2013 Buick Regal (1SL, 1SN, 1SP, 1SR, 1SX) review, specs, photos, features

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The new 2013 Buick Regal sedan

The Buick Regal sedan delivers a premium, sporty driving experience while still achieving an estimated 36 mpg on the highway (with eAssist light electrification technology). It’s also a turbocharged performance touring sedan with power that is responsive yet responsible.

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo

Three propulsion choices balance efficiency and performance in the 2013 Regal lineup:

Regal with e Assist light electrification technology, which delivers EPA-estimated 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The Ecotec 2.4L engine with eAssist is the entry powertrain on Regal 1SL, 1SN and 1SP trim levels.

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo

Regal with Ecotec 2.0L Turbo , which takes on competitors such as the Acura TSX, Volvo S60 and Volkswagen CC. The Regal Turbo makes 220 horsepower (164 kW). It is available at no additional charge on 1SN and 1SP trim levels and is standard on 1SR.
Regal GS , a responsive, high-output turbo performance touring sedan with 270 horsepower (201 kW), 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque and standard Interactive Drive Control System. (Please see separate Regal GS article for more details.)

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo

Regal is available in five trim levels, including GS. They are: Regal (1SL), Premium I (1SN), Premium II (1SP), Premium III (1SR) and GS (1SX).

Buick IntelliLink is standard on all Regal audio systems, and uses Bluetooth wireless connectivity or USB to connect the driver’s smart phone to a seven-inch, high-resolution, full-color touch screen display radio.

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo


allows smart phone control via voice activation and steering wheel-mounted controls. It also enables streaming stereo audio from the phone through services such as PANDORA ® Internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio ®.

IntelliLink allows Buick customers to customize how and when they want their music and news/talk programming. It also seamlessly integrates portable devices while they are safely stowed, allowing drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo

IntelliLink complements the safety, security and connectivity services of OnStar, also standard on all Regal models. With a simple button touch, voice command or via an app downloadable for compatible smartphones, Regal owners can access popular OnStar services such as Turn-by-Turn navigation and Destination Download, hands-free calling, remote door unlock, vehicle diagnostics, emergency assistance and much more.

Another change for 2013 is the addition of an audio system with available GPS-enabled navigation on Regal models, when ordered with the available sunroof. It consists of IntelliLink connectivity, AM/FM/SiriusXM stereo, single CD/DVD player and MP3 player, USB port, Radio Data System and auxiliary input jack.

The standard audio system consists of IntelliLink, AM/FM/Sirius XM stereo with CD player, MP3, USB and auxiliary port, MP3/WMA playback and iPod support. A new XM Travel Link feature (SiriusXM subscription required) includes fuel locations with pricing information, weather infor­mation and movie theater locations.

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo

Regal design

The Regal’s flowing silhouette and coupe-like proportions suggest motion from all angles.

Attention to detail complements the Regal’s bold styling, with Buick design cues such as the waterfall grille, select use of chrome trim and excellent fit and finish of the exterior panels. Buick’s signature portholes are located on the hood instead of the front fenders, and all Regal models sport a black chrome grille.

Regal’s short rear deck and tucked-in body panels are characteristic of a contemporary sport sedan. Bold taillamps and intricate lighting elements underscore the car’s attention to detail.

Regal GS features unique front and rear fascias, with the front fascia incorporating prominent, vertical air intake slots. The rear fascia has a pair of integrated, satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets. Rocker panel extensions and a rear spoiler extension are also featured.

Inside Regal, the feeling of flow and motion extends inside the car, where side panels flow uninterrupted into the instrument panel. Gauges and controls have the look of expensive sport timepieces and are lit with ice-blue LED lights.

The center stack was designed to allow for a lower instrument panel profile more inviting to drivers. Firm, highly bolstered seats rival those of the top import competitors for comfort and support.

New exterior colors for 2013 are Black Diamond Tricoat (premium charge), Champagne Silver Metallic and Dark Blue Metallic.

