Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: 2011 Buick Regal CXL

I first spotted the redesigned Buick Regal in 2010 while I was living in Tennessee and thought it was a great looking car. I have to give Buick credit for the designs of their current vehicles. The Regal competes against the Acura TSX, Audi A4, Infiniti G25, Lincoln MKZ, and the Volvo S60. There are many things that I like and dislike about the Regal. The Regal is the first Buick that I have ever driven. The Regal is front-wheel drive and powered by a 2.4 L inline 4 cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower and 172 lb-feet of torque. I drove a base model Regal that came in at over $26,500.

 The Regal rides on General Motors' Epsilon II platform, which the Buick LaCrosse, the Saab 9-5, and the new Chevrolet Malibu are also built on. There are 3 Regal trim levels to choose from. The trim levels range from the CXL, the CXL Turbo, and the GS. The CXL turbo trim uses a 2.0 liter turbo charged engine that pushes out 220 horsepower. The fuel economy for the turbo is rated at 18 city and 28 highway. The GS trim uses a 2.0 liter high output turbocharged engine that produces 270 horsepower. New for 2012 is the use of Buick's new eAssist mild hybrid technology on the base trim level variants. 

The exterior of the Buick Regal is very attractive and sporty. A lot of people are very impressed with the styling and many can't believe it's a Buick. The Regal definitely stands out among the other cars in its class. Unlike the LaCrosse, the Regal's front end is toned down. I would have liked to see a bolder front end on this car. I think that the rear of the car is what really stands out. The color of the Regal I drove was called midnight blue metallic, which I wasn't too fond of. 

The interior of the Regal is another selling point of this car. The materials used were of high quality which made the vehicle feel luxurious. What really stood out for me were the front seats. I found them very comfortable and supportive. I thought they were some of the best car seats I've sat in recently. The back seats of the Regal were also comfortable as well. There was more than enough head room and leg room for me. One thing that I didn't like so much was the center console. There are just too many buttons for me. I felt that Buick could have come up with a more elegant center console. The Regal I drove came standard with a 6 speed automatic transmission with manual mode, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, 3 free months of XM radio, and a USB and IPod port. The trunk of the Regal offers 14.2 cubic feet of storage. 

Buick calls the Regal a midsize sport sedan but I wouldn't quite agree with that after driving this non-turbo model. I think that the 2.4L engine denies the Regal from truly being labeled a sport sedan. For a midsize car that weighs over 3600 lbs., the 182 horsepower engine was not impressive. I also wasn't impressed with how the Regal accelerated, it is just too slow. The Regal accelerates from zero to sixty in 8.7 seconds. I was very impressed with how smooth the ride was and how quiet the cabin was at highway speeds. I was also impressed with the steering feel and how well the Regal turned into corners.

I can say that I had an interesting time behind the wheel of the Buick Regal. The Regal's design will definitely attract young buyers to the Buick brand. Even though the Regal is attractive and rides smoothly, I still wouldn't consider buying one. I just have a big issue with the 2.4L engine in the CXL trim level; maybe the GS model could change my mind. Buick has been on a roll lately and I don't see them slowing down any time soon. With a few improvements I think the Regal can become an actual sport sedan. If you like sporty and attractive cars and horsepower isn't a concern for you then take a look at the Buick Regal. 

How do you feel about the Buick Regal? Is it a true sport sedan?

For more information the Regal check out Buick's website:

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Conversation with Matt Farah

I had the pleasure of having a conversation yesterday with Matt Farah, who is the co-host of The Car Show on Speed and the founder of When I was told about this opportunity I couldn't believe it because I had just started my car blog and was fairly new to this industry. This was definitely an opportunity that I could not pass up. I was kind of nervous because I have never spoken to an auto journalist before. But that nervousness went away and I was able to have a terrific conversation with Matt Farah.

Matt was really down to earth, funny, and straightforward while we were talking. He made me feel as if I already knew him which made me engage in the conversation even more. In the time that we did talk, we covered a lot of topics dealing with the auto industry. There were things that we really agreed on while there were a few things that we thought differently about.

The first topic that I asked Matt about was his view on Hyundai and Kia. He felt that they were going on the right path and was pleased with their quality and value. He even said that Hyundai and Kia are doing a better job than their Japanese competitors. Hyundai has had success with the Genesis and Equus, and Matt feels that they should make a luxury car brand. This is because many people who purchase a car like that don't want to buy or show up to a dealership where for example an Elantra is being sold.

About a week or so ago I wrote a post titled "What Happened To Acura???". This is a question that I had to ask Matt because I felt that I couldn't be the only one that thinks Acura has a problem. Matt really expressed his true feelings towards Acura's design choices, which were negative. I may be the only person who actually likes the designs that Acura has put out. But we both agreed that there were way more Acura's (especially the TL) years ago then there is now. Matt feels that Acura needs to get better designs if they expect people to buy their cars. I thought that Matt made a lot of sense when he said that Acura needs to have a flagship model preferably the NSX.

Matt and I then moved on to talk about the future of Lincoln and what things need to change. Matt was not very fond of the design choices of Lincoln, while on the other hand I actually like those designs. Just like Acura, Matt feels that Lincoln needs their own design team that will separate Ford and Lincoln. One interesting thing Matt brought up was that Lincoln needs to have a RWD car that draws attention to the brand. It would be very similar to what Chrysler did with the 300. I thought that this was a good idea that Matt had brought up. I do think that Ford will actually devote the time to give Lincoln a major makeover.

I had the chance to drive the 2011 Buick Regal CXL and I can say that I wasn't that impressed with the car. I thought I was the only one who felt that way but Matt had similar views about the Regal and the Buick brand. While talking about the brand Matt was making a few jokes that I just found to be really fun. While the jokes were funny, they were actually pretty true and accurate. As Matt pointed it out that Buick badge still represents a problem for many.

