The folks at @GMNewsWest kindly offered me the chance to drive the 2011 Buick Regal over Memorial Day Weekend. Raphael and I didn't have plans made for the holiday, but quickly made some as to not pass up the opportunity for a quick road trip. So, we headed up the PCH, taking in the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and toured the famous Hearst Castle. We also spent the night in Pismo Beach at a hotel right on the beach and boardwalk, very romantic. The following day, we visited two Central Coast wineries--Edna Valley Vineyards and Baileyana Winery in San Louis Obispo. Neither of us had been before, but the area is known for its appearance in the movie Sideways and for their Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varietals.
Here is a photo of our chariot in wine country:
Observations about the new Buick Regal:
- Awesome GPS navigation system, far superior to the Lexus, which Raphael has and we find difficult to use or customize, thus not as user friendly or intuitive as this Buick's navigation system.
- We also enjoyed clicking on the OnStar button in the rear view mirror and speaking with a live person in order to get directions to the Hearst castle. No more, "did you say California?" "YES!" Instead, we just told our destination to the operator and once she located it, she sent the details to our navigation system, which then took over without us entering the address ourselves or using voice activation prompts. Luckily, we didn't get in an accident and have to use OnStar's other features, but I have to say it felt good knowing that it was there if we did.
- Yay to Sirius XM radio! I haven't listened to a real radio station in over 3 years now. Also, it has a USB plug-in and we tried Raphael's iPod shuffle in it and was amazed at how easy it worked and showed the song names on the dash display.
- I felt more elevated than I do in my Jetta and I liked the extra visibility
- It was easy to excel in the Buick and didn't require the force on the peddle like other cars do.
- It's quiet. Despite traveling on the freeways, when inside the car, typical outside noises like the highway and car sounds were blocked really well.
- Roomy inside, but not bulky outside