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Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2011 Buick Regal CXL: the devil's in the details

The 2011 Buick Regal CXL is a handsome ride that offers many of the tech features we like, but an odd cabin control scheme and uninspiring power train hamper our recommendation.

Check out the full review of the 2011 Buick Regal CXL for more details.
Check out the full review of the 2011 Buick Regal CXL for more details. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Buick's new entry-level Regal CXL has a lot going for itself. The sedan features looks that Buicks of the mid-90s could only dream of. The performance and fuel efficiency look good on paper, while the European-tuned suspension impressed on the road. In the cabin, it checks many of the boxes we like to see in the technology department. So, why did the 2011 Buick Regal CXL end up with such a middle-of-the-road score at the end of our review? As they say, the devil's in the details.

Once the Regal rolled off of the showroom turntable and onto real roads, we found a number of seemingly small issues that ended up blossoming into much bigger complaints. On the power-train front, a ill-matched engine and transmission combo lead to performance that had us saying "meh." Meanwhile, in the cabin, cheap materials and a confusing control scheme for the infotainment systems made a poor first impression.

Buick wants us to think of the Regal as entry-level luxury, but seems to have forgotten the attention to detail and refinement of execution that makes a luxury ride so nice. An upcoming turbocharged variant and the possibility of an even more powerful GS trim level may breathe some much-needed excitement into the Regal, but for now, we're sitting on our wallets.

It may sound a bit like we're hen-pecking the poor Regal, but just check out the full review for more photos, video, and details and you'll see what we mean.