2018 Buick Regal TourX heralds the return of the station wagon
Right now, we are living in the second golden age of the station wagon. The first time, it was the late 1960s and early 1970s, and America was on the move. Bigger was better, and the auto industry gave our parents station wagons to haul their families around. Today, we haul our recreational gear more often than large groups of kids, but the basic idea of a wagon is the same: you get the same passenger car, but with more space inside for the things you want to do.
Right now, you can get some really great wagons from the European and the Asian manufacturers, and now Buick has gotten into the game with the Regal TourX. The format is familiar. The TourX is a mid-size all-wheel-drive wagon, similar to Audi's A4 Allroad, Volvo's V60, or the BMW 3-Series Sports Wagon. It's no surprise that the TourX is based on a design by GM's former European subsidiary, Opel, and that it's built in Germany. If you like European cars, you're going to like the TourX.
Power in the TourX comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel-drive just happens; you don't need to do anything but drive. The engine provides 250 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. With eight gears and an automatically locking rear axle working for you, that's plenty. The TourX isn't a muscle car, but it will do 0-60 in 6.3 seconds. It's certainly fast enough.
The TourX comes in three different trim levels. The base trim costs $29,995 and features cloth seats and a seven-inch infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All comfort and performance features are present at this price point.
Upgrading to Preferred trim costs $3,500 more, but you don't get a lot for that money. What you want is the top Essence trim, which gets you power-adjustable heated leather seats, a fancy eight-inch touchscreen audio system, and a power liftgate for $35,995. That's $3,250 less than a comparable Volvo, and about $10,000 less than the base trim price of the BMW or Audi wagons.
The TourX is comfortable, has all the tech, and it drives really well. It's quiet inside, with a tight and smooth ride over our local rough roads. Everything is laid out smartly inside, and the TourX offers great visibility. To top it all off, it's a good-looking car.
I can already hear the protests from the European car lovers. But hear me out. My current personal ride is a Volvo wagon, and my previous car was an Audi wagon. If you love European wagons the way I do, I'm going to suggest that you take a test drive in the Buick Regal TourX and then decide for yourself.
2018 Buick Regal TourX
Base price: $29,995
Price as tested: $35,995
Type: Mid-size wagon
Engine: 2.0-liter inline 4 (250 hp, 295 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA estimated mileage: 21/29
Overall length: 196.3 inches
Curb weight: 4,286 pounds
Final assembly: Russelsheim, Germany