By on June 9, 2014

IMG_4567

Reader Davefromcalgary discusses what it’s like to own one of the rarest unicorns in the automotive world: the Buick Verano Turbo with a 6-speed manual. Part 1 discussed the buying process, while Part 2 takes you through the day-to-day ownership of the car.

When ordering a Verano T, there are not many decisions to make. The 1ST package brings most of the goodies to the table including keyless start, Buick’s “IntelliLink” infotainment system, 18” rims and leather seating surfaces. The only remaining options are transmission type, exterior and interior color, rim style, navigation, sunroof, and the typical additional options such as the cargo net, block heater and protection package. GM charges a few hundred dollars for metallic black or red, and $995 for “diamond white tricoat”. Happily, the metallic blue was a no charge option. As well, there are three no cost options for interior color; black, white and tan/brown. I selected the 6MT, sunroof, navigation, upgraded rims, Carbon Blue Metallic paint, ”ebony” black interior, as well as the engine block heater and protection package. The window sticker for this particular car was $37,000 Canadian Dollars including freight and PDI. I gave them a $3000 deposit which was refunded upon delivery, and delivery took a shade over two months

As I alluded to previously, I have mixed feelings on the look of the Verano. At first I wasn’t sure about the chrome “eyebrows” at the rear, but in the grand scheme of things they really don’t bother me. I find the Verano’s rear to be squared off and solid in design, which is excellent given my presence for a more conservative (some say boring) shape. The vestigial spoiler neither adds nor subtracts from the look. It was included in the 1ST package, so that is neither here nor there. I find the rear and rear quarter to be the Verano’s best exterior angles.

IMG_4569 no plate

Moving around to the side, Buick has taken care to ensure that the Verano has no black plastic triangles at the front and back of the greenhouse like the Cruze. Buick has accomplished this by including triangular glass “portholes”. While they are thickly framed and don’t add a lot to visibility, the overall shape of the greenhouse glass is pleasant and the chrome trim sets it off well. While the beltline does gently slope upwards towards the rear, I am a big fan of how the thickness of the C-Pillar is roughly constant along its length, accented by a slight lift of the back glass. I find the Verano to be a tad short in length for the height of its hood and trunk lid, but the hood length to cabin length to trunk lid length all seem to work. The car will never be described as sleek, but the proportions come off as inoffensive at the end of the day. It is not a handsome car but it is honest.

IMG_4568

The worst feature of the side profile happens to coincide with the worst feature of the front, namely the grill. When viewed head on, the grill is only slightly odd looking, but it’s not so bad. But, move around to the side and you can see that the leading edge of the hood, rather than forming the top of the grill, runs through the grill. The Verano and Enclave are the only two vehicles I can think of that are styled like this, and in my opinion it looks pretty poor. I would have rather see them move the Buick shield down, and coordinate the grill shape with the hood line, ala Regal. However, I am quite pleased that the hood opens along the grill line, so there are no unpleasant straight body gaps cutting across the hood, as we have seen on other modern cars.

Other than that, like the rest of the car, the front end is generic and unassuming, though not ugly. However, I will say that the traditional Buick portholes on the top of the hood have got to go. I am not a fan of non-functional aero. I am also extremely disappointed by Buick’s placement of blue glass rings around the low beam projectors. The blue visible from legal OEM HID lamps is simply an artifact produced by the cutoff shield, but illegal HID drop-in kits play up this “cool” look, all while blinding those around them. The headlights on the Verano are halogen, and even if they were HID, I don’t believe any of the OEMs should be even tacitly giving illegal blue headlights any sort of positive endorsement.

IMG_4575

I ticked the “Protection Package” on the build sheet because it promised color matched molded splash guards, dealer installed. I did this for three reasons: one, I don’t like following vehicles without them in the rain, two, I don’t like the six foot long chunk of ice on the sills that forms in winter, and three, installing mudflaps on ones own can be difficult, if they are the kind that do not have any alignment tabs. In this case, the molded guards are specific to the car and I am happy with the way they look. The protection package also includes a thick rubber trunk mat and some floor mats, which I don’t need because I bought WeatherTech floor mats. For the record, they provide excellent coverage and don’t slide around, so I give them a thumbs up.

