TheIgnitionBlog Podcast Ep. 6 – Wagon Love


In this Episode:

Matt Dace and Nolan Browning talk about their top five wagons of all time, give a full review of the 2018 Buick Regal TourX. Plus, we talk about highlights from the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed and give a bonus “Carpool Review” of the 2017 Lexus GS450h.

2018 Buick Regal TourX Wagon Review: You Don’t Need an SUV

2018 Buick Regal TourX White Frost 001
2018 Buick Regal TourX White Frost 005

The whole reason for the “Wagon Love” theme of this episode is a surprising new offering from the Buick brand. The Regal TourX is big on utility, luxury, passenger comfort, and styling. The ride was much more comfortable and soft than the Buick Regals that we have tested in the past. Yet, this new TourX handled well on the twisty highway 154, just north of Santa Barbara, with just enough steering feedback to feel the weight take control. The overall driving experience is encroaching on the Audi allroad or V60 Cross Country.

We also found that power is more than adequate, with 250 horsepower from a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder. At only $39k, this Buick reminded us more of the current crop of Volvo wagons than it did of the past Regals that we have driven. The wagon design also allows for plenty of room for people and things. The interior quality was noticeably improved from the typical General Motors attempt, aside from the highly-reflective chrome trim around the shifter. Which creates an interior so bright, you’re going to need shades!

The more we drove the Regal TourX, the more we questioned the need for the growing SUV market. Despite its weight, the Regal TourX was capable of fuel economy in the high-20s. Even a weekend trip to Lowe’s for mulch was no problem with the expansive rear hatch and cargo area. Speaking of the cargo area, the Buick even projects the brand’s logo behind the rear of the car as you approach, just in case you forget what you’re driving. Oh yes, “that’s a Buick!” Listen to the full episode to hear more thoughts on the car and the need for Buick to create a Regal GS Wagon to keep the genre alive.

2017 Lexus GS450h Review: Looking Toward The Future

2017 Lexus GS450h 002
2017 Lexus GS450h 001
2017 Lexus GS450h 003
2017 Lexus GS450h 004

With the last major refresh in 2011, The Lexus GS is was one of the first models to get the more extreme front grille. Since then, this large sedan hasn’t really aged in the market as Lexus would have wanted. At $67k, the GS450h buyer is typically older and therefore most offended by the drastic styling change. We take some time during our bonus “Carpool Review” to examine why the GS line is having problems when there is a lot to like about this car.

With combined fuel economy around 30MPG, the GS450h’s hybrid drivetrain delivers stellar economy and decent performance. Technology like adaptive cruise control was included in our model but shows its age. The automatic braking could never quite get the spacing right and would stop the car abruptly, even if traffic came to a slower stop. We did like the larger screen with the ability to customize layout on either side of the display. The interior is also as handsome as you expect from a Lexus GS, with brown leather and black accents.

Ultimately, without any major update or much corporate attention paid to the GS, it feels like old technology with a harsher transition between gas and electric compared to newer cars like a Volvo XC90 T8.  In fact, we noted how close the GS450h felt to our 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, as it was designed at the same time. We have to wonder if Lexus will make the jump to an electric plug-in for the next generation? Or will a future GS even exist, as current rumors suggest that poor sales and a lack of demand for sedans may put an end to the car altogether? Listen to the full episode to hear more thoughts on the current market for this ultra-efficient luxury sedan.


Show Notes:

(02:00) New McLaren 600LT at Goodwood FOS
(02:50) Aston Martin Cygnet V8 at Goodwood FOS
(03:20) McLaren Senna at Goodwood FOS
(03:50) Aston Martin DBS Superleggera at Goodwood FOS
(04:00) Koenigsegg Regera at Goodwood FOS
(04:20) Polestar 1 debuts at Goodwood FOS 
(05:20) Lamborghini Urus at Goodwood FOS
(05:40) Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak, third fastest run ever at Goodwood FOS
(06:00) Volkswagen confirms ID Crozz and ID Buzz
(06:25) Porsche brings the “Pink Pig” and new Speedster to Goodwood FOS
(07:26) Wrestler Bill Goldberg wrecks Toyota Tundra NASCAR truck at Goodwood FOS
(07:41) New and original Bullitt Mustang run up the hill at Goodwood FOS
(08:10) Nissan GT-R50 ItalDesign makes world debut at Goodwood FOS
(08:40) Roborace car runs the hill without a driver at Goodwood FOS
(09:22) Adam Carolla takes Porsche 935 up the hill at Goodwood FOS
(10:20) Miserable Pikes Peak coverage by Matchsports
(13:25) 2012 Buick Regal CXL Turbo and Regal GS review
(18:20) 2014 Buick Regal GS “Word on the Tweets”
(19:50) The new Buick Regal GS Wagon that we won’t get in the US
(20:02) 2015 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design review
(20:50) Matt’s #5 Wagon Choice: 1988 BMW E30 Touring
(21:55) Nolan’s #5 Wagon Choice: 2010 Saab 9-5x SportCombi (Jalop Article)
(22:45) Nolan gets two tickets while reviewing a 2011 Saab 9-5
(24:24) Matt’s #4 Wagon Choice: 2018 Volvo V90 Wagon
(24:51) Review of the 2017 Volvo S90
(26:20) Nolan’s #4 Wagon Choice: 2008 Dodge Magnum SRT8, only 240 produced
(28:00) Matt’s #3 Wagon Choice: 2018 Mercedes AMG E 63 S Wagon
(29:30) Nolan’s #3 Wagon Choice: 2016 Volvo V60 Polestar
(30:48) Matt’s #2 Wagon Choice: 2018 Porsche Panamera SportTurismo
(32:50) Matt’s #1 and Nolan’s #2 Wagon Choice: 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
(33:50) Review of the 2011 CTS-V Sedan and Coupe
(34:48) Nolan’s #1 Wagon Choice: Ferrari 456 GT Venice
(36:27) Best Wagon Runner-Ups: ’94 – ’96 Buick Roadmaster, Aston Martin Rapide Bertone Jet 2+2, Jaguar XF S Sportbrake

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