2018 Buick Regal TourX

2018 Buick Regal TourX Review

Buick's got a sharp-looking new wagon that's also impressively versatile.
7.6 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Buick hasn't sold a wagon in quite some time (remember the Roadmaster?), but now it's back with the 2018 Buick Regal TourX. The twist is that Buick has cribbed a few crossover SUV themes, including standard all-wheel drive, plastic body cladding and a bit of extra ground clearance, to create the new TourX.

Like the redesigned Regal Sportback upon which it's based, the TourX is bigger, more stylish and a more compelling entry in the luxury segment than previous Regals. It also offers a lot more passenger space and, naturally, utility. Buick says that the TourX has more cargo space than its wagon rivals and even many compact luxury SUVs. Compared to those SUVs, you'll also like its lower price and its lower roof and load height.

Though we've yet to drive the TourX, we expect this new Buick will be a solid alternative to a premium wagon or crossover SUV.



What's new for 2018

The Regal TourX is an all-new model for 2018.

We recommend

The base Regal TourX doesn't have power seats, leather upholstery, automatic climate control or even a leather-wrapped wheel. As such, we'd recommend the top Preferred trim that, for a still palatable price, offers the comfort and convenience equipment expected in the luxury segment.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Buick Regal TourX is a five-passenger wagon with standard all-wheel drive and a slightly raised ride height. There are three trim levels — base, Preferred and Essence — each of which comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque) and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment on the TourX base includes 18-inch wheels, LED running lights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a rearview camera, OnStar communications (with a 4G connection and onboard Wi-Fi), a 7-inch touchscreen interface, a USB port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Bose audio system.

The Preferred adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power-adjustable driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also opens the door to a variety of options. The Preferred Driver Confidence 1 package includes LED headlights, rear parking sensors, and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems. The Sights and Sounds package adds remote start and upgrades to gauges, the audio system and the infotainment system, which includes an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, Bluetooth, two rear charge-only USB ports and satellite radio.

The Essence trim adds a hands-free liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power-adjustable passenger seat, leather upholstery, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, a heated steering wheel, and most of the content of the Preferred Sights and Sound package. The upgraded audio system can be added through the Essence's own Sights and Sound package.

The Essence Driver Confidence 1 package includes all of those items from the Preferred version plus a driver-side auto-dimming mirror, driver-seat memory functions and a wireless smartphone charging pad. The Driver Confidence 2 package adds all of that plus adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning and intervention.

A panoramic sunroof is a stand-alone option on the Preferred and the Essence.



Trim tested

Edmunds has not yet driven any version of this vehicle, but we have limited experience with a preproduction Regal TourX. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall7.6 / 10

Driving

7.5 / 10

Acceleration7.5 / 10
Braking8.0 / 10
Steering7.0 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability7.5 / 10

Comfort

7.5 / 10

Seat comfort7.0 / 10
Ride comfort8.0 / 10
Noise & vibration7.5 / 10
Climate control7.5 / 10

Interior

7.5 / 10

Ease of use7.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out7.5 / 10
Driving position8.0 / 10
Roominess7.5 / 10
Visibility7.0 / 10
Quality7.5 / 10

Utility

7.5 / 10

Small-item storage7.0 / 10
Cargo space8.0 / 10

Technology

7.5 / 10

Audio & navigation7.5 / 10
Smartphone integration8.0 / 10
Driver aids7.5 / 10
Voice control8.0 / 10

Driving7.5

You don't expect much performance from a utility car such as the Regal TourX, but there's more here than meets the eye. With its low center of gravity and roots in a lively European sedan, the TourX impresses with its handling and balance. It's slow to get moving but can hustle once underway.

Acceleration7.5

The TourX surges forward eagerly at all but freeway speeds after its turbo has had a chance to spin up, but it begins to run out of steam a bit at the top end. At our test track, the TourX sprinted to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, which isn't a bad result but about a half-second slower than a Volvo V90.

Braking8.0

The brake pedal feels smooth and progressive even during hard stops, with no chattering or crabbing when stopping from highway speeds. Its firm pedal inspires confidence that plenty of braking force remains in reserve. At our test track, the TourX stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is a good result.

Steering7.0

The steering is quick and accurate, sharper than most crossovers thanks to sport sedan roots. Some artificial heft lends a sportier feel. It tracks straight with good on-center feel and stability at highway speeds. Low-speed assist makes it easy to maneuver the long wheelbase in tighter spaces.

Handling7.5

While we wouldn't call it sporty, it's surprisingly composed through corners exhibiting less body roll than you might expect from a car of this size. Since the TourX's ground clearance is relatively low, it also handles more like a sedan, not like an all-terrain wagon with a long cargo area.

Drivability7.5

Self-shifting in the TourX's S automatic mode livens up acceleration since the regular automatic mode tends to dull throttle response. But drivers who prefer to let the car do the work won't be disappointed by the smooth-shifting transmission. It's not a performance-oriented box, but it's competent.

Off-road7.0

The TourX comes standard with all-wheel drive and can handle some slippery roads. But it's no substitute for more rugged wagons such as the Subaru Outback or even the smaller Volkswagen Alltrack or Audi A4 Allroad. Leave the dirt trails to the others; the TourX belongs on pavement.

Comfort7.5

Comfort is a Buick specialty, and the TourX is no different. But this isn't a Buick boat ride of yesteryear. It is a buttoned-down and quiet ride that, despite the TourX's impressive handling capability, still delivers trademark Buick ride comfort. But there's a bit more wind noise than we'd expect.

