I know that many of say you’ll ever be able to take Buick as seriously as BMW. But it’s worth noting that Buick is no longer building; nowadays, Buicks—and the Regal GS in particular—are tuned much more like Audis than the floaty lux-o-barges of our youth.

This is especially true of my particular test car: a performance-oriented, top-of-the-line Regal GS, with grippy all-wheel drive that helps get all of its 259 horespower to the ground without sending the front wheels spinning like the freshly out-of-the-closet Brian Boitano performing a triple axle.

The GS’ automatic transmission, however, needs some shift paddles if it’s truly going to be taken seriously as a sport sedan, so in that regard, the Germans retain their edge. That said, most BMW drivers I know couldn’t tell a shift paddle from a soap dish; to them, interior styling and comfort are more important, and the Buick’s intimate cabin is surprisingly stylish and high tech, with excellent sport seats to boot.

Of course, there’s a cache deficit, but to some contrarians, that’s even more reason to consider it. All told, I’m impressed with this Buick. And I’m even more impressed with anyone brave enough to buy one.

2014 Buick Regal GS

Base Price (including destination): $37,830 (FWD); $40,195 (AWD)

Power: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (259 hp, 295 lb-ft of torque)

Tranny: 6-speed automatic with manual shift control

Fuel Economy, city/hwy: 19/27 mpg

Or you could buy:

Audi A4

BMW 3-Series

Acura TSX

Renowned automotive journalist and gay car geek Steve Siler has turned his life-long love of cars into a fruitful and enthusiastic career traveling the world to test thousands of new vehicles as they are introduced. Siler is s regular contributor to Car and Driver Magazine, Edmunds.com,AutoTrader.com, AOL Autos and Yahoo! Autos, and also pioneered automotive writing for the LGBT community more than a decade ago.