Search Cars for Sale

Buick Just Had to Put Plastic Cladding on the Regal TourX, Didn’t They?

I was very excited when Buick unveiled the new Regal TourX wagon. I know the words “excited” and “Buick” aren’t used in the same sentence very often, but the new Regal is a car that legitimately warrants excitement. Not only is the new Sportback an attractive offering in premium midsize sedans, the TourX is a return to form for what was once one of America’s premier producers of station wagons.

There’s something holding me back from liking the Regal TourX more, though. One of the first things that crossed my mind when I first saw images of the new wagon was that I wish they didn’t put that silly plastic cladding on the sides. It makes it look like a wagon that wants to be a crossover when it grows up. I wish it would just embrace its identity as a wagon.

Were the designers thinking, “this wagon looks great, but it needs more design elements from the Pontiac Aztek“? What would happen if they just left that extra unnecessary plastic off of the car? This is what would happen: The Opel Insignia wagon.

Yes, the Buick Regal TourX is identical to the Opel Insignia wagon in almost every way. The most notable differences are the grilles, the emblems and the lack of that ugly plastic cladding on the Opel. Look how much better the Opel looks! It might seem minor, and most normal people wouldn’t notice, but to me it makes a huge difference in the look of the whole car. The Opel looks more clean, refined and upscale, which I think Buick was going for. It seems they just couldn’t help giving the wagon version of the Regal some Subaru chic.

This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed plastic cladding making a nice looking car look, well, less nice. My wife likes the Fiat 500X, and in looking around at used ones on Autotrader, I’ve noticed that the most popular trim for these things by far is the Trekking trim. Apparently “Trekking” is Italian for “Plastic” because while every 500X has some plastic cladding, the Trekking model takes plastic to the next level. It’s supposed to be off-roady, but there’s already an off-roady version of the 500X called the Jeep Renegade. Fiat should be focusing more on the cute Euro look.

I thought GM learned its lesson. Everyone hated the look of the Aztek, so the first thing Pontiac did to make it less ugly was go easy on the plastic. Then there was the Chevy Avalanche, which looked like a Tonka truck in its first couple years of production, but it eventually shed some of its plastic to look more like a truck and less like a very large toy.

So what are you doing, Buick? Again, I still really like the Regal TourX, but it’s so close to looking so much better. Stop cosplaying as a crossover and be the wagon you were born to be.

Find a Buick Regal TourX for sale

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...


  1. We are not a fan of the plastic cladding, especially on the TriCoat White we wanted.   Our solution was to get a super deal for a Metallic Black model (never had a black car before) so as to not even see the plastic cladding.   

  2. The Opel is quite beautiful the Buick less so, bought it anyway because its a good car for a good price. I posit GM would have done better selling the Opel straight but then there is the wagon phobia. well, too late now.

  3. I’d be buying one if it weren’t for the cladding (and the chrome trim that continues down the back of the hatch) The car drives fantastic, but I detest plastic cladding. They added it o the the new gen Acadia …. I think it looks cheap! 

  4. Huh? I wrote an article for Autotrader?? I don’t understand how my opinions got transferred from my brain into the interwebs and Eric Brandt is taking credit for them. Weird. Never the less, great article!

    Buick – be true to who you are. Trying to impersonate the Subaru Outback is not a good look.

Leave a Comment

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

Buick Regal News & Reviews

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Truck Deals: June 2022

These are the best deals on trucks for the month of June 2022.

Here Are 5 Great 1980s Performance Cars for Sale on Autotrader

Looking for a fun 1980s car? Look no further.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This