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo

Regal interior and exterior – standard and available features

The entry Regal (1SL) is generously equipped, with standard features that include:

Six air bags, include side curtain air bags
StabiliTrak electronic stability control
Traction control
Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Intelligent Brake Assist
OnStar ( with six months of Directions and Connections service)
Fog lamps
Cruise control
Power windows with driver and front passenger express up/down
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Seven-inch color touch screen radio with Buick IntelliLink, AM/FM/Sirius XM (three months of service) stereo with CD player and auxiliary input jack, USB port and Bluetooth wireless connectivity for select phones
Leather-appointed seating
Heated driver and passenger front seats
Twelve-way power driver’s seat
Auto-dimming inside rearview mirror
Electric parking brake
Ice blue ambient lighting.

Regal trim levels progressively add standard equipment with packages. Five trim levels (including GS) and four packages (including GS) allow customers to easily configure their ideal Regal.

Regal Premium 1 (1SN) – Adds Comfort and Convenience package : power 12-way passenger seat, 120V AC power outlet, rear park assist, remote start, passive entry/push-button start, universal garage door opener, heated steering wheel (if Turbo engine is ordered)

Regal Premium II (1SP) – Adds Driver Convenience package: premium harman/kardon audio with 5.1 Matrix surround sound and nine speakers, rear-seat thorax air bags, high-intensity discharge headlamps

Regal Premium III (1SR) – Adds s tandard 220-hp (164 kW) Ecotec 2.0 turbo engine and six-speed automatic transmission; Interactive Drive Control package: interactive drive control system, 19-inch alloy wheels

Regal GS (1SX) – Adds standard 270-hp (201 kW) Ecotec 2.0 high-output turbo engine and six-speed automatic transmission; GS Package: Interactive Drive Control system tuned exclusively for GS, GS bodywork, GS interior, HiPer Strut front transmission, Brembo front brakes, front parking assist, 19-inch 5 twin-spoke alloy wheels.

Twenty-inch, 5-twin spoke polished alloy wheels and summer-rated performance tires are optional on GS.

Additional options include a power sunroof on all Regal models, and navigation with the Buick IntelliLink system on 1SP, 1SR and GS (requires sunroof).

Chassis and suspension

The Regal’s chassis and structural systems were developed globally , and they give the Regal the handling and dynamics of a luxury import sport sedan with the quiet, refined ride expected of a Buick.

Regal was engineered with o ne of the most rigid body structures in the segment , which supports more precise suspension tuning and a quieter ride. Additional features include:

Long wheelbase of 107.8 inches (2738 mm) gives the Regal refined, well-balanced vehicle dynamics and supports comfortable ride tuning
Independent MacPherson strut-type front suspension, a four-link independent rear suspension, electric rack-and-pinion power steering and optimized four-wheel disc brakes are designed to balance ride comfort and sportiness. Models equipped with the 2.0L turbo engine feature larger brakes and variable-effort power rack and pinion steering
Regal GS features a four-wheel independent suspension with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPer Strut) front suspension design. HiPerStrut improves ride and handling by reducing torque steer; improving vehicle sensitivity to tire irregularities and wheel balance; more linear and communicative steering through improved camber control; and improved impact isolation on bumps and rough surfaces.
Latest-generation electronic stability control (StabiliTrak), anti-lock brake system (ABS) and traction control system (TCS) are standard.

A family of 17-inch, 18-inch, 19-inch and 20-inch wheels is offered on the Regal.

Regal with eAssist (standard on 1SL, 1SN and 1SP) is equipped with standard 17-inch alloy wheels with low rolling-resistance tires. 1SN and 1SP models with the optional turbo engine have 18-inch alloy wheels (chrome wheels are available), while the 1SR with the standard turbo engine is equipped with 19-inch painted machined alloy wheels.

GS is outfitted with standard 19-inch 5 twin-spoke alloy wheels; 20-inch alloy wheels with summer-only tires are available.

