By on April 5, 2017

2018 Buick Regal TourX

With every automaker going all-in on cavernous crossovers and SUVs, Buick certainly hasn’t ignored the trend. The traditional, big-car brand even went so far as to bring us a crossover from China. Still, there’s a legacy nameplate in the lineup in need of nurturing, and it seems only natural (and prudent) that the next-generation Regal ratchets up the versatility.

For 2018, the Regal splits into two body styles, with the traditional variant offering more cargo room than before. Thanks to the midsize model’s Opel Insignia architecture, we’re here to announce a funeral for a longtime member of the automotive world — the Regal’s trunk lid. Yes, this sedan sports a liftback.

If it doesn’t seem like this newly enlarged cargo space will swallow your family’s lifestyle debris, Buick would also like to offer you an all-wheel-drive wagon.

2018 Buick Regal Sportback

The Regal Sportback grows 3.6 inches in wheelbase in its latest iteration, adding 2.7 inches in overall length. Heft is also down, with the Regal’s curb weight maxing out at 3,900 pounds. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, as the model uses a modified version of the newly lightened Chevrolet Malibu’s platform, tweaked to bring all-wheel drive to the options list.

Buick clearly wants you to look past the Regal’s improved looks and upgraded cabin and into the cargo hold. See, you’ll never want for a crossover with one of these guys! the automaker hints.

Behind the backseat lies 31.5 cubic feet of grocery storage, twice the volume of the previous Regal’s trunk. Fold the rear seats down and capacity expands to 61 cubic feet. That’s a fair bit of versatility — something that’s desperately needed to set this “sedan” apart from its endangered midsize competition.

2018 Buick Regal Sportback

Move up to the TourX — a crossover-sounding name if there ever was one — and Buick promises buyers “the drive dynamics of a car but with all the usefulness of an SUV.” It’s interesting that the automaker’s press release fails to mention the word “wagon.” Too much stigma, still?

The TourX rides higher than its Sportback sibling, stretches 3.4 inches longer, and sports standard all-wheel drive (now with rear-axle torque vectoring). As one would expect, cargo capacity expands. With rear seats fixed, buyers get 32.7 cubic feet of less awkwardly shaped volume. That hold grows to 73.5 cubes with the kids jettisoned and rear seats folded.

While it may have crossover shoppers in its sights, the model clearly targets would-be Subaru and Volvo buyers. The TourX’s maximum cargo capacity tops the Subaru Outback by the thinnest and most insignificant of margins — two tenths of a square foot.

2018 Buick Regal TourX

Under the hood of both models lies a 250-horsepower version of GM’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, outfitted with a fuel-saving start/stop system. Torque output is 260 lb-ft in front-wheel-drive models, growing to 295 lb-ft in all-wheel-drive variants. Oddly, the automaker offers two automatic transmissions. Front-drive models see a nine-speed unit borrowed from the Malibu, while models with four-wheel motivation come with an eight-speed.

Inside the cabin, occupants gain a standard 7-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. You’ll shell out more for an 8-inch unit with navigation.

Buick offers a wide range of standard and available driver aids, including an optional pedestrian braking system, though it’s the active hood pedestrian safety system that’s truly unique. Standard on both Sportback and TourX, the setup “senses the imminent impact of a pedestrian between 16-30 mph and uses a pyrotechnic actuator to lift the back of the hood up about 4 inches to lessen the impact and potentially reduce injury.”

2018 Buick Regal Sportback

Errant humans will be (comparatively) glad they stepped in front of this Buick.

As for trim levels, Buick has positioned “Essence” as the top-flight option, with Preferred (TourX) and Preferred II (Sportback) serving mid-range customers. Entry-level trims simply use the model’s name. Conspicuously absent from the release is any mention of Avenir, a sub-brand Buick announced in September of last year.

How much will these newly capacious Regals set you back? Who knows. Buick claims we’ll learn pricing details closer to the model’s fourth-quarter 2017 on-sale date.

[Images: General Motors]

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68 Comments on “2018 Buick Regal Sportback and TourX: Cargo-Happy Companions Wage War on Crossovers...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    “while models with four-wheel motivation come with an eight-speed.”

    Well there’s an excellent reason to buy the AWD variant right there. 9-speed autos are so universally loved…

    God that Tour X is gorgeous and the hatchback Regal is what all the vehicles with useless trunk openings should be.

