Cars

Buick TourX-America’s Last Station Wagon Is Dead

You could see it coming but now that it is here it’s a sad day in US auto history. The Buick Regal TourX, America’s last station wagon, is dead. If you ever wanted a US station wagon with that new-car smell 2020 is your last chance. 

The atomic family and their family station wagon. | Getty

The idea that this bastion of 1950s American culture and symbol of atomic family sensibilities will be gone is sobering. What’s next; no more gasoline engines? Oh wait, that’s probably going to happen too. 

The TourX was an Opel in disguise 

2019 Buick TourX | GM
2019 Buick TourX | GM

The TourX was the surprising offering from Buick that took one last stab at GM selling an Opel in the US. At the time GM still owned Opel, its German manufacturing arm. Over the years Opel made some terrific cars, but GM seldom saw fit to bring them stateside which was always puzzling. GM always works in weird ways so you’ve got to figure it’s one of the mysteries of the universe. 

Opel was always losing money for GM so rather than fix the problem it finally sold Opel to PSA Group. That was in 2017. Now Opel is happy and profitable. Imagine that in less than two years. While GM no longer owned Opel there was still this arrangement for building the TourX. Actually all Regals not just the TourX. That includes the Regal Sportback, GS, and TourX. All Regals will be gone after 2020.

TourX reviews were always very positive

2019 Buick TourX | GM
2019 Buick TourX | GM

By all accounts, the TourX is a mighty fine car. Multiple reviews since its intro in 2018 bore that out. But, did you ever see one in the wild? Last year Buick sold only 6,000 Regals in all. In fact, over 90% of Buick’s sales were SUVs. We know that’s a shock, but it’s true. Just kidding, SUVs and pickup trucks will be the only offerings from US manufacturers very soon. 

That’s the thing, though. All SUVs are really station wagons. They’re just called SUVs because you can’t call them station wagons without driving off every potential buyer. Consumers have been conditioned to believe that an SUV is something different than a station wagon, but it’s not. It’s a station wagon with a slightly higher center of gravity and less overhangs. 

When baby boomers became of age they wanted nothing to do with whatever their parents owned. That especially applied to station wagons. That’s why the minivan became popular. It served the same purpose as a wagon but was slightly better at it. Upright seating, higher capacity, the ability to completely remove seats to haul things-it was a great alternative. Now, Millenials want nothing to do with minivans, and so the cycle continues.

If it doesn’t start with “E” Buick won’t sell it

2019 Buick TourX | GM
2019 Buick TourX | GM

Buick never put much weight behind the TourX. It was too busy pushing Encores, Enclaves, and Envisions. “TourX” didn’t start with an “E” so it didn’t fit in. If they had named it “ETour” maybe Buick would have seen fit to market it better. But at this point it’s moot. 

You should be able to get a smokin’ deal on a TourX with the announcement of its death. We have noticed in the LA area Penske has what seems to be TourX program cars with just a couple thousand miles at a number of dealerships. They are quite attractively priced with a number of different colors available. An attractive price for an attractive car, how can you go wrong? Just don’t call it an SUV.