2018 Buick Regal TourX
Buick launches first wagon in two decades!by Ciprian Florea, on
Launched in 1973, the Buick Regal became a big hit in the 1980s, during the Grand National and GNX era. The nameplate soldiered on for two more generations until it was discontinued in 2004. Upon its return to the U.S. market in 2010, the Regal had become a re-engineered Opel Insignia. Although the "transplant" was received with some criticism by purists, the Regal once again became a big hit, especially in China. For 2018, Buick launched the sixth-generation Regal, a rebadged version of the brand-new Opel Insignia.
Although rebadged vehicles are rarely a case to get excited about, the new Regal is a big deal for Buick. With Opel having upped the ante in just about every department, creating a sportier, premium looking car with an upmarket interior, the Regal has also moved up the luxury ladder in a move that should have happened years ago. What’s more, Buick decided to also import the wagon version of the Insignia as the Regal TourX. Not only that, but the TourX also sports crossover-specific features and a raised ride height, which makes it a perfect, and much-needed competitor for the likes of the Subaru Outback, Volvo V60 Cross Country, and Audi A4 Allroad.
After two years of rumors and a highly debated trademark for the TourX name, Buick is finally offering a wagon after nearly two decades. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Buick Regal TourX.
2018 Buick Regal TourX
Much like any Buick based on an Opel product, the Regal TourX shares nearly most of its exterior features with the Insignia Tourer.
Much like any Buick based on an Opel product, the Regal TourX shares nearly most of its exterior features with the Insignia Tourer. The two are actually identical as far as design goes, with two notable differences at the front. The Buick grille, which has the traditional vertical slats instead of the Insignia’s horizontal inserts, and the "tri-shield" emblem on the nose and the tailgate.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the new Insignia is a good-looking vehicle in both sedan/notchback and wagon form, but I know there are a lot of critics out there who are still annoyed about Buick cars being based on Opel.
Anyway, the TourX is quite different compared to the Sportback. While the latter is a sleek sedan with a coupe roofline and elegant body shape, the wagon is more on the utility side. It’s still pretty stylish for a grocery getter, but unlike the sedan, it rides higher from the ground and sports SUV-type fender and bumper moldings. As a result, the front and rear bumpers feel more solid, while the black cladding around the wheel arches and below the side skirts give it the crossover looks many drivers are looking for nowadays.
The wagon is 3.4 inches longer than Sportback, which not only helps with a sleeker look, but also contributes to the enhanced legroom and trunk space inside.
But despite the utilitarian look, the TourX shares the Sportback’s numerous sporty features. The wagon has the same slender headlamps and center hood crease up front, as well as the unique character line that runs above the side skirt and ascends toward the rear wheel arch top. Around back, the large exhaust outlets at each corner and the big spoiler atop the tailgate indicate that the TourX is no slouch.
It’s also worth noting that the wagon is 3.4 inches longer than Sportback, which not only helps with a sleeker look, but also contributes to the enhanced legroom and trunk space inside. Those who are looking to make more use of the TourX’s exterior can order a variable roof rack off Buick’s comprehensive accessories list.
The Subaru Outback (left) might not be as upscale as the new Regal TourX, but it fits the bill when it comes to size and ride height.
The Subaru Outback (left) might not be as upscale as the new Regal TourX, but it fits the bill when it comes to size and ride height. Basically the only wagon that’s nearly as long as the TourX, the Outback also comes with a matching SUV-like stance with massive bumpers and roof rails. On the other hand, the Outback’s design isn’t as fresh as the Regal and the Subaru feels more like a rugged, utilitarian car rather than an upscale vehicle that can also be useful. Much like the Outback, the V60 Cross Country (right) is a wagon on stilts that looks fresh but is not quite as new as the Regal. Set to be replaced soon with a redesigned version, the current V60 Cross Country is actually a better looking car and has a unique vibe thanks to its sleek roof line sporty front fascia. A truly unique feature is the lack of large, black plastic chunks in the bumpers and side skirts, which gives the V60 a road friendlier look. Assuming you want a utilitarian wagon that’s still somewhat elegant, the Cross Country is good choice.
|Subaru Outback||Volvo V60 Cross Country||Buick Regal TourX|
|Track front/rear (Inches)||61.8/62.2||62.1/62.0||62.8/63.0|
The clean lines and uncluttered surfaces contribute to the new upmarket appearance and make the new Regal feel very American to my eyes.
Much like the exterior, the interior is also identical to the Euro-spec Opel Insignia. But again, this comes to Buick’s advantage, as the latest Insignia is a significant departure from the previous generation and is no longer the dull German nameplate it used to be. Instead, Opel upped the ante in the premium department and designed the new interior with refined materials and modern technologies. The clean lines and uncluttered surfaces contribute to the new upmarket appearance too and make the new Regal feel very American to my eyes.
