By on June 19, 2012

North Americans already get a “hot” version of the Vauxhall/Opel Astra - it just happens to come with a Buick badge. Perhaps the Gods of the Ren Cen will smile on us and bring us a Verano GS using the Astra VXR’s 2.0L Ecotec engine. Because we sure won’t be getting the oil-burner.

The diesel Astra VXR also uses a 2.0L 4-cylinder. The diesel makes 195-horsepower – not far off from something like a Civic Si – but also brings 295 lb-ft to the party. On the European cycle, the VXR diesel returns about 44 mpg, which seems like a far trade off for the slower acceleration times. 60 mph comes up in 7.8 seconds, but the VXR diesel is good for 139 mph. As far as we know, there isn’t another compact out there that can return over 40 mpg, accelerate that fast and avoid looking like a rental car.

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29 Comments on “Here’s Something We’ll Never See As A Buick Verano...”


  • avatar

    And for those of us wanting a hatchback coupe with a panoramic windshield, swoopy styling and a place for a bicycle rack on a hitch, with the selfsame diesel, GM can bring over the Opel GTC. Please. Please. Please.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “On the European cycle, the VXR diesel returns about 44 mpg, which seems like a far trade off for the slower acceleration times. 60 mph comes up in 7.8 seconds”

    You do know that, on the European cycle, the current Prius gets 72mpg.

    Or, to put it another way, the European cycle is useful only for getting Europhiles excited and doesn’t bear much resemblance to a) the EPA figures we’re used to or b) reality.

    • 0 avatar
      Squirrel19

      Just saw this on another site, and they used a number like 55 mpg, which would be the UK gallon (larger than ours). It seems that our good buddy, Derek, has already converted it to US gallons. Beyond the conversion from UK gallon s to US gallons, the numbers aren’t tooooo far off. Expect it to be a faster Golf TDI with similar mileage.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        It’s not just the size of the gallon, but the testing procedures. European mileage estimates are way, waaaay out of whack, even adjusting for unit of measure.

        There was a bit of a scandal some time ago about how inaccurate CO2 ratings were. I believe TTAC carried it.

    • 0 avatar
      iainthornton

      Way out of whack? I tend to find them accurate.

      Also, that’s the urban figure for the Prius. Ie, during the test it was probably on batteries alone 95% of the time.

      The ‘combined’ figure is more helpful, although admittedly I find it to be out of line for hybrids.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Can GM be more shameless?
    BRZ wants its headlights back.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      “Can GM be more shameless?”

      Can you be? The Astra had those headlights since before 2008. Oh BTW Holden called Lexus. They want their predator grille designs back.
      http://motoburg.com/images/holden-hsv-gts-04.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        THANK YOU.

        You reminded me of the other reason I’d be getting a current gen ES350 instead of a ’13 – I hate that weird chrome Predator style grille, or as I like to call it, a “geometric chrome picture frame”.

    • 0 avatar
      99_XC600

      Yes Hyundai just called BRZ and FRS and the Sonata Hybrid wants it’s tail lights back.

  • avatar
    alluster

    If GM is serious about getting young buyers to consider a Buick, they would be selling this in the US and not the geriatric Verano. 44 MPG will make everyone to take notice. 295 lb-ft torque will destroy most cars sold today and the styling is a home run. If they had any doubts this will appeal to younger buyers, they only have to look at the Regal GS

    Average buyers age
    Buick – 58
    Luxury brand – 51
    Regal GS – 43

    The Verano GS’s average buyer age will be even lower considering it won’t cost upwards of $38,000 like the Regal GS. Keep the styling as is, swap the badges, make sure it has a manual, throw in a few eye catching colors and wheels, keep the price below $25,000 and watch the cars snapped up. And change the name while you are at it.

    • 0 avatar
      ninja14blue

      First of all, GM is selling about 200 Regal GS’s a month…hardly enough to move the needle at all. I would expect it to be cancelled shortly knowing GM’s history.

