The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is an all-new design, a midsize hatchback with room for five. Front-wheel drive is standard; an all-wheel drive is an available option and car shoppers have a choice of a turbo 4-cyl. or V6 engines that promise to offer up a lot more performance.
The Buick Regal is back, but for 2018, this midsize model replaces its sedan with a hatchback. Officially known as the Regal Sportback, the new design is in response to shifting consumer tastes as buyers are putting a premium on utility over almost everything else. Here, Buick rips a page out of the German luxury make playbook without the stratospheric price accompanying it.
2018 Buick Regal Sportback: What’s New
The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is a new version, taking up where the Buick Regal sedan left off. The new version is 3 inches longer between the wheels and comes with a 31.5-cubic-foot storage space — more than double the size of the previous version. As before, the front-wheel setup is the standard, and all-wheel drive is available.
The most current Regal, an Opel-supplied model marked by a waterfall grille, sweeping lines, and a falling roofline, surely does seem like a Buick. The inside provides bucket seats upfront; based on the trim, you will discover 6o:4o or 40:20:40 fold-down bench seats in the second row.
Most notably, storage capability measures 32 cubic feet, up from 14 cubic feet with the former model. Folding down part of the whole second-row seat expands that storage space farther. There’s certainly a lot of utility to be had with this new Buick.
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3 Trims Levels to Consider
Buick provides the 2018 Regal Sportback in 1SV, Preferred, Preferred II, Essence, and GS trim. The first two trims come in front-wheel drive only, the third and fourth models provide you with a choice of front and AWD drivetrains, and the top-of-the-line GS provides all-wheel-drive only. Most models come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 250 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque (290 pound-feet with all-wheel drive).
Just the GS has the 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel-drive models have a nine-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive versions have an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy ranges from an EPA-estimated 19/27 mpg city/highway for the V6 to 22/32 for the base engine.
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Standard and Available Equipment
Base models come with LED daytime running lights, power, and heated side mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and push-button beginning, a rearview camera, and OnStar telematics with 4G LTE connectivity, satellite radio, and a hotspot. You will also find a 7-inch touch-screen interface, a seven-speaker audio system, and a USB port.
Optional features and updates bring in LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, automatic dimming side mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, an 8-inch touch-screen with smartphone connectivity using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, HD radio, and extra USB ports. Bundle updates add such driver-assist attributes as lane departure warning and intervention, adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, and automatic braking.
In addition to the V6 engine, the range-topping GS adds a sport-tuned suspension with Brembo front wheels, cast aluminum wheels, rear decklid spoiler, and heated and ventilated bucket seats with massage function.
The 2018 Buick Regal Sportback counts most mainstream midsize sedans as its main competitors, such as the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Mazda 6, Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Legacy, Kia Optima, Nissan Sentra, and the Chevrolet Malibu.
Among premium brands, Audi, Volvo, and Acura are competitions. Compare the Buick Regal Sportback GS using the Audi A5 Hatchback as well as the Acura TLX sedan.
The all-new 2018 Buick Regal Sportback is a styling departure from the previous version, which should suit shoppers who may find themselves torn between a sedan and a crossover. In actuality, the Regal feels much more like a crossover than a sedan, while providing the utility that is bound to attract not a few buyers.
So far as my recommended version, I believe starting with the preferred trim makes sense. Pick all-wheel drive if winter driving is a variable in which you reside.