  • avatar
    ronald

    I’m interested in the sportback. I will be in the market for a sedan next fall/winter.

    Any major concerns with a year-one Buick with regard to reliability? Any thoughts, B&B?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      My only concern is that it is based on an Opel design and Opel is being sold off by GM. How long will this generation of Regal last and what will supersede it?

    • 0 avatar
      dash riprock

      You can find out the reliability by checking out the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. Although it is an updated version, still should give you a good idea.

      Agree on the looks. Have travelled a lot in the past 10 years to Europe and have always liked the wagon version. Think they look especially sharp in funeral home black. Will go against the market trend and wish for a non awd version

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    Going after shoppers of the aging Subaru Outback with an all-new model, more premium interior, and anound the same cargo capacity doesn’t seem like a bad idea for Buick. On the other side of the spectrum, the TourX will undercut both the Volvo V60XC and V90XC.

    • 0 avatar
      aaronstein

      i think the base models will undercut. but i’ve been pricing new cars a lot as my lease comes due, and GM is the worst as far as not including most of the latest safety gear on base models.

      for instance, you can buy a buick envision for $35k. but if you want pedestrian auto-braking, you have to spend over $51K!!

    • 0 avatar
      BrentinWA

      I am not sure where you are, but here in Washington, the Subarus are driven by the already well aged and grey.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    very nice, If the wagon has real rear seat legroom and Buick prices it reasonably (read, not like a Volvo or BMW wagon) I. Will. Buy. One. If their timeline holds I could have one in the garage by summer 2018. I’m assuming it will take that long for dealers to realize that just because it is a new model they will have to settle for invoice price minus a few grand in rebates and GM card earnings. But, if they offer that stuff sooner this would make an awesome Christmas present for the wife!

    • 0 avatar
      cdnsfan27

      As a car salesperson, though not at Buick, I loathe people like you who refuse to let us make any money at all on the sale of new cars. But you will of course insist on being treated like a VIP.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        LOL! I advise you to tread lightly, lest you wake that sleeping sales-giant, Buickman.

        As a car salesperson you should already know that every dealership has its own fixed costs and overhead, some dealerships need to make more money than others just to keep the lights on.

        Some dealerships have sales volume while others watch the floorplan interest pile up by the day.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        It’s not the customers screwing you over, it is the manufacturer stuffing you with their overpriced depreciation bombs.

        If GM didn’t have middling products with WTF sticker prices that rely on “20% off!!!” sales six times a year to move anything then the dealership folks might not have to deal with customers grinding them so much.

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        LOL We loathe you too. You sound disgruntled and bitter. Maybe you should find a new, non-customer service job?

      • 0 avatar
        aaronstein

        actually, i agree with you, though you must also admit that car sales practices, especially in competitive areas like where i am (long island) also add to the mess that has become car purchasing.

        i like to keep my deals simple. so when i go to buy a car, i do my homework on the sticker price, then i add $1000. if the dealer makes a better offer first, i take it, and if not i offer my calculated amount. and of course, i am prepared to walk out.

        if everybody would be fair with everybody, it would all be a lot smoother.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        So someone who in the end is directly responsible for your livelihood should be treated like dirt? Good to know.

      • 0 avatar
        Dawnrazor

        First, I highly doubt you don’t make “any money at all”. Just about each and every car salesman I have ever dealt with (more than 30) has told me some variation of “You got a good deal boss man, won’t be making any money off you!”; when I question them or give a puzzled look they feed me some variation of “Well, we occasionally do a losing deal because it generates good advertising and keeps things moving.” (Of course followed by ten minutes of browbeating to get me to commit to giving maximum scores on the satisfaction surveys, which is just so incredibly obnoxious.)

        Second, what value to you actually add to the transaction to justify your commission? I usually know a LOT more about the vehicles I am interested in than the salesperson, and I have likely made the decision to purchase by the time I get to the test drive. I just use the test drive to ensure that nothing is obviously wrong (not a given even in new cars) and confirm that it feels and drives like I expect. I do try to get the best possible deal of course, but am not one of those guys who has the patience to spend hours and hours fighting for every last dollar; at my age (43), I have gotten to the point I am willing to pay a little extra just to avoid the stress and inconvenience of the whole process.

