2012 Buick Regal with eAssist at 2011 Chicago Auto Show

2012 Regal eAssist

  • Competes with: Acura TSX, Volkswagen CC, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid  
  • Looks like: Buick doesn’t like the word "hybrid"
  • Drivetrain: 182-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 15-hp electric motor with a six-speed automatic transmission 
  • Hits dealerships: Fall 2011 

As Buick continues to redefine itself as an upscale automotive brand, there’s also a growing emphasis on fuel efficiency for the automaker. The Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows brought us the Buick Verano compact sedan and a standard mild-hybrid system for the LaCrosse. That same hybrid system can also be found in the 2012 Buick Regal.

Dubbed the 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist, the German-derived sedan will get GM’s next-generation mild hybrid technology as an optional powertrain. GM says the model is capable of 26/37 mpg city/highway, which is 1 mpg better in city mileage than the larger LaCrosse.

Compared with Buick’s self-defined competitors — the Volkswagen CC (22/31 mpg) and the Acura TSX (22/31) — the Regal is much more fuel efficient. It doesn’t beat the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (41/36); however, the Lincoln will probably cost more than the eAssist Regal.

The new powertrain combines a traditional four-cylinder, an automatic transmission and GM’s new mild hybrid system. It’s nearly identical to the system found on the entry-level 2012 LaCrosse. EAssist comes equipped with lithium-ion battery packs, a small 15-horsepower electric motor, regenerative braking, a fuel-cutoff system and start-stop technology, which achieve a 25% fuel-economy gain over the 2011 Regal equipped with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a manual (20/32 mpg).

The new lithium-ion battery pack compromises trunk space on the Regal eAssist. It’s now at 11.1 cubic feet versus 14.25 cubic feet on a regular Regal. That’s pretty small, though nearly on par with the 11.8 cubic feet found in the MKZ Hybrid. The eAssist still has folding rear seats, but the passenger-side rear seat is blocked by the battery pack.

Unlike the LaCrosse where the hybrid technology is standard, the Regal’s hybrid system is optional. For the 2012 model year, there’s also a high-performance Regal GS as well as models with a 2.4-liter and 2.0-liter turbo powertrain options.

On top of the hybrid system, the Regal with eAssist comes with unique 17-inch wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires, an air-conditioning system with fuel-economy mode, an Eco gauge on the instrument cluster and a 7-inch display that shows hybrid functions.

The car will debut at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show and goes on sale this fall.

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Comments 

Sheth

Regal 2.4l gets 19/30 not 20/32. Only Turbo with manual gets that.

cody

it looks like GM is getting quite a bit better fuel economy out of their second generation mild hybrid tech. i understand them staying away from the term 'hybrid' since you all beat them down when they applied it to the 1st gen mild hybrid system.

what is the powertrain price increase when compared to the conventional 2.4L+6sp auto? if it's not that significant, i hope they offer this in the rest of the GM vehicles that use this powertrain.

Dave

I've test driven the Regal, TSX, and VW CC and ended up buying the CC. To be honest I found the Regal to be an absolute joke. The rear seat is cramped and the car has no power. If not for the VW incentives I probably would have pulled the trigger on the TSX and I'm sure would be equally happy. GM needs to go back to the drawing board.

H

Are you being honest?

G2

I don't understand why Buick advertises the Regal as a European touring car when it only provides 182hp. That's 18 less than the Hyundai Sonata.

Sheth

Dave:

My friends have cc and I drove it. You have to be kidding to claim regal can't compare. Sounds like you had no intentions of buying the car and drove it just to bash it. The cc has a turbo so its obvious it has far more torque than the na regal. In urban driving you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two cars. The regals interior and handling are on par withh cc as is the rear seat space. Its funny that you got a 4 seat car and then complained about the rear seat accomodations in the buick.

Sheth

G2:

The euro aspects of the car pertain to its handling. Most cars in europe are slow. We are used to way more power in our average vehicle here in the us. A 0 to 60 of 10 secs is hardly uncommon in europe where many vehicles have small diesels with meager hp.

Billy

I'm pretty sure this was at the DC auto show?

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