2018 Buick Regal Sportback First Drive

2018 Buick Regal

It feels like ages ago, but I first drove the Buick Regal in 2014 during our entry-level luxury sedan comparison. When the Regal showed up to join its three competitors, it looked like the least athletic of the bunch, hands down. Perhaps it was the bookish type keen on correcting everyone else’s grammar.

2018 Buick Regal

Little did we know the humble Regal would earn second place in that comparison, just narrowly missing the top spot to the BMW 320i. We praised the Buick’s accurate steering, plush ride, well-equipped interior, quiet cabin, and even its drive experience on windy roads. In short, the Regal exceeded our expectations. So naturally my imagination went wild before driving the new 2018 Buick Regal Sportback.

Buick has completely revamped the Regal, down to its body style. No longer a sedan, the Regal has transformed into a hatch and a wagon, the second of which we’ll drive later. As a hatch, the new Regal Sportback boasts twice the amount of cargo capacity behind the split-folding second-row seats as its sedan predecessor, Buick says. On top of that, it receives a more modern design, mixing elements from a coupe and sedan.

From the updated grille to the narrower headlights and taillights, raked roof, and shorter rear decklid, the model actually stands out in some crowds. The Regal Sportback is 2.7 inches longer than its predecessor and has a wheelbase that is 3.6 inches wider. If it looks lower and more planted, that’s because Buick reduced the car’s height by a little more than an inch.