By on February 19, 2013

The popular wisdom among folks in the auto-biz of my generation (1970s) is that Buick only exists because of China. Why didn’t GM kill Buick in America and keep it in China? The answer is obvious: you can’t sell your brand on its “Americanness” if it isn’t also sold in America to Americans. Buick then is a brand hunting for a mission. It’s also a brand hunting for fresh customers that don’t remember the Century and Skylark, two abominations firmly burnt into my mind. In attempt to solve these problems Buick has ditched their badge-engineering mantra and is rolling out new products targeted at folks from the 80s and 90s. Forced induction and a manual transmission aren’t new to Buick, but the possibility of a desirable small sedan from the triple-shield is earth shattering. Have they managed it? GM tossed us a set of keys to find out.

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Exterior

Buick has never been about visual excitement. Even the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera was more exciting than the Buick Century. (Admittedly that’s like saying lidocaine is a more exciting party drug than novocaine.) The Verano doesn’t depart from Buick’s past in the style department wearing the least exciting sheetmetal among its direct competitors. Speaking of competition let’s get that out of the way.Now that Volvo has killed the S40 and there is no sign of the V40 on our shores, the Acura TSX, Acura ILX, Audi A3 and Verano are really the only compact front-driving near-luxury options in America. If you want to expand the pool slightly, you can include the hybrid-only Lexus CT 200h, and maybe (and this is a big maybe) the new Mercedes CLA (which isn’t shipping yet anyway).

Why such limited competition? At 184 inches long, and sharing the FWD setup with the Cruze, the Verano is almost a foot shorter than the Lexus ES, one inch shorter than the Acura TSX and about the same length as the new Mercedes CLA. Although the Verano is essentially the same size as a Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3-Series, let’s be honest, you won’t find these fish in the same pond.

Although the Verano shares platforms with the Chevy Cruze, it isn’t a “Buick Cruze.”Instead it’s the American market twin to the Chinese Buick Excelle GT and the strangely named Opel Astra Limousine. This means the Verano shares little with the Cruze (or any other American market GM product) save for an identical wheelbase and common transmissions. Helping take the Verano up a notch our refrigerator-white tester had perfect panel gaps and a paint job worthy of Lexus. Seriously. My question for you is: is there enough visual flair to differentiate it from GM’s more plebeian offerings? Let us know in the comment section.

Interior

My impression of the interior differed from Michael Karesh’s review of the base Verano last year. Is the Verano Turbo a nicer place to spend your time? No, it all boiled down to color. The Verano Turbo I was send wore Buick’s “Choccachino” interior which replaces the black dash, doors and steering wheel with a dark brown version of the same. (The “Cashmere” interior gets a similar swap). The simple (and no cost) color option changes the interior feel dramatically without changing the quality of the materials. There are still some hard plastics within reach of the driver (like the lower dash and portions of the doors) but I must give kudos to GM for thinking “outside the black.”

Regardless of your color choice, the Verano’s ample button banks feel exceptional for a vehicle with a price range of $23,975-$32,000. While the fake wood isn’t going to fool anyone, it is used tastefully and [thankfully] sparingly in the cabin. On the other hand, the satin “aluminum” trim around the infotainment cluster had me fooled until I looked at the Verano’s spec sheet. While a power driver’s seat is standard on most Verano models, I had hoped the Turbo trim would add a power recline feature and adjustable lumbar to the throne but that still can’t be had for any price. An unexpected nicety is a passenger seat with the same range of motion as the driver’s seat albeit with manual levers. As you would expect from a vehicle in the near-luxury category dual-zone climate control is standard and the heated steering wheel on all leather-clad models is a welcome touch not found on most competitors.

Rear accommodations are rarely a selling point with compact sedans of any description. That being said, the Verano’s rear thrones provide as much head and legroom as the TSX or current Audi A3. Compared with its Chevy platform mate, the Verano’s rear cabin is slightly smaller thanks to thicker front seats and a touch more padding in the rear. Although the seats are no closer to the floor than those in the TSX or A3, the shape of the rear door openings made it easy to hit your head when getting in and out of the back, something to keep in mind if you shuttle adults regularly. Despite being longer than the Cruze, the Verano’s trunk is 10% smaller, although its 14 cubes are identical to the TSX’s trunk and in the same ballpark as most of the small luxury sedans from Europe.

Infotainment

Whichever engineer was in charge of the Verano’s center stack channeled their inner Acura, between the infotainment and HVAC controls there are no less than 41 buttons, 4 knobs and one joystick. Despite the button overload, Buick’s standard 7-inch touchscreen “IntelliLink” system is one of the best on the market combining Buick’s previous interface with improved voice recognition, app integration and snappier response times. (If you want so see the system in action, check out the video at the top of the review.) Much like Infiniti’s infotainment systems, you can either use the knob/joystick control in the dash or you can touch the options on the screen. This arrangement works well giving you the option to minimize fingerprints if you so desire.

Buick’s new software package is the close relative of Chevy’s MyLink system and uses the same intuitive voice recognition system for phone, navigation and complete USB/iDevice control. Compared to the MyFord/MyLincoln Touch elephant in the room, Buick’s voice responses are more natural and polished, entering an address requires fewer commands and the system is much, much more responsive. Base Verano models get an unbranded 6-speaker system while all other models can option up to the 9-speaker, 7-channel Bose system which adds a subwoofer, center speaker and some extra adjustment options. The up-level system was well-balanced as you would expect, but compared to other systems in the near-luxury segment the Bose system doesn’t play as loud without noticeable distortion.

Drivetrain

Instead of the Cruze’s 1.8L naturally aspirated and 1.4L turbo lineup, we get a new 2.4L direct-injection four-cylinder engine and an optional 2.0L direct-injection turbo. The 2.4L “LEA” mill is a new engine for GM, based on their “LE9″ engine with an increased compression ratio and some direct-injection sauce to boost power to 180HP and 171lb-ft. That’s not the engine you want, and it’s not why we borrowed the 2013 Verano. This time it’s all about the turbo.

Strangely this is not the same 2.0L turbo found in the ATS and Malibu, this is an older engine found in the Saturn Sky, Fisker Karma and of course, the Regal GS. This upgraded engine is only found in the top-of-the-line “Verano Premium” which starts at $30,000. When jammed under the hood of the Verano, output drops slightly to 250HP and 260lb-ft of torque. Don’t fret about a few lost ponies, the torque still comes to a boil at 2,000RPM and stays strong all the way up the tach.

