Buick's Euro-wagon. The station wagon's popularity waned with the introduction of the minivan, but Buick is trying to bring it back with the 2019 Regal TourX. However, this isn’t the same land yacht your parents may have had. Instead, the Buick Regal TourX follows the tall-wagon concept made popular by luxury wagons like the Volvo XC70 (which was discontinued in 2016) and Audi Allroad, as well as the more common Subaru Outback and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
Interestingly, the Regal TourX straddles the gap between the luxury and standard wagons. It is outfitted with a more upscale interior and nicer materials than the VW and Subaru, but it doesn’t quite touch the luxury or price of the Audi and Volvo.
In short, the Regal TourX does exactly what Buick has always set out to do. It provides a “near-luxury” experience that's clearly a cut above the cars for the masses, but without the price associated with an actual luxury brand.
Top trim is worth it. Believe it or not, the top Essence trim offers a lot more value than the lower trim levels. It’s the only model that gets leather, and it comes with a variety of must have features like a folding rear seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, and a bigger touchscreen. These features alone are worth the $2,400 jump in price from the Preferred trim.
On the other side of the equation, the base TourX trim is to be avoided. While you can probably live with cloth seats, the front seats are manually adjustable and don’t even offer lumbar support. There aren’t even any options to dress it up a bit, and Buick forces you to choose between three exterior colors – two of which cost extra.
Respectable performance. The Regal TourX is powered by a great engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The 250 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque is enough to make it feel faster than six-cylinder Subaru Outback models, but unfortunately the eight-speed automatic transmission offered with the Regal TourX has other ideas.
While certainly better off than the Subaru’s continuously variable transmission, it makes driving quickly on twisty back roads feel like making a teenager clean their room – they’re both only doing it because you’re forcing them to, not because they want to.
Fortunately, the Regal TourX does offer more, as all models get an all-wheel-drive system that intelligently sends power to whichever rear wheel needs it most. Additionally, the Regal TourX gets Buick’s signature QuietTuning, which makes the interior a much quieter and more comfortable place to be.
Nice(ish) interior. As previously mentioned, the Regal TourX seeks to bridge the gap between mainstream wagons and the luxury ones. Specifically, it wants to be a nicer option than the six-cylinder-powered variants of the Subaru Outback, which is in the same price range.
The Regal TourX accomplishes this goal easily, but mostly because interiors have never been Subaru’s forte. There are some soft touch materials, but hard plastics still spoil the overall effect in noticeable places. Even the leather seats in the Essence trim feel like they were sourced from the cows that General Motors' infamous bean counters wanted to use, and the stitching looks haphazard in places.
One of the biggest draws of the Regal TourX is the amount of room it offers. With 73.5 cubic feet of room with the rear seats folded flat, it rivals most SUVs in terms of space. It’s also more than any of its wagon rivals, as the Regal TourX is nearly a foot longer.
Final thoughts. The 2019 Buick Regal TourX is a car with so much potential, but it still falls flat in places in the ways that GM is known best for. This tall wagon looks great both in person and on paper, but the Regal TourX starts to disappoint after spending some time with it. It certainly isn’t a cheaper alternative to an Audi or a Volvo, despite what Buick may say.
That said, if you like the idea of an off-road wagon but want an interior that’s nicer than what the Subaru Outback has to offer, the Regal TourX is worth a look. It's also roomier and quicker than the Outback.
If acceleration and interior design aren't high on your priority list but actual off-road ability is, the Outback is a much better choice due to the higher ground clearance. If you’re looking for a true luxury wagon, try the Volvo V60, Volvo V90, or Audi Allroad on for size. If you can’t justify spending the money to get the Essence trim, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is an attractive looking option that costs several thousand dollars less than the Buick.