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1200mi Road Trip Review

34
30
18
Iowa
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
It's a beautiful morning here in Iowa, so I figure it's only appropriate to give a brief review on my road trip this past week. The TourX gained 1200 miles from Des Moines, Iowa to the BWCA on the Canadian Border, then through MN Highway 1 to the North Shore, Duluth, and eventually back to Des Moines. Cargo included two other dudes, a massive tent (which we affectionately call the BFT, you can literally park a TourX in it), our camping gear, fishing stuff, some examples of the local IPA selections, and a selfie stick. I purchased this 2018.5 Essence (DC1, DC2, SS, Pano) in march with 46k miles on it. Almost immediately I ran into an issue with squealing rear brakes, and a bit later I got the classic pedal position sensor error. The sensor was replaced by the dealer, and I installed PowerStop front (thread) and rear (thread) pads and rotors, and those problems were corrected. S/o to @Wlepse for all the great info on those.

The following are my issues/observations:

- the first leg of the trip (Des Moines to Ely to the BWCA entry) saw an average of 34.0 mpg. Speed limit was 70 most of the way. I never cruised higher than 74, with 60 another common number on winding roads. filled up with 92 and 93 the whole way up.
- The brakes performed wonderfully. Highly recommend the PowerStops. The initial bite isn't as hard, but the brake performance is still really good.
- This rig drives smooth af at cruise speeds. This is an annual trip we've been taking since like 2013, and in the past we've taken a 2003 Mazda Protege, a 2014 Dodge Dart, a 2017 Subaru WRX, my 2007 Volvo S80 V8, and a 2009 Infiniti G37x. This was the best road trip experience out of those, obviously, and it wasn't even close. The G37x was also the worst, by far.
- ACC braking a little bit aggressive. I desperately wished I could turn it off on the windy, hilly roads of MN-1 and the Superior National Forest. Cruising at 55, it would hard brake on downhills going 57, only to have to work to accelerate again going uphill. I absolutely love ACC for the interstate, but it turns annoying on the more fun roads. "but @KingDapostrophe, why don't you just drive those without ACC?" Because I was obnoxiously tired from days of waking up at 4am only to get skunked by the local walleye, I just wanted to the car to do most of the work. With a lighter load and on more sleep, I would have probably driven MN-1 in manual.
- I didn't think we had THAT much weight, but the rear end was noticeably sagging. The three of us probably have an average weight of like 160, the tent probably weighs like 20-30 lbs and was placed as far forward in the hatch as possible, and nothing else we had was that heavy. I doubt I'll dabble, but does anyone have an aftermarket suspension option that would reduce sag/increase payload? I don't know enough about this - it might be a dumb question.
- I'm a religious user of Apple CarPlay. I know I'm not the only one that experiences this, but sometimes my audio will randomly cut out for a split second, and then continue. I'm not sure if this issue is just with our cars or with CarPlay in general.
- Body roll on tight corners is surprisingly nonexistent. I don't know if that was because we had enough weight to ground this thing, or if it's just always like that.
- Highway passing speed is comparable to my S80 V8. I know it isn't the same, but it felt more than adequate.
- the second leg of the trip (Ely to Illgen City to Duluth to Des Moines) saw an average of 31mpg. I was disappointed in the loss, but I also had to fill up with 91 in Ely which might have hit the mileage. And on top of that, the wind from Duluth to Des Moines as just ripping from the south. I'll take 31 in those conditions.
- In Duluth, I experienced a grinding while braking at low speeds in downtown. I believe this is a sign that TSB #18-NA-163 (front lower control arms) is beginning to apply. I get a couple free dealer oil changes through the CPO program, so I'll have them replace under warranty at that point.
- I did not see a single other TourX in 1200 miles. Plenty of Buicks, but only a handful of Regals of any generation, and no TourX. I bet the boys $10 that we'd never see one on the whole trip. Easiest $10 I've ever made.
- AC seemed to struggle in the heat, even with the shade closed. It worked fine, but seemed like it was working hard. I think window tint will help this a bit when I get it.
- I've been having some issues with the vehicle recognizing the key. Sometimes I'll have to press the hatch or lock buttons a couple times to get it to read, or I'll have to take my key out of my pocket to get the signal going. Sometimes I have to press Start/Stop twice to get it to turn on or off. My key battery was low during the trip, but I replaced it when I got back home and still have those issues. Anyone have insight?