On the competition front, the TSX V6 may churn out 280HP and 254lb-ft, but in typical Acura fashion it all arrives at high RPMs. We’re told to expect 208HP and 258 lb-ft from the CLA when it lands and the current A3′s 2.0T engine covers the rear at 200HP and 207lb-ft. Sending power to the front wheels is GM’s ubiquitous 6-speed automatic transaxle, or the an all-new (to America) 6-speed manual transmission making the Buick and the Audi the only cars in this small segment that offer a DIY gear changer.

Drive

If the Regal made you think Buick’s path to sales success was Euro driving manners, you’d be wrong. The Verano is a modern Buick, but a Buick none the less with fairly soft springs and one of the quietest cabins available at any price. Think of it as the FWD compact luxury sedan Lexus never built. Even our “sporty” turbo tester with the manual transmission is on the softer side of most sedans. The downside to the quiet cabin is that you can’t hear the turbo mill revving which is a pity since Buick tuned it to be one of GM’s more pleasing exhaust notes.

With 250 ponies and 260 dollops of twist I had prepared myself in advance for massive torque steer and was pleasantly surprised to find strangely little. A quick inspection of Buick’s PR literature clearly shows that the Verano does not get GM’s lauded HiPer Strut tech favoring a less expensive traditional MacPherson arrangement.

The power bump from the base engine is noticeable in every driving situation causing a serious 2.5 second drop in the 0-60 time and improving driveability across the board. With most of the engine’s torque available just over idle there’s far less downshifting to be done on hilly terrain both with the manual and the up-shift-happy automatic. In our testing we clocked a 0-60 run in 6.5 seconds with me at the shifter and the traction control enabled, this more than a half second faster than my time in the FWD A3 2.0T but slightly behind the TSX V6′s 6.2 second time.

The Verano tips the scales at 3,300lbs, a bit heavier than the Audi A3′s 3,219lbs but substantially lighter than the 3,680lb TSX. The relatively light weight, fairly grippy 235/45R18 all-season rubber and well sorted chassis proved engaging and one might even say nimble on the winding roads of Northern California. The same cannot be said of the steering however which, even in this age of electric power steering, has to be one of the numbest vehicles I have piloted in a long time.

Despite the numb steering the Verano was an eager companion on my mountainous commute on California highways 92, 35, 9 and 17 thanks to the slick shifting manual. Buick’s row-it-yourself transaxle is not the same notchy unit found in the Regal, instead this has been lifted from GM’s European lineup and the change is welcome with shift quality equaling the Audi A3 and Acura TSX. (Bold statement I know.) Third pedal effort is fairly similar to the TSX although I actually preferred the predictable and linear engagement of the Buick.

Compact [near] luxury is about fuel economy as much as discount pricing. The Buick scores 20MPG around town and 31 on the highway with the manual, 21/30 with the automatic and 24 combined with either transmission. This slots the Verano at the top of our small segment essentially matching the FWD A3′s numbers and a few MPGs higher than the TSX V6. Thanks to a tall 6th gear in the manual transmission, the engine barely hits 2,000RPM at 70MPH and contributed to our weekly average of 25.6MPG.

Back in 2008 I argued that Buick should be killed for the sake of the company. I figured any Chinese repercussions could be written off in the bankruptcy proceedings and nobody would miss the tripple-shield. Five years later Buick has created a car that I not only rank above the Acura TSX and Audi A3 for overall performance and value, but also because it was also truly fun to drive and live with for a week. The only problem is that Buick image, which for anyone born in the 1970s and 1980s is full of Centurys and Skylarks.

 

Buick provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 3.0 Seconds

0-60: 6.5 Seconds

1/4 Mile:15 Seconds at 98 MPH

Average Observed Fuel Economy: 25.6MPG over 712 miles

 

 

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114 Comments on “Review: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo (Video)...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    I wish I’d consider the smaller Buicks last summer when car-shopping, but I had “Impala-itis”, which at the time, was incurable…

    Of course, I would have bought the non-turbo model, most likely. Now? definitely, as I have enough hungry horses to feed in my current ride.

    We looked at all three Buick sedans, but I was in large-car mode and didn’t want to spend the $$$ for a top-of-the-line LaCrosse, but what a nice car that was! If I had a chance to do it again, I’d have to closely consider something like this or the Regal.

    Very nice review.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Zachman-My aunt loves her lacrosse, son loves his regal GS, wife loves her regal, neighbor loves his verano, a surprise since he traded in an old style SRX v8.

      I see him with his two sons, all 3 over 6 ft, in the verano. no complaints about the room.

      The manual turbo can only be better! I am crossing my fingers for cars like the cascada, maybe with a diesel or 2.0L turbo.

      If we didn’t have 54.5 CAFE, we could easily have AWD V6 buicks, like the Opels and Vauxhall.s

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    “but compared to other systems in the near-luxury segment the Bose system doesn’t play as loud without noticeable distortion.”

    Well, it wouldn’t be Bose without distortion.

  • avatar
    kjb911

    gonna be a while for me to even think of Buick still think it’s an old persons car…case and point my grandfather just bought a regal turbo. kid of the 90s are also horrified by experiences in park aves and lesabres. GM were idiots to not keep Pontiac and yes I am slightly a fanboi but if you think of it kids my age remember that Buick were for pensioners who drive 25 on the highway,Chevrolet was budget minded and cheap or made for light duty ommercial work and midlife crisis. Cadillac was for pensioners with good 401k investments and a trust fund and Pontiac was the sportier better featured comparison to chevrolet with more optionssand better styling. most 90s kids who are starting toland careers have been aspiring to the likes of Lexus, BMW,Mercedes, and Acura they don’t even think of Buick it’s going to be a long time for anything to change for them

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    You can’t get nav with a manual TSX or ILX, so that’s another win for Buick. I’m happy to see domestic brands supporting us 3-pedal folks while the imports wimp out.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    So much for the naysayers that claim TTAC hates anything made by GM.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I don`t know anyone who says Alex or Michael were biased in their reviews one way or the other. But they are not TTAC in its entirety. TTAC is made up of many writers, some who do have distinct perspectives.

