2018 Buick Regal TourX First Review
Filling in the white spaces
In seeking to carve out its own niche between the mass market Chevrolet and luxury Cadillac divisions, Buick is working hard to establish itself as a brand that delivers the affordability of the former with a dose of upscale features from the latter. But beyond that, it is looking to offer new products that are unique to Buick, filling in white spaces with vehicles like the 2018 Regal TourX, an all-wheel drive wagon.
Built in Germany by Opel, the Regal TourX exudes the cool of a European wagon infused with a taller ride height and black wheel arches that give it a crossover feel. The sleek lines are firmly rooted in car rather than SUV design idiom. However, pick your color carefully. If you get white, the wheel arch flares stand out in stark contrast. Those wanting a more integrated look will be better off with darker body colors.
The TourX has a 111.4-inch wheelbase and measures 196.3 inches overall, and these generous dimensions pay handsome dividends when it comes to hauling stuff. Buick brags that the TourX has the largest cargo carrying capacity in its class, offering 32.7 cubic feet of space behind the second row, expanding to 73.5 cubic feet when the back seat is folded down. In addition to this usable space, Buick has added thoughtful touches like cargo tie downs in the load floor.
The TourX has plenty of room to seat five passengers comfortably. Thanks to its European pedigree, the seats are firm with good bolstering. The interior layout is straightforward with logically placed switches and controls, and the overall design is clean, uncluttered and straightforward. Base and Preferred models come with a 7-inch infotainment screen, while the top trim Essence models have an 8-inch screen. All models include Apply CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, OnStart 4G LTE Wi-fi hotspot, a Bose premium sound system and active noise cancellation.
Buick’s Quiet Tuning approach to managing noise, vibration and harshness is evident in the serenity of the cabin. In addition to using laminated glass and additional sound insulation, the division went an extra step by specifying Continental all-season tires that incorporate a foam layer to dampen tread noise.
Standard all-wheel drive
Available in base, Preferred and Essence trim levels, all Buick Regal TourX models come with standard all-wheel drive. The system features a rear differential equipped with two clutch packs, which enables the car to feed torque to the rear wheel that has the most grip. The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine makes 250 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, delivered through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The strong engine is a good match for the TourX, helping the 3,708-pound vehicle feel relatively light on its feet. And the 8-speed transmission does its work as unobtrusively as the seamless automatic start/stop system that helps deliver respectable fuel economy of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway for a combined rating of 24 mpg.
Behind the wheel
Thanks to its long wheelbase, 2018 Buick Regal TourX has a supple ride. Electric-assist steering has a direct and communicative feel and body motions are well damped. Again, the European roots of the independent suspension and dynamics come through clearly in the way the vehicle handles and performs. The quiet and comfort belies the agility of the TourX, which can be hustled down the road with aplomb.
We also had an opportunity to drive the TourX on dirt roads. The suspension soaked up the irregularities with ease and the all-wheel drive system does its part to invite you to take those less travelled tracks with confidence.
Safety and driver assists
One of the slick new safety features on the Regal TourX is a standard active hood system that between speeds of 16 and 30 mph will lift the rear of the hood up to four inches if it senses that the car is about to hit a pedestrian. The flat, thin hood acts as a relatively soft buffer between the person's head and harder, more accute engine parts.
The Driver Confidence 1 package, a $1,725 option, includes rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert with blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, forward collision alert and cornering LED headlamps. All models are equipped with 10 airbags, hill start assist, hands-free power liftgate, universal home remote and heated side mirrors.
The 2018 Buick Regal TourX starts at $29,995 including delivery. Preferred models are priced from $33,595, while the range-topping Essence has an MSRP of $35,995. The Essence we drove listed for $39,160 with the Driver Confidence package, smoked pearl metallic paint and the Sights and Sounds package that includes navigation, HD radio and premium audio. Considering the average new vehicle transacts near $36,000 nowadays, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX, given its size, capacity and capabilities, offers a lot of car for the money.
2018 Buick Regal TourX Photo Gallery
2018 Buick Regal TourX Specs
Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 250 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
Torque: 295 lb-ft @ 3,000-4,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
Wheelbase: 111.4 in
Length: 196.3 in
Width: 73.3 in
Height: 58.4 in
Turning circle: 40.0 ft
Base wheel: 18-inch light-alloy
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