Buick Announces Pricing for Regal With eAssist

Buick today announced pricing information for its 2012 Regal models, one of which will feature General Motors’s new eAssist Belt Alternator Starter system, which provides an estimated 28 percent boost in fuel economy over the standard 2.4-liter model. The 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist will start at $29,530, a $2,000 price premium over the base model, which at current gas prices brings the average estimated time needed to recover that extra cost to around just 3.5 years. That number dwarfs the price premium recovery time of many full hybrids, making eAssist one of the soundest green bangs for your buck on the market.

Fuel economy numbers for the base Regal are 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The eAssist model gets 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, 32 percent and 20 percent improvements, respectively.

General Motors has been purposeful in its refusal to market eAssist as what it essentially is: a hybrid system similar to the one once donned by the much-maligned and shortly-lived Chevy Malibu Hybrid. But where the BAS system employed in the original Malibu Hybrid delivered a 19 percent fuel economy increase and carried a nearly $4,000 price premium, GM’s new eAssist system vastly improves the return on your mild hybrid investment. It’s just never referred to by the company as a mild hybrid.

eAssist replaces the alternator on a standard vehicle with a 20-horsepower electric alternator-generator, which helps to boost the torque output of the engine and save fuel. To run the motor, eAssist employs a 115 volt, 0.5 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack, charged by regenerative breaking—just like numerous other cars that are typically sold as hybrids.

But for many car shoppers, the prospect of paying several thousand dollars more for a car that will take more than half a decade to pay off in the form of gas savings is a non-starter. With eAssist GM has improved that equation considerably—even if cars like the Regal, LaCrosse and forthcoming Malibu with eAssist don’t deliver fuel economy numbers as impressive as a Prius or run briefly in electric-only mode.


  • Yegor

    It is a full hybrid – it has all the components – only electrical motor not as powerful and the battery has smaller capacity but all components are there!

  • Yegor

    So if they put this stuff in something like Ford Focus they will be able to get 40 MPG City and 48 MPG highway.
    It will get a better fuel economy than Honda Civic Hybrid!
    Impressive!

  • Capt. Concernicus

    Buick Regal
    Base price: $29,530
    Fuel Economy: 25/36

    Toyota Prius
    Base price: $23,500
    Fuel economy: 51/50

    Ford Fusion Hybrid
    Base price: $28,000
    Fuel Economy: 41/36

    Just a couple of alternatives…

  • jim1961

    Capt. Concernicus,

    You forgot the most affordable hybrid,

    Honda Insight
    Base price: $18,200
    Fuel economy 40/43

    I bought my 2011 Insight about four months ago and I love it!

  • jim1961

    Capt. Concericus,

    You left out the most affordable hybrid,

    Honda Insight
    Base price: $18,200
    Fuel economy: 40/43

    I purchased my 2011 Insight about four months ago. I love it!

  • Capt. Concernicus

    @jim1961,

    True. Very true.

    I was attempting to keep the cars towards the same class size, but the Insight is a very affordable hybrid that gets great gas mileage.

    I think a lot of Americans assume that hybrids will always be more expensive than regular ICE vehicles. Not always the case.

  • meccano

    Is the Buick Regal marketed at people who might otherwise be interested in a Prius or Honda Insight? Not being snarky, but I think vehicles like the Buick Regal with eAssist are specifically marketed towards people who would not otherwise be interested in buying a hybrid or labeling themselves as green; ie consumers who have ZERO interest in a Prius or Honda Insight. Buicks these days are more German/Opel than the Detroit iron of yore with appealing styling and ride to match. The fact that they are using hybrid technology to increase gas mileage ultimately seems like a good thing (if perhaps not as good as some may like).

  • Neal

    As a sedan/coupe, any hybird or “eAssist” must hit the 40 mpg threshold to be considered a contender. We have a 2010 Fusion hybrid that gets 41 mpg. When Buick hits the 40+ number, it will be merit a close look.