Buick introduced a luxury station wagon version of the Regal sedan in 2018, the Regal TourX, which went on to boost sales of the Regal lineup.

For 2019, the five-passenger TourX comes in three trims – base TourX ($29,070), Preferred ($32,670), and Essence ($35,070). It's identical to the 2018 model, with one small change: an ionizing cabin air cleaner has been added to the Essence trim.

All trims are powered by a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine, connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode using the shifter.

Also standard on all trims is intelligent all-wheel drive. I-AWD with active twin clutch sends power to the wheels with the most grip to maximize traction on slippery roads and improve cornering and acceleration on dry roads.

TourX is designed for adventure, with rugged styling and purposeful features. Custom black cladding surrounds 18-inch machine-faced aluminum wheels with dark painted pockets, wearing all-season blackwall tires. The wheels are designed to reduce road noise on most surfaces, while the cladding protects the vehicle from rocks and debris. TourX comes with a tire sealant and inflator kit in place of a spare tire.

My TourX Essence was Summit White with heated Ebony leather seating. The front bucket seats offered three levels of warmth, welcome on chilly mornings. Two standard colors are offered, the Summit White and Sport Red (candy), with five available for $495 each (Quicksilver, Riojo Red, Dark Moon Blue, and Smoked Pearl metallics, and Ebony Twilight) and one (White Frost tricoat) for $1,095

Halogen headlights had signature LED daytime running lights, a flash-to-pass feature, and automatic headlight-leveling system. LED taillights also had LED signature lighting, and the heated auto-dimming driver's side mirror had a memory setting. Front cornering lights are available.

The wide black grille had vertical bars, with the Buick Tri-Shield flanked by chrome "wings." A matte silver air dam underlined the front bumper, below the black lower body cladding. Fog lights at the outer bumper had an angled chrome lower trim.

Chrome trimmed the top window edge from the bottom of the A-pillar, through the C-pillar, down into the taillight, where angled chrome curved down and out toward the corner, creating a unique styling detail.

A deep crease on the lower door panels swept from the front quarter toward the rear and up at the back edge of the rear door, echoing the angles seen in the lighting. Parallelogram chrome exhaust tips peeked out of the outer rear bumper, with a matte silver air dam between.

A hands-free programmable power liftgate featured an LED Buick logo indicating where to swipe a foot to open the cargo area. With the 40/20/40 split rear seatbacks folded flat, the cargo area would hold up to 73.5 cubic feet of camping equipment, luggage, flea market finds, DIY supplies – whatever you need to haul.

The standard chrome roof rails can be outfitted with crossbars for attaching various accessories for extra hauling capacity.

My Essence had a heated, leather-wrapped, manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel with controls for audio, phone, voice recognition and cruise.

Remote start with programmable temperature meant I could warm the interior before running out into the cold. The system locks the doors and turns on the parking lights while the engine is running.

Dual-zone automatic climate control had rear air vents and air filtration/ionizer to purify the air inside. Ambient interior lighting was welcoming on foggy mornings. Entry was keyless, and upon exiting, the system locked all doors automatically.

A 4.2-inch multi-color driver-information screen – between the tachometer and speedometer – provided key information such as fuel range, tire pressure, oil life, warnings (such as rear seat reminder and weather alerts), audio information, and more.

The Ebony interior had subtle silver trim on the doors, dash, center stack/console, air vents, and steering wheel; faux wood on the door panels and center console; and contrast stitching on the side bolsters, armrests/headrests, steering wheel, and carpeted floor mats.

Buick's infotainment system, with an eight-inch high-resolution color touch screen tucked under the lip of the dash, had Siri EyesFree and natural voice recognition for radio and phone, Bluetooth audio streaming, USB/auxiliary ports, in-vehicle apps, Apple CarPlay (music, maps) and Android Auto (Google maps, Google Play music, more) capability, and personalization capability using third-party apps. Two charging USB ports were on the back of the center console for rear passengers' convenience.

SiriusXM Radio (three-month trial) with All Access brought more than 150 channels including commercial-free music, sports, talk, entertainment, and news and the ability to listen on the app and online.

Active Noise Cancellation blocked and absorbed sound, and damped and eliminated vibrations to keep out noise. Quiet Tuning Technology used triple door seals, acoustic-laminated glass in the front, specific suspension tuning and lots of other measures to help block, reduce, and absorb unwanted noise, making the cabin quiet for enjoying conversation and music at highway speeds.

My TourX had OnStar, Buick Connected Services, and a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. OnStar Safety and Security offered Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, and Roadside Assistance. OnStar Connected Navigation included real-time updates and information provided by databases on the cloud, one-shot destination entry, predictive navigation, and more.

Buick Connected Services offers several ways to connect your vehicle. Connected Access (10 years standard) enables Buick Smart Driver and Vehicle Diagnostics with no charge. Remote Access Plan or Unlimited Access Plan connect to more features such as remote vehicle start and unlimited Wi-Fi data. Up to seven devices can access the Wi-Fi hotspot to stream, surf, or post at 4G LTE speed.

Buick Smart Driver is a driving-improvement system, designed to gather, analyze, and display driving-related information such as hard braking/acceleration events, high-speed driving, late-night driving, and average mph and fuel economy. Using a personal username and password, drivers can check their scores on the OnStar website, sorting by day, week, year, or lifetime. The Smart Driver system will also provide advice and tips to improve the driving score.

The MyBuick app allows the driver to start and stop the engine, lock and unlock the doors, check tire pressure, get real-time diagnostics from almost anywhere using a mobile device.

The standard Stabilitrak electronic stability control system with traction control provided confidence on wet/icy roads by adjusting the brakes and engine torque when it sensed a loss of traction barely noticeable to the driver.

Front air bags had a passenger sensing system to automatically switch off the front passenger and knee air bags if the seat is unoccupied. Knee air bags help reduce the risk of leg injury in moderate to severe frontal impacts, while seat-mounted side-impact air bags (front and rear) and head-curtain air bags protect passengers in side-impact and rollover crashes.

Teen Driver was standard for my Buick TourX Essence. The system allows parents to activate a specific key fob to help coach a new driver's behaviors behind the wheel by setting a speed warning (between 40 and 75 mph), limiting speed, limiting audio volume/muting audio until driver and front passenger seatbelts are fastened, and defaulting available safety features to "ON" (they cannot be turned off as long as the designated key fob is in use). Parents/owners can access an in-vehicle report card to track the teen's performance.

Buick TourX is versatile for everyday use or weekend adventures. Although it's equipped with all-wheel drive, the low ground clearance would limit TourX to well-maintained dirt or gravel roads (camping, fishing, sightseeing) rather than real off-road fun. TourX is attractive and sporty, with subtle bright touches and side creases.

With addition of a power-sliding panoramic moon roof (to let the outside in if desired) for $1,200, and $925 destination charges, my TourX Essence delivered for $37,195.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

Emma Jayne Williams' auto reviews appear in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She can be reached at emmajayne1948@gmail.com.

Visit Fort Worth Star-Telegram at www.star-telegram.com

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