MARCH 2011
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida
Motoring

2011 REGAL – A BUICK WITH EUROPEAN FLAVOR!

Test-drive reviews by NITISH S. RELE, motoringtampabay@gmail.com

The Buick Regal is back! After a six-year hiatus, the midsize sports sedan returns, sharing a basic design with Opel Insignia (2009 European Car of the Year). No wonder the car is assembled in Germany.

Under the unibody structure sits a 2.4-liter direct-injection inline-4 cylinder engine, which puts out 182 horsepower at 6700 rpm and 172 pounds-feet of torque at 4900 rpm. It is mated to a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission. Handling the suspension competently is an independent MacPherson strut-type front and a four-link multilink rear. Providing excellent feedback is a hydraulic rack-and-pinion power steering.

The sleek Regal sports a traditional waterfall grille with a centered Buick insignia and flanked by halogen headlights and fog lamps, wraparound flared fenders, body-colored mirrors and door handles, dual stainless-steel exhaust tips and standard 18-inch alloy wheels. Ice-blue LED instrument panel lights contribute to the aura radiating from the sumptuous, stylish and well-appointed cabin. The four-spoke leather tilt/telescopic steering column is robust enough to inspire confidence in the driver who enjoys a 12-way power heated seat while the front passenger gets a four-way power seat. Space is plentiful with the 60/40 rear seat folded down and 14.25 cubic feet of cargo volume. Also standard are a driver information center, USB port, two 12-volt power outlets, dual-zone automatic climate control and a single CD player/AM/FM sound system with seven speakers.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, stability and traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, remote keyless entry, two-way adjustable front head restraints, front/rear crumple zones, electronic parking brake, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

The Regal’s return serves to boost the Buick lineup made up of LaCrosse and Lucerne sedans and the Enclave SUV. The athletic European-inspired car affords quick acceleration, incredible body control and exceptional ride comfort for its passengers. Now, we can’t wait to get behind the wheels of the Turbo version!

REGAL CXL

Wheelbase: 107.8 inches
Length: 190.2 inches
Weight: 3,600 pounds
Height: 58.4 inches
Brakes: 11.7-inch vented front; 11.5-inch solid rear
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
City: 19 mpg
Highway: 30 mpg
Base price: $26,245
Web site: www.buick.com (also in Tampa, visit www.centurybuick.com)


TAKE A LOOK AT THE SMALLER ALL-NEW G25

We already have the impressive G35 and G37, so why the need for a G25? To appeal to buyers looking for a true luxury sedan but not needing higher levels of performance from larger engines, justifies Infiniti. In that case, the smaller G25 fits quite nicely into the lineup.

The 2.5-liter V-6 engine of the luxury sports sedan develops an adequate 218 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 187 pounds-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. Also new in the rear-wheel-drive car is a quiet 7-speed automatic transmission. An independent double wishbone front and a multilink rear suspension soak obstacles with skill, sure-footedness and poise. Maintaining a perfect balance on the highway or in city traffic is a vehicle speed-sensitive power steering system. The 12.6-inch vented front and 12.1-inch rear disc brakes are instantly responsive.

Sharing its exterior, interior and chassis with the G37, a wave-like aluminum hood meets up with a familiar double-arch chrome grille, which is flanked by ‘boomerang-like’ HID xenon headlights while L-shaped LED tail lamps, dual chrome exhaust tips and an integrated chrome spoiler round up the striking rear. The interior is cozy with plenty of style and luxury, mainly fine touches of Shodo aluminum trim on the instrument panel, center console and doors. The driver information center is sandwiched quite conveniently between the electroluminescent gauges for coolant, tachometer, speedometer and fuel readings. And who can miss the classy Infiniti analog clock on the dashboard? Other standard amenities include eight-way power driver and four-way front-passenger seats, intelligent key with push button, automatic climate controls, 7-inch color monitor, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, rearview monitor and aluminum sill plates.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, Vehicle Dynamic Control, traction control, front seat active-head restraints, front seatbelts with pretensioners, front and rear crumple zones and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.

We have always admired the G35/37 for their liveliness, outstanding balance and handling, and attractive styling in and out. Agreed, the Gs aren’t exactly gas sippers but our smaller ride eked out nearly 26 mpg in city/highway driving. Abundant luxury features, snappy performance and praiseworthy fuel mileage truly make a wonderful combination.

G25 JOURNEY
Tires: P225/55R17
Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
Length: 187.9 inches
Weight: 3,552 pounds
Fuel capacity: 20 gallons
City: 20 mpg
Highway: 29 mpg
Base price: $32,350
Web site: www.infinitiusa.com


CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY AN EMINENTLY CONVENIENT PACKAGE

Chrysler has simplified 2011 Chrysler Town & Country model trim line. The 3.3-, 3.8- and 4.0-liter V-6 power trains have been replaced by a sole 3.6-liter V-6 engine, which cranks out 283 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque at 4800 rpm. The seven-seater is mated to a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission. Suspension is handled via a refined MacPherson strut front and twist beam axle rear. Wind and road noise have been suppressed by several sound deafening and body treatments.

Linking the new Chrysler brand winged badge with automatic HID headlights and projector-style fog lamps is a crossbar chrome blade. In the rear, a body-color spoiler, chrome light bar, new LED tail lamps, and chrome trim along door molding and on the scuff pad will catch your attention. The interior is functional and roomy as you would expect in any minivan. Dodge has nixed the Swivel ’n Go. Instead, the Stow ’n Go allows the second- and third-row seats to fold into the floor. The Town & Country gets a heated steering wheel – a minivan first. And the first- and second-row seats are now heated. Turn on the fuel economizer switch for additional gas savings. Numerous amenities are standard, including tri-zone automatic climate control, power lift gate, dual glove box, driver and passenger side power-sliding doors, eight-way power driver and front-passenger seats, manual tilt/telescopic steering column and, of course, the signature Chrysler analog clock.

Safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for all three rows, Electronic Stability Control, four-wheel antilock brakes, remote keyless entry, rearview camera, rear park assist, driver inflatable knee-bolster airbag, active head restraints, remote start system, blind spot and tire pressure monitoring systems.

The Town & Country is an extremely convenient package for families. It offers people- and cargo-hauling practicality, decent performance and respectable gas mileage. Those long summer trips up north can only be more fun and relaxing in this revamped minivan.

TOWN & COUNTRY LIMITED
Tires: P255/65R17 all season
Wheelbase: 121.2 inches
Length: 202.5 inches
Weight: 4,335 pounds
Steering: Power rack and pinion
Fuel capacity: 20 gallons
City: 17 mpg
Highway: 25 mpg
Base price: $38,660
Web site: www.chrysler.com

 

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