Buick revealed its all-new Regal mid-size car this week in Detroit and, for the first time since we can remember, it will not be available as a sedan.
Instead, the 2018 Regal, due in showrooms late 2017, comes as a Sportback hatchback and a station wagon called TourX, a lineup that addresses the sedan body style’s continuing decline in popularity among North American car buyers.
The bummer for Canada? We don’t get the TourX here, so we’ll have to live vicariously through our American neighbours, who will get to enjoy a car conceived to compete against the Volvo V60 XC, Audi A4 Allroad, and Subaru Outback, but that bests all of those in terms of interior space.
But the Sportback is an appealing package nonetheless. Under a stylish roofline Buick describes as “coupe-like,” the automaker says there is 892 litres of cargo space with the rear seats in place, a figure that more than doubles the trunk capacity of the outgoing Regal sedan. Buick also boasts the Sportback has more total cargo space — with rear seats folded – than an Audi A5 Sportback or BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Standard kit includes a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making what GM estimates will be 250 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
All-wheel drive is available, and cars with it get an eight-speed automatic transmission, while front-drivers will use a nine-speed. For the record, the TourX gets the same engine and standard AWD with the eight-speed, so Sportback buyers won’t miss out on anything drivetrain-wise.
Buick says the Sportback is the brand’s first car with an active hood pedestrian safety system that pops the trailing edge of the engine cover up by about 100 mm (four inches) when the system senses an imminent collision with a pedestrian.
That’s standard, and more conventional active safety features are available, too, including side blind spot/lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert and rear park assist, all bundled in the Driver Confidence I package.
An upgrade to that adds front pedestrian braking; lane keep assist with lane departure warning; and adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking.
Infotainment features include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, accessed through a seven-inch touchscreen; ante up for navigation and the screen swells to eight inches.
Buick says Sportback pricing will come closer to the car’s on-sale date at the end of this year, but confirms the car will be offered in three trims, called Regal, Preferred II, and Essence.