Circling the Wagons: Buick Bullish on TourX

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

For 2018, Buick split its new Regal into two body styles: a liftback and a wagon dubbed the TourX. SUVs and crossovers make up a large chunk of the Tri-Shield’s sales, but these two machines will arguably swallow as much or more cargo than some of their high-riding showroom brethren.

Upon the Regal’s rollout for 2018, the marque estimated the TourX take rate would be around 30 percent. Now, thanks to either a rethink of market demands or someone’s innate love of wagons, Buick has revised that number upwards.

According to the company, the first Buick wagon in more than 20 years could account for nearly 50 percent of Regal sales.

“We’re pretty realistic about where the car market’s at, but we’re getting some pretty good feedback on it,” Phil Brook, U.S. veep of marketing for Buick and GMC, told industry outlet Automotive News during a media drive in Arizona. “We’re flexible enough that we can flex things up and down. That’s not a problem.”

By being flexible with “things,” we assume Brook is talking about differences in the production line between the liftback and wagon versions of the Regal. Having the ability to quickly respond to consumer demand and ramp up one particular bodystyle would indeed be an advantage for Buick.

The midsize sedan market is shrinking like a freshman’s bank account, so moving the Regal into a niche market may prove to be a sensible shift. Buick expects to harvest shoppers from Subaru and Volvo showrooms, no mean feat when those two brands enjoy healthy buyer loyalty. As a bodystyle, liftbacks and wagons have generally been shunned by Americans like fetid cheese, making the marque’s foray into these markets an interesting one to track.

As a brand, Buick has been hovering around a quarter-million annual sales in America since 2014. That’s a healthy hike from the dark days of 2009 when the tri-shield barely cracked 100,000 units. To be fair, all hands were parked in death’s nursery at that time. Globally, Buick now sells over a million vehicles per year.

The all-wheel drive Regal TourX makes an opening bid of $29,070 compared to the Regal Sportback’s base price of $24,995. It’s a handsome wagon to this author’s jaundiced eye, particularly in the $395 color of Rioja Red.

Sadly, I’ll have to get my wagon fix elsewhere, as the TourX is – for now – not available in Canada.

[Images: General Motors]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Jan 31, 2018

    Norm has been putting overtime in. Norm, your claim about "being ahead of the depreciation curve" is false- when a car is being sold new with 5 figures off the MSRP that dings resale value all the way down the line. And historically GM has been garbage at supporting one off models like this... crash a GTO or G8 and see how long it takes to get those body panels in.

    • See 1 previous
    • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Feb 02, 2018

      Sporty, most resdiuals for 3/36 are 55-60% as set by the banks. So Buick chose to cover half of that or 30% as in their sales. So Buick residuals are more like 80-85%! If KBB is correct Corey's 2012 Outback might have dropped a couple of hundred dollars since fall if he were to private sale it or about -10%. My 2016 Envision Premium was purchased 12 months ago for $35K and private sale is $33K or about -10%. That is worth more than I owe on it with only a $500.00 deposit. I like that curve!

  • Ernest Ernest on Feb 02, 2018

    I guess everyone missed the comment about the Ascent. Subaru showed off their new 3 seat CUV at the Auto Show. It looks like an Outback, but a tape measure shows it's a lot closer to an Explorer in size (and price). My contention is Subaru isn't chasing the Birkenstock crowd so much as the same demographic Volvo targeted so successfully in the 70's and 80's. And looking at the numbers, they're catching them too.

  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.
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