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WELCOMED WAGON: Buick hopes to make inroads in the SUV alternative sector with its handsome, AWD Regal TourX wagon

Beauty, it’s said, is in the eye of the beholder. To these eyes, the 2018 Buick Regal TourX is a stunner.

Long, low and lithe of form, accentuated by interesting trim details, the latest edition to the Regal lineup brings a fresh look to Buick showrooms.

The TourX is a treatise on modern globalization. The wagon is basically a rebadged Opel (formerly owned by General Motors) and built in Germany by the French firm PSA (makers of Peugeot and Citroen). The engine is made in the U.S., the transmission in Japan, which are shipped to Europe for final assembly.

The TourX also brings a new approach to a segment successfully mined by vehicles such as Subaru’s Outback, Volkswagen’s Golf Alltrack, Volvo V60 Cross Country, and Audi’s A4 Allroad. While the Outback and Alltrack are generally midpriced, the Volvo and Audi reach into premium-price territory. Buick ambitiously touts the TourX as belonging in the upscale category, but it’s more at home splitting the difference between midrange and luxury.

Buick follows the formula for these raised-wagon models, considered SUV alternatives. Beyond all-wheel drive, these each provide some elevated ground clearance for light-duty off-roading; dark-plastic moldings surrounding wheel wells and offering front and rear fascia protection; and roof racks for added cargo-carrying possibilities.

Powering the TourX is a 250-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that provides 250 horsepower to all four wheels through a eight-speed automatic transmission. While the engine is a smooth, eager revver, the transmission is hesitant to downshift when more power is called for, resulting in a sometimes-sluggish feel.

The generously sized interior of our top-drawer Essence model features extremely comfortable leather-wrapped buckets, but the general ambience, with a plethora of hard plastics, seems closer to Chevy than Caddy.

Still, the TourX, at least in Essence guise, does provide all the high-end infotainment and safety goodies any luxury wannabe requires. And a Buick staple, QuietTuning, brings a tomblike serenity to highway cruising.

Handsome and comfy, quiet and safe, the TourX is a welcome addition to the Buick range.