2018 Buick Regal TourX
Though Buick's crossovers may be leading the charge in sales volume these days, the midsize Regal TourX is a unique and an appealing wagon designed to capture buyers who want added utility and European dynamics without springing for more-expensive luxury makes. It's based on the Insigna from GM's formerly captive German brand, Opel, and this Teutonic heritage manifests in an above-average ride/handling balance as well as a reasonably appointed interior.
The Regal TourX is one of three variants: Buick Regal Sportback (base), TourX (wagon) and the performance-oriented GS.
It's clear from the first glance that the latest Regal is a different sort of vehicle than the sedate Buicks of yore. The phrase "Buick station wagon” might make one's eyelids grow heavy, but fear not. The TourX is more like a shot of espresso than a sleep aid.
Riding slightly higher than the Sportback, the TourX also boasts some conservative body cladding around the rocker panels and wheel wells to give it an off-roady look.
As befits its entry-premium status, the Regal TourX is both comfortable and attractive inside.
It's also worth noting that the Regal lineup (less the GS) has been optimized with Buick's QuietTuning technology, which includes additional NVH-improving chassis and body treatments, noise-cancelling stereo components and unique, cushioned tires for greater road noise isolation.
Power and Handling
Out on the road, the Regal isn't a true sport wagon, but it offers tighter handling than one might expect in addition to a luxuriously smooth ride.
The TourX rides slightly higher than the Sportback to give it a little added road presence and a more crossover-like curb appeal, but is not quite as rugged as a Subaru Outback.
The TourX is built around a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower and 295lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic and standard all-wheel-drive. The all-wheel drive system offered on the TourX is a multi-clutch, mechanical torque-vectoring unit route available torque to any corner on-demand.
For a midsize wagon, the TourX's curb weight is reasonable, starting at 3,708 pounds. The front suspension is a McPherson Strut setup, and the rear end is a five-link independent setup. Regal TourX models are rated at 21 MPG city, 29 MPG highway and 24 combined.
Standard and Optional Features
The Regal TourX has similar standard content to most other midsize offerings. Unlike the Sportback, it is available exclusively with all-wheel-drive. As Buick expects the TourX to be a lower-volume model than the base Sportback, its trim structure is also bit narrower.
The TourX's large rear hatch opening is complimented by a 60/40 split-folding rear bench for extra cargo volume. Additional standard equipment on the Regal includes OnStar with a 4G LTE hotspot (which requires a subscription, of course), hill-start assist, seven-speaker audio, automatic stop/start and keyless entry.
Moving up to the Preferred model adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with two-way lumbar adjustment, an auto-dimming rear mirror and other interior niceties. This is also the first trim where the Bose audio system, power moonroof and remote start are available.
Stepping up to the Essence gets you an almost-loaded car. You'll get a leather interior, heated front seats, standard remote start, a heated steering wheel, remote start, SiriusXM radio, 18-inch machined-finish wheels, a 40/20/40 rear bench and opens the door to more available upgrades.
Every Regal is outfitted with dual front, front side and full-length side-curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems. Several safety technologies are available as part of two extra-cost equipment packages.
The Driver Confidence I Package includes Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Park Assist.
The Driver Confidence II Package adds Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking.
The Regal TourX occupies an odd niche, in that not too many mainstream or entry-premium models are available to buyers these days. The Subaru Outback is a logical alternative for mainstream buyers, and the Audi Allroad lineup is available at the higher end. Those who want the cheapest wagon out there should look at the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen or Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.