The Buick Regal is sold in Europe as the Opel Insignia, and we usually get to see a ‘preview’ of what to expect when Opel launch their new models, slightly before us in the U.S.
However, when Opel launched their next-generation Insignia, we expected to see three separate models; the sedan, hatchback and wagon, because that is what the Opel brand had, however, Buick had other thoughts.
Mark Reuss says that the mid-size sedan market is shrinking, and that it’s already fiercely competitive, so Buick have taken the decision to pull out from the segment and concentrate on the other two. For 2018, we will have the Buck Regal Sportback and the Regal TourX wagon. Whether that’s the right decision or not, only Buick will ever know, for us though, we think it’s a brave move and Buick have stolen the march on some of their competitors.
|Contents||Buick gave the two models a debut at the historic Design Dome in Warren, Michigan, they say that the two versions will have an official launch at one of the larger auto shows later this year – around the mid part of the year. A full dealer roll-out will happen in around October, but prices haven’t yet been set.|
It’s difficult to predict because there is such a shift in Buick’s thinking, we doubt that the base model will rise too much; the current model starts at $27,990 but that’s for the sedan, we know that the TourX will start higher up, but we aren’t sure about the Sportback. We’d guess that Buick would want to retain a price lower than $30,000.
What Does New 2018 Buick Regal Offer?
Mechanically, there is a lot of difference between the 2017 and 2018 models, the ’18 Regal (both variants) will use the updated Epsilon E2XX platform (as used in the Chevrolet Malibu) and the Sportback will be 3” longer than the predecessor, while the TourX will be 3.4” longer than that. That’s quite a size increase over the 2017 Model Year.
The Sportback will come as standard with front-wheel drive, but there will be an all-wheel drive option, and the TourX will be available only with all-wheel drive. The drive layout also dictates what transmission you’ll get; the front-wheel drive will get a 9-speed auto while the all-wheel will get an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Along with the two types of transmission, there will be two engine choices; the smaller engine will be a 1.5 liter turbo-charged 4-cylinder that makes 163 BHP and the bigger engine is a 2.0 liter turbo-charged affair that makes 250 BHP and 260 lb/ft of torque. Not tire-shredding performance, but enough for this sort of car.
The Sportback will also be significantly lighter than the outgoing model – Buick say as much as 200 lbs lighter thanks to better materials and the updated platform. The TourX will actually be heavier, but if we take the figures from the older car, only by a 100 lb or so (which would mean 300 lb over the new model).
Technology and Toys of the Buick Regal 2018
As for trim levels, there will be three levels across the range, and the Sportback benefits from an extra level again. Both models get the Standard, Preferred and Essence while the Sportback gets a level called Preferred II. Buick haven’t really said what we’ll get in each trim level, so we don’t know what’s on offer and what’s standard or what will cost us extra.
We do know that the technology available will be the Driver Confidence I package and the Driver Confidence II. The first package gives us blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane change assist and rear park-assist, add the Confidence II and you’ll get adaptive cruise-control, forward collision alerts, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking and lane-departure with lane keeping assist.
There will of course also be OnStar options and upgrades available (screen-size for example) and all models will get Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for smartphone integration.
We should also see the Buick QuietTuning system being offered across the range, but we don’t know whether it will be a standard feature or an optional extra. The QuietTuning system helps to counter road-noise while travelling along, something like the more commonly known active-noise cancelling systems.
The NEW Wagon
The Regal TourX is the first station-wagon for Buick since the 1990’s Roadmaster, it will go head-to-head with the Volvo XC60, Audi A4 Allroad and the Subaru Outback. Buick clearly feel that the wagon market is the one to be targeting – out of the two options they’re offering, the TourX is definitely the better specced option.
Both models are going to be built in Germany, and Buick have taken a ‘new approach’ to how they want their brand to be viewed. We think the new Regal looks good, the ride and handling has been improved, it is more fuel-efficient and it seems that Buick have got the recipe just right.
We can’t wait for the arrival of the new 2018 Buick Regal, what do you think to it? Have Buick done right by dropping the sedan from the range? Let us know in the comments.