        Really, I just need someone to open the car, hand me the keys, then “write me up” when I return and am ready to pull the trigger. Other than some of the legally-required paperwork and financing (which I usually obtain on my own prior to shopping), I really don’t see why it can’t be as easy and quick as shopping at Target or Best Buy (or even better, Amazon). I don’t need, expect, or want any “VIP” treatment; give me just a modicum of basic “common courtesy” and don’t repeatedly insult my intelligence and/or deceive me, and I’ll be perfectly happy and give you good “word of mouth” advertising.

        I agree with the poster who suggested you have become embittered. I completely understand how a customer-facing job can lead to burnout and even misanthropy, and if you are truly at this point then for the sake of your own well-being you really should look into doing something else.

        tl;dr version:
        Well, Mr. or Ms. Salesperson, the loathing feeling is completely mutual and many of us eagerly anticipate the day when we can finally eschew the entire “dealership experience” altogether!

      • 0 avatar
        Ianw33

        As a former auto salesperson, i used to to think like you.

        I know how the majority of sales managers and sales people view customers…with utter contempt. Yea yea, i know there are some good managers/salespeople out there (you are most likely one of the good ones), but by and large the auto sales biz had made its bed with this issues. Decades of misleading sales tactics, and trying to make the absolute most off of every client, has bred the urge that customers have to keep as much of the potential profit away from the dealer as possible.

        Just as you believe that the customer is not entitled to a no profit deal, the dealer is also not entitled to a full profit deal. its a staring contest to see who blinks first.

        The car sales business model, for the most part, is built on beating the customer down and taking advantage of them whenever possible. For some reason, people that are still in the biz are astonished that the customers have finally adopted the same tactics in reverse.

        Don’t be mad at the customers because the business you work for sets your compensation arrangement in such away that its almost impossible to make money unless you are scalping your customers or you have huge volume.

        The customers aren’t the problem, the dealers are….but as long as the dealer principals are raking in tons of cash and can run through dozens of salespeople each year to move metal….things wont change.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        I don’t control whether or not you make money. (that’s between you and your employer) If your not happy with the deal I offer you simply say no deal and we go our separate ways. I have paid invoice minus incentives for two GM vehicles in the last decade. If those dealers lost money (which I doubt) then it’s their own fault. The last car I purchased was a 2015 Honda Fit. I got it at invoice minus $100. Not what I would call a screaming deal but: (A) I bought it the fall of 2014 and it was a very new model at the time and (B) I was reasonably sure that unlike GM the Fit would not likely have thousands of dollars in rebates on the hood by the following spring.

        So don’t take it personally. If GM prices the new Buick wagon reasonably right off the bat I will jump. But there is no evidence in recent history to suggest they will do so. My guess is the AWD and flared fenders (both of which I would happily live without) will magically add 10 grand or more to the “value” of the car. So when I test drive in November I expect window stickers in the mid 40’s. So I will wait until the following August and buy the same car for 32 to 35 grand after discounts. In short I save about $1,000 a month to wait for GM to come to their senses. I could be wrong and still end up paying more but that doesn’t hurt me, it hurts car salesmen.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The new E2XX Regal is on the same 111.4″ WB as the ’16 Malibu, so rear legroom should be good.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        I sat in the new Malibu at the car show. Rear seat leg room was just barley acceptable for me. I’m only 6 foot tall and my test is simple. Adjust drivers seat to my comfort. Then sit down behind that seat. If my knees are touching the back of the drivers seat then no sale. In the Malibu they just barely clear. The Impala (which I really enjoyed driving) is currently the only non suv in the Chevy lineup that passes the test with flying colors. The rear seat head room in the Malibu is terrible. Hopefully the TourX will not have this problem.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    What’s with that bump-up on the fender flares? I don’t like it. What kind of sales targets do they have for these, anyway? I think they’re attractive (except for the fender flares), but I can see these being a crapshoot, sales-wise.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The hatch is doomed to sales oblivion.

    The wagon is a product that has more of a market, but getting your typical Northwest Subaru buyer to consider a Buick is going to be a massive uphill marketing slog. I don’t know if they can pull it off. The bias against domestic vehicles here is deeply entrenched, partly because there are so few around — people really still think every domestic is like an ’84 Cavalier.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Great work, Buick.

    Outback, V60, allroad and likely Sportwagen are all competitors – and if Buick undercuts them on price, as I would expect, this is a no brainer if you’re in the wagon camp. It won’t be a canyon carver, but hardly any wagon buyers expect that (as Subaru has proven). But it will be competitive with fuel consumption, quiet, and comfortable.