Since I started my car blog I have been trying to get advice from people who have been in the auto industry and how they got to where they are now. Two of the last questions that I asked Matt was how he got started and about What I really appreciated about Matt Farah was that he was really honest and genuine when he gave me his answers. He came out and said that the auto industry is really hard to get into but you have to have that drive and passion. The advice that he gave me was exactly what I needed to hear. Matt went on to explain how started, which was an incredible story. I would like to say anyone who is interested in cars should definitely take a look at Matt Farah's website

I know how hard it is to get in contact with people in the auto industry, so I am really grateful that Matt Farah took time out of his busy schedule to speak to me!!! I just started out writing about cars and to be given this opportunity is more than I could have ever asked for. Again I want to thank Matt Farah because I appreciated our talk about the auto industry. There aren't too many people on my campus who have a love of cars like I do so it was great to talk to someone else who has a love of automobiles as well.  I also want to give a special thank you to Michael Cilnis who worked with me for the past three weeks trying to make this call happen. I hope that I have the opportunity to speak with the other co-host as well one day.

Please check out The Car Show on Wednesday's at 10pm ET on Speed.  The show is hosted by comedian Adam Carolla, automotive journalist Dan Neil, founder Matt Farah, and NBA Champion John Salley.

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Entries Being Accepted for The Webby Awards!!!

Anyone who has an automotive website should definitely submit an entry for this years Webby Awards. The early entry deadline is October 28, 2011. The Webby Awards honors the Best Automotive Website that provides information about every single aspect of the automotive industry. The Webby Awards celebrates this year's best online films, advertisements, apps, and websites.

For this year's Webby Awards, Entrants can submit their work at The nominees of these awards will be announced in April of 2012. The actual awards will take place later on in the Spring of 2012.

The information pasted below is from the Webby Awards website:

About The Webby Awards
Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps. Established in 1996, the 15th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: AOL, Aquent, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Ford, Dentyne, Facebook, MLB Advanced Media, Rackspace Hosting, YouTube, HPUSA Today, Business Insider, 2advanced.Net, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Time Out New York and Guardian News and Media.

For more information regarding the Webby Awards please visit:

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Negotiations between Chrysler and the UAW has continued past the deadline!

While the current national labor contract was set to expire on September 14, the Chrysler Group and the UAW have agreed to continue bargaining past that date. The Chrysler Group and the UAW will continue to work together to reach a new agreement. If an agreement is met, there are still several processes before the new national labor contract is implemented.

Hopefully Chrysler and the UAW will be able to reach a deal very soon.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Will Saab Make It???

Today Saab announced that they were filing for bankruptcy. Saab's parent company thinks that going through bankruptcy will allow them to raise short term funding.

Update: A Swedish court has rejected Saab's application for protection from it's creditors.

I personally think that Saab needs more than just short term funding. I actually thought that Saab would be better off once General Motors sold it to Spyker.  But I guess I was wrong about that. It's very obvious that General Motors can be blamed for the condition that Saab is currently in. General Motor's neglect, engine choices, and overpriced vehicles did damage to the Saab brand. General Motor's decision to purchase Saab was not a good one; just like Ford when they purchased Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover. Damage was done to all of these brands because neither company had proper management and couldn't devote all their time towards all the brands.

I honestly don't know what will happen with Saab but I'm surely thinking that things are not looking too good.  I really like the design of the 9-5 and 9-4 but I don't like their engine choices. Saab really needed its own identity instead of being rebadged General Motor products. Saab's parent company really has faith that Saab will be able to make it successfully as a car brand. As Saab is trying to reconfigure itself the brand is losing market share. I always root for struggling automakers because I feel that competition is good and I hope that Saab can come out a contender. I have no idea what is going to happen but as of right now this may be the end of Saab!

Do you think Saab will make it? Are you a true Saab loyalist?

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

What Happened to Acura???

In August Acura moved 9,054 vehicles, which was down 24.5% compared to August 2010.

 I have mixed  reviews about Acura as of late. I believe they are not the same Acura that they once were. As many people have put it "Acura has lost its way". I may be one of the few who actually liked the "beak" design on all of the Acura models. I thought that it was bold, stylish, and really made Acura's cars stand out in the crowd. I just didn't get why many people didn't like the designs. The biggest problem that I have with Acura has to deal with the interior.   In a previous post about the TL I got on Acura about their interiors. When I think of luxury I don't think of an interior of a Acura. This is the same problem that Lincoln has because the interiors look almost identical to their Ford counterparts. If I'm a buyer interested in a luxury car and I look at an Acura and see the interior I'm going to think why not get a Honda for less money. I know that Acura has the ability to do this and they need to if they want to be taken seriously. When I sit in a Acura I want to feel like I'm covered in luxury and not just an upscale Honda.

Another problem that Acura faces is its lineup. This is the same problem in my opinion that Infiniti also faces. Acura has to develop more models if they want to gain the interests of new buyers. I would like to see roadsters, coupes, and a flagship in Acura's lineup. There's no denying that Acuras drive well so it would be a good thing for them to create other models. If Acura really wants to be a big player in the luxury car market they really be on the same level as their German rivals. I honestly believe that Acura has to add more vehicles to their lineup if they want to gain market share.

Honda really has to step up their game and give Acura a complete overhaul. If Honda needs help, assistance, or viewpoints they need to get in contact with me! I'm 21 and I know exactly what people my age/generation are looking for when it comes to buying a car. The old ways of doing things are not working anymore and it is clearly showing. With new models and greatly improved interiors I think that Acura can really become a stronger luxury car company. I really want Acura to succeed and hope that the brand turns around. But that decision is in the hands of the management at Honda Motor Company.

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