Social Capital Conference, Ottawa July 23rd, 2011
Social Capital Conference was last weekend, and the first of it’s kind in the Ottawa area. It was well organized, had amazing food, and some great sponsors.
Although it was Chevy that was one of the sponsors of the conference, I should thank GM Canada for the vehicle that I drove up to the conference (from Toronto). I was loaned a Buick Regal Turbo to drive for the weekend.
[Review] This is not your grandfather’s car anymore. With plenty of leg room in both the front and back seats, they have made this model sportier than I remember the Regal to be from 20+ years ago.
We only had the car for a weekend, so we didn’t have a lot of baggage. But the truck had plenty of room for 2-3 full size suitcases and a couple of carry-on bags. It also had a trap door to allow for skis to pop through to the back seat arm rest.
This fully loaded car had it all – from cruise control to fuel economy meter. The console had everything you needed to control the entertainment system (Radio and DVD player) and the navigation map. They were easy to reach for the driver. There was more than one place to access them. Some were on the steering wheel (answering/ending calls and volume control), while the others were below the gear shift box (which included switching display from navigation to audio). But if you didn’t want to use these controls, there was the voice commands.
The voice control was quite intuitive. Connecting my iPhone via Bluetooth was very easy to do with a couple of verbal commands.
The interior had black leather seats. Which in the summer could be quite hot. But they clearly built this car well. Not only were the seats not hot after leaving the car for the pit stops, but the car cooled down quickly with their auto climate control.
In terms of the design of the car, the only part that I feel was a bad choice by the designers is the chrome that they used around the gear shift box. With the sun that we had the whole weekend, I found myself having to cover it up with my sweater. I’m not sure if it was due to the position of my seat or my height, but it was quite annoying. The rest of the car had a brushed metal or pewter finish, so had they used that finish, I think that it would have accomplished the same effect without the blinding glare.
My only other complaint is that I couldn’t use the navigation map independently from the audio/music. It’s possible that the radio could be turned off, but I couldn’t figure it out.
Nonetheless, this is a great car to take a family of 3 or 4 on a road trip. It was a smooth ride and with the turbo, I’m sure that I was well over the speed limit (shhhh… don’t tell the cops).