An open letter to Mary Barra, new chief executive of General Motors:

Dear Ms. Barra,

Congratulations on your elevation to the CEO’s office at General Motors, effective Jan. 15.

You have labored in the product-development, manufacturing and marketing vineyards of North America’s largest car company for 33 years. Your efforts, often unsung in the “car guy”-dominated automotive media, have brought forth commendable fruit, including the subject of this week’s column, the 2014 Buick Regal GS AWD with all available advanced safety options.

I like that car, Ms. Barra. I like the corporate attitude that produced it — one that pays homage to the hard work and common sense of America’s middle class while not shrinking from any aspect of global automotive competition in terms of quality, safety or performance.

2014 Buick Regal GS ¾ front view with Copper Red Metallic exterior color and 20-inch Alloy polished wheels. (Buick/Vanderkaay /Buick media site)

To that end, Ms. Barra, I offer this bit of unsolicited advice: Ignore the “car guys,” especially those in the automotive media who are advising you to dump GM’s Buick division. To put it kindly, they don’t know what they’re talking about. They — many of them, anyway — are zoom-zoom “enthusiasts” wrapped in their own delusional Walter Mitty racetrack fantasies.

You’re a self-described numbers nerd, Ms. Barra. Check the stats. Demographically, how many “car guys” buy Buick? How many actually buy anything?

Cars such as the Regal GS AWD are bought by people like me — baby boomers working on a second or third act, people who love driving and have accumulated the discretionary income to comfortably afford most cars in the $30,000-to-$40,000 range, people who have learned the difference between excess and luxury and who understand that public thoroughfares are not private skid pads for runaway egos.

We’re not zoom-zoom, but we appreciate a super-responsive, tightly hewn automobile. The Regal GS AWD, equipped with a turbocharged (forced air) 2-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine (270 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque), gives us that. The all-wheel-drive car’s interior is classy — an ergonomically sensible design featuring an 8-inch-diagonal screen that literally puts operational and informational systems within the touch of a finger.

Much has been made among the dump-Buick crowd about how GM could probably produce hotter, faster cars if it concentrated its money and talent on fewer product lines. I think there is some validity to that argument. I still can’t figure out why Chevrolet and GMC sell essentially the same trucks. Can you?

But Buick is a different story. It has a solid identity with middle-class car buyers here and in places such as China, where Buick pretty much sits at the top of that nation’s best-selling automobiles.

There is a reason for that. Buick gives us what we want, as evident in the 2014 Regal GS AWD — a reasonably accessible, high-quality family sedan that’s safe, attractive, affordable to operate and maintain, and fun to drive.

We don’t care that the Regal GS AWD moves from 0 to 60 mph in “only” 6.2 seconds. Most of us stopped measuring such times on public streets after finishing high school. We certainly stopped it after we had high school students of our own.

The Regal GS AWD moves fast enough. I am sure the state trooper who followed me for a mile on the New York State Thruway would vouch for that. I was not trying to outrun him, but I did back off my extra-legal speed until he found more suitable prey.

If I’d change anything, I’d simplify Buick’s lineup. For example, consolidate those various available “premium” packages into one, probably an omnibus GS, including available all-wheel drive.

I’d highlight the latter option, as it probably is one of the best designed, most intuitive and useful all-wheel-drive systems available — especially, as I discovered, in heavy snow and slush.

Based on what I’ve learned about you over the years, I suspect that you’re probably already talking to your people and your customers. I think you will find them saying that some things GM are worth saving — and that Buick, on merit, is one of them.

Best of luck, Ms. Barra. Thanks for listening.