Begin with an extended five-door car, pop on a small raise equipment, add some plastic cladding and, Bob’s your uncle, you have discovered a approach to make the station wagon interesting to the American SUV purchaser. It isn’t a brand new system, however it’s the one adopted by Buick when introducing the brand new Regal TourX.
The Regal TourX blends the practical cargo capability and simply reachable roof rails of a sport wagon with a little bit of the ruggedness and off-road functionality of a small SUV. Nonetheless, with only a one-inch raise over the Regal Sportback, this crossover nonetheless feels significantly better fitted to on-road efficiency.
Nonetheless, I actually take pleasure in driving the TourX. It isn’t attempting to be sporty, so I simply respect the relaxed experience and give attention to consolation. Plus, I like it; wagons are more and more uncommon on US roads lately and, as longroofs go, that is definitely a good-looking one.
Often the addition of suspension stilts and “rugged” cladding ruins a wonderfully good wagon, however I am alright with the TourX’s exterior design. The slight one-inch raise would not throw off the TourX’s silhouette or proportions and the grey plastic cladding really works nicely with the Buick’s good-looking exterior design, particularly in sharp distinction with my instance’s White Frost Tricoat paint.
The TourX’s exterior design builds on the slick strains of the Regal Sportback and GS, easily transitioning the roofline into the prolonged hump of the wagon tail. I particularly just like the little bit of chrome trim that stretches all the way in which from the wing mirrors, over the aspect home windows and into the taillight housings.
The elongated roofline bumps the TourX’s complete cupboard space as much as 73.5 cubic ft with the rear seats folded, almost 13 extra cubic ft than the Regal Sportback. Behind the rear seats, nevertheless, the 33 cubic ft of “trunk” area is simply about 1.5 cubic ft greater than the Sportback. This proportioning implies that the TourX actually solely has a big cargo hauling benefit for individuals who have to haul very cumbersome gadgets.
In fact, the TourX additionally has the benefit of simpler loading with its conventional vertical hatchback. My top-trim Essence mannequin even contains a hands-free energy opening system that permits the boot to mechanically open with the kick of a foot. There’s a simple management knob for setting the opening top of the the hatch, which is useful when parking in low-ceiling garages or when lengthy gadgets like kayaks are loaded onto the roof rails.
A quiet cabin
Wanting inside, the TourX’s inside may be very nicely designed, however the supplies themselves really feel fairly low-cost. There are arduous plastics throughout, which form of diminishes the enchantment of this automobile’s non-compulsory leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel.
Behind the scenes, Buick makes use of its QuietTuning magic to make the TourX extra cozy than these low-cost supplies would suggest. By including sound insulation to the ground, door panels and even the wheels and tires, in addition to a sensible use of lively noise cancellation with the audio system, Buick is utilizing each trick within the ebook to cut back wind and street noise within the cabin. The result’s a extra stress-free, premium driving expertise, to not point out a quieter platform for the Bose audio system to work from, which makes listening to music extra satisfying.
The Regal’s cabin is nicely designed, however the supplies that make up the inside depart a bit to be desired.
Creature comforts will not be in brief provide right here. My tester options energy entrance seats with non-compulsory energy lumbar adjustment, heated seating surfaces, a heated steering wheel, twin zone local weather controls and extra; the TourX no less than checks the entire proper “premium automobile” containers on the Essence trim stage.
You possibly can have the TourX with an accessible panoramic moonroof that provides $1,200 to the underside line. Mine was not so outfitted and I can not say I missed it, however this feature can let extra gentle onto the second row, making the wagon really feel a bit extra spacious.
Dealing with and suspension
The Regal TourX makes use of Buick’s new five-link rear suspension — similar to each all-wheel-drive Regal variant. The entrance finish rides atop a MacPherson strut suspension. Regardless of its added inch of floor clearance, the TourX nonetheless sits decrease to the bottom than Subaru’s Outback, its most fierce competitor.
The taller experience implies that the TourX presents a softer, smoother experience than Regal Sportback and GS fashions. The TourX simply soaks up street imperfections and feels very comfy over bumps. The trade-off, nevertheless, is much less responsive steering. On turn-in, the additional physique roll creates simply sufficient of a lag between the wheels and the chassis that the wagon feels sloppy regardless of fairly good dealing with and grip as soon as it is settled right into a nook. The dearth of steering wheel and seat-of-the-pants really feel would not assist.
Then once more, not everybody’s searching for a bolted-down, sport-tuned drive. For the extra relaxed driver, the Regal TourX’s consolation and laid-back character greater than make up for its lower than razor-sharp responsiveness.
Physique roll takes a toll on the responsiveness, however the TourX 5-link rear suspension feels planted as soon as settled right into a nook.
Energy and financial system
Talking of responsiveness, the usual (and solely) powertrain for the TourX is Buick’s 2.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, producing 250 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. On paper, that feels like a good quantity of energy for a automobile of this dimension, and on the street it form of is. Nonetheless, the usual eight-speed computerized transmission is a little bit of a killjoy.
