Northwest NEWS

March 6, 2000

Features

2000 Buick Regal LS

Test Drive: 2000 Buick Regal LS

   The 2000 Buick Regal LS is a classy 4-door mid-size car with a sloping front and short back.

   The 3900 Series II V6 with 200hp and 225 ft.-lbs. of torque comes standard on the Regal. A supercharged version is optional with 240hp and 280 ft.-lbs. of torque at 5,200rpm.

   The 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is electronically controlled to provide smooth, seamless shifting. There is a feature that comes standard on the GS model of the Regal that allows the driver to choose shift feel between normal and performance.

   The most noticeable feature about the Regal is how quiet it is when you drive the car. One of my passengers asked if the car was running when we were parked. It was.

   My test model came in a gold metallic color with taupe leather interior. The seats were heavily padded and came with 6-way power controls.

   The Regal is an easy car to drive and to like. It is nice-looking, comfortable, the drive is smooth, it corners nicely, and it is spacious enough to accommodate passengers and cargo.

   The dash is curved above the dials and slopes down on the passenger side. I did notice the sharp line on the back of the dash reflected in the window as a distraction several times.

   The Tilt-Wheel adjustable steering wheel is standard. My test model came with the optional feature of radio controls on both sides. To honk the horn, you have to press the horn insignia, which is located on two places in the center of the steering wheel along with the air bag.

   The power locks, power windows, and remote keyless entry are standard. A driver information center is a $75 optional feature that tells you your remaining oil, fuel range, and fuel economy.

   A center console holds two cupholders and a very deep center compartment. An arm rest comes down in the center of the back seat and also has two cup holders.

   The trunk is spacious and easily accessible with a low lift-over edge. The trunk space is expandable with one section, or the two back seats folded down.

   Although my test model did not come with the OnStar service package option, you can have it added at the dealer's if you choose. This service allows you to call in to a center where a real person answers and knows immediately where your car is located. The center will automatically call for help if your air bag is deployed. They can remotely unlock the car if you are locked out, will give you on-the-spot information on how to get to where you want to go, track your car if it is stolen, and provide a variety of other services.

   The base price for the Regal is $22,340. My test model came with the Touring Package, leather, sunroof, 16" chrome wheels, and driver information center, which drove the price up to $27,522, including the destination charge.

   For most of Buick's history, the car has been synonymous with the feel of an older, wealthier crowd. Although my family was not wealthy, my first experience with a Buick was in 1958, when my mother bought a pink Buick convertible with large fenders. It was huge. I remember driving that car and feeling quite special. I still have a photo of that car in my scrapbook.

   The 2000 Buick Regal LS is a good example of how the Buick brand name is reinventing itself to appeal to a younger, family-oriented audience, and the car with its look and features is definitely appealing for the price.

2000 Buick Regal LS