Buick Regal TourX 2018 Video Review
Buick Regal TourX 2018 Video Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes
Available in 2 different 5-door bodystyles and in 3 distinct models, Buick has thoroughly reimagined the Regal. So if you have fond memories of riding around in your parents’ Buick wagon, you can reclaim some of that glory in the all-new Regal TourX.
You hear it all the time; Americans don’t like wagons. Europeans do and that’s where this one is born – in Germany where you’ll see it as the Opel Insignia Country Tourer. Avoiding the term “wagon” like the plague, car companies use all kinds of made up euphemisms to describe these bastions of 70s suburbia which is why this is called the TourX and labeled as a crossover on the Buick retail site. Bottom line; call it want you want. Either way, it’s really good.
A turbo-4, 8-speed auto and all-wheel drive is how every TourX arrives with a starting MSRP of $30,000. It possesses the same twin-clutch system as other Buicks that splits torque between the rear wheels offering improved performance during acceleration and cornering. And on that country road to the lake the TourX shines with its sinewy agility built upon the foundation of a tight body and one of the more agreeable chassis you’ll drive. Gliding along its path with steering so light and accurate you could drive it with a pinky finger the TourX delivers a velvety smooth ride that tracks dutifully through every apex. It reminds me very much of how Volvos used to drive, with a pronounced sumptuousness. Buick doesn’t use any drive modes or trick suspensions either – the powertrain just works in concert with how you’re driving. Don’t think of it as a sport wagon, rather a wagon that can satisfy the sport in you. Gas mileage from the 2.0-liter motor is rated at 24mpg in combined driving but on recommended premium, turning out a feisty 295 pound-feet of torque and 250 horsepower.
Wagons should be roomy; otherwise, what’s the point? And the Regal plays large from the backseats rearward, first with bigtime leg and headroom not to mention the airiness that the panoramic roof provides and 2 USB ports and then with all of the essential cargo area features: a hands-free liftgate with a kick of the foot, a cargo management system to easily secure items, remote switches to drop the splitfold seats and more room for your stuff than any of it wagon competitors including the Subaru Outback.
The Regal works really well as a wagon – say that 10 times fast. It’s got style, German driving genes, incredible spaciousness and respectable fuel economy. It drives with a precise, light touch the person in this seat will love on a twisty road and a softer than European tuned ride quality passengers will appreciate. It’s quiet, too. My wish is that Buick would take this cabin quality up at least another notch – feels more like a $30,000 build at a $40,000 price. Plus, because it’s billed as an adventure wagon I’d like to see more driving amenities in here an AWD lock and hill decent control. Oh, and give me a Sport mode and paddle shifters please. This car can take it.
At $41,600, this loaded TourX Essence could use more cushioning in the front seats and less in the way of hard plastics. Its get-in-and-go simplicity is endearing but it’s perhaps a little too simple at this price. Because it’s a GM product you know you’re getting rock solid infotainment with an easy to use touchscreen, Wi-Fi hotspot, full smartphone integration, the convenience of OnStar and a configurable driver display. The optional 8-speaker premium Bose sound system however is mediocre. This one also has the full gamut of driver assistance and safety features including adaptive cruise control. The cabin itself is relatively quiet.
Its plastic body cladding doesn’t make the TourX a rugged off-roader even if Buick likes to pretend it does but it is a stylish, roomy, fun to drive wagon for the modern world.