The gearbox appears well-tuned for effectivity and smoothness; it is definitely well-matched for the Regal TourX’s relaxed dealing with. Nonetheless, the transmission can be very gradual to downshift for acceleration. This hurts responsiveness and makes the TourX really feel sluggish and gradual when it is time to move, merge or in any other case haul ass.
All-wheel drive is commonplace and pretty refined. On the rear axle, the system makes use of two electronically managed clutches which provides the TourX the power to ship torque to a single rear wheel, retaining the wagon transferring ahead even when the opposite three wheels haven’t any traction. With its one-inch raise, the TourX will get slightly little bit of off-road cred, however its capabilities are much less “trailblazer” and extra “get you dwelling in a snowstorm.”
The EPA reckons the Regal TourX will return 21 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 29 mpg on the freeway and 24 mpg mixed. That is on par with the likes of the far more costly Audi Allroad and the smaller Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Nonetheless, the Subaru Outback once more proves to be the TourX’s foil with a superior 28-mpg mixed estimate.
There’s ample energy and torque from the turbocharged engine. I simply want the transmission was much less of a killjoy.
Again within the cabin, you may discover a typical seven-inch model of Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system entrance and middle within the dashboard. My instance options the non-compulsory eight-inch navigation setup that comes as a part of a Sights and Sounds improve package deal for $1,095.
Both manner, IntelliLink options fairly rudimentary graphics and, on this case, maps. The entire system actually feels dated. Nonetheless, the bones are nonetheless good, with strong menu group and some new options added to maintain up with the instances.
The house display screen is an icon-based affair that is simple to learn and faucet. Digging into the varied features, IntelliLink contains a shortcut bar alongside the highest of the display screen with shortcuts to the 5 mostly accessed options. This bit feels nicely thought-out and makes navigating the software program a simple, intuitive course of.
Audio sources embody USB, Bluetooth and HD and satellite tv for pc radio. There are even a couple of onboard audio streaming apps — Fox Sports activities, Pandora Radio and extra — that benefit from IntelliLink’s 4G LTE knowledge connection. A subscription is required to take care of that knowledge connection, however a couple of months’ trial is included out of the field. Knowledge may also be shared with passengers’ cell gadgets by way of the Buick’s Wi-Fi hotspot.
If, in any case of that, you are still not impressed, there’s additionally commonplace Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. I are inclined to default to plugging in my smartphone as a result of that is the place all of my apps, locations and knowledge dwell. Nonetheless, right here I extremely advocate it as a result of larger decision graphics provided by your smartphone higher spotlight the big show and simply look higher than the low-resolution OEM software program.
Past IntelliLink, the Buick’s cabin is dwelling to a plethora of USB ports (together with two charging ports on the second row). My instance additionally options an non-compulsory wi-fi charging slot that comes as a part of a Driver Confidence package deal. That stated, I would want a charging pad to the slot, as bigger telephones or cumbersome circumstances could show a decent match.
Driver help techniques
A rear digital camera is commonplace on the Regal TourX — as it’s on all new vehicles in 2018 — which aids in parking security. There are additionally a bunch of options aimed toward monitoring teen drivers.
To get extra superior applied sciences, you may first have to think about the aforementioned Driver Confidence Package deal ($1,725), which provides the ultrasonic rear sensors that energy the rear proximity detectors when parking, rear cross visitors alert when reversing and blind spot monitoring system on the freeway. This package deal additionally provides a couple of unrelated consolation options just like the aforementioned wi-fi cellphone charging, reminiscence for the ability seats and mirrors, energy lumbar adjustment and extra.
Subsequent is the Driver Confidence Package deal II ($1,190). My instance shouldn’t be so-equipped, however this package deal provides adaptive cruise management, ahead collision alert with computerized braking and pedestrian detection, lane retaining help and extra.
It isn’t very sporty, however I actually benefit from the quiet and laid-back TourX. It is too dangerous it has to dwell within the Subaru Outback’s shadow.
Pricing and competitors
The 2018 Buick Regal TourX begins at $30,990 for the bottom 1SV mannequin, together with a $995 vacation spot cost. Nonetheless, in order for you entry to the most effective driver help tech, you may need to step as much as the $36,015 Essence mannequin to realize entry to each Driver Confidence packages. Add these and the Sights and Sounds package deal to achieve a advisable value of $40,005.
In case you’re feeling fancy, add $995 for the White Frost Tricoat paint. It appears good, however not likely definitely worth the cash, to my eyes.
However as soon as once more, I take into account the Subaru Outback. The Outback Touring is healthier fitted to off-road driving, it is extra gas environment friendly on tarmac and presents driver help and cabin tech corresponding to what you get in a loaded TourX Essence for about $2,000 much less.
For $40,000, the Regal TourX feels a bit expensive for a automobile with an inside that feels so low lease. The TourX checks quite a lot of the precise containers and has quite a lot of options, however the execution feels simply wanting the premium value. Smarter packaging, or making the motive force help options accessible on the decrease Most popular trim stage, would go a great distance towards enhancing the worth of this experience.