As a newborn member of an endangered species, we should probably pop open the Dom to fete the arrival of the 2018 Buick Regal TourX. It’s a wagon, after all, and if there’s anything we automotive writers have been clamoring for is more wagons.
“Forget those SUVs,” we’ve implored. “This wagon over here is better! Just as much cargo space, better to drive! And have you seen it in brown?”
Well, it seems like our collective proselytizing is starting to pay off, or perhaps far more likely, consumer tastes are shifting a bit to appreciate the wagon. Sure, they need to be lifted a bit and sport plastic fender flares to add a wee bit of SUV-ish flavor, but who the hell cares? Beggars, choosers, etc. It’s a wagon, and we should be happy it’s here.
Which brings us to the next wagon benefit: the lower roof height. According to Buick’s marketing folks, people who buy off-roadish wagons like the Regal TourX are far more likely to actually live the outdoorsy active lifestyles the owners of SUVs usually only envision for themselves.
And actually, the TourX is lower than other wagons, too. Not by that much in comparison to an Allroad or a Volkswagen Alltrack, but the Subaru Outback stands a whopping 7.7 inches taller. That’s a huge difference, but here’s the rub: that lower overall height is countered by the Regal’s rather pathetic amount of extra ground clearance.
And there’s no shortage of power for it to work with. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is standard, producing 250 horsepower and an especially noteworthy 295 pound-feet of torque that gets the 3,708-pound TourX moving with authority. That compares to 252 hp and 273 lb-ft in the 3,825-pound Allroad, while the 3,893-pound Subaru Outback 3.6R’s flat-6 musters 256 hp and 247 lb-ft. The Outback’s base 2.5 flat-4 has a mere 175 hp and 174 lb-ft.
So yes, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX delivers as a wagon. Not only does it exist (huzzah!), it handles better than the typical SUV, has loads of space for people and their stuff, and it’s low enough to put whatever doesn’t fit inside onto the roof. As an off-roadish wagon, though, it’s a bit lame. And as a premium vehicle, it really isn’t. In other words, the TourX is in essence quite good – it should just drop the pretenses.