The cars are well equipped even in their most affordable trims. The Regal TourX comes standard with OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, the myBuick app with OnStar Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help Buick owners maximize their vehicle’s overall performance, and a seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The larger eight-inch system is standard on the range-topping Essence trim and optional on the others, but the base model also gets a Bose premium audio with subwoofer mounted in the spare tire well and active noise cancellation as no-cost features.
The Regal TourX has more cargo space than the Volvo V60 Cross Country, Audi A4 Allroad, BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon, and Subaru Outback!
A portable Bluetooth speaker and keyless keypad entry are available as accessories.
When it comes to cargo room, which is arguably more important for wagons, Buick says that the Regal TourX has "more overall cargo space than the Volvo V60 Cross Country, the Audi A4 Allroad, BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon and the Subaru Outback" at 73.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. This is indeed true, as the roomiest vehicle above, the Subaru Outback, provides 65.2 cubic feet, while none of the other three offer more than 54 cubic feet. However, it needs to be said that the Regal TourX is some six inches longer than the Outback and a whopping 14 inches longer than the 3 Series Sports Wagon and Volvo V60.
|BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon||52.9 cu. ft|
|Volvo V60||43.8 cu. ft.|
|Audi A4 Allroad||53.2 cu. ft.|
|Subaru Outback||65.2 cu. ft.|
Access to the trunk is made via the hands-free power liftgate that has a Buick tri-shield logo lamp that illuminates the ground beneath the sensor. This features is standard on upper trim levels and optional on the base version.
Interior comparison: old vs new model
The Outback and V60 are the closest options you have if trunk space is a priority for you.
Being based on the Legacy, the Outback’s interior (left) is far from being dated, but it’s really difficult to compete against the Regal TourX and all the cool stuff that the Opel-based wagon has to offer. Design-wise, the Outback feels rather rugged on the inside and lacks the finesse we can see in the Buick. On the other hand, the dashboard and the door panel layouts are easy on the eyes and the front cockpit feels spacious. The center stack is also uncluttered and easy to use, something you get to see in these kind of cars. The V60 Cross Country (right) is along the same lines, although the bulky center stack with the large knobs and rectangular A/C vent isn’t what I’d like to see in my car in 2017. The plasticky dashboard doesn’t help either and make the Regal TourX look like a significantly advanced car.
All told, none of these wagon can really compete with Buick in terms of materials and features, but the Outback and V60 are the closest options you have if trunk space is a priority for you.
|Subaru Outback||Volvo V60 Cross Country||Buick Regal TourX|
|Head room front/rear (Inches)||40.8/38.9||38.7/37.6||38.8/39.6|
|Leg room front/rear (Inches)||42.9/38.1||41.9/33.5||42.1/36.9|
|Hip room front/rear (Inches)||55.5/55.0||54.9/53.1||55.2/54.1|
|Shoulder room front/rear (Inches)||58.1/57.3||57.0/55.2||56.9/55.4|
|EPA passenger volume (cu ft)||108.1||93.0|
|EPA cargo volume seats up/folded (cu ft)||35.5/73.3||38.5/68.9||32.7/73.5|
The Regal TourX comes with just one engine, but the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder has plenty to brag about.
The Regal TourX comes with just one engine, but the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder has plenty to brag about. For starters, it cranks out 250 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which is pretty solid compared to the competition. All that juice travels to the wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Second, it is equipped with the same intelligent all-wheel-drive system with an active twin-clutch offered on the Envision and LaCrosse.
The innovative new system uses two clutches at the rear wheels for seamless, smart torque distribution, which enhances performance and efficiency in snowy weather but also during spirited driving. The engine also comes standard with advanced start/stop technology.
The TourX also has a revised suspension, riding higher than its Sportback sibling. This gives it greater capability on rough terrain. Granted, it’s not the kind of vehicle you can take off-roading, but it’s more than suitable for the not-so-friendly roads in the countryside.
|Buick Regal TourX||2016 Buick Regal|
|Engine||2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder||Ecotec 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder|
|Horsepower||250 HP @ 5,500 RPM||182 HP @ 6,700 RPM|
|Torque||295 LB-FT @ 3,000-4,000 RPM||172 HP @ 4,900 RPM|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||Hydra-Matic 6T40|
Output of the Volvo V60 is similar to the Subaru Outback, but lacks the torque of the Buick.