      • 0 avatar
        Alex L. Dykes

        We ALL have our biases, I can honestly say I have never met an unbiased person, but I am willing to try to look beyond my personal biases. TTAC has several different missions, so don’t rush to judge individual personalities one way or another, TTAC is part review, part commentary, part entertainment, part news, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      I think TTAC has a problem with the way GM is run, not with the cars. To the best of my memory most recent GM products have received our collective thumbs up.

      As to Buick perceptions, nothing like a run (10 yrs) of good cars to drive that away. Pre-conceived notions are for the unthinking folk who buy a brand in order to feel good. The conscious buyer will check out all the options in price range and buys whatevef best suits him.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I agree with you and Alex. The car reviews are balanced, no serious person has said otherwise. I agree that most of the complaints are about how GM is run and they are usually pretty valid because GM does some, on the surface, crazy stuff.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Alex – you asked about the styling. I find it fairly attractive in a low key way. I don`t like the chrome accents over the rear lights but that would be an easy mid cycle change to make.
    This car is certainly preferable to the Regal and I can see why it outsells it stable mate 4:1.

  • avatar
    David Hester

    I took my driver’s test in my Aunt’s 1989 Buick Century. There will always be a soft spot for the Tri- shield for me.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    I like this car. I see more and more of them around and I think Buick got it right. Not crazy about the number of buttons on the center stack. Looks like it would be a distraction during driving until you got used to where everything is placed. Reminds me of my dad’s 88 Regal that had buttons for everything.. No dials.. Hated it.

    And can we please stop bitching about hard plastics? Everyone uses them and are simply a given in every manufacturer’s recipe. Let’s just accept it once and for all..

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Great review, Alex! I really like Buick’s willingness to offer smaller wares than it’s classically been known for, and the Verano is the best of these. Can’t wait to read a TTAC review of the even smaller Encore.

    I will note, however, that pretty much every month the Verano’s been on sale, Regal sales have dropped. Correlation does not imply causation, but to look at a graph of the two, the Verano shoots straight up and the Regal shoots straight down.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    So the 2.0L turbo is still the LNF? I liked that motor in the Cobalt SS, it really moved. I expected to see similar acceleration in this car, but it appears it’s at least a second slower than the Cobalt SS. In addition to the somewhat heftier vehicle, perhaps the gearing is different? Maybe a little less aggressive for the Buick customer?

  • avatar

    small cars for young people is far removed from the essence of what a Buick stands for. give me a Roadmaster full size sedan and a Wildcat coupe. throw in a high line Riviera and we’d be back selling serious volume.

    • 0 avatar

      Buickman, you know your stuff so I can’t really argue with you, but…I guess most young people have not been around a Buick in quite a while. Having a smaller, well-appointed, somewhat affordable, at least as good as some of the imports (as per the reviewer), well, I think it’s a great way to get younger people into the fold and hopefully sell them bigger cars in your line in the future. IMHumbleO, this Buick seems like a very good way to do that.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Preach brother preach!

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      “we’d be back selling serious volume.”

      In Midwestern cemeteries maybe. The market for big glumpy land barges has evaporated in the US, and it never really existed in China at all.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Enthusiasts stuck on 1995 have spent the last 10 years execrating the Camcord for turning into Buicks in all but name. Meanwhile the actual buying public loves them.

        On actual Buick lots the sales money isn’t in the new compacts. It’s in the big Lacrosse and the even bigger (and neglected for six years now) Enclave. The Verano only sells meaningful numbers at all because there are $22,000 trims which don’t compete with actual luxury cars.

        The market for big and comfortable didn’t go anywhere. GM doesn’t know something about Midwestern cemeteries that the rest of us don’t. GM is just oblivious because oblivious is the GM way.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The Enclave just had a mid cycle makeover so it hasn`t been completely ignored. But I agree with your main point that it and the LaCrosse bring in the big money.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @Dan

        Speaking of oblivious….you seem oblivious to the fact that the 2013 Enclave has an all-new interior and a refreshed exterior and it has been out for several months now.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “GM is just oblivious because oblivious is the GM way.”

        +1, spilled my coffee.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “The market for big glumpy land barges has evaporated in the US”

        Avalon begs to differ, its the new Lesabre.

      • 0 avatar
        c5karl

        “Avalon begs to differ, its the new Lesabre.”

        Toyota sold about 29,000 Avalons last year, roughly selling as well as the VW Beetle. Like the Beetle, it’s a niche car.

        Buick sold nearly twice as many LaCrosses. I’d say the LaCrosse has a better claim on being the new LeSabre, but neither is setting the world on fire.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        You sure about that? I believe the ES300 is selling quite well. It’s become the default Buick.

    • 0 avatar
      oldfatandrich

      Buickman, you quite correct. I am 65 and still associate the brand with tasteful displays of material success. When I bought my first new Buick (a Regal) in 1981, I fancied that I had “made it”. As I grew more successful, I moved up to the last of the big Rivs in 1985. Unfortunately, this beautiful car was one of the vehicles that made people of my generation vow never to buy another GM product. Multiply my experience by some seven figure number and the current GM market share is easily understood. In my dotage I decided to reward myself last year and bought a new S-Class Benz, but I am to this day still taken by the Flint cars. I will tell you (and Akerson if he is reading this) that—even after my twenty year marriage to Daimler—I would really rather have a Buick. Give me a Roadmaster worthy of my father’s 1955 sedan and I will buy it. No shit.

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      A new Wildcat coupe? Yes, please!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The non-necessity of the Regal is now the elephant in the Buick boardroom.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Really the size difference between the Verano and Regal seems negligible.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Everyone has to understand what they did with the Regal. From its launch until the 2013MY, it has a base trim in the $26k range.

      For 2013MY, the cheapest MSRP on a Regal is right around $29,900 and most go well into the $30k range.

      Selling fewer at higher prices as the Verano was introduced…plus there will be a refreshed 2014 Regal/Lacrosse to further separate them all.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The Regal has never sold well, even when it was starting cheaper. I recall when looking at cars that Russelheim cars were still available well into the second model year. They had.have too many specification levels – something like 7 at one time which is crazy for a car selling between 1 and 3 thousand a month (now down around the 1000 level). The Regal rear is hard to get into and out without hitting your head. The Verano is much easier in that respect. The Regal is still essentially an Opel, whilst the Verano has had much more extensive “buickisation” aka noise deadening, styling etc. When the revised Regal comes then they can hopefully address some of the issues with the car. And maybe bring the wagon over!

