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Buick Regal: From Prussia With Love

July 2017, by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

2018 Buick Regal
2018 Buick Regal

General Motors may have sold its Opel and Vauxhall brands to Peugeot, but the OEM is moving forward with plans to produce the all-new, sixth-generation Buick Regal at a PSA Group plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany. There, the 2018 Regal will be manufactured as a hatchback and station wagon modeled after the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport and Sports Tourer, respectively.

The five-door Regal replaces the fifth-generation midsize sedan as well as the smaller Verano — which had served as Buick’s only entry-level sedan in the North American market — in the slot below the Buick LaCrosse in GM’s near-luxury lineup.

Specs for the 2018 Buick Regal
Specs for the 2018 Buick Regal

Why Germany? Among other factors, the Opel/Vauxhall vehicles already had the goods that GM needs to compete against sport wagons such as the Audi A4 Allroad, the five-door variant of the BMW 3 Series, the Volvo XC60 Cross Country, and the downmarket Subaru Outback. Fleet buyers will choose between the Regal Sportback hatch and the Regal TourX wagon, which GM has elected to market as a “crossover,” for some reason.

The Sportback looks just like a sedan, but the big hatch offers ease of access and more cargo space — up to 60.7 cubic feet (cu. ft.) with the rear seats folded down. The TourX is another vehicle entirely. It sports built-in roof rails, higher ground clearance, lower-body cladding, and a hands-free liftgate. Cargo capacity maxes out at 73.5 cu. ft.

Both vehicles get a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four that will deliver 250 horsepower (hp) and 295 pound-feet of torque (lb.-ft.). All-wheel drive is available on the hatch and standard on the wagon. Front- and all-wheel-drive editions will be mated to nine- and eight-speed transmissions, respectively.

The Sportback will be available in base, Preferred, Premium, and Essence trims; same for the TourX, minus the Premium option. All trims will feature a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen, OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The center armrest will lift to reveal a wireless charging vessel and USB port for smartphones.

The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback and Regal TourX are expected to go on sale in the U.S. this fall; the wagon will not be available in Canada. Pricing has not yet been revealed as of press time, but starting MSRPs in the low $30,000s are a good guess. Stay tuned to BusinessFleet.com for updates.

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