All-new this year and sporting a slick, euro-inspired design, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX offers a rugged-looking exterior, standard all-wheel-drive, a smooth ride, and plenty of power. But it lacks the ground clearance and drive modes to be a true off-roader, the interior doesn't match up well with rivals, while the widest range of advanced safety tech is optional and only available on the priciest models.

Best Value

Pricing ranges from $29,995 for one in base trim to $41,000 for a fully-optioned Essence model. Four of five Sportback trim levels are available with either front- or all-wheel-drive. All-wheel-drive is standard, and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic is the only engine/transmission offered.

In addition to the usual power features, standard equipment includes eighteen-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, LED daytime running lights and tail lights, heated outside mirrors, flat-bottom steering wheel, seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, and keyless push-button start.

A rear view camera is standard across the lineup. Rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind spot warning are optional on the Preferred trim, with those features plus adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking offered at additional cost on Essence models.

We like the distinctive looks and added versatility of the TourX, while the Essence trim adds leather front seats and the widest range of available advanced safety features.

Here's how we'd build it

  • Model: 2018 Buick Regal TourX Essence
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 250 horsepower / 295 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
  • Options: Driver Confidence Package I ($1,725, LED headlights, cornering lamps, wireless charging, heated, power adjustable, auto-dimming outside mirrors, rear park assist, blind spot alert, power driver and front passenger seats, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic auto-leveling headlights), Driver Confidence Package II ($1,190, lane departure warning with lake keep assist, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control).
  • Base Price: $35,995 (including a $925 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $38,910

Performance

Ford EcoSport

Off the line, the TourX is reasonably quick, with the eight-speed automatic adept at finding, holding and changing gears. The standard all-wheel-drive system – biased toward the front – can send up to fifty percent of engine power to the rear wheels, while the twin clutch rear axle can allocate power between those wheels as needed.

On the road, the MacPherson strut front suspension and five link rear suspension does a nice job of glossing over potholes and road imperfections with very little disturbance entering the cabin. The brakes are easy to modulate with a nice initial bite, while feedback through the steering wheel is decent. Fuel efficiency is also very good – especially considering the TourX's all-wheel-drive system and 3,800-lb curb weight - achieving an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon in the city, 29 on the highway, and 24 combined.

At the same time, the TourX is more adept at highway cruising that back roads corner carving, with handling that's competent but only approaches – rather than embraces – fun. In addition, despite its butched-up look – its more poseur than off-road warrior - only offering an additional half inch of ground clearance and lacking a traction control system with an off-road mode that's found in some rivals. Finally, the turbo-4's impressive EPA numbers are achieved using more expensive premium fuel, while automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control are part of expensive option packages that are only available on the most expensive model.

Style

European in everything but its Buick badges, the TourX is sold across the pond as the Opel Insignia Country Tourer. The Sportback could easily be mistaken for a contemporary coupe-like sedan, while the wagon is more traditional, although both are inspired by European designs.

With a grille whose style was lifted from the Avenir Concept, the TourX features highly sculpted sides with a character line that rises from the upper edge of the front wheel well, passes through both door handles, and terminates at the top of each tail light. Liberal swaths of cladding are applied around the wheel wells, lower body, and lower front fascia. Compared to the Regal hatchback, the additional ride height of the TourX is minimal, so it avoids the awkward raised-body look of Subaru's Outback.

Wrapped around that mildly aggressive bodywork is an interior with soft-touch surfaces, a dashboard whose flowing lines carry over to the doors and center console, and crossover-like cargo space – an impressive 32.7 cu ft that vaults to an even more versatile 73.5 cubes with the back seats folded. For additional cargo-carrying capacity, the TourX also comes with a standard roof rack.

Instrumentation is clear, easy to read, and intuitive to use. There's a useful, console-mounted, wireless charging mat for phones, and taller occupants – even those six-foot-two and below sitting in back - will find plenty of headroom.

On the other hand, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are only available with the optional eight-inch touchscreen, while the interior isn't any different from that of the on-road-oriented hatchback and lacks the earth-toned upholstery that might attract off-road wannabes. In addition, storage space for small items is just adequate, while buyers have to move up to the Preferred trim in order to get power seats up front,. Finally, overall interior quality does not telegraph that the Regal is a premium vehicle as evidenced in a number of missteps: the lower interior spaces are bathed in hard plastic trim, with some untrimmed flash in cupholders and door pockets, while stitching on the leather-trimmed seats doesn't always line up.

The Best and Worst Things

We are drawn to the TourX's smooth ride and euro-inspired design, but we wish the interior had more of a premium look and feel.

Right For? Wrong For?

Ford EcoSport

A slick design, with plenty of versatility, that stands out from the sea of look-alike crossovers should attract style conscious families.

The TourX only looks the part. Weekend warriors need not apply.

The Bottom Line

Despite European-inspired good looks, a smooth ride, and plenty of power, the 2018 Regal TourX falls short with a disappointing interior, expensive advance safety tech limited to upper trims, and an off-roadr that belies its on-road characteristics.