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Regal wasn’t really that far off from Verano volumes. They averaged 3300 units a month in calendar year 2011…that’s higher than between one and three thousand a month.

        Verano avergaged about 4200 a month July-December of last year.

        Combined it shows Buick’s growth.

        2011 US Regal/Verano Sales= 40,409
        2012 US Regal/Verano Sales= 65,658

        62% growth while the Lacrosse stayed even. Lucerne went away during that time but I don’t think Buick was too concerned about keeping them as customers (much to Buickman’s annoyance)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Buick Lucerne sales figures (Wikipedia)

        2005 8,821
        2006 96,515
        2007 82,923
        2008 54,930
        2009 31,292
        2010 26,459
        2011 20,358

        So before the economic crisis, it sold pretty well, not so much after.

        “Lucerne went away during that time but I don’t think Buick was too concerned about keeping them as customers (much to Buickman’s annoyance)”

        Yes, screw those 20,358 final year Lucerne customers, who incidentally make up just under half of Regal/Verano sales in the same period, its not like we need stable buyers for our semi-premium goods.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        ‘Yes, screw those 20,358 final year Lucerne customers’

        Yep…pretty much. I’ll bet you half of them are dead or can no longer drive a car.

        What do you think Ford did right around the same time? What’s your point?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I agree they did better than 1-3,000 a month back in 2011. But in 2012 they averaged 2000 a month and January 2013 (which was a good month for car sales) they sold 1005. So 1-3,000 was being generous. The Verano sold over 3000 a month last year on average and continued that this past January. 2011 sales data is irrelevant now.

        I wished the Regal had done better, I think launching it with so many trims was a mistake, changing designations after just one year etc. The car was not designed to be a Buick in the first place. It was to be the Saturn Aura replacement. I wanted it to succeed and see the wagon come over too.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        My point is Lucerne and Deville didn’t need to go away, especially without direct replacements, while there were still customers. Ford was in a different situation, it was well known Ford was trying to kill Panther for years, they threatened too in 2006 when Five Hundred came out but it never came to fruition. Ford’s primary motivations for killing Panther 2011 were in my estimation:

        1. Panther (and Econoline) did not fit into the “One Ford” meme.
        2. Federal mandates on stability control would have forced investment on a dead platform.
        3. Planned closure of the St Thomas plant.
        4. CAFE nonsense as usual.

        GM was in a different situation with Lucerne and Deville:

        1. I could see this argument on the whole Cadillac/Buick “rebranding” agenda, but with the rebranding you foolishly lose sales on both models and offer no direct replacement (and in the case of Cadillac, no replacement at all in MY 2011/12). This isn’t wise because while its possible a percentage of 2006 era Buick/Cadillac customers are gone, 20K bought Lucernes and IIRC around 20K bought Devilles in MY 2011. Where will those customers go next time?

        2. I believe Deville and Lucerne did offer some kind of stability control/traction control system, it doesn’t sound like this would have been a dealbreaker as it was for Panther.

        3. If both of these models went out due to the bankruptcy (plant closures, plant sales etc) I would understand, but they didn’t. Both were built at Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly (which previously assembled the Lucerne sister H-body Bonne and Deville sister K-body Seville), a factory which is very much still open and in 2010 began Volt production, joined by Malibu in 2011. Maybe part of the thinking was to make room for expanded Volt production that never materialized?

        4. Its possible some of the motivation was CAFE, esp since all GM sedans now seem to have been neutered with a standard 4-cyl variant, with a few offering a V6 in higher trims. This is the weakest excuse though, IMO, esp for Cadillac… pay the questionable gov’t fine/tax for a fricking standard V8, the whole “Buy CTS-V to get a V8″ strategy is pretty dick. i see plenty of Lucernes on the road and I seldom see the four ports for the V8, would have been easy to drop the Northstar option and 3900 for the 3.6 as they did in W-body.

        In short, the last “Buicky” model was dropped prematurely and replaced by nothing.

        Wikipedia on Crown Victoria:
        “2011 would mark the final year of the Crown Victoria in the United States, as its lack of stability control made it illegal for sale for the 2012 model year; all 2012 models would be produced for Middle East export.”

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @28

        So, you would have kept building the ancient Lucerne/DTS…How long would you have kept building these dinosaurs? Another few years?

        Would you have invested in an all-new one? For 40,000-50,000 units a year without any other global markets to push these FWD boats?

        Its a dead segment. Put a fork in it and move on…like Buick/Cadillac did.

        Lucerne buyers can adjust to a Lacrosse or buy what? Its not like the market is flooded with alternatives….I wonder why.

      • 0 avatar
        bardrissel

        I think that the redesigned (2010) LaCrosse made the Lucerne unnecessary. The Lucerne had a nice ride, but it’s dash was too much like that of an Impala, the front chairs had this weird shape on the side of the seat cushion that made them uncomfortable, and its backseat isn’t roomier than the LaCrosse in any noticeable way.
        For a while, the rental lots had both cars in the fleet; I did my own hands-on comparison, and I always wondered who in their right mind would walk into a Buick showroom, see the LaCrosse and then leave with a Lucerne; barring an insanely discounted price on the latter.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    I far and away prefer the image of Buick to Audi, Acura, et al. Its honest, humble, AMERICAN luxury. I’ve chosen that and will continue to choose that despite what the majority of my late-20s friends choose.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I like American luxury too. That’s why I’ve bought Lexuses! lol

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m happy it meets with your approval, but there is nothing “Buick” about the current image or lines of Buick, its very much faux Lexus. This may be great for sales, but it turns off some traditional Buick/Pontiac customers under 40, yes we exist.

      • 0 avatar
        bardrissel

        I’ve heard Lexus described as the new Buick, especially as Buicks declined in quality at the time of Lexus ascent in the marketplace. If the new Buick emulates Lexus, aren’t they just emulating a more polished version of Buick? That doesn’t seem too far off the mark, to me.

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        I consider myself a traditional Buick/Oldsmobile customer though my first was a used Aurora purchased two years after Oldsmobile began winding down. I appreciate the values of signature design, refined technology, a comfortable ride, spacious cockpit up front, and ample trunk space, something Buick has traditionally had as its cornerstone and is regaining today.

