16. Buick Regal GS
For years, Buick produced pale, boring cars, especially during the ’60s and ’70s. In fact, people considered the company to be just a shadow of its former self. However, in the last decade or so, Buick has experienced a renaissance with its new lineup. They use innovative designs to make interesting cars, turning the market focus on this forgotten brand.
One of the cars that helped Buick re-emerge is the Regal. It’s a family sedan Opel in Europe designed. They sold it as the Opel Insignia. However, for the American market, they turned the Insignia into a Regal by adding a few design items, a different grille, and some new interior appointments.
Aside from the regular Regals with front-wheel drive, Buick produced the Regal GS. It’s one of the best affordable performance sedans on the market. The GS comes with unassuming looks and compact dimensions but has a highly-capable powertrain. The Regal GS was the first true performance car in the Buick lineup since the GNX of the mid-’80s.
The secret of the Regal GS is its engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers 270 HP. The power goes to all four wheels over an advanced AWD system. But it’s the six-speed manual transmission that makes driving fun and engaging. Due to its compact dimensions and relatively low weight, the Regal GS can reach 60 mph in around six seconds. Since this is Buick, you can be sure the interior is luxurious.