Buick Prepares To Enter the Station Wagon Game Yet Again
But, with the Regal? Really?by Robert Moore, on
TV killed the radio star, and now, SUVs are killing the car. Want proof? Buick, yes I said Buick, is going to drop the Regal sedan altogether and replace it with a sedan-styled, five-door that’s more like an SUV or wagon than the sedan that we’ve all known for so many years. It’s not surprising, considering the sale of midsize sedans have dropped for two years in a row, while crossovers have accounted for roughly two-thirds of Buicks sales in 2016 alone. We also saw this coming after Buick showed off the Cadillac Escala concept not that long ago.
So, what kind of design is Buick actually going with? Well, don’t hold your breath for anything special because GM is all about badge-engineering these days and the 2018 Regal is going to be no exception. Need a hint? How about the name Opel? Need another hint? How about Insignia? That’s right; the next-gen Regal is likely to be nearly identical to the Opel Insignia Grand Sport hatchback and the Insignia Sports Tourer wagon that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show just this month.
There has been no comment from Buick about this development, however, rumor has it that the new Regal will be built in Opel’s Ruesselsheim factory in Germany and imported into the U.S. On the plus side, if the Buick really is going the five-door route with the Regal, it will be the brand’s first official wagon since the Buick Century and Buick Roadmaster of the 1990s. And, on another note, it could be the last produced by Opel now that the brand (and Vauxhall, for that matter) are being sold to PSA Group.
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Is the Wagon Really Making a Comeback?
I’ll come right out and say it – I don’t think the wagon is making a comeback, but it very well could in the future. Wagons were once pretty popular family haulers here in America, but over the last two or three decades, there was more interest in small cars (thanks to the gas/oil crisis,) and then we all started hoarding SUVs into our driveways once fuel prices dropped and they have been going strong ever since.
Wagons on the other hand, offer similar cargo room to SUVs but generally sit much lower – think of models like the Volvo XC70 or the Volkswagen Golf Wagon – and could be appealing to those who don’t want an SUV, but do want to cargo-hauling capability afforded by the fifth door and extra room in the boot. There are a number of other wagons on the market these days too, so it’s quite possible they could make a bit of a comeback, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for them to be as popular as the SUV is now or will be for some time to come. Even still, you’ve got to give Buick credit for making such a bold and aggressive move with a model like the Regal – hopefully, it works out for the brand in the long run.
Source: Automotive News