IMG_4580

Opening the hood shows an engine bay with a decent amount of room; understandable given the small displacement inline four. Thankfully, the entire bay isn’t covered by plastic shrouds, like the Lexus IS250. I will say though that the plastic engine cover is maddening, and borderline insulting. It is shaped to look like intake runners for a longitudinal engine, and for whatever reason that just makes me mad. Who do they think they are fooling? Also, it really makes me mad that a car stickering $37,000 is equipped with a prop rod.

The up level split 10-spoke alloys are a $525 upgrade. The standard rim is a twin 5-spoke, and normally I am a die hard 5-spoke fan, but something about the 10 spoke rims on this car just look more upscale, especially since they are slightly greyed out. Overall, I am still glad that I picked the Carbon Blue Paint and upgraded alloys. The car has a confident stance.

IMG_4589

As I mentioned in Part 1, if you can fit in it, the Verano is a nice place to be. The aspect of its interior design that I most appreciate is the simple, symmetrical and most of all, functional design. Starting between the front seats there is a comfortable yet slightly small padded armrest concealing a storage bin, which contains the USB and 3.5mm jacks. Forward of this sits two cup holders large enough for travel mugs but which are also able to secure regular 355mL pop cans. Forward of the cup holders yet behind the stick lies a deep cell phone sized pocket, and the switch for the electronically actuated parking brake. This switch is a pull up to engage and push down to release item. The stickshift itself is a classy little affair, featuring an elongated shape that fits my hand well, and a trigger for defeating the reverse lockout. First and reverse sit abeam one another and I believe this and the trigger should make it easy to rock in the snow without losing momentum. The shifter boot is black with the same white contrasting stitching as the seats. Ahead of the stick shift is a slightly larger deep pocket below the center stack which also houses a 12V outlet.

IMG_4592

The shifter and the center stack are both trimmed with a medium grey glossy trim that I imagine is supposed to emulate metal. Inlaid into this is a dark species of fake wood. All of it has a glossy coating. This trim also accents the door pulls. While it is obvious that the trim is neither genuine metal nor wood, it isn’t in your face fake. This is one of those items that I have decided works in the car, but others might find it cheap or not to their liking. One of the main reasons I am giving it a pass is that it seems reasonably scratch resistant. Other “metal look” plastics in my experience have proved for less robust right off the bat (one example is my former 2004 Mazda 6), and this piece seems like it will hold up. Sadly, my gut instinct is that the rest of the interior will not have this durability. The dash and door panels, where not trimmed with leather are covered in a soft rubber with a fine grained pattern. The switch gear, buttons and other areas of hard plastic are a “matte” black plastic. Both the rubber and the plastics have this quality where if you have sweat or gotten any dirt on your hands at any part of the day, they leave finger prints and smudges and basically look like hell. A gloss plastic and a more vinyl-like substance like in the Alero would be far more durable. Ask me how I know, as the interior of the Alero held up exceedingly well after 12 years and 300k kms. The material selection is definitely the low point of the interior.

IMG_4593 edited

Luckily, the instrument and infotainment layout, to my eye, is excellent. The touch screen is clear, with simple graphics, and displays time, exterior temperature, HVAC info when you change settings, and all available media info. I should note that you don’t need to refer to the touch screen to use the HVAC, it is redundant info. The unit is equipped with RDS for terrestrial radio info and displays track info from MP3 CDs as well as full track info when streaming over Bluetooth or plugged into USB. Of course it also displays data for the SiriusXM system. The nav screen is relatively uncomplicated, and also can send directions to the drivers info screen in the instrument cluster. I should note that the 2014 Verano is equipped with HomeLink.