Interactive Drive Control

Buick’s Interactive Drive Control System is available on the Regal Turbo (1SR) and standard on Regal GS, and adapts damping and other driving functions to drivers’ preferences. It includes 19-inch wheels. While the Regal Turbo offers Interactive Drive Control with the choice of a standard adaptive setting, a more comfortable Tour mode and a Sport mode, the system in the Regal GS is deliberately tuned for those who enjoy a higher level of performance:

Standard : Delivers ideal all-round performance while maintaining comfort characteristics for everyday driving.
Sport : Features a firmer level of suspension damping and reduces body roll for more agility. The sport mode increases steering effort only on the Regal Turbo.
Tour (exclusive to Regal Turbo): Optimized for comfort and relaxed driving on longer journeys.
GS (exclusive to Regal GS): Readies the car for dynamic, enthusiast- level driving. Increased steering efforts provide more direct feedback to the driver, while increased damping levels ensure ultimate wheel control and reduced body roll for ultimate agility. GS mode will also alter the shift feel on an automatic transmission.

Efficient, proven powertrains

The Regal relies on the excellent horsepower-per-liter ratio of the four-cylinder Ecotec engine family to deliver smart, on-demand performance that is also very efficient. The standard Ecotec 2.4L engine with eAssist and the available Ecotec 2.0L turbo use direct injection technology to optimize performance, reduce emissions and maximize fuel efficiency. These engines (except GS) are also flex-fuel capable and can run on E85 ethanol, gasoline or any combination of the two.

Regal with eAssist: The Ecotec 2.4L engine with eAssist fuel-saving technology is standard on Regal. It makes 182 horsepower (136 kW) and 172 lb.-ft. of torque, and provides EPA fuel economy of 25 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.

Mated to Regal’s 2.4L Ecotec direct injection four-cylinder engine and next-generation six-speed automatic transmission, the eAssist system uses power stored in the lithium-ion battery to provide needed electrical boost in various driving situations and enable regenerative braking capability, optimizing engine and transmission operation.

Changes to clutch controls and hardware provide reduced spin losses while improving shift response and time. An auxiliary, electric-driven oil pump keeps the transmission primed and fluid flowing when the engine shuts down at a stop.

Regal Turbo: The Ecotec 2.0L turbo produces 220 horsepower (164 kW) and 260 lb-ft (353 Nm) of torque, on-demand power comparable to a V-6, but with the efficiency of a four-cylinder. Regal Turbo achieves 32 mpg on the highway when equipped with the available manual transmission.

Regal GS: The Regal GS blends a 270-horsepower (201 kW) high-output Ecotec 2.0L turbo engine, six-speed automatic transmission, responsive Interactive Drive Control System suspension technology, four-piston Brembo front calipers and aggressive styling into a powerful and spirited performance touring sedan.

The Regal GS 2.0L Turbo delivers the highest specific output of any production engine GM has offered, and at 135 hp per liter, it is the most power-dense engine ever certified by SAE. It also produces more launch force than the Acura TSX. V-6, Audi A4 Sport, Lexus IS 250 and 350, Infiniti G25, Volkswagen CC and the Volvo S60 T5.

Six-speed automatic transmissions are paired with each engine. They offer driver shift control that enhance the sporty driving feel. A six-speed manual transmission is available on Regal Turbo and GS.

Regal safety and crash-avoidance features

Regal offers standard and available safety features designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash.

Six standard air bags including dual-stage frontal and side-impact air bags; two additional rear-seat thorax air bags are standard on 1SP, 1SR and GS
Three-point safety belts in all seating positions and a ir bag passenger sensing system to detect the presence of a small adult or child in the front passenger seat
Available ultrasonic rear park assist (front and rear park assist standard on GS)
Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control to help mitigate rollover crashes, and traction control
Four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Intelligent Brake Assist
Standard tire pressure monitoring system

2013 Buick Regal photo2013 Buick Regal photo

OnStar details

Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Regal. OnStar is the global leading provider of connected safety, security and mobility solutions and advanced information technology.

OnStar’s RemoteLink Mobile App allows smartphone users to control vehicle functions, access vehicle information and send directions directly to the vehicle. A new, opt-in service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to stay connected to loved ones by checking the location of their vehicle online or by signing up for vehicle location alerts.

Regal also features new OnStar button icons. Drivers will notice an updated look for the Hands-Free Calling button, blue OnStar button and red Emergency button.

New 2013 Buick Regal specifications, photos and images courtesy of Buick.

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