Some of the best deals going are on the cars no one knows about - which stands to reason. How do you buy what youíre unaware exists?
How about the Buick Tour X wagon?
Itís the unknown soldier of the new car market - probably because GM hasnít been marketing it much. And that probably has to do with the fact that the car itís based on - the Buick Regal sedan - has been cancelled.
But you might want to know more about the Tour X - so you can still buy one while you still can.
What It Is
The Tour X is a mid-sized wagon built off the mid-sized Buick Regal sedan.
It is very similar in general layout, size, capacities and capabilities to the much-better-known Subaru Outback wagon. Both come standard with all-wheel-drive, for instance - and both have about 75 cubic feet of total cargo space - about five times as much as a same-sized sedan.
But the Buick is more luxuriously fitted out and it comes standard with a powerful turbocharged engine - which is available in the Crosstrek, if you pay the extra shekels to get it.
Tour X prices start at $29,370 for the base trim - topping out at $35,070 for the Essence trim. In the middle is a $32,970 Preferred trim - all the trims having more (or less) optional equipment but all of them coming standard with a 2.0 liter, 250 horsepower turbocharged engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive.
The otherwise similar Subaru Outback also comes standard with AWD - but paired with a much-less-powerful 182 horsepower 2.5 liter engine. If you want an engine thatís comparable to the Buickís standard engine, it's available - in the $34,895 XT Outback, the $37,745 Limited Outback and the $39,695 Touring Outback.
That's the price of getting there - without getting there slowly.
Whatís New
The previously optional dual-zone automatic climate control system is now standard equipment in all trims.
Whatís Good
A loaded Outback turbo - for base trim Buick Tour X money.
Less nanny-laden than the Outback.
Less common than the Outback.
Whatís Not So Good
Less ground clearance than the Outback.
Less legroom in the back than in the Outback.
Will probably depreciate more quickly than the Outback.
Under The Hood
Unlike the Outback - which comes standard with a low-performance engine and offers a high-performance engine - the Tour X comes standard with a high-performance engine.
All trims are powered by the same 2.0 liter turbocharged four, which makes 250 horsepower and 295 ft.-lbs. of torque - as opposed to the Outbackís standard 2.5 liter four (no turbo) that makes 182 horsepower and 176 ft.-lbs. of torque.
The Buick's engine is a GM engine, by the way - and the same (basically) as the engine used in a variety of other-than-Buick models, including the Chevy Camaro. So don't worry about parts or service; this engine isn't like the old Buick 215 turbo V8 of the '60s - which was hard to find parts and service for after it got discontinued.
Subaru does offer a slightly stronger 2.4 liter four with a turbo - and 260 horsepower - but to get it you have to buy one of the much-more-expensive (XT, Limited or Touring) trims, the least costly of which is $5,525 more costly than the as-it-comes Buick.
The Tour X has another advantage over the Outback.
It comes standard with a conventional eight-speed automatic while the Outback comes standard with a Continuously Variable (CVT) automatic. The more efficient CVT gives the Subaru a slight mileage advantage - 26 city, 33 highway for the 2.4 turbo vs. 21/29 for the turboíd Buick - but itís a small advantage, especially given the cost differential of the cars - and people who prefer the feel of a conventional automatic that shifts up and down over the shiftless feel of a CVT will probably be happy to make the sacrifice.
Especially when gas is so cheap that gas mileage hardly matters.
On The Road
Both the Tour X and the Outback have comparable grip. The big difference between the two is that the Buick has a lot less clearance than the Outback, which has almost 9 inches vs. the Tour Xís 5.8 inches, which is about the same as the Regal sedanís.
This means the Buick is less invincible in the snow - and definitely not as able to deal with badly washed out gravel/dirt roads as the more intrepid Outback, which can go almost anywhere a jacked-up 4x4 truck could go . .. without actually being a jacked-up 4x4 truck.
But the as-it-comes Buick is much quicker.
It can get to 60 MPH is just over six seconds. The much less puissant Outback - with its as-it-comes-engine - needs 8.7 seconds in a best case scenario to accomplish the same. With a two or three people riding along plus a load in the back, the Outback - as it comes - is seriously slow.