Unlike the Regal TourX, the Subaru Outback comes with two engine options. The base model uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer that develops 175 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Although arguably inferior to the Buick, this unit returns up to 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, which makes it a solid option if you aim to spend less at the pump. If you’re looking for more power, there’s the 3.6R Limited trim that comes with a six-cylinder boxer rated at 256 horses and 247 pound-feet of twist. This engine is on par with the Buick when it comes to horsepower, but misses nearly 50 pound-feet. Fuel economy is estimated at 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
Moving on to the V60 Cross Country, although it’s available with a range of drivetrains globally, the U.S. model comes with just the T5 AWD specification. This means that the eight-speed auto and the all-wheel-drive system are connected to a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Output is similar to the Outback, but lacks the torque of the Buick. On the other hand, the Start/Stop and Adaptive Shift functions help return solid fuel economy.
|Subaru Outback 2.5i||Subaru Outback 3.6R||Volvo V60 Cross Country||Buick Regal TourX|
|Engine||2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder||3.6-liter DOHC 6-cylinder||2.0-liter In-line 4-cylinder turbo||2.0-liter turbocharged I-4|
|Horsepower||175 HP @ 5,800 RPM||256 HP @ 6,000 RPM||240 HP @ 5,600 RPM||250 HP @ 5,500 RPM|
|Torque||174 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM||247 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM||258 LB-FT @ 1,500–4,800 RPM||295 LB-FT @ 3,000-4,000 RPM|
|Transmission||Lineartronic® CVT||Lineartronic® CVT||6-speed Automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Fuel economy city/highway/combined mpg||25/32/28||20/27/22||22/30/25||TBA|
|Curb weight (lbs.)||3,580||3,847||3,925||TBA|
|Towing capacity (lbs.)||2,700||2,700||3,500||TBA|
|Acceleration, 0 –60 MPH (sec)||6.9||6.6||TBA|
|Top speed, MPH||139||130||TBA|
The new-generation Regal also brings new safety features to the nameplate. The main highlight is the active hood pedestrian system. A first for Buick, the system senses the imminent impact of a pedestrian between 16-30 mph and uses a pyrotechnic actuator to lift the back of the hood up about four inches to lessen the impact and potentially reduce injury.
The optional Driver Confidence I package adds Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Rear Park Assist. The more advanced Driver Confidence II bundle brings Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Automatic Braking.
Pricing information is not yet available, but given that the outgoing sedan retails from $27,065, the upcoming TourX should fetch at least $32,000 before options.
The Subaru Outback is the most affordable of the bunch with a sticker set at $25,645, but this price is for the less powerful, four-cylinder model. If you want Buick-like power, the 3.6R Limited version will set you back $34,995 before options, which puts the Outback on par with the Regal TourX. It’s the V60 Cross Country that’s the most expensive in this comparison, coming in at $41,700.
|Subaru Outback 2.5i||$25,645|
|Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium||$27,695|
|Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited||$32,390|
|Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring||$35,995|
|Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited||$34,995|
|Subaru Outback 3.6R Touring||$38,195|
|Volvo V60 Cross Country T5 AWD||$41,700|
Although a tad smaller than the Buick Regal TourX, the A4 Allroad is an option to consider if you want a more premium choice. Essentially a perched-up A4 wagon, the Allroad combines the sporty look of the standard grocery getter with the cladding and the ride height of a crossover. The standard package includes all sorts of premium goodies, including three-zone automatic climate control, aluminum inlays, panoramic sunroof, leather seating surfaces, eight-way power front seats, a seven-inch infotainment screen, cruise control, and a wide range of driving assist and safety features. Motivation comes from a turbo, 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet regardless of trim and the sprint to 60 mph takes an impressive 5.9 seconds. Pricing starts from $44,000 in base trim, but the A4 Allroad can cost at least $51,400 with the Prestige package.
Find out more about the Audi A4 Allroad here.
Also smaller than the Regal TourX, the 3 Series Sports Wagon also has the disadvantage of not having a raised, crossover-like version (a slot covered by the X1 and X3 crossovers for the most part). However, it offers a more upmarket package compared to the Subaru Outback and Volvo V60, which places it in about the same bracket as the Regal TourX. The standard package offers many convenience features and a rich interior, while the options list is packed with enough premium features to make you forget that the Sports Wagon is a grocery getter. Much like most of the competition, the German wagon gets its juice from a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Rated at 248 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, the Bimmer is almost as powerful as the Buick, while still being able to return as much as 33 mpg on the highway. Pricing starts from $42,950.
Learn more about the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon here.
The new Regal is definitely a massive improvement over the outgoing model but GM owes it big time to Opel for creating such an advanced, premium-looking latest-generation Insignia. Granted, it’s not yet able to compete with the big German brands in the luxury realm, but it’s only a few fancy features away from driving on Lincoln territory. But arguably the biggest news here is that Buick is finally offering a wagon after nearly two decades.
The U.S. market has almost abandoned the wagon segment in recent years with just a handful of cars in dealerships. Since both Acura and Cadillac dropped their grocery getters, the market has been restricted to the models above plus the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon and the recently launched Volvo V90. It’s been a few years since an American automaker built one and Buick’s new venture into this wagon-on-stilts niche is more than welcome. Sure, the Regal TourX is not actually American, but hey, maybe other carmakers will follow suit and the U.S.-made wagon will make a comeback.