The infotainment system can be controlled almost entirely using the plethora of buttons below the screen, as well as the push to select rotary knob. The only time you are compelled to use the screen is to bring up certain menus when the nav is in full screen. Of course, you can use the touchscreen for the bulk of the radio operation, if that suits you better. However, I like buttons, and I have already gotten to the point where I can perform basic functions without looking. GM has a few other ‘Link branded systems with fewer to no buttons, but I believe the Verano’s setup is superior. The steering wheel controls are also convenient to use. The push button start is located above the media controls under the screen. Many people have had trouble finding it, but a few have commented (and I agree) that once you know it is there it is a good place for it.

Bluetooth integration works well. Pairing a new device is child’s play. Music quality over Bluetooth is good and call quality is excellent. Voice dialing also has yet to misunderstand me. The system is also capable of displaying your incoming texts (when stopped only), or reading your texts out loud when you are in motion, and surprisingly enough I find it works pretty well.

The HVAC is an automatic type, though it is clearly designed to use the same switchgear for lower spec cars. Because of this, the mix control is a knob with satisfying feedback, the fan speed is a rocker switch and the vent setting is handled by individual buttons for each setting, which can be combined. I find that manual mode works best for commuting, and my feeling is that the auto function will work best for prolonged trips where one click of the temperature knob will adjust multiple settings.

IMG_4565

The instrument cluster rates highly except for the use of blue backlighting. The gauges are large, clear, and easy to read, and Buick gets points for including the temperature gauge. My ideal car would have a full instrument cluster, but alas. I really like the detailing in the speedometer and tach, as the outside bezel has markings for intermediate numerals, and I feel it is styled to resemble a watch bezel. The numerals are backlit but the cluster is also globally lit from inside the pods. Blue backlighting can often be hard to read, which is why I say it lowers the rating, but the extra background lighting actually seems to help in this regard. The driver info screen has the usual items such as average economy, instant economy, trip odometer, tire pressure, voltage, and the Verano has the extra trick of displaying upcoming turns there as well. It is easily controlled from the turn signal stalk. I would like to point out that I dislike the use of a toggle switch rather than a dial for adjusting instrument lighting rheostat. It is so much easier to just scroll the wheel than repeatedly click a toggle.

Were I a buff book author, I would at this point make note that the seats are comfortable and well-trimmed but lack side bolstering. All of this is true, but I don’t drive aggressively enough that I really miss the extra support. The driver seat is power, and while the passenger seat isn’t it goes one extra step by adding manual height adjustment. The only glaring omission of the seating is lumbar support, manual or otherwise. I think this is the source of people not being able to acclimate to the Verano’s chairs. But the contrast stitching certainly looks good, although I am not well versed enough in material quality to know if the leather itself is of decent quality.

At hand storage is decent, with a reasonably sized glove box, the aforementioned center console, and large pockets in each door capable of holding a thick water bottle and then some. The back seat is specious enough for two adults, with a flip down arm rest and cup holders, and a second 12V outlet for the back seat. I mentioned in Part 1 that a 6’-2” gent could sit behind me. This is due to the scallop in the headliner where the sunroof ends. So, the top of his head is kind of stuck up in that space but it is certainly usable.

Overall, the Verano’s interior presents itself well, to this hard luck old GM driver. I do wish I had more basis for comparison to offer, but all I can say at this point is that I think, despite a few quirks, the Verano is a nice place to spend time.

Approach the Verano, and with the key in your pocket you just push one of the door handle buttons and all four doors unlock. However, I am incredibly annoyed that GM did not see fit to include a similar button on the trunk, necessitating you remove the key from your pocket. This is a first world problem to be sure, but it just screams lazy, unfinished execution. One nice feature I appreciate on newer cars is that the door hinges have three detents, handy for those tight parking lots.

Closing the door in a loud area, and the attention to quiet that Buick paid is readily obvious. Firing up the engine produces little noticeable noise from the inside, but do this with the door open and you notice DI clatter as well as the odd rattle before the revs drop down from the fast idle. That being said, it is no worse than any other DI car I have been around of late, such as my colleague’s CX-5.