Seat comfort7.0

The seats feel a little firm, and in the case of our test model, the new leather upholstery isn't especially pliable. The seat cushions are also a tad narrow and best for those with trimmer figures. The shape of the seats themselves is OK, but larger bodies will wish for something wider.

Ride comfort8.0

The ride is settled and nicely isolated from the road without being completely shut out. It remains controlled over bumpy sections of road, with no swaying, rolling or heaving. While the ride doesn't feel like that of a sport wagon or a luxury wagon, it's nicely buttoned-down and straight down the middle.

Noise & vibration7.5

The car nicely suppresses tire and road noise in classic Buick fashion, but the factory-issued roof racks contribute more wind noise than you'd expect. It's a small trade-off given the utility of the racks, hardly a deal-breaker, but slightly out of character for the brand's trademark cabin hush.

Climate control7.5

The A/C blows cold on the softest setting, which is actually more fan than necessary for the lowest speed. The cabin cools quickly, with big vents up front and two in the rear center console. Hard buttons handle most controls, but some basic functions, such as mode selection, are buried in the touchscreen.

Interior7.5

The TourX's long and low look is a bit deceptive, and the cabin isn't quite as roomy as the exterior suggests. It's more midsize sedan than adventure wagon, but it still offers ample headroom and legroom. Inside, the controls are logical and within easy reach, and it's easy to find a comfortable position.

Ease of use7.5

A streamlined instrument panel puts all controls close at hand. Fortunately, there aren't too many of them to deal with as most functions are integrated into the touchscreen. It can sometimes be a menu-diving nightmare, but the Regal offers a handful of hard buttons for most often-used features.

Getting in/getting out7.5

The roof may be low, but the TourX is slightly lifted and its doors open wide. Front passengers will have no trouble getting in or out. But the roofline begins to taper around the rear seats' halfway point and taller passengers, depending on body shape and type, may need to duck into the cabin.

Driving position8.0

Even 6-foot-plus drivers should have no problem finding a comfortable position in the TourX. The seats offer plenty of power adjustments, with tilting lower cushions and power lumbar. The steering column tilts and telescopes with good range.

Roominess7.5

There's plenty of leg- and footroom in the front and rear, but overall the seats and armrests feel a bit narrow. The front passenger has ample space from the door panel, and rear headroom is decent even as the roof starts to slope down. It's not claustrophobic, but it's not as airy as you'd expect.

Visibility7.0

A rising beltline (where the side windows begin), thick middle and rear pillars, and bulky cargo area side panels all compromise rearward visibility. But there's a lot of glass, and the views out the side aren't bad. A large rear window helps mitigate the right-rear blind spot.

Quality7.5

The interior looks and feels solid, with enough soft-touch material to cushion elbows and knees from plastic panels. Upholstery and trim, such as the sapele-like wood grain center console, impart a classy feel. But the knobs, switches and buttons from the GM parts bin undermine the TourX's premium vibe.

Utility7.5

With impressive cargo space, as much as most compact crossovers, the TourX is a lifestyle vehicle that can haul toys, tools and just about anything the weekend can throw at you. Small-item storage is a bit limited, but the massive cargo hold and roof racks will inspire ideas for long road trips.

Small-item storage7.0

There's surprisingly not much room for personal effects. The center console isn't very large or deep, but it does offer a device holder and USB port (although this effectively sequesters your phone out of sight). There are two cupholders, and each door panel offers a molded cutout for a drink bottle.

Cargo space8.0

With 32.7 cubic feet of cargo space (73.5 cubic feet max), the TourX is a legit lifestyle machine. That's just a bit less space than the Honda CR-V, the class-leading cargo hauler among compact crossovers. There's even enough room for two adults to lay out comfortably in the back with the rear seats folded.

Child safety seat accommodation8.0

Lower anchors under each outboard seat are easily accessible, living close to the surface under upholstery flaps. All three rear seatbacks have top tether anchors on the back side of the seat. There's plenty of room fore and aft, and side to side, for a variety of infant and rear- and front-facing convertible seats.

Technology7.5

The TourX's software and aesthetics are standard GM fare: functional but showing age. But the blend of navigation, smartphone integration and Wi-Fi hotspot give the Buick excellent tech utility for everyday driving and longer trips. Some of today's more common driver safety aids are missing, however.

Audio & navigation7.5

The nav system has good graphics with a 3D view and a pinch-zoom function. It's slick but looks a bit dated compared to rival interfaces. A 7-inch touchscreen is standard, but the Essence trim offers an 8-inch display. Bose audio has a subwoofer in the spare tire well, but it still sounds flat. (Also it only offers three tone controls.)

Smartphone integration8.0

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are nice inclusions. There are three USB ports (two are charge only) to keep devices juiced up. The music library can be browsed via Bluetooth, a nice feature not widely offered. But you can't browse podcasts via Bluetooth, which is an odd limitation.

Driver aids7.5

Our car came equipped with parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The latter two are handy, given the car's compromised visibility. Other safety aids, such as automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist, cost extra even on this Essence top trim level.

Voice control8.0

Native software offers a basic set of phone, media and nav commands, and it recognizes natural speech well. More in-depth functions (e.g., listing traffic incidents) still require the touchscreen. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto offer more functionality, but the TourX platform provides a good overall set of features.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.