The Buick Regal TourX Wagon Just Got Even Better for 2020—as an Opel
The Buick wagon is living its best post-breakup life across the pond.
The elegant, capacious Buick Regal TourX station wagon is no more for the U.S. market. It is dying off after the 2020 model year, as are its sedan-like Regal and Regal GS hatchback siblings. But what's dead here isn't dead there—there being Europe, where the Regal family was and continues to be sold by the Opel brand under the Insignia name. (Opel built the things for General Motors' Buick division in the first place, as well as Vauxhall, and was sold off last year to the PSA Group that includes Peugeot and Citroën. PSA is, of course, now merging with Fiat Chrysler. How's that for confusing?) And Opel just announced new GSi trim for the Insignia wagon, the vehicle sold here as the TourX.
If GSi sounds like the "GS" trim offered on the Regal Sportback, you're half correct. In fact, the badging looks identical to the sportiest Buick Regal model, albeit with a lowercase "i" appended to it. Like the GS here, the GSi Insignia serves as the top of the range; in most other ways, that's where the similarities end. For starters, while Americans could only buy the GS in the Regal's Sportback five-door format, and the station wagon in slightly lifted, plastic-clad TourX guise (think Subaru Outback or Audi Allroad), Europeans can have the GSi as a regular-height station wagon or Sportback. We're going to focus in on the GSi Sports Tourer wagon, as Opel calls it, because let's face it: That's the coolest of the bunch.
Unlike the now-discontinued Regal Sportback GS, the Insignia GSi is powered not by a V-6 engine but a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder—basically the same motor that powered the non-GS Regals, the TourX included. For reasons that aren't entirely clear beyond vague references on Opel's part to reduced fuel consumption, that 2.0-liter makes only 230 horsepower in the Opel GSi, instead of the 250 it coughed out in the Buick versions. (The six-cylinder Regal GS had a spicier 310 horsepower, an advantage offset by its porkier curb weight, meaning it was barely quicker than its non-GS siblings.) That horsepower disparity between the Opel and Buick models is the only frown-inducer we see, however.
Shorn of the Buick TourX model's plastic fender flares and such, which weren't unattractive by any means, the Insignia Sports Tourer is a sharp-lookin' sport wagon. Opel's visual updates this year include a pointier lower intake up front and dazzling IntelliLux LED pixelized headlights. Each unit includes 188 LEDs and can steer with the front wheels and can rapidly cut certain pixels to prevent blinding oncoming traffic without killing high beams, similar to Audi's Matrix LED tech. The GSi also adds a new FlexRide adaptive suspension and all-wheel drive with the same Twinster torque-vectoring rear axle as the TourX.
Would the Insignia GSi Sports Tourer have made a solid, sales-bolstering addition to Buick's U.S. lineup had the plug not been pulled? We're gonna pop your balloon: Probably not. That said, the Regal TourX wagon apparently made up about half of all Regal sales here. Maybe Buick customers might have warmed to a GS-ified, lower-stance version that wasn't pretending to be an SUV. We'll never know, because with the Regal family's departure, as well as the exits after the 2019 model year of the LaCrosse large sedan and Cascada convertible, Buick now sells only crossovers to us here in the States. So, dream on about the hot Buick wagon that could have been in the gallery below, which includes a peek at the latest Vauxhall-badged version of the Insignia, too: