The plastic-festooned and slightly lifted Audi Allroad, Volvo Cross Country, and Subaru Outback have become familiar parts of the U.S. station-wagon landscape over the past couple of decades. But the latest take on the SUV-aping, all-wheel-drive wagon trend comes from an unlikely source: Buick. As part of its latest redesign, the 2018 Buick Regal is adding a new variant called TourX, a decidedly European wagon that’s a clear departure from the Buick Roadmasters you might remember from the past.
Like its predecessor, the new Regal is spun from the Opel Insignia, which means it also shares a basic platform with the latest Chevrolet Malibu. The wagon measures 196.3 inches long, making it a few inches longer than the Subaru Outback and more than a foot longer than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Of course, Buick wants you to compare the Regal TourX with more premium wagons like the Audi A4 Allroad and the Volvo V60 Cross Country, both of which also are significantly smaller than the Regal.
Buick fortifies the Regal TourX’s premium aspirations with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that puts out 250 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It mates only to an eight-speed automatic transmission and the same twin-clutch, torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system found in the Buick LaCrosse and the Cadillac XT5 (a nine-speed automatic, like the one found in the front-drive version of the Regal Sportback, will come later). Like the other SUV-ish wagons we’ve mentioned, the Regal TourX boasts increased ground clearance compared with the new Regal Sportback and features bits of additional cladding on its fenders and fascias.
A quoted curb weight of 4239 pounds means that the TourX won’t be as spirited of a performer as the Regal Sportback, which is several hundred pounds lighter. As you might expect, the wagon’s big draw will be its generous cargo space. There is 33 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, and those seats fold to create a 74-cubic-foot hold, slightly more than you’ll find in the Outback and as spacious as many small SUVs.
Farther forward, the cabin features an attractive and relatively simple dashboard layout and seating for five in two rows. Push-button start, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi come standard. Active-safety features are available in the optional Driver Confidence packages and the Preferred and Essence trims, the latter of which can also include equipment such as navigation and a Bose audio system.
Buick won’t release pricing until the Regal TourX goes on sale in the fourth quarter. Expect it to start in the mid-$30,000 range, with nicely equipped models reaching $40,000 and beyond.