DETROIT -- There's a freedom inherent in modest expectations. When not much is expected, nobody cares, or even notices, if you flout convention. That allowed Buick to take a flyer with the 2018 Buick Regal TourX sport wagon, a handsome and practical vehicle that deserves to divert a few buyers from the auto industry's headlong rush to all shapes and sizes of SUVs.
Buick calls the TourX a crossover, but that's the marketing department talking: It's really a sporty Euro-style station wagon that delivers as much passenger and cargo space as many small SUVs in an elegant package that's easier to park.
If you didn't bring your decoder ring to class today, "crossover" is a term automakers invented for vehicles that look like SUVs, but without much towing or offroad ability. They get better fuel economy and frequently have a smoother ride, because they aren't loaded down with extra gear for fording streams and hauling horses.
Small and midsize crossovers are the hottest part of the car market, while you can't give a station wagon away unless it's from a European brand or pumped up for SUV-ish looks.
Behind the Wheel
2018 Buick Regal TourX Essence AWD
All-wheel-drive, five-passenger sport wagon
Price as tested: $38,835 (excluding destination charge)
Rating: Three out of four stars
Reasons to buy: Looks, room, value, practicality