Auto Byte: Buick Regal Hybrid
With the Chicago Auto Show in full swing, Road Trips for Girlfriends got in on the action with a “country to city” road trip review of the Buick Regal Hybrid. Road trip divas, high on our list of priorities include safety, fuel efficiency, comfort, and—let’s state the obvious, ladies—looking good behind the wheel.
On the 150 mile drive through farmland, down interstate, and rounding the final bend into a rush hour headwind, feedback for fuel economy and power flow is instantaneously available on the car’s tricked out Infotainment System.
Standard with 2013 models, eAssist technology pairs a lithium-ion battery pack with a small electric motor to assist the standard engine during times when fuel conservation is possible (red lights are a good example). Taking care to drive with the needle in the middle of the green zone on the ECO gauge also helps resist the urge to leap out of the starting gate when the light turns green.
On the subject of safety and smart driving, note the ability to pair to a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone makes incoming and outgoing calls hands free. Equipped with OnStar to assist with directions (not to downplay travel emergencies), navigation routes are automatically uploaded to the center panel using voice commands (or speak to an operator if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed on North Michigan Avenue).
Portable devices like iPod and MP3 can also be connected to the vehicle’s audio system for full access to music and photo collections (if you love to geocache, watch why this is a brilliant idea). For those of you living in a temperate climate, this would be a good time to open the sun roof and turn some heads to a backdrop of your favorite road trip soundtrack.
Comfortable and luxurious inside and out, in saving the environment Buick has compromised trunk space with placement of the battery pack. A bit cramped for more than two suitcases, plan to fold down a back seat for weekend shopping or ski trips. OR maybe its time to pack light and breathe some clean air.