Shopping for a 2012 hybrid vehicle and thinking about the 2012 Buick Regal eAssist sedan? Here’s a summary of major reviews of the vehicle to help you decide. Be sure to leave a comment at the bottom if you have questions, or something to add!
The 2012 Regal is one of two cars in the Buick line that comes with eAssist technology. It includes a 2.4 liter 4-cylinder ECOTEC gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery pack, which powers the motor as well as the radio, climate control and other accessories. The motor provides a 15-horsepower boost and the technology permits the car to achieve EPA fuel economy ratings of 25 MPG city and 36 MPG highway. There is also a start/stop technology that seamlessly shifts power from the gasoline engine to the electric motor and back, thus conserving fuel. Stepping off the throttle turns the gasoline engine off, stepping off the brake restarts the gasoline engine. In other words, you can coast using the electric motor, but it doesn’t power the drivetrain by itself. Other features include regenerative braking, which harvests the energy from the brakes and diverts it to the battery.
A Power Flow Display in the center of the instrument cluster shows the driver when the battery is charging, when the engine is in start/stop mode, and when the electric motor is providing a boost. An ECO gauge offers information to the driver to assist him or her to drive more efficiently. The 2012 Regal offers eAssist as an option. The 2013 Regal will feature eAssist standard in its base model. MSRP starts at $31,670.
Autos.al.com refers to the car as a “light” hybrid. This means that the electric motor provides a boost of power instead of wholly powering the car as a regular hybrid does. The motor provides 15 horsepower of boost and 79 lb-ft of torque on demand.
They say that the exterior of the car offers a “curvy, aggressive and performance-oriented” look. Inside the instrument panel runs across from the driver’s to the passenger’s door panels. The sports seats are said to include firm bolsters. A thick rim steering wheel and “ice blue” lights help set a “sportier mood” then previous Buicks.
They report that the car has a length of 190 inches and a wheelbase of about 108 inches making, it a little smaller than mid-sized cars like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. They also note that the Regal eAssist is “a bit more maneuverable” than the Camry and Accord. Still, the rear seat area has enough space to accommodate adults. Trunk space is said to be 14 cubic feet.
Safety features included in the car are electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and airbags. They say that the body is stiffer and more rigid than previous models which helps protect passengers inside the car and also helps with the ride and handling.
The car includes such standard features as a power driver’s seat; leather upholstery; Bluetooth; XM Satellite Radio; OnStar; 17-inch alloy wheels and “low rolling resistance” tires, which is supposed to assist with fuel economy. The car also includes features that help to lower the drag including an under body aerodynamic plate.
The Detroit Free Press dubs the Regal an “enjoyable, sporty sedan.” They claim that the electric steering is “direct” and offers “good feedback,” and the suspension is good. They say that the car “accelerated confidently” with the help of the eAssist technology.
They complained that there were problems with the voice recognition system, especially with iPhones, and they added that Buick said software patches will be available. They gave the car a four out of four star rating and concluded that people will buy the car because of fuel economy, styling and features. They identified “shortcomings” as the trunk size, no memory for the driver’s settings and iPhone compatibility.
Consumer Guide Auto test drove the Regal with eAssist and compared it the other (non-eAssist) models. They found that the Regal’s acceleration, especially from a stop was a bit more powerful than the other engines due to the eAssist. Fuel economy of the eAssist was better than the other Regal models without the technology. They found ride quality was equal to the other models. Steering, handling and braking was at par with the other models.
They ruled that controls and gauges were unobstructed, but the markings on the gauges were small and therefore somewhat difficult to see. They also noted that there are a lot of buttons with which the driver has to become familiar. The climate control was easy to use but the use of other functions was not intuitive. They liked the redundancy of the controls on the navigation system but found that the driver had to stretch somewhat to reach the touchscreen.
They found the cabin to be “upscale,” but more sporty than plush. They liked the leather upholstery and there was satin-metal looking trim that spruced things up, but there was also hard plastic present. They found legroom and headroom to be good and the seats comfortable in the front portion of the cabin. Legroom was cramped and headroom was lacking in the rear. They found that the hinges of the trunk were intrusive and affected overall space.
Consumer Guide Auto rated each segment of the test drive on a scale of 1-10, giving the highest marks to the Regal’s value within its class, fuel economy, ride quality and front seat comfort. Lowest marks were given to its cargo room and back seat comfort. The car received a total score of 65.
2012 Buick Regal with eAssist Review Summary
In conclusion, the consensus appears to be:
- Comfortable front seats with good legroom
- Rides well
- Good fuel economy
- Solid feel
- Soft rear suspension
- Good acceleration
- Inadequate headroom and legroom in rear
- Voice recognition system
- Memory for driver’s settings
- Trunk space and storage space for small items
Do you own this car, or have you driven one? What’s your take? Leave a comment and help out the people who are researching this car!