        If anything, Lexus is the modern incarnation of Buick. Look at its volume players – ES, RX, and even flagship LS. Very ‘Buick’ in market intentions if you remember how Buick was positioned in its heyday – an upscale “doctor’s car” that was luxury without ostentation (that was Cadillac’s job). The older, conservative wealth physician/professional/realtor/banker is Lexus’ bread and butter as it was once Buick’s. And like Buick’s, they’re aging…quick.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    i wonder if its possible to swap the regal GS transmission with the one in the verano tubro. Worst part of my Regal GS is the transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      oldfatandrich

      Fkybrian, you must have read your social history of America. My father was a doctor and, although he could easily have afforded a Cadillac, he would not in a blue moon ever be seen driving the Standard of the World—vulgarity on wheels. I posted earlier and to those comments I will reiterate that I would offload my Benz if GM would give me a reason to buy a Buick. Full disclosure: I am 65 and one of those evil wealthy men so maligned by our Scold-in-Chief.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    turbo with a stick? check. buick? that wont stop me from walking in the door. but what the heck is the little triangular window doing just ahead of the sideview mirror? in fact not one but two small triangular windows as the rear gets its own too.

    once i see that i notice that the proportions appear to be off in the straight on sideview, esp at the cowl. the interior wide angle shot from the middle of the back seat makes the car look like the interior of the honda fit (still obsessing on those triangular windows up front i know).

    i will not dismiss it out of hand for styling but i would look it over very carefully and try to find the best color combination before bringing it home for an extended stay in the garage.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    You know looking at a couple of these on eBay just now, the interior coloring makes a big difference. The brown color featured here looks fine, but swathed in grey/light grey it appears much cheaper inside. In fact, in grey scale it looks much like a rental car.

    The brown adds a nice richness. It doesn’t really work in black either. The fake plastic aluminum trim bothers me no matter what color it’s in.

  • avatar
    Mykl

    I like this car. I think Buick got it right and I hope they continue down this path so that when I’m in a position to buy another new car, they’re a legitimate option.

  • avatar
    BrianL

    Alex,
    Just to be clear, it is the same family of engines as the Saturn Sky Redline, but, it does have a different RPO code. It is a different engine than that. LNF vs LHU.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Yes it is a slight variant, but my intention was to differentiate it from the new 2.0L turbo in the ATS and Malibu. The LNF was the base for the tweaked LDK then they tweaked again foe E85 to create the LHU, but honestly the tweak from 9.2 to 9.3:1 compression is a small change so its easier to lump them all in together for most readers.

      • 0 avatar
        BrianL

        It isn’t just compression, although that is what wiki says.

        Block materials, pistons, rods, oil pan, heads…

        Again, it isn’t the same. In fact, it fixed several of the problems of the LNF, namely the porous block.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It has TWO brake pedals? Buick should transform itself (one car at a time) into GM’s performance division like AMG or M-series. No really.. Then they could justify a $50,000 Holden based V8 super sedan.

    I never understood why the Grand National was a Buick and not a Pontiac? They should have keep the GN going/updated, but I believe it was all FWDs after that.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    The interior is interesting in a “I can live with that” kind of way, which is not a bad thing. Exterior is bland but… OK. Proportions are good. There is something about that grill that bugs me, perhaps too big?
    The chrome accents on the rear lights just need to go.
    BTW It’s interesting to me that GM / Buick is swimming upstream with this model because it breaks two assumptions that luxury buyers want large and automatic.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Alex, you’re showing your generation with “Buick has never been about visual excitement.” Buicks before your time had style, even the Skylark of ’64-65, a nicely done mid-size (full size by today’s standards). Just check out the different generations of Rivieras, not just the first one. Some might not be you cup of tea, but they stood out against their contemporaries.

    As for Century, it was a series 60 offering in the ’50s, just below the top of the line series 70 Roadmasters, and the name goes back to the 1930s. Don’t judge the models or nameplate on the basis of your limited exposure – there are people older than you who know better and will take that kind of comment into consideration when judging your work.

    • 0 avatar
      CA Guy

      +1. Those of us old enough to remember Buicks of an earlier time know that Century, Skylark (and Wildcat!) once represented style and performance. My friend’s 1965 Wildcat convertible with the 465 and four-speed was an unforgettable car. The ultra comfortable but staid Electra 225 sedans and hardtops were marketed to the gray- and blue-haired set and ended up defining Buick way too much in later years – as did the truly awful Century and Skylark models to which Alex refers.

      As usual, great review!

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      Agreed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Buick_Riviera.jpg

  • avatar
    MBella

    This is the first Buick I would consider as a purchase. If the Turbo-Stick is still available in two years when my lease is up it will be hard to turn down this car. Especially since I’m sure there will be some incentives and I will be able to get some sort of friends of an employee discount living here in Detroit. I was really impressed with a co-workers base Verano. After they took his xD lease in 6 months early, he was paying $145/month. (He had some positive equity on the Scion) That’s a whole bunch of car for that price.

  • avatar

    and a paint job worthy of Lexus

    What OEM screws up the paint?

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Just out of curiosity, which is quieter, the Regal GS or Verano Turbo?

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I could totally get into one of these Vees, in Mocha Bronze Metallic (brown FTW!). It’s styled in an understated, Lexus sort of way. Looks like it’s chill on the freeway, and a good buzz in the bends. But alas, my bride was born and raised in Florida and the Triple Shield Logo is a non-starter for her. I don’t care if you made a Buick Corvette clone, to her the brand is all about old men with their pants pulled up to their nipples, wives with blue hair, and the turn signal blinking all the way to the early bird at the Cracker Barrel out by the truck stop.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    Totally irrelevant, but that quarter mile is interesting.

    15.0@ 98 mph is 1/10th slower and 7mph faster than my 1997 BMW 328i, with 170k on the clock. which probably is putting 75 horsepower LESS to the wheels and has similar weight. Strange. I’d think this is a low 14-second car considering what the LNF cobalts did.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I don’t get what is meant by the 2.4 engine being a new family. Is this just a tweak to the FI, compression? Is it a
    major redesign? Why does GM need a newer 2.4 when they have a brand new 2.5 liter 4cylinder??
    Why does GM use two 2,0 liter turbos?? Isn’t it cheaper to use only one engine family at a time? Fewer parts to
    stock, one diagnostic routine, ease of manufacture, spread development costs over more units? Where are the economies of scale and standardization at GM?

  • avatar
    willbodine

    That was thorough and entertaining review, Alex. While it may very well drive as nice (or nicer) than the TSX or A3, it is a whole heap of ugly. Some American cars, (even some Buicks) are handsomely designed, but this one ain’t one of ‘em.