      Second, a Verano Turbo is going to list for just under $30K to start (it’s going to be priced above the regular Verano Leather Group, which is already over $27K), so your thought of a $25K Verano GS is nothing but a pipe dream.

      Premium (over $30K) hatchbacks just don’t sell well in America…see how Ford priced their Focus ST…yeah, you can load it up to $30K, but you can get one for as little as $25K. GM needs a comparable Chevrolet to compete…not a pricey Buick which will not appeal to 20-somethings, no matter what the GMI fanboys think.

      GM needs a Cruze SS hatchback with say, a 200 to 260-hp 2.0L Turbo for around $25K. That would sell a lot better than a $30K+ Verano hatchback and buyers would most likely be a lot younger than the typical blue-hair Buick customer.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Second, a Verano Turbo is going to list for just under $30K to start (it’s going to be priced above the regular Verano Leather Group, which is already over $27K), so your thought of a $25K Verano GS is nothing but a pipe dream.

        Sorry, but you’re exaggerating the math here.

        Verano today comes in three trims:

        Base: $23,470 including delivery
        Convenience Group: $24,670 including delivery
        Leather Group: $26,850 including delivery.

        The only available options in the top leather group are:

        1) Premium paint $325 or $495 depending on the color
        2) Sunroof $900
        3) Navigation $795

        There are a number of dealer installed accessories I’m not including (which I wouldn’t include if offered by the competition).

        A fully loaded Verano is $29,040 minus the handful of dealer adds (the most expensive being the $695 “appearance package”).

        It already comes with 18″ wheels. The word is no big brakes, no updated suspension (beyond firmness being increased) no change in steering gear (possibly the ratio tightened up). The six speed manual will almost certainly be an option (and probably a this or that choice).

        A Buick Verano turbo will probably be right around $29K after delivery with the only options being sunroof, navigation, and maybe premium paint. The rear spoiler and pedal covers are included we already know.

        Infiniti is giving up on the G25.

        This will eat a Lexus IS-250 alive – however gets major demerits for an interior that will not measure up to the Lexus IS-250 and being wrong wheel drive. But beyond a Lexus IS-F, I don’t see many Lexus customers caring about which wheels gets the power to the ground.

        An Acura ILX with a 6-speed manual (only way to get the 201 HP V-Tec engine) has a base price of $29,200. Acura is already doing give away leases on the ILX (no money down, no payments, no nothing, $279 a month) which doesn’t bode well for a brand new launch. At $29,200 and a 49 HP deficiency – the ILX is kind of DoA with the Verano Turbo.

        Given GM has already said that the turbo will be at the top trim, you are correct that a $25K version is very unlikely. But a starting at $30K version with a long list of options is also very unlikely.

        The Regal GS is a very different car compared to the Regal, it’s beyond cosmetic, we’re talking wheels, brakes, body panels, seats, interior materials and colors, etc. etc. etc. The Verano doesn’t have this baggage.

        If the Verano turbo is as good in person as it is on paper, and GM markets it correctly it will sell extremely well. My understanding is the 2.4L under the hood is replaced with the new 2.5L, and in the Verano the 2.4L is no slouch as it is.

        I completely agree that Chevrolet desperately needs a hatch, compact wagon and/or coupe version of the Cruze with a hotter engine than the 1.4L turbo available.

        Your last comment about, “typical blue hair Buick customer” would have applied a decade ago. Buick’s age demographic is no longer in the blue hair set levels. But a little cognitive bias is to be expected when someone labels anyone who counters your view as a GM fanboi.

        The Regal GS is a flop – the Verano Turbo has it so right and twenty-somethings largely don’t buy new cars in the “new economy” anyway.

  • avatar
    david42

    A diesel hot hatch doesn’t really do it for me–if I’m going to spend big bucks on a speedy car, the fuel economy isn’t going to make a difference.

