Long before the SUV became a thing and minivans filled shopping mall parking lots, the wagon was the vehicle of choice for most families. In the last few decades the wagon has come close to extinction, since many buyers have flocked to crossovers and SUVs, but now things are changing. A wagon renaissance is happening now, thanks to new entries from Jaguar, Volvo and even Buick.
The Europeans never really gave up on the wagon segment, but now you know things are changing when one of the “Big Three” automakers decides to bring a wagon to the U.S. With the introduction of the 2018 Buick Regal TourX, Buick now has the perfect family vehicle for the anti-SUV crowd – a segment that Subaru, VW and Volvo have held onto for decades.
To create the 2018 Regal TourX, Buick tapped Opel for the Insignia Country Tourer. Both models are nearly identical with the exception of some small changes, like different grilles. Rather than being a traditional wagon, the Regal TourX tries to occupy the space between a wagon and a crossover, similar to the Volvo V90 Cross Country or VW Golf Alltrack with their slightly higher ride heights and crossover-like body cladding. The Regal TourX has just under an inch more ground clearance than the Regal Sportback thanks to taller springs and more rubber between the ground and the alloy wheels.
Under the hood the Regal TourX is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque. The four-cylinder is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the power is sent to all four wheels, since the Regal TourX comes standard with all-wheel drive. Lastly the Regal TourX is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
Inside the Regal TourX has room for up to five passengers and 32.7 cubic feet of space behind the second row seat. That’s more cargo space than you’ll get with the Audi A4 Allroad or Volvo V90. Fold the rear seat down and the Regal TourX has 73.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than you’ll get with the Buick Envision crossover.
The Regal TourX’s interior is a comfortable and quiet place to be, but some of the materials don’t feel as luxurious as they should. It’s a shame that Buick only decided to introduce the new Avenir trim level for the 2019 Regal Sportback.
While the Regal TourX can swallow just as much of your stuff as an SUV, the real reason to choose the Regal TourX is because of the better driving dynamics that you get with a wagon vs. a clumsy SUV. On the road the Regal TourX isn’t particularly sporty. The 2.0L engine gets the wagon up to speed with little drama, but it’s let down a bit by the its eight-speed transmission that seems to upshift a bit too fast, but at the same time it takes its time downshifting.
Punch it hard and the Regal TourX feels more like a sports sedan than Buick wagons from the past. Once the road gets a bit twisty, the Regal TourX stays planted to the road with little body roll, with the only drawback being a lack of a sport mode or even paddle shifters to increase the fun.
While Buick may have created the perfect anti-SUV, only time will tell if buyers bite, but for now we can give kudos to Buick for thinking outside the Me-too SUV box.
Pricing for the 2018 Buick Regal TourX starts at $29,995.