Top Rated AWD luxury cars 2014
Since its return for 2012 on the top-grade Regal, Buick’s legendary GS badge has injected some much-needed cred into GM’s sleepiest brand. (The letters might soon be applied to more models, too.) Serving up a Euro-style balance of sport and luxury, the Regal GS boasted its own tune for the 2.0-liter turbo four that provided cushions of 50 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque over the same engine in the mid-grade Regal Turbo. But a Regal refresh for 2014 sees an updated powerplant installed in both models, a move that has fortified the Turbo but weakened the GS. Although GS performance doesn’t suffer from the swap, a stronger Turbo brings the chief Regal’s value into question.
More or Less Power, You Decide
The new engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger, a forged steel crankshaft, direct injection, and twin balance shafts. With maximum boost of 24 psi, the engine produces 259 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque; the GS thus sees a drop of 11 horses (torque stays the same), while the Turbo gains 39 horsepower and 35 lb-ft. Different engine maps have the GS making maximum torque at 2500 rpm versus 3000 in the Turbo, but horsepower in both versions tapers off after a 5300-rpm peak. A six-speed manual transmission is again offered on the front-wheel-drive GS, with GM’s six-speed 6T70 automatic the default choice for GS AWD models and the only gearbox for Turbos.
Larger front brakes (wearing Brembo branding) and fat rollers give the GS a decelerative edge over the Turbo, with the stop from 70 mph coming in a fade-free 153 feet. The all-season-shod Turbo turned in a 163-foot number. Both models are stable and quiet up to their drag-limited top speeds. We were unable to measure lateral grip with the new AWD system, but don’t expect much to change from the front-drive versions, which posted 0.85 g (Turbo) and 0.90 g (GS on the Pirellis).
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