When we first drove the previous iteration of the Buick Regal Grand Sport back in 2011, we rather enjoyed it. It wasn’t the sportiest of cars, mind you, taking nearly seven seconds to reach 60 mph (with FWD and a 6-speed stick), and exhibiting a character on-road that was more plush and aloof than firm and lithe. Still, it was a polished, well-equipped, comfortable cruiser with enough premium materials and equipment to justify its $35k price tag.
But “good” alone doesn’t sell cars – not when you’ve got a starting price that puts you in Audi/BMW/Lexus territory – and the previous-generation Buick Regal GS didn’t exactly bring down the house when it shipped to dealers across the US, nor is it in especially high demand among used car shoppers today.
Today, that fact presents a bit of an opportunity; CarBuzz reports that fine used examples of the 2012-’17 Buick Regal GS are available for a relatively small portion of their original sticker prices, ranging from $10k to $25k depending on year, mileage, and equipment. We conducted our own search, figuring that having to accept a slushbox is a worthy trade-off for all-wheel drive (AWD models weren’t available with a stick), and found plenty of 2014 model-year examples below 55k miles for less than $20k. Given Buick’s stellar reputation for reliability, and the AWD Regal GS’ quick 6.2-second 0-to-60 performance, we’re forced to agree; that’s a pretty sweet deal.
And bear in mind: the 2012-’17 Buick Regal GS packs a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, for which plenty of aftermarket tunes exist, according to CarBuzz. This means that the previous-gen GS’ 270 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque can be beefed up significantly for not much extra coin.
A brand-new Buick Regal GS was just launched for 2018, powered by a normally-aspirated, 3.6-liter V6 and a 9-speed automatic, driving all four wheels. Yet with a starting price of just under $40k, we can’t help but think you might be better off with a nearly-new 2012-’17 example and an ECU tune. Your wallet will thank you.