All in all, both the trip and driver experience were awesome. These kinds of trips are exactly what I bought this vehicle for, and I have a few more potentially longer trips planned for this year. Before my next one, I'm definitely going to get some tint on, get the lower control arms replaced, get that oil change, and do that classic rear wiper upgrade. Potentially a roof box or hitch for a bike rack. We'll see. If anyone has any road trip tips I'll always be appreciative. IMG-0810.jpg
 

Scott in PA

New member
14
9
3
Beaver Falls, PA
Buick Ownership
2018 TourX
I'm heading from Pittsburgh to Miami and back next week....getting tint today to combat that nasty sun and help ease the stress on the AC unit.
Flying into Duluth remains one of the sheer pleasures of my business life. That view of Lake Superior stretching to the horizon is indescribable.
 
34
30
18
Iowa
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
I'm heading from Pittsburgh to Miami and back next week....getting tint today to combat that nasty sun and help ease the stress on the AC unit.
Flying into Duluth remains one of the sheer pleasures of my business life. That view of Lake Superior stretching to the horizon is indescribable.
Duluth as a city is a mixed bag. I enjoy spending time in downtown and the Canal District, but haven't really explored much outside of that. Next year we'll probably check out the area near Bent Paddle. But the natural quality of the area is almost unbeatable. The North Shore is a hidden gem of the midwest. When you get close to the border it seems comparable to the Atlantic Coast in Maine.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
8,176
2,776
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Duluth can be interesting place to drive during winter especially downtown where you develop a new set of skills lol, but you are correct it can resembles Maine - NH coastal area just without the salt air.
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kopek

New member
22
23
3
Wisconsin
Buick Ownership
Regal TourX
I have a 3000 miles round trip coming up, actually leaving tonight. Going from WI to CO for family vacation, taking camping gear, tent, bikes etc ... and three people. I am really curious as to what the gas mileage will be. This will be the first really long road trip with my TourX.
With all the hot and sunny weather lately I wish I had the windows tinted before the trip, but it will have to wait until I get back.
Box and rack.jpg
 

Wlepse

Well-known member
1,433
680
113
NNJ
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
Hopefully I will have a solution to the saggy butt soon. I tried something before my last trip and it failed but Air Lift suggested another kit. In the end I found a warehouse deal on another brand but same size that should be arriving this weekend. I will update this thread when I see if it works.
 

RegalMN

Active member
128
76
28
Minnesota
Buick Ownership
'18 Regal Sportback Essence
Duluth as a city is a mixed bag. I enjoy spending time in downtown and the Canal District, but haven't really explored much outside of that. Next year we'll probably check out the area near Bent Paddle. But the natural quality of the area is almost unbeatable. The North Shore is a hidden gem of the midwest. When you get close to the border it seems comparable to the Atlantic Coast in Maine.
Funny. I will be in Duluth twice in the next month. Love Duluth and the North Shore. Coolest part about is how you can go from the prairie in Southern MN, drive north a couple hours and you're in a whole different world with the big lake that looks like the ocean, hilly/rocky shoreline, colder air, and a port with ocean-going vessels. We are very lucky to have it as a getaway for twin citians.
 
84
48
18
Hamilton, New Zealand
Buick Ownership
2019 Holden ZB Commodore RSV Liftback 3.6 AWD
- In Duluth, I experienced a grinding while braking at low speeds in downtown. I believe this is a sign that TSB #18-NA-163 (front lower control arms) is beginning to apply.
Excellent write up.

The grinding could be small stones stuck near the calipers/rotors.

I've had this a couple of time in my RSV having almost never had it on any other vehicle. The last time all I had to do was reverse the car a few metres and the stones removed them selves. The time before that I suspected that stones were the problem but took it to the dealer anyway.

Also I thought the control arm problem occurred when the front suspension was compressed under braking or the car travelled over a speed hump or similar.
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ItsDeke

New member
4
1
3
Buick Ownership
TourX
Great write-up, thanks for sharing!

- I'm a religious user of Apple CarPlay. I know I'm not the only one that experiences this, but sometimes my audio will randomly cut out for a split second, and then continue. I'm not sure if this issue is just with our cars or with CarPlay in general.

Seems to be an issue with our cars from my anecdotal experience. I can’t say I’ve ever had an issue when using my iPhone and CarPlay in my wife’s VW. In my TourX I get that same issue with periodic, momentary audio cut outs you described. More frustrating though is I’ve found any time I answer a phone call via CarPlay, it crashes my whole infotainment system after 30-60 seconds on the call. It reboots and will pick the call back up, only to do it again a minute later. Per the dealership’s recommendation I bought a brand new Apple brand lightning cable and still seem to be getting the same issues (although the audio cut out might be a little less frequent, hard to say). I have another cable to try but I’m not holding my breath. Kind of wishing I found a red needle, but I guess i still have a good bit of warranty left to get it sorted out.
 