One feature I really wanted was auto up and auto down windows. The Verano obliges, as the sunroof and windows are fully automatic with the exception of auto up in the rear, which seems cheap but I don’t use the back windows that much. The sunroof isn’t the largest, but it redeems itself by sliding farther into the roof than any other I have seen. Venting the sunroof and cracking the back rear window creates a pleasant and useful cross breeze. The A/C blows cold, and the heat, heated seats and heated steering wheel worked well the few early April mornings they were necessary.

I won’t harp any more on the Bose sound system, as I covered that in Part 1. The infotainment is functional though, and I think GM should get more credit for its ease of use. I wouldn’t say it is the best in the industry, (Derek mentioned to me that uConnect really is that good), but I would say that this is perfectly acceptable. Certainly head and shoulders above CUE and certain irritating features of MyFordTouch.

Releasing the electronic park brake and pulling onto the road (or, if you forget, the car will release the break when it detects you trying to get going), the Verano pulls strongly, while letting very little noise into the cabin. However, despite the claimed peak 260 ft-lbs at 2000rpm, I find it very easy to catch the car flat footed. Turbo lag is present, and I have taken to leaving the car one gear lower than I would normally feel necessary just in case I need to scoot into a gap. It really does not like being asked to accelerate after it has been loping along below 2000 rpm. However, if you are at or slightly above 2500 rpm and you put your foot into it, the car pulls eagerly. This is where I often find myself thinking “this car isn’t THAT fast”, but it is extremely disconcerting because the sensation of speed is muted.

Now I am not saying that this car is all that, but I have found that to really appreciate the amount of power you do have available, you almost have to keep the corner of your eye on the instruments, to put a frame of reference to the feel of what the car is doing. The car is capable of attaining extralegal speeds effortlessly. Despite having a non-independent Watts Link rear suspension, the car handles well, and is very easy to place. Steering is light but direct. However, the handling is really let down by excessive body roll. I found that the Alero on 15” winter tires actually cornered much flatter. 12” disks upfront and 11” disks out back stop the car with extreme prejudice, and I am hopeful that they will not suffer the same sort of warping issues that has plagued small to midsize GM cars in the past.

One feature that I have used but not yet fully come to appreciate is Hill Start Assist. When stopped on an incline, the computer will engage the parking brake to stop you from rolling back when you set off. It works well but I find it is not consistent about which grades on which it engages. I am hoping the owner’s manual will shed more light on the topic, though I keep forgetting to look it up when I am stationary.

With my observations regarding how it drives, please bear in mind that I drive in a fairly relaxed fashion, and full throttle runs to expressway speed limits represent the majority of my hoonage. The good news here is that, this car shows its Buick roots. The ride is comfortable, the car is quiet, and if you don’t feel like driving like a yob, the extra power makes it very easy to drive the car easy and relaxed. I find the stickshift to be precise and easy to use, and the only issue with the clutch is that it is a bit heavy for how high the friction point is, but I quickly got used to it.

The biggest let down in the drive is the 18” rims. I do not know how much they contribute to the cars direct handling, but being P235/45/18, there is not a lot of meat on them. The car does a good job of isolating me from harsh bumps, but the car seems to crash a bit over railway tracks and pot holes. I cannot help but think that a 17” or even a 16” rim would provide a softer ride over rough roads. I will be purchasing a set of 16” alloys and Nokian Hakkapelitta R2 winter tires in fall, and I suspect they will improve the cars composure over harsh bumps.

I gave my impressions of driving the car on an expressway in Part 1, and they haven’t really changed. Despite the gently rising beltline and small rear window, visibility is good and the blind spot warning actually works really well. The car also has forward collision detection, which I have turned off because it seems rather useless. When a car is in range of the system ahead, it illuminates a car shaped icon in the dash. Am I not supposed to be looking forward?