    Sold!

    • 0 avatar
      aaronstein

      i very much doubt that the tourx will undercut the subaru. and at the equipment level you would need to match up with volvo or audi, pricing of their other models suggests they will be right up there.

    • 0 avatar
      phreshone

      The Buick and Outback are the true ‘size’ competitors at 73+ ft3 w/ rear seat down. The Golf, V60 and V90 are all substantially smaller in terms of rear seat and cargo space.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Wow, what a clumsy C pillar window treatment on the Sportback. Yuck!

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Liftback >>>>> than DLO-fail obsession.

      • 0 avatar
        Ianw33

        I agree with you, 30-mile.

        i have long been wishing that auto makers would take the A7 route and offer more “sedan like” cars with a hatch. this new Buick fits the bill.

        It really amazes me how some people will dismiss a great product due to one tiny styling aspect they don’t like (and really, they probably didn’t mind the DLO issue or even notice it until some dude on a car blog started posting about it)

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Lord almighty, I actually want a Buick. Either one. Wagon looks great, and the hatchback is the coolest thing since the 5 door Mazda6. Unless Buick is OK with very modest sales numbers, the odds of success for this seem small. The Subaru love is strong, the Volvo wagon market is prosciutto thin, and this doesn’t resemble a CUV at all.

  • avatar
    greenbrierdriver

    Why is there a Chrysler-looking grill bar on that wagon? Looks stupid. Otherwise it looks pretty sharp. Oh, wait. Thats GMC that is sharp. The Buick looks pretty good.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Too bad that the wagon is only AWD and has that stupid cladding to make it somehow look more rugged. I’m sure it will be priced out of the stratosphere too. I wish the SUV/CUV craze would die down so that we can have proper FWD wagons back again with over 30 highway MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      Ianw33

      if the wheel arches were body colored instead of cladding, would you buy it?

      Could it be that you don’t like the CUV segment?

      Its cool that its not your cup of tea, but why take the time to complain about something you dont like regardless of the wheel arches?

      • 0 avatar
        JRoth

        It’s not in the CUV segment. That’s the whole point: this is a very nice (seeming) traditional station wagon that is made worse in order to appeal to people who prefer CUVs. I assume that poncho man, like me, is a person who prefers wagons and wishes that they weren’t made worse by carmakers chasing people who don’t.

        It may well be that they’re making the right marketing/sales decision, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for us.

        With normal ride height and no cladding, this car would be a no-brainer to replace my B5.5 Passat (even with an auto). As it is, I don’t know if I’ll be willing to do it.

        • 0 avatar
          Ianw33

          i can respect that.

          I think you are correct, it is the correct direction for Buick to go, if they want to make money.

          In all seriousness, the V60 and special order V90 seem to be what people should pursue if they want a traditional low riding wagon without cladding.

          For the record, i prefer the low riding, non cladding having wagons. Its just that there are tens of thousands of soccer moms that like it, and they are throwing money at these type of cars as fast as they can

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        Yes. And lower it to make it a real wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        I most certainly would buy one. If this were offered in a normal FWD variant without the cladding and a nice smooth V6 i would be the first in line to get one. In that cool Rioja red metallic as below-
        http://www.buick.com/regal-tourx-mid-size-luxury-wagon/index.html#/exterior

  • avatar
    Mickiemac1

    Smart looking ‘wagon’ but why do they put that hideous black cladding around the wheel openings and along the front and rear fascia. This looks so cheap and detracts from an otherwise attractive vehicle. The only CUV’s that have all body color trim are the Buick Envision and the Toyota Rav-4 Platinum model neither of which I would consider.

    At least the interior is available in another color other than all black.

    Maybe the upcoming 2018 Enclave will forgo this black trim theme.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      They used to put faux woodgrain vinyl on the sides and back of station wagons of the past. Our ’72 Olds Custom Cruiser had it.

      Why go back to station wagons now? Why did they get rid of station wagons in the first place?

      The more things change, the more they stay the same. The past is prologue. Even for cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The current Enclave also has no black cladding (since the 2013 refresh), as do many other CUVs, mostly in higher-end and/or larger models.