    But I would kill for that windshield. We recently rented a Mustang convertible, and even with the top down it felt kind of claustrophobic because the upper frame of the windshield was close to my forehead and blocked too much of our view. This Vauxhall has the equivalent of a floor-to-ceiling window. (Well, maybe a radiator-to-ceiling window.)

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    OK, so you are driving along in your Astra VXR diesel. At a stoplight, a BMW 125d pulls up next to you. Like the Astra, it has a twin-turbo 2.0 diesel. As the light turns green, the BMW quickly zooms into the horizon: 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds. Why? The Astra is 209 lbs heavier than the BMW, and about 23 hp less doesn’t help. You can’t even be too smug about fuel economy, because the much quicker BMW is rated at 49 mpg combined. [Disclaimer: Euro rating converted into US gallons]

    So at the next stoplight, 120d pulls up alongside you. (single turbo, 2L, 184hp). You are relieved: Finally a weaker car to DESTROY with your bodykit-clad Astra on dubs. As the light turns green: oops! Even the lowly 120d will do 0-62 in 7.1 seconds all day long, while having a fuel economy rating of 53 mpg.

    You are relieved to meet a Volkswagen Scirocco TDI turns up, and for the first time you win by a hair – the 170hp Scirocco needs 8.1s to get to 62 mph…

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Yes, but what about the price of these cars? I’m sure the three competitors you mentioned are priced higher than this Opel. Most people won’t care that it won’t beat the direct competition in a stoplight drag race. And if you are hell-bent on beating the bimmer then I’m sure there are/will be ways to increase power from the Opel’s engine. Though if you’re buying a diesel, I’m sure you’d have different priorities than straight-line acceleration in the first place…

    • 0 avatar
      iainthornton

      The Astra will, however, save you money on chiropractors vs the BMW, has a lifetime/100,000 mile warranty, looks better and has enough space inside for humans.

    • 0 avatar
      C P

      Am I going to the store, work ..what? Or am I just out racing & worrying about who’s going to pull up next to me at stop lights?

  • avatar
    iainthornton

    I would expect more like 50 miles per US gallon, to be honest. But I could be wrong.
    I’m sure GM have their reasons for not offering this in America, but really it would be good to see one of their brands taking the USP away from brands like Volkswagen.

    • 0 avatar
      Squirrel19

      hypermile it, and you will, as long as you are on the highway. Think of it was a golf TDI with more horsepower (same size engine), and that only gets 42 EPA highway, 33 Combined.

      • 0 avatar
        Mirko Reinhardt

        The Astra weighs more than 200 lbs more than a comparable Golf. It’s nowhere near a Golf’s fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        iainthornton

        Well, in my experience (I have driven them often) the lesser diesel Astras happily surpass 60mpg (UK gallons) if you’re sensible. That was my only point of reference.
        But if you’ve both driven the twin-turbo version, I suppose I know nothing.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    As the kids say: Want!

    What would be so awful about Buick selling the (upper end of the) Astra line here in North America? Equipped and priced above the Cruze so they don’t step on each other’s toes? It’s not like there isn’t a historical connection, already.

    If were not going to get a Cruze Coupe or SS model and Pontiac is mothballed permanently, why not?

  • avatar
    wmba

    Gee, who would have guessed that the Cruze would morph into this? That Delta II platform is being squeezed for the Cruze, Astra, and Verano, plus whatever GM sells as equivalent models in China. So is it really a Daewoo or a completely re-engineered Daewoo masquerading as an Opel?

    Trouble is, it’s a very heavy car for its size, especially when you see that a Verano is as heavy as GM suggests the new Cadillac ATS will be at 3300 to 3400 lbs, and the Caddy is rear wheel drive, negating the weight saving of a FWD set up.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    GM should give this a shot. They would have few competitors and lots of diesel fans giving it a look and hopefully buying. Yes, it’s a coupe. Unless you have wee bairns or elderly people to haul around; is it that hard to move a seat forward?

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Never say never… someone needs to compete with VW. Competition is a good thing.


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