As promised, I drove a Buick Regal TourX Essence trim (one level less than fully loaded). Listed at 38K, selling for 32.5K *conditions apply of course

Exterior:

First impressions is that this is a very elegant design. Not a fan of the cladding obviously but there’s no way around it. Long, low sweeping roof - I can’t think of a bad angle on this car. This also looks and is longer than expected but I like it a lot and love the space as a result of it. Do I wish it were like the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer? Hell yes.

Dark blue is my favorite color on the TourX but I like the maroon and white as well. Black is best if you absolutely loathe the cladding. It didn’t bother me personally that much after the initial few minutes.

Wish the wheels were better though, I love the ones on the Opel Insignia

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Interior:

SO MUCH SPACE! This longboye is looong! This rivals or beats most crossovers seats up or folded down. I cannot imagine anyone complaining about not having space for their family. 2 kids, their strollers ans stuff, and a dog? No problem! With its rear seats up, the Outback has 35.5 cubic feet of space, while the TourX offers 32.7. Folding the rear seats flat opens the Outback’s trunk up to 73.3 cubic feet, and the TourX’s to 73.5. Those are impressive numbers, on par with the cargo space in top-rated small SUVs such as the Honda CR-V.

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Rear seat headroom and legroom is fantastic! There is a tunnel through the middle but it’s not bad. This one had the panoramic roof and it made the cabin feel airy and light.

Front space is also very good. Seats are comfortable. Only minor complaint is that sit a little low but it’s good for driving dynamics and stance but I had to make sure my head didn’t hit the roof when I got in and out of the rear. I imagine you have to bend over more when putting kids in and out of car seats in the back. 2 inches taller ground clearance would be good but then we’ll complain that they make wagons all “Crossover-ified” with lift cladding.

Interior trim and quality shows typical GM cost cutting. Sorry but this doesn’t feel like some of the more premium looking and feeling Buick Crossover interiors. I mean it’s OK but felt there was too much black plastic and then chrome which I personally hate. The fake wood didn’t look like it was good quality but everything was put together very well. Standard GM infotainment was fast and not fussy. Climate control buttons and knobs alone did feel high quality not matched by rest of the switch gear. 6/10

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It looks better in pictures than in real life

A note on features. This was the Essence trim (Above the Preferred and base) almost $38K but no ventilated seats although it had heated seats and steering wheel. Also all the safety tech had to be purchased in a separate package , It didn’t even have Blind Spot Monitoring; and if this is meant to be a family vehicle all that should be standard IMO. BUT, they have huge discounts on these anywhere from 2 to 5K off this was discounted to 32.5K so it is a good deal. Many others on Autotrader are the same way.

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The drive:

First off what I absolutely love about the TourX and wagons in general obviously is that despite the size it drives exactly like a car. Never once did I feel this was too long despite the outside appearance. The car doesn’t feel heavy (3700 Lbs) or too big/wide. Visibility is good. There is a thick D pillar at but if you have a blind spot mirror or BLIS it should be no problem. It’s better than most new cars to be honest.

The engine is…competent. Not my favorite 2.0Turbo out there. Has some lag but is very very good 2000 to 4000 RPM which means it is excellent on city roads. 250HP is not much but my issue is that 295Lb/ft doesn’t feel like 295 lb/ft maybe because it peaks at @ 3000-4000 RPM. Overall though the engine is fine and doesn’t make you hate this car. This car sorely needs the GS 3.6V6 motor in it. It would be simply perfect! Some magazines tested the 0-60 is about 6.5 seconds. AWD system I assume works seamlessly as I didn’t see any drama. I have heard it is a good system so…

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The bigger problem is the transmission. No sport mode, manual mode is best left untouched. It is tuned for efficiency and is holding back the car more than the engine and it needs to be fixed ASAP. I read that the new 9 speed will come to it next year. Hope that includes a sport mode.

Handling is the same…competent. In normal driving it is quiet and composed but not luxury car quiet. Steering is typical electric numbness. There is body roll and I felt it lumbering when I took a sharp 90 degree right turn from a 20mph road into a 45mph one and had to accelerate while doing that. Having said that, overall I would definitely take this over the Outback 3.6R because more low end torque and zero CVT and handles better. I expected more because this was a German Opel. “European feel” and all that. Oh well….Wish there was a Regal GS TourX with better transmission and suspension tuning. Or a Mazda6 2.5T AWD Wagon, one can dream right?…

Anyway, I love the idea of the TourX but wish the execution was much better, especially once you start driving it spiritedly. The issues I had with the vehicle might not be issues for the rest of you so I encourage you to check it out especially given GM incentives. There are some crazy discounts going on if you look around:

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In conclusion, I think this is a very good family vehicle. It seems to be designed around Smoothness over Sportiness, Pragmatism over Performance. I personally would go for a used 328i/330i xdrive wagon instead, but that doesn’t have the space and looks more staid. However this gives me a taste of how a wagon would fit for me. So now I am waiting eagerly for the new V60 because I think it will do everything the TourX does but better (But for more money) and I think its 316HP 295 Ft/Lb T6 turbo should satisfy my performance needs as well. It is a strong front runner for my next vehicle.