QOTD: Fly or Flop? New Wagons Brave Rough North American Shores

qotd fly or flop new wagons brave rough north american shores

Two new models are entering the [s]not[/s] hot wagon market in North America. While one wagon entry is aimed squarely at the near-luxury market, the other aims higher and challenges established luxury wagons.

Our question today is this: Will either of the models work?

The Buick Regal loses its sedan body next year, and instead offers up the Regal Sportback (a liftback sedan like the old Mazda 626), or the TourX wagon you see above. Still based on the Opel Insignia, the TourX will start at just under $30,000, with all trims having standard all-wheel drive. While this puts the TourX at a price advantage over European competitors like the Volvo V60 CC ($42,695) and the Audi A4 Allroad ($45,475), it’s in the same ballpark as the perennially popular Subaru Outback.

But who is the customer for a TourX? Is it an older person who declines one of the CUVs already offered by Buick? Is it a potential Outback customer who finds the Subaru Love too trite? Perhaps it’s the Volvo customer intending to save some money. Also in question (to my mind) is the future longevity of any Opel-Buick vehicle, after GM’s Opel sale earlier this year. Formulate some opinions down in the comments, but for now, it’s time to move on to the second competitor.

Jaguar thinks North Americans need more choice in the luxury wagon segment, and is launching a new XF Sportbrake for 2018. While the XF has existed in wagon format for Euro markets previously, this will be the first wagon XF on our shores. Worth noting, this will be the very first wagon in Jaguar’s roster since the wildly unpopular (and now rare) X-Type wagon, which was available from 2005 to 2008. That model sold a massive 1,602 units.

Pricing has been set at $70,000 for launch versions in S trim level, featuring standard all-wheel drive. That luxury price tag puts the XF Sportbrake up against two brands which have long provided expensive wagons. The new Volvo V90 CC is larger than the Jaguar and a bit less expensive, starting at $55,300. The Mercedes E-Class wagon has spent decades transporting conservatively upscale, well-heeled owners, and the current E400 4MATIC estate rings in at $62,300.

Looking at the competition leaves me with some questions about XF’s customer. Are there people who desire to forego the safe, stylish Scandinavian, or give up the three-pointed star and upscale image of the Mercedes? Does Jaguar have adequate prestige or desirability to steal sales from luxury wagon stalwarts, when their last wagon was a leather-coated Ford Mondeo?

Will either of these new wagons make a dent against competitors, or stick around in North America for more than a couple of years? Surely some of you can provide some wago-pinions.

[Images: General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Daimler AG, The Truth About Cars]

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  • Maui_zaui Maui_zaui on Nov 01, 2017

    I hope these new wagons do succeed since more options are always welcomed, but I'm pessimistic based on current shopper preferences for CUVs. I know it's anecdotal, but I can count the number of wagons I see on one hand during my daily commute, while the majority of vehicles seem to be CUVs, trucks, and sedans. The latter of which are still plentiful despite monthly reports of decreasing sales. I've never been that interested in Buicks prior to the Regal, mainly due to bland design and geriatric stigmas, but the Regals are actually attractive to me this time around. Hmmm...must be getting old.

    • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Nov 03, 2017

      The wagon sightings tend to be suburbs and most on the coastal cities based on my travels

  • Ra_pro Ra_pro on Nov 02, 2017

    TourX is not coming to Canada. I saw it in Europe in the summer, a good looking car but not a standout in Europe among many good-looking cars. But would sure stand out here as not many wagons around.

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.