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Just in: Freshened 2014 Buick Regal provides more royal treatment

Just in: Freshened 2014 Buick Regal provides more royal treatmentJust in: Freshened 2014 Buick Regal provides more royal treatment

With all his millions, I always had a hard time believing that Tiger Woods really drove Buicks. He certainly could afford to drive, say, a different Bentley every day of the week. But there is an increasing appeal to the upscale selections from General Motors, such as the freshened 2014 Buick Regal we just purchased for our test program.

Starting at $31,560, it packs the standard 259-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine—an upgrade over the previous and optional original engines—paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Adding some Tiger-grade luxe, our car also includes a remote start, dual-zone climate system, and heated front seats. With a sunroof and 18-inch wheels, the final price came to $34,485.

Other than a nip and tuck to the handsome body, the big news for this model year is more horsepower for the turbo engine, a revised interior with simpler controls, more available safety features, and optional all-wheel drive. (We passed on AWD since the most Regals are sold with front drive.) GM says the updated turbo engine not only delivers more power, but it’s more fuel efficient. Our last tested turbo Regal delivered 23 mpg overall.

Since its introduction in 2010, the Regals we've tested previously have been enjoyable rides, and we’re off to a good start with this example.

The Regal is based on the Opel Insignia, developed by GM's German Opel division and now built in Canada. As such, it delivers a satisfying European-type driving experience, with a taut, steady ride, agile handling, and excellent fit and finish. And Tiger would be pleased that the trunk can readily handle a couple sets of clubs.

Check back as we rack up the miles on our new Regal.

—Mike Quincy

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