Buick Plans Wagon Version of New Regal?

Current-generation Opel Insignia Country Tourer

CARS.COM — Buick is considering bringing to the U.S. a wagon version of the coming redesigned Regal, according to a report in Automotive News (subscription required).

Related: 2016 Buick Envision: First Drive

Buick showed dealers a wagon among images of the next-generation Regal, according to the report, citing people who attended the dealer meeting in May. A similar report out of the event was cited earlier in the blog GMInsidenews.com.

A Buick spokesman told Cars.com that the brand had no comment on such speculation.

The Buick Regals sold in the U.S. and China are global versions of the European Opel Insignia that also is sold under the Vauxhall and Holden brands. The Regal redesign is expected to launch in the U.S. next year as a 2018 model after the new Insignia is launched in Europe. They will share the new lightweight GM platform that underpins the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, which scored highly in Cars.com's recent 2016 Midsize Sedan Challenge.

Wagons have become a hard sell in the U.S. as compact SUVs crowd the market. But Buick's European premium-brand rivals — Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo — still offer at least one wagon in some form. And a Regal wagon would be a version of a model already offered elsewhere. The current Opel Insignia has hatchback and wagon versions in addition to the sedan. The wagon, called the Sports Tourer, offers all-wheel drive and also comes in a Country Tourer version with SUV cues and an available performance version.

A Country Tourer model, if it came, likely would rival luxury models such as the SUV-ish Audi Allroad and Volvo V60 Cross Country wagons, as well as similarly more rugged mainstream-brand offerings such as the Subaru Outback and coming Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.

Buick is amid a series of model launches ahead of the redesigned Regal. It recently launched the Cascada convertible and Envision SUV, and coming as 2017 models are a refreshed Encore subcompact SUV and a redesigned LaCrosse full-size sedan.

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