The Buick Regal TourX is a solid effort to bring the wagon back into the public consciousness. At least it’s not another crossover.
Buick has been out of the wagon game for over 20 years now. Remember the old Roadmaster? That was the last gasp of the “old-style” American wagon – something comfortable and commodious with some big, old-fashioned V8 power. It even had wood paneling – another throwback to the family wagons of yesteryear. Now, however, times have moved on. Crossovers are king, and American car companies don’t make wagons anymore. Until now, that is.
Now in its sixth generation, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX brings to America another wagon for the modern age. Times have moved on from the times of wagons like the Roadmaster, as wagons like the Volvo V90 Cross Country and Audi A4 Allroad demonstrate. It’s not enough for wagons to just be big, comfy boxes on wheels. They have to have sleek, vigorous styling, all-wheel drive, and at least a bit of off-road cred to truly pass muster. Fortunately, the Regal TourX – based on the European Opel Insignia Country Tourer estate car – does hit on those elements, for the most part. But what about the rest of the car? Here’s what is good, bad, and weird about Buick’s return to the wagon world.
The good: Styling, price, engine
On the outside, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX looks great. Its long, low roofline makes the car look sleek and dynamic, while still offering a fair bit of practicality. More importantly, it’s a nice break on the eyes from the taller, boxier styling of most modern crossovers. That’s not to say all crossovers are ugly, but the Regal TourX’s styling makes for a pleasant alternative.
This Buick wagon also starts off at a reasonable price – $29,995 and up. Fully loaded, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX Essence with all-wheel drive, fully loaded, topped out at $41,550. That’s a great value for a practical car with a wide range of features and equipment. You also get a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 250 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. That shuffles the TourX along nicely and returns 24 MPG combined. However…
The bad: Interior quality, ground clearance
While the Buick looks great on the outside, the interior doesn’t quite match up. It’s not offensively bad, but the 2018 Buick Regal TourX features more of an economy car interior than we’d expect from a Buick. Sure, it’s good value and most of the features you’d expect are there, but this just doesn’t feel as high-quality as you may want. This is something that this wagon’s crossover cousins, like the Envision, do much better.
Ostensibly, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX is billed as more of an “off-road” wagon, but it lacks the ground clearance of other popular wagons. While the Volvo V90 Cross Country is raised up two inches to 8.3 inches of clearance, the Buick doesn’t clear seven inches. It is a bit higher than the normal Regal, but it’s still not enough to traverse moderate off-road obstacles, as you may do in a V90 Cross Country or a Subaru Outback.
The weird: Exploding hood, all that cladding
Okay, the hood doesn’t actually explode. However, since this is derivative of a European car, it does have a deployable hood. That means when you strike a pedestrian, the hood actually launches up a couple inches. The idea is to put some additional space between the hood and the engine and give the pedestrian a softer landing. Useful, when you’re more likely than ever to hit a pedestrian who’s looking down at their phone. Or you hit a pedestrian because you’re looking down at your phone (seriously, get off your phone when you’re driving).
Since the Buick doesn’t have a lot of ground clearance, you wouldn’t expect most owners to actually take them too far off-road. Despite that, it still has the semblance of an off-road car thanks to all that plastic cladding. Considering all the shopping trips, family vacations, and school runs this car will see, it’s likely that will still come in handy.
What do you think of the Buick Regal TourX? Let us know in the comments below! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more news, views, and real-world good, bad and weird reviews, including another wagon: the Jaguar XF S Sportbrake below.