2011 Buick Regal Improves on the Aura

2011 Buick Regal

I went with my friend to test drive a 2011 Buick Regal. This is the car that would have been the '11 Saturn Aura. It is a beauty. I rode in it, and I consciously chose not to drive it since I was afraid it might be an expensive test drive. While I think my 2009 Aura XR 4 is a great car, the Regal is definitely a significant upgrade.

For example, its stock tires are 18" Michelin Pilots compared to the Aura's 17" Firestones. The underbody is coated with a heavy plastic undercoating - this seems to be standard on German cars. My Aura is solid and quiet, but the Regal seems to be more so. The Regal is 150 lbs heavier and its 4-cylinder engine is tuned for higher power than the Aura, which is the reason why its fuel economy is down 10% compared to my Aura.

There was some interesting information on the car's "Country of Origin" sticker:

  • Final assembly: Germany
  • Engine: United States
  • Transmission: China

The manufacturer's plate on the door sill reads "Opel - Russelheim Germany." Initial cars are being built in Germany. Next year, North American production will start in Ontario. My dealer seems to think he will sell the cars at list price.

Overall it was a very nice car! Needless to say, I've started using my GM credit card again.

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Under Cover: Future Astra

Under Cover: Future Astra

Opel released another teaser of it's upcoming 10th-generation Astra. A thinly veiled cover is all that separates the car from full view, but it can't hide the vehicle's sinister looking headlamps. Opel's goal is to generate interest about the new car while keeping the as much of it concealed as possible.