      • 0 avatar
        Mickiemac1

        Sorry, I meant to imply the current Enclave doesn’t have any black cladding – all body color. As you noted, the Enclave is more ‘upscale’ so it is hoped the 2018 version continues with the body color theme. I didn’t reference the Enclave when mentioning the Envision or RAV-4 as they are a size (or 2) down from the Enclave.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    That wagon is tasty looking.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    IMHO the hatchback has an ugly, awkward looking C pillar.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Plastic cladding is terrible. Remove it. Be gone from the wagon!

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      But then…it would be a wagon and not a SUV! And everybody wants a SUV, so…black cladding!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It’s possible the wide fenders are necessary to cover a wider track on the TourX, but they should at least offer a body-color option.

      If the Chevy Avalanche, Pontiac Aztek, Honda Element, and first-gen Ford Escape are any indication, black/gray cladding eventually gives way to optional body color.

      • 0 avatar
        Ianw33

        I recently saw a new Audi Allroad that had body colored wheel arches instead of the plastic cladding. It completely transformed the look of the car (for the better).

        I would not be surprised to see a similar option offered by Buick.

        Alternatively, if the cladding was the only thing holding you back, you could always budget a few more dollars to getting vinyl wrapping done for the wheel arches. Quality vinyl wraps can match almost any factory paint color these days.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Sorry but my Brand Management has become a bit rusty: So Cadillac has become Pontiac, and Buick has become Saturn?

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Every current sedan with a fastback roofline and a mail-slot trunk should be a hatchback, or at least offer a hatchback in the US. Ford Mondeo, I’m talking to you.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    Actually this is the 2018 Buick Wildcat Wagon!

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I hope the sensor calibration for that pedestrian impact system is foolproof or better yet, defeatable. Will it work properly if covered in snow? Will it mistake animals in the road for pedestrians? I’d hate to have the system deploy and my hood ruined for an “accident” that I could have avoided by swerving, or to protect roadkill that I wouldn’t care about. Not to be too callous but it’s a whole different game now (that I’m not sure I like too much) if my car is making decisions based on what is best for others vs best for me. Of course this system is only the beginning of this dilemma as we move into the self driving world….

  • avatar
    make_light

    Love the exterior of both, but the interior looks unremarkable. I sat in the new Lacrosse at the New England Auto Show recently and was sadly unimpressed. It actually felt less solid than the prior generation. Maybe a bad example? But I want to root for Buick, and I feel like the current Regal has been pretty underappreciated.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    My brother in law rented a current model Regal. The back seat in that was A-W-F-U-L.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    The TourX is nice. Real nice. I… might actually put that on my list when shopping. I bet it’ll ring up around ~35K in AWD guise, which is pretty steep for me, but… man. It’s one sharp looking car. The real test is whether it’ll have a GS package.

    I also approve of the liftback sedan version. More “sedans” with mail slots need to open up like that, and it doesn’t suffer from droopy-butt syndrome. Hopefully they offer a trick cargo covering that looks and feels premium, and not just a cheap cover.

  • avatar
    BOF

    Closest thing to my old Roadmaster. If only it had a third row.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I just got a TXS Sportwagon and figure I’m good for another 10 years or so. Sorry but I don’t think this Buick will be around for me to even consider.

  • avatar

    Reminds me of a shortened version of the Dodge Magnum.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Love, love, love the 5-door, but 5-doors make me jelly. I came ‘ ‘ (– that close to buying a Mazda6 5-door back in 2005. I hate what looks like a big slab of DLO fail, but can forgive it because…5 door!

    The wagon is gorgeous.

    Neither will sell because Americans hate 5-doors and the wagon isn’t lifted high enough to be a CUV, which is a shame.

    Finding a gently used 5-door in 2020-2021 to replace DSW Forester – mmmmmmmm.

  • avatar
    Slocum

    For me, the Outback is a (lighter, cheaper, better handling, more reliable, but unfortunately uglier) alternative to a Grand Cherokee. The point is to be able to get to the trail head at the end of a rough, rutted, muddy two-track. Like the VW Alltrack, the Regal wagon just doesn’t appear to have the ground clearance for that kind of thing.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I’ve heard that Buick decided not to offer the conventional 4-door sedan body style because they were afraid that it would cannibalize sales from the LaCrosse. (I wonder if the current Malibu is cannibalizing sales from the Impala?)

    I’ve also heard that the 3.6 liter V-6 is a possible option in the future.


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