2018 Regal Sportback New Car Test Drive
For 2018, Buick Regal benefitted from a thorough makeover. What was previously an impressive midsize sedan is now an elegant hatchback that looks more like a fastback. Buick calls it the Sportback. And the performance-minded Regal GS is back, with a V6 engine, all-wheel drive, upgraded chassis, and more aggressive looks. But more than that, and better too, there is a new model: the TourX wagon.
The new Regal TourX is the first Buick wagon since the classic and beloved Roadmaster Estate land-yacht rumbled and wallowed over our highways. It faded into obsolescence a quarter century ago, driven there by the coming of the Subaru Outback and the SUV movement. Today wagons are coming back, because they make sense. With an engine less than half the size (closer to one-third) of the V8 Roadmaster, the TourX is a worthy successor. The Roadmaster was special because it was unique, but the TourX is special because it matches the European competition.
Well, actually, it is the European competition. It's made in Germany by Opel. That not only explains why it's good, it also makes this Buick a threat to national security, says our president.
The TourX looks like a Volvo wagon but prettier, with a relatively subdued and classy Buick waterfall grille with winged tri-shield emblem. The interior is comfortable and nicely designed, and the ride is sleek. It compares very well against the Volvo V60 Cross Country, Audi A4 Allroad, BMW 3-Series Sport Wagon, and Subaru Outback. It isn't the best in every area, but it's number one in cargo space, quarter-mile acceleration, fuel mileage (by our measure), and beaten only in base price by the four-cylinder Outback (but not the six-cylinder Outback).
The TourX comes only as all-wheel drive, using a sophisticated twin-clutch system. It's powered by a new 2.0-liter turbo making 250 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, mated to a Japanese Aisin 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Sportback and GS hatchback/sedan models use another engine, transmission, and suspension, and their seating and cargo space is entirely different, so we review them separately.
The TourX hasn't been crash-tested yet, however the 2017 Regal aced its crash tests, and the TourX uses the same chassis.
It's EPA-rated at 21 city, 29 highway and 24 combined miles per gallon, but we got better than that. We topped 29 mpg with the cruise control set at 73 mph for a full day, and averaged 26.7 mph during our week in the car, which included a road trip and city driving.
The TourX base price is just $29,995, and for that it comes well equipped, but in just one color: white; any other color is extra. Even the $33,595 Preferred model still has cloth upholstery, but it adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Our test model was an Essence with a base price of $35,020 that included leather seats, adaptive cruise control, power liftgate with lamp, remote start, 8-inch touchscreen (7-inch is standard) and safety features such as automatic emergency braking. It topped out at $39,160 after the Driver Self-Confidence package (LED headlamps with auto-dimming and cornering capability, rear park assist, blind-spot monitoring, lane-change alert, and more), Sights and Sound package (premium audio, Buick infotainment, HD satellite radio, Navigation), and $925 delivery charge.
A fully loaded TourX can top $42,000.