  • avatar

    I couldn’t care less about “the Buick image” if the car is actually good. In fact, the first car I ever paid attention to (a brown 1985 Riviera) was a Buick, and the Buick division provides me with what I consider to be a substantial engineering scholarship each semester. So I have a lot of love for Buick and an glad to see them back on their A-game…

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Even the Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera was more exciting than the Buick Century.”

    Disagree.

    http://1986buickcenturygransport.freehosting.net/images/86gs1dh.jpg

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    I’m a happy A3 owner who’s waiting for the new MQB version to arrive, but I was intrigued enough by previous Verano reviews to go check it out. Having done so, I honestly don’t see who would cross shop the two. They’re not remotely comparable once you look past the numbers on the page. Aside from the obvious (one’s a low to the road hatchback, the other an upright sedan), the handling of the Verano at speed in no way approaches that of the Audi … which brings me to ask: how long has it been since you’ve driven an A3, to comment that it and the Buick have similarly light steering feel? My own impression is that the Audi is significantly more heavily-weighted at all speeds (admittedly this could be affected somewhat by the tires I have fitted).

    I could recite a long list of other ways in which I found the Verano less to my taste, but instead I’ll point to the three areas in which I thought it was better than the A3: the cabin is much quieter, there’s a bit more room in the rear seat (although it’s less flexible wrt to cargo than the Sportback) and the infotainment system is more up to date. However, lets not forget that the current North American A3 is an obsolete product–its MQB replacement is already on the market in the rest of the world. When the new sedan arrives later this year, I expect those advantages to lessen or disappear.

    To be clear, I’m no Buick hater (my father was a Buick/Pontiac/Cadillac dealer through most of my childhood). And I think the Verano is a terrific product, in the sense that the engineers and accountants made the appropriate trade-offs for the market they were targeting. I just don’t think they were targeting A3 buyers.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    One thing this vehicle demonstrates really well is that if there is a brand that offers good product, good reliability, good workmanship yet gets no respect it would have to be Buick. Now GM created this problem but they are also addressing it quite well. Yet all the old folk comments fly from folks who likely have not been in a modern Buick at all. I hope that Buick keeps at it and 10 years from now they will have a good, solid reputation. As we are coming up on Auto show season, take a good, hard, OBJECTIVE look at the modern Buick and do some comparisons to other brands in the same price point. You will likely be surprised by the nice interior materials that are used or the alignment of the body panels.

    • 0 avatar
      RatherhaveaBuick

      I’m 21.
      My great grand father, grandfather, father, mother and grandmother have all owned Buicks at one time or another, and they were all great cars. Hell, my great uncle, who I never met, supposedly drove ONLY Buicks for his entire life. My father crashed his Grand National slightly before I was born, (thanks, dad) but I grew up in an 89 Lesabre T Type. I loved that (very rare) car so much that I sought after one when I turned 16.

      Currently I have a 93 Regal GS, the “sporty” trimmed coupe one, or at least as sporty as a ’93 Buick could get. Fantastic car. Eats through undersized GM brake pads like a motherfucker, but other than that I’ve put nearly 40k on it with little problems. Buick’s 3.8, regardless of which generation, is one of the finest motors ever. And its handsome as hell for a 90s GM product. A 20 year old friend of mine just got a 93 Riviera, which, the more I look at it, is a truly beautiful car even with 130k on the odo. I love Buicks dearly, even as a youngster. Once I got past my pubescent Fast and Furious/import tuner phase and got a license, I realized exactly what I love about Buicks…

      Its not a Chevy, but its not a Cadillac. Its not Boy Racer-y like a Pontiac. It’s understated, smooth luxury (and in some cases, TURBO POWER!)

      Buicks are always, give or take some missteps (Rendezvous), mistakes (killing off the Roadmaster), bad re-badges (the last 3 generations of Skylark), a tried and true symbol of American quality.

      The way I think of a Buick is subtle yet refined. A stylish and stately brand of car for people who have nothing to prove because they know they’re getting quality. They don’t need a Cadillac, even though in some cases they could afford one.

      Buick represents good old American QUALITY. Regardless of its ups and downs and negative marketing perceptions, the brand has always stood for reliability.

      And in the year 2013, I’m very happy to see a new compact Buick that doesn’t stall at every stoplight like my dads 81 ‘Lark did…

      • 0 avatar
        RatherhaveaBuick

        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        I’m 21.
        My great grand father, grandfather, father, mother and grandmother have all owned Buicks at one time or another, and they were all great cars. Hell, my great uncle, who I never met, supposedly drove ONLY Buicks for his entire life. My father crashed his Grand National slightly before I was born, (thanks, dad) but I grew up in an 89 Lesabre T Type. I loved that (very rare) car so much that I sought after one when I turned 16.

        Currently I have a 93 Regal GS, the “sporty” trimmed coupe one, or at least as sporty as a ’93 Buick could get. Fantastic car. Eats through undersized GM brake pads like a motherfucker, but other than that I’ve put nearly 40k on it with little problems. Buick’s 3.8, regardless of which generation, is one of the finest motors ever. And its handsome as hell for a 90s GM product. A 20 year old friend of mine just got a 93 Riviera, which, the more I look at it, is a truly beautiful car even with 130k on the odo. I love Buicks dearly, even as a youngster. Once I got past my pubescent Fast and Furious/import tuner phase and got a license, I realized exactly what I love about Buicks…

        Its not a Chevy, but its not a Cadillac. Its not Boy Racer-y like a Pontiac. It’s understated, smooth luxury (and in some cases, TURBO POWER!)

        Buicks are always, give or take some missteps (Rendezvous), mistakes (killing off the Roadmaster), bad re-badges (the last 3 generations of Skylark), a tried and true symbol of American quality.

        The way I think of a Buick is subtle yet refined. A stylish and stately brand of car for people who have nothing to prove because they know they’re getting quality. They don’t need a Cadillac, even though in some cases they could afford one.

        Buick represents good old American QUALITY. Regardless of its ups and downs and negative marketing perceptions, the brand has always stood for reliability.

        And in the year 2013, I’m very happy to see a new compact Buick that doesn’t stall at every stoplight like my dads 81 ‘Lark did…

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Can you GMPP upgrade the engine? Any chance a GMPP upgrade will be offered?

    I’m still a few years away from my next “commuter” car but a lightly used Verano turbo with a stick is on my consideration list.