Even with just a driver on board, the difference between the two is big enough as to be immediately obvious - as well as an everyday liability in normal traffic vs. the occasional advantage of a bit more snow-fording/unpaved roading capability.
The Outback's standard AWD system does boast a potential high-speed handling advantage in that it can adjust the power flow from wheel to wheel ("torque vectoring") as opposed to just front-to-back, which is a useful way to automatically correct for understeer and oversteer during high-speed cornering.
But the Buick has the advantage of being much more capable of high speed - at least, as it comes.
It's also a Buick - and rides like one. Which you'll like if you're tired of the emphasis on "sportiness." Not that there's anything wrong with that - as Seinfeld used to say. But it's become hard to find a new car that emphasizes poshness.
Which the Buick does.
Not in a 1960s way - but not like the way almost all new cars do. They sacrifice comfort on the altar of lap times and G forces, which become the basis of advertising copy and numb legs, after four or five hours of not driving on a track.
This Buick has the graceful feel of a modernized Electra 225 - and that's high praise, if you can remember what it was like to drive or ride in a deuce and a quarter.
Especially as regards quiet - and this (besides the power) is the Tour X's winning hand over the Outback, which is much noisier as it comes because of its much less powerful standard engine and - thus - much noisier engine. Which noise is magnified by the CVT automatic - because it keeps the struggling engine revving, unless you're just coasting.
To be fair to the Outback, this problem goes away . . . if you buy the optional 2.4 liter engine, which not only has plenty of power but even more torque than the Buick's engine, which means the engine rarely has to rev and so is very quiet as well as very punchy most of the time.
But there's that small matter of the extra $5k you'll have to pay to reach par.
At The Curb
The Tour X is a car you donít see in practically every parking lot.
The Outback is everywhere.
It's also got an association.
I like the Outback; it's a very capable, very versatile car that can eliminate the need to own an SUV or a truck in addition. And though it's underpowered as it comes, the Soobie's standard boxer engine - which isn't turbocharged - wears the heavyweight title belt for long-term durability.
It may not go fast - but it goes long.
But, there's that association. Of liberalism - and alternate lifestyle-ism. Somehow, Subaru became the brand for both. Which, if you're neither, you may not like.
What's cool about the Buick is that it's basically the same car - without the baggage.
Like the Outback - almost exactly like theOutback, in fact - the Tour X has tremendous room for cargo: 32.7 cubic feet behind its second row and 73.5 cubic feet with the second row folded (the Outback has a functionally identical 32.5 cubic feet behind its second row and 75.7 cubic feet with its second row folded).
The Outback does have more backseat legroom - 39.5 inches vs. 36.9 in the Buick - but if you like the idea of driving something not everyone else is, then you might like driving this Buick.
The Rest
There's one more advantage the Tour X has over the Outback:
It is older.
Not much has fundamentally changed since the launch of the original Tour X back in 2018 - while the 2020 Outback is fundamentally new. Which means it comes standard with all the latest "safety" and "driver-assist" features, even including facial recognition tech. But some people find these features aggravating as well as creepy.
If that's you, then the Tour X is for you.
You don't have to deal with any of it, much less pay for it - unless you want it. The as-it-comes base trim does not have "forward collision warning" or "automatic emergency braking." It doesn't even have "rear parking assist" or "cross-traffic alert." These things are all available - if you do want them - in the Preferred and Essence trims.
The Outback comes standard with all - and more - of these things.
The Bottom Line
GM should have tried harder to not keep this one a secret.
If they hadn't, it might have sold better.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics - or anything else? Click on the "ask Eric" link and send 'em in!
If you like what you've found here please consider supporting EPautos.
We depend on you to keep the wheels turning!
Our donate button is here.
If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet or sticker or coaster in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $10 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a magnet or sticker or coaster - and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)
If you'd like an ear tag - custom made! - just ask and it will be delivered.
My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price - free! Click here. If that fails, email me at and I will send you a copy directly!