.