The Buick Regal is all new for 2018 in many ways, now coming in both an off-road wagon and the new Sportback model, both unveiled at the New York Auto Show.
The Buick brand is in a bit of a renaissance, with all-new models popping up across the board and sales booming not only in China but on the increase here in the United States. In addition to two all-new SUV’s in the Envision and 2018 Enclave, the new 2018 Regal Sportback takes the brand on yet a another new path.
While the Regal has been a nameplate that’s been around for decades, the car itself has been offered in many forms from a coupe to a sedan, and wagon. Now for the first time it will be offered in a five-door hatch they call the Sportback.
This is because it’s based on the German built Opel Insignia and in Europe, the rear hatch tends to be more popular than a traditional sedan which rules in the States. That Buick chose to stick with this format is a welcome one for younger buyers but may not be so popular for some of the brand’s more matured customers.
That said, the Regal Sportback is all-new from the ground up with styling evolutionary and clearly akin to past General Motors design ethos if not identical to the Opel Insignia save for the Buick grille and emblems. Not a bad thing however.
That rear hatch will pay dividends in the Regal’s functionality with now 31.5 feet of cargo space that’s far more flexible than in a sedan when the seats are folded down. This will go a long way to capturing those younger Buyers Buick is chasing after.
The interior itself is all-new and will offer more premium materials throughout especially on top trim grades such as you see here. Lots of tech will be available too such as the expected top-end touchscreen audio and navigation system with full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality.
Standard power for the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is a 2.0 liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It has 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque in front-wheel-drive models. If you step up to all-wheel-drive, torque increases to 295 pound-feet.
The all-wheel-drive system comes with an active twin-clutch differential at the rear axle that can vector torque to either rear wheel mechanically instead of depending on the anti-lock brake system. This is a superior format that feels better and just works better overall.
A stiffer body structure with increased sound-deadening particularly at the wheel-wells should offer a quieter ride and a tighter handling experience. All-wheel-drive models even benefit from a top-drawer five link rear suspension.
Available will be a comprehensive driver assistance and safety package that will include lane departure warning, blind spot alert with cross traffic, and rear park assist. Also available is automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert and adaptive cruise control.
Pricing will be announced this fall when both the 2018 Buick Regal Sportback and TourX wagons go on sale.