    The small car Lexus never built is one Hell of a complement. I had a rental LaCrosse CXL and that thing was church quiet on the inside, even when the 3.6 was romped on.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The real mistake was killing Oldsmobile when they did instead of Buick. Olds at least had some brand cache. The last “real” Buick was the Lucerne. When you are the car brand that makes up 2% of your total corp’s sales and have the highest average age of buyers of every single brand in the world, you should stick to what old people buy or let the brand die with them. This car is the cancer that will kill Buick. This strategy didn’t work with the skyhawk and isn’t going to work with this one either.

    I owned a 1991 lesabre limited when I needed cheap transportation. It was a hell of a good car to me, but buick doesn’t make them like that one anymore. My parents only buy used H body buicks because they are the frugal person’s best option. I don’t know anyone who actually “aspires” to own a buick and this model doesn’t change that.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Grumpy Old Man post of the day.

      Your math is off. I’m guessing you came up with 2% by dividing US Buick Sales by GM Global Sales?

      180,000ish US Sales/9,000,000ish global sales=2%

      Your problem is that you forgot about China and the 700,000 units Buick sold there in 2012 making Buick about 10% of GM Global sales.

      The world has changed…its not 1991 anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Sorry, but Buick’s average buyer is no longer the oldest of any make in the world, that win goes to Lincoln

      Buick’s average buyer has dropped from 70 to 64 to 61 to 59 – in just 7 short years.

      http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2010/05/buick-sales-up-average-age-of-buyers-down.html

      Notice the writer – its our own TTaC’s Derick!

      Here is the 2012 story showing that based on 2011 data the age has dropped to 59.

      http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/tag/average-age-of-buick-buyer

      As the same link above notes, the average buyer of cars for allmakes and models is 51.

      As a matter of fact, every make and model saw their average age of buyer increase in 2011 – except Buick which continued down.

      http://www.autotrends.org/2012/04/20/u-s-new-car-buyers-aging-except-for-buick/

      The average Verano buyer is just 45 years old, below industry average.

      And even if the average age of the buyer is 59 – so what?

      Total number of new cars bought by those under 34? Just 11% of all car sales. 41% of all car buyers are over 55 (surprise).

      http://blog.polk.com/blog/blog-posts-by-tom-libby/buick-goes-against-trend-and-attracts-younger-buyers

      Older buyers tend to be more loyal, and complain a lot less. Take a look at the list for the youngest brands. So really, the sweet spot is right around 50 to 55 for your average buyer, giving you over 60% of the market.

      If I was looking at these stats I wouldn’t be thinking to myself, “what features will attract the 20 year old buyer.”

      We’re way past that. I would be thinking to myself. What do I need to do to convince a 20 year old they need to buy a new car, or any car for that matter?

      Given this data is from 2011, economy plays a bit in this demographic shift, but there is a definite mindset shift in this country, mainly in the urban areas and the coasts that cars are – evil. In the flyover states and suburbia, they remain a near requirement.

      Also another thing to consider – if a 55 year old dad buys precious little wuggums a Verano turbo as a grad present – that buyer is age “55″ for the purpose of these surveys – but the operator is a different age.

      But Buick doesn’t have a demographic problem. Lexus, Lincoln, Nissan, Ford and Chrysler do seeing the age of their average buyer go up 4 to 5 years respectively. Lexus to 55, Lincoln to 60, Nissan to 50, Ford to 52 and Chrysler to 55.

      As a side note I find Nissan the most interesting with their buyers aging 4 years on average given all of the “youth” oriented products they have rolled out in the Versa, Cube, and Juke all being added to the line up during this survey period, and models like the Versa selling in significant numbers during the period.

      For buyer demographics, basically Buick needs to stay its current course. If the trend continues its average buyer age should be at a Lexus level of 54 to 56 in another three years.

      On the other hand, those “youthful” buyers over at Land Rover and Mazda sure don’t seem to be helping the bottom line for either company.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Thanks for the updated info, I was going off older info. I think you’re numbers sort of reinforce my point, with a compact, buick isn’t targeting their bread and butter market as older buyers still mostly associate compact cars with cheap.

  • avatar
    fozone

    just curious — how is the visibility in this car? In the LaCrosse it is so poor i’d swear that Buick was trying to kill off their elderly clientele…

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    Interesting car. I do like the tasteful interior quite a bit, it seems to come out well in the video. Not a car for me, really, but I do like the direction it’s going, even if Buick is something of an afterthought.

    Also, speaking of videos, I hate to admit it, but I am really starting to look forward to your video reviews as they come around. I generally don’t like the idea of video reviews, because typically I like to take them in chunks throughout the day, and videos really demand your attention (of course, I am very glad you take the effort to add a text review as well). But I do feel like yours get better with each iteration, and they manage to keep my attention to boot.

    One small suggestion: any way you can sneak in a quick shot of the gauge cluster in action? Pictures often don’t give an accurate depiction of how it actually looks first-hand (especially at night), and its arguably the most looked at part of the car for the driver. You don’t even have to necessarily mention it, just a quick shot would be great :)

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I find it odd that the coolant gauge wasn’t calibrated to point straight down. Anything off-center would cause temporary panic until I remember that’s where it is supposed to point.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    “…or the an all-new (to America) 6-speed manual transmission making the Buick and the Audi the only cars in this small segment that offer a DIY gear changer.”

    Unless I’m missing something, an edit is in order. Both the ILX and TSX that you identify as competitors offer manual transmissions.

    After criticizing the car for lame styling and the refrigerator-white color of your tester, how could you not point out that Buick sells this car in brown! The blue and red look good as well, at least in pictures.

    Related to color – the parking sensors on the white car made me question my vision. I thought it was something wrong with the picture. They look awful, and need a dark color to hide them.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    IIRC, Consumer Reports’ surveys have really dinged the reliability of the Cruze.

    I hate to say it because this seems like a really appealing car, but the combination of Daewoo engineering, GM-sourced components (note I didn’t say “American workers”) and a turbo make me really queasy about long-term ownership here.

  • avatar
    redav

    I have one complaint that is pretty much universal for all reviewers: just because a car is a luxury model doesn’t mean that customers are cross-shopping it against other luxury brands.

