Buick’s last foray into the station wagon market ended in 1996 with the demise of the Buick Roadmaster Estate wagon. After more than two decades, the Tri-Shield brand made the decision to buck the SUV trend and return to the wagon field. The result is the 2018 Buick Regal TourX wagon. It’s low, sleek and spacious example of a family adventure vehicle.
The Buick Regal TourX comes in three levels of trim There’s the base TourX, the Preferred model, and the flagship Essence trim. All are AWD with an active twin-clutch for enhanced control. They’re also based on the European-market Opel Insignia architecture, which is also the basis for the Regal GS sedan and Chevy’s Malibu. Pricing starts at just under $30,000 and can climb to just beneath the $40,000 mark.
The 2018 Buick Regal TourX is a visually alluring crossover vehicle, ranking as perhaps one of the most attractive wagons offered in today’s marketplace. It leads off with Buick’s winged grille, which is flanked by standard LED daytime running lights and available thinner LED headlights that enhance the front end’s low, wide stance.
When compared to the 2018 Regal Sportback, the TourX gains an extra 3.4 inches in length, displaying an aerodynamic side profile with a roofline accent trim element that arches along the roof’s entire length of the roof and D-pillar, terminating at the LED-accented taillights. A protective black polymer cladding wraps the entire lower edge of the vehicle, arching over the wheelwells, contributing to the Regal TourX’s off-road persona.
Despite it’s sophisticated AWD configuration and off-road look, the TourX is not really an off-roader. Its ground clearance only measures a mere 5.8-inches – definitely not suited to rock-crawling. It provides the drive dynamics of an upscale sedan, while also delivering the versatility and functionality of an SUV. It has more overall cargo capacity than many competitors in its class with up to 73.5 cubic feet behind the front seats.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Other highlights include a hands-free power liftgate, available customer-minded accessories including a variable roof rack, portable Bluetooth speaker and keyless keypad entry and such safety innovations as a Buick-first active hood pedestrian safety system, Front Pedestrian Braking and Lane Keep Assist.
The TourX’s interior is roomy and quiet and mostly comfortable in all. That said, the middle rear seat which can be on the cramped side. The dash is topped with either a 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen, featuring a leather-like wrap, and trimmed with faux wood and bright elements.
The folding seats are split 60/40 in the base TourX and Preferred trims but 40/20/40 in the Essence model, lay almost perfectly flat, for ease in loading large items. The low roof-mounted rack height makes for ease in top-loading items. TourX’s available hands-free power liftgate is another nice touch.
STAYING IN TOUCH
Connectivity and infotainment serves up Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, an 8.0-inch screen with navigation and a Bose Premium Sound System with a spare-tire well-mounted subwoofer and active noise cancellation. There was also a free trial period for the OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Powering the Buick Regal TourX is a 2.0-liter inline-four engine. Mated to an eight-speed automatic, that engine puts out 250 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Driving the 2018 Buick Regal TourX is essentially like driving a sports sedan. But here, you get the versatility of a practical family wagon. Acceleration from the 2.0-liter turbo is a little lagging on the low end. However, it is more satisfactory in its higher ranges. The ride quality is quite comfortable and the handling attributes are nimble, bordering on sporty.
In the final evaluation, Buick’s new wagon entry should fare extremely well in an increasingly competitive market segment. Wagons are coming back, and each offering shows its own promise of growing in popularity. In any case, it’s a far cry above the Buick wagons of yesteryear.
My test 2018 Buick Regal TourX was an Essence model, starting at $35,020. The final amount came to $39,760 after factoring in the optional fare. That included the Sights and Sounds Package, Driver Confidence Package, White Frost Tricoat paint and the destination charge.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Buick Regal TourX Essence AWD
|Price as Tested:
|Engine:||2.0-liter turbocharged I-4|
|Drivetrain (Layout):||Longitudinally-mounted front engine, all-wheel drive|
|Horsepower:||250 hp @ 5,400 rpm|
|Torque:||295 lb-ft @ 3,000-5,400 rpm|
|Suspension:||Front: MacPherson strut with coil springs and stabilizer bar
Rear: Five-link independent
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs with ABS and ESC.|
|Tires:||Continental ProContact P235/50 R18|
|Fuel capacity:||16.3 gallons|
|Fuel economy (EPA):||21 City / 29 Highway mpg|
|Turning Circle:||28,0 feet|
|Curb Weight:||4,239 pounds|