34
30
18
Iowa
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
More frustrating though is I’ve found any time I answer a phone call via CarPlay, it crashes my whole infotainment system after 30-60 seconds on the call. It reboots and will pick the call back up, only to do it again a minute later. Per the dealership’s recommendation I bought a brand new Apple brand lightning cable and still seem to be getting the same issues (although the audio cut out might be a little less frequent, hard to say).

I have a cheap(er) lighting cable that I bought on Amazon for my previous vehicle. It's about 5 years old at this point, and seems to be decent quality. I've never had the issue you're describing in my white needle. I also use Siri all the time and haven't had any issues other than her not answering my questions or commands the way I expect. I've answered 20-30 minute calls without issue as well, and it'll go right back to playing music as soon as I hang up. My previous lightning cable was one that I bought while test driving the car. Cheap as hell from Menards. When the phone got close to a full charge, it would give me a "water detected in charging port" warning and stop charging. Normally cheap cords give me that same message when the battery is almost fully charged. iPhone XR.

Are you on the newest software version?
 
34
30
18
Iowa
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
The grinding could be small stones stuck near the calipers/rotors.
I haven't been able to replicate this quite yet here in Des Moines, but our roads and slopes are very different, and I've only had a short commute to work since I've been back. I'll give it a try on some harder stops now and then. Might double check the pads after that. Thanks for the tip!
 
84
48
18
Hamilton, New Zealand
Buick Ownership
2019 Holden ZB Commodore RSV Liftback 3.6 AWD
I haven't been able to replicate this quite yet here in Des Moines, but our roads and slopes are very different, and I've only had a short commute to work since I've been back. I'll give it a try on some harder stops now and then. Might double check the pads after that. Thanks for the tip!
Perhaps the stones have become dislodged and are no longer a problem, assuming of course it was stones to start with.
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CPO

New member
23
16
3
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
Good info. I will be hitting the road this fall on a 33 day, 6500+ mile trip around the country. First stage following what's left of the original trans-national road (The Lincoln Highway, dedicated in 1913) following the SF to Times Square route. picking up Florida friends in Ft Wayne Indiana, visiting the Simeone Museum in Philly, & Frank Pepe's Pizzeria in New Haven, CT on the way. Then to Charleston, SC to to visit friends & drop off Florida couple, & on to Louisiana to see family for a few days. I am then heading to a week in the Palm Springs CA area & finally home to the SF bay area.

Any tips for must see things on the way would be much appreciated!

I have owned my new 2018 tourX for 2.5 years & 26,000 miles and have seen only 5 others including another from my dealership.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
8,176
2,776
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, Angola IN, just north of Ft Wayne if haven't seen it well worth the side trip, but like everything else need to confirm it's open again.
 

ItsDeke

New member
4
1
3
Buick Ownership
TourX
I have a cheap(er) lighting cable that I bought on Amazon for my previous vehicle. It's about 5 years old at this point, and seems to be decent quality. I've never had the issue you're describing in my white needle. I also use Siri all the time and haven't had any issues other than her not answering my questions or commands the way I expect. I've answered 20-30 minute calls without issue as well, and it'll go right back to playing music as soon as I hang up. My previous lightning cable was one that I bought while test driving the car. Cheap as hell from Menards. When the phone got close to a full charge, it would give me a "water detected in charging port" warning and stop charging. Normally cheap cords give me that same message when the battery is almost fully charged. iPhone XR.

Are you on the newest software version?
I don't think I am. I want to say I'm on 21.1 (I need to go check tonight). I'm having trouble finding it now, but I feel like I read there is some TSB with a newer version. When I took it to the dealership they seemed to think it was all up to date. Unfortunately I didn't have the TSB in front of me, so I didn't end up pushing the issue at the time. I kind of want to get my ducks in a row and send the SA an email with all of the info to see if that helps. I have tried to update it myself by connecting to my home wifi, but it has just told me that no updates are available.
 

CPO

New member
23
16
3
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, Angola IN, just north of Ft Wayne if haven't seen it well worth the side trip, but like everything else need to confirm it's open again.
Thanks, we will check it out!
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RegalMN

Active member
128
76
28
Minnesota
Buick Ownership
'18 Regal Sportback Essence
Funny. I will be in Duluth twice in the next month. Love Duluth and the North Shore. Coolest part about is how you can go from the prairie in Southern MN, drive north a couple hours and you're in a whole different world with the big lake that looks like the ocean, hilly/rocky shoreline, colder air, and a port with ocean-going vessels. We are very lucky to have it as a getaway for twin citians.
Trip 1 to Duluth completed. 33mpg way up and 34 way back. Plus 1 speeding ticket.
 
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