    Most people don’t start off with luxury cars; they have to purchase a ‘first’ luxury car. What matters to them is the extra cost worth it compared to the non-luxury models. That’s especially true of entry models like this one.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Pfft it’s very possible to start off with luxury. I did! (And yeah bought it for myself through working.) Since then, I have never owned a “standard” brand car.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      What do you suggest comparing the Verano to? It’s assumed that luxury models are cross-shopped against other luxury brands because the cars offer similar functionality at similar price points and appeal to the same people. Even someone considering their first premium car has decided they want something unavailable in more mainstream brands, so it’s fair to assume they will look at other luxury brands. Whether it’s worth it is entirely personal, and Alex or any other reviewer can’t answer that for someone. It depends on the buyer’s priorities.

      The ILX is certainly a direct competitor – it’s a similar size and the price range for all trims overlaps with the Verano trims almost perfectly. The A3 is also a small premium car at a similar price point. The TSX is bigger, but also offers a 4-cylinder w/FWD and a manual transmission at a similar price.

      Should reviewers compare the Verano to loaded 6-cylinder CamCords? Top trim levels of the Focus? Why don’t we compare it to CPO cars while we are at it? The possibilities are almost endless, so it makes sense to stick with the direct competition.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    I’m 21.
    My great grand father, grandfather, father, mother and grandmother have all owned Buicks at one time or another, and they were all great cars. Hell, my great uncle, who I never met, supposedly drove ONLY Buicks for his entire life. My father crashed his Grand National slightly before I was born, (thanks, dad) but I grew up in an 89 Lesabre T Type. I loved that (very rare) car so much that I sought after one when I turned 16.

    Currently I have a 93 Regal GS, the “sporty” trimmed coupe one, or at least as sporty as a ’93 Buick could get. Fantastic car. Eats through undersized GM brake pads like a motherfucker, but other than that I’ve put nearly 40k on it with little problems. Buick’s 3.8, regardless of which generation, is one of the finest motors ever. And its handsome as hell for a 90s GM product. A 20 year old friend of mine just got a 93 Riviera, which, the more I look at it, is a truly beautiful car even with 130k on the odo. I love Buicks dearly, even as a youngster. Once I got past my pubescent Fast and Furious/import tuner phase and got a license, I realized exactly what I love about Buicks…

    Its not a Chevy, but its not a Cadillac. Its not Boy Racer-y like a Pontiac. It’s understated, smooth luxury (and in some cases, TURBO POWER!)

    Buicks are always, give or take some missteps (Rendezvous), mistakes (killing off the Roadmaster), bad re-badges (the last 3 generations of Skylark), a tried and true symbol of American quality.

    The way I think of a Buick is subtle yet refined. A stylish and stately brand of car for people who have nothing to prove because they know they’re getting quality. They don’t need a Cadillac, even though in some cases they could afford one.

    Buick represents good old American QUALITY. Regardless of its ups and downs and negative marketing perceptions, the brand has always stood for reliability.

    And in the year 2013, I’m very happy to see a new compact Buick that doesn’t stall at every stoplight like my dads 81 ‘Lark did…

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Well, when I think “Buick” I think “Paul Harvey” who used to advertise Buick a lot on his noon radio program. Its really fun to say “BuICK!” in a Paul Harvey voice. If I liked the car and had the money, I wouldn’t think twice about buying a “BuICK!” I think of a Buick as plush (for the money) and tasteful (for the money). Their quality has been kind of raggedy for some of their models, but then so has Mercedes Benz.

  • avatar
    Cornelius Attenborough

    Commenters, I love all of you. However, this small car is $30,000 without real luxury brand cache. Ford has a turbocharged Focus ST for $24,000. Can’t GM make a turbo Verano replacing performance parts with luxury bits for $26,000? The problem I have with the Verano Turbo is that it is an overpriced, underachiever. Look at everything you can buy for $30,000 in this market, and I’m sure most folks will come to their senses and avoid the Buick Verano Turbo at this price.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Ford’s hot-hatch, economy car is supposed to be around $28,000, not that far off of $30,000 range. What do you pay for luxury and performance that matches your reference to the ST?

      You won’t find the ST’s catfish mouth parked in front of the valet’s parking lot. Ford really doesn’t have anything close in the Verano territory where Mercury/Lincoln should be.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    The Buick Verano is the unanimous winner in every comparison of the ILX, regardless of the engine.

    http://www.autoguide.com/car-comparisons/2013-buick-verano-vs-2013-acura-ilx-2529.html

  • avatar
    brio

    I drive a 2010 Mercedes C300. I rented a Verano last month. I was impressed. The interior is nicer than my Mercedes and the front seats are wonderful. I found the power adequate and the ride and handling acceptable as well. It’s not a C300 4 matic for sure in terms of steering and handling but an excellent car. The quiet ride was even quieter than my Mercedes, by only a touch. However the Verano is $20K less. What I didn’t like was the backseat is tight because the front seats are so large – not that the backseat in my C300 is great either. I also didn’t like that extra pillar near the outside mirrors. The visibility is not as good as the C300 but most cars are not as good. I would seriously consider this car if it had a few more options – full power seats on both sides etc. I had a 1991 Buick Electra Park Avenue Ultra. What a lemon. I had a 1978 Buick Riviera in my 20′s that I just loved. Every car brand seems to have their ups and downs. GM make a lot of great cars again with no quality issues. Let’s buy North American product if we can.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Smaller green houses seem to be the trend these days. Maybe newer roof weight standards combined with increasing reliance on rear electronic surveillance seemed to be the norm.

      The seats do have a unique foam density that is quite pleasant to sit on and to squeeze. My dog gets in the backseat and is out sleeping, it is that cocoon like. My ’13 Turbo is super quiet and does ok over bumps with heavy 235mm width 18″ tires. The back seat is snug to enter but once in behind the front seat adjusted for my 5’10″, 34″ inseam size everything fits without touching. I wasn’t sure about the side mirror window until I found myself navigating some curbs. Yup, there they are easily seen through the window.

      Handling is very sharp and responsive but really push it and the front end goes away just a little too quick for me. Some suspension tuning like adding an aftermarket Cruze rear sway bar may pay dividends with little sacrifice in ride quality.

      My ’13 Turbo currently has a Trifecta ECU tuning and supporting intake and exhaust mods and is easily topping 40+ mpg same as it was stock. I measured a full tank on my daily commute of 120 miles with 90% highway at 60 mph and was surprised to see a computed 39.3 mpg. Not bad for over 300 horsepower sitting in the lap of quietness.


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