The Buick Regal is one of the brand’s longest-running nameplates. It began life as a personal luxury car but soon evolved into something sportier. The Regal also became an early adopter of forced induction. Several of its engines have been of the turbocharged or supercharged variety. The Buick Regal’s body style has been just as varied with sedans, coupes, wagons, and even hatchbacks.

Personal Luxury: 1970s Buick Regal

Personal luxury was a phrase often used in the 1970s and cars that advertised this moniker were usually large sedans with several luxury features to pamper the driver. Between 1973 and 1975, the Buick Century Regal was a huge two-door car that featured a 350 cubic-inch V8. In 1975, Buick switched to a V6, and in 1978, the car went through another transformation into a downsized two-door. The Regal Sport Coupe at the end of this era featured a 3.8-liter turbo option. It was one of the few production cars at the time to offer a turbo engine.

Downsizing: 1980s Buick Regal

The downsized Regal introduced in 1978 continued through 1987 as everything got smaller due to the gas crisis of the time. In terms of used cars, these are probably the least desirable. However, the Buick Regal Grand National also came out in the 80s. It debuted in 1982, but it didn’t deliver the turbocharged performance that made it legendary until 1984. The ultimate Buick Regal of this era was the 1987 Buick Regal GNX. Featuring new tuning and a more capable turbo, the GNX delivered 276 horsepower. To finish the era, the Buick Regal transformed into a rather staid FWD coupe.

Sedan Transformation: 1990s Buick Regal

For modern buyers, Buick Regal used cars generally resemble the lackluster two-door, FWD coupe that ran between 1988 and 1996. There was no turbo to be found on this car, just a 2.8-liter V6. In 1995, the 3.8-liter V6 was made available and it delivered 200 horsepower by its final model year in 1996. Up next in 1997 was the fourth-generation Regal now in four-door sedan form. It featured a supercharged V6 that made 240 horsepower, but it didn’t stand out much compared to previous models.

German Attitude: 2000s Buick Regal

The Buick Regal from the 1990s continued into the 2000s with the same basic model. A new Regal wasn’t introduced until 2009 when the decade was almost over. This new Regal developed a German attitude and it strongly resembled similar German cars from the era. It offered an optional manual transmission and a turbocharged GS model later.

GS Debut: 2010s Buick Regal

The previous Buick Regal continued well into the 2010s, but the GS variant was introduced for the 2012 model year. The turbo 2.0-liter in the GS made 270 horsepower and was capable of a 6.3-second zero to 60 time. More importantly, the Regal GS was fun to drive. This model lasted until 2017.

Final Form: Buick Regal Sportback

By the time 2018 rolled around, the Regal was barely surviving in the US, but it came out with one final form in the Sportback and TourX models. These were liftback and wagon layouts. The TourX almost resembled a crossover. The 2018 through 2020 Buick Regal GS also finished out the Regal’s legacy in the United States. It featured a naturally aspirated V6 that made 310 horsepower.

For now, you can find the various Regal models as used cars, but you never know when the legendary nameplate might return.


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