A lane departure warning system is also included, which I also keep disabled. Driving through construction zones causes the system to flip out and convince the car that we are not long for this world. I find being unable to disable the auto dimming rearview mirror extremely detrimental at night. I typically use the high beam setting on manual rear view mirrors sparingly, so I dislike that this is imposed upon me. When dim, you can really make out very little. I really find I appreciate the lane change flash function, I think every modern car should have this. The wipers are the kind that open from the center to the A-pillars. This isn’t a functional problem (yet) but every time I see an early 00’s GM minivan with the wipers stuck “open” I cringe. However, I would like to think that GM has moved past that kind of issue. I would also like to note that, while I don’t find I need and thus don’t ever look at the backup camera screen, I find the rear cross traffic alert to be exceptionally good at helping me back out when parked between two long, tall SUVs or pickup trucks.

I have done a few short highway stints. The car hums along very quietly, While I haven’t yet crossed the vast divide of the Canadian prairies, I feel I am going to be let down by the headlights. Halogen lamps aren’t automatically inferior any more than projectors are inherently superior, but these just don’t seem to have the throw I want on low beam, though the high beams seem adequate.

Fuel economy to date is a lifetime average of 10.5L/100kms (22.4 mpg US). This includes almost no highway. Normally I use the highways around and through Calgary quite a bit, but I have been something of a home body for the last few months. My commute is 12 kms (7.5 miles) one way, and includes two onramps and about half being expressway travel. My driving style since I took delivery has been consistently booting it onto the expressway, but driving normally the rest of the time. My assumptions are that on a strictly highway trip, I should get about 7L/100 kms (33.6 mpg US) highway, and that my traditional 50/50 highway/town should yield about 9.5 L/100 kms (24.75 mpg US). This guess is based on my first tank, which was about half commuting and half looping Calgary’s expressways in my shiny new car. Essentially, the Verano is returning almost identical economy to the Alero, with 100 more hp and 100 more torques on tap.

I have no problem stating that I am happy with my purchase, and that I think this is a well-executed small wanna-be luxury car, despite its quirks. The car has what I categorize as stupid head scratching oversights, such as the prop rod, fake aero, gaudy blue headlight bling, missing trunk lid button, etc., which irk me but I that I can totally live with, at the end of the day. The more major long term questions to me are whether the interior materials will hold up long term, and whether I will find myself hugely at odds with the headlight performance. I am reasonably confident with the running gear, since the 2.0T and F40-6 transmission have been around since 2007 in various iterations.

I really enjoy driving the car, and the one aspect that sold me initially, as well as make it a joy to drive is that the car feels familiar, and felt that way since I first sat in one. The gearing and manual transmission felt similar to the Alero, which is a good thing because I enjoyed wringing that car out. The engine even makes similar noises at the high end of the tach as the 2.2 ECOTEC. Operating the switch gear and infotainment feels second nature, even though it is a few models removed from my previous ride. My new car feels like an old friend, and I think that is a good measure of overall satisfaction.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

103 Comments on “Reader Review: Buick Verano Turbo 6-Speed Manual, Part 2...”


  • avatar

    I just got finished evaluating the new 200c 2015.

    I really liked the Buick because it was comfortable, had a high end interior (at the time of launch) and was attractive.

    The 200, however, gives you so much more. With every box checked, it still comes out to less than $35,000. I felt the 200′s ride was better than even the GS – and even at 95mph – I was amazed how quiet and *good* it felt.

    The only thing that would make me choose the Verano over the 200 is the manual – which this day in age, I wouldn’t.

  • avatar
    mars3941

    37K for this? You have got to be kidding.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      You did see the CAD, right? In the US it’s $29,414.

    • 0 avatar
      DrGastro997

      I thought the very same thing. Save the money and go for the new Mazda 6. It’s lower in power but excellent in driving dynamics. Buick can’t achieve what Mazda has done.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Based on the historical priorities of the two brands as well as reviews of the Verano and new Mazda6, compared to the Verano the Mazda probably sounds like it has all of its windows open at all times.

        Everyone has different priorities.

        • 0 avatar

          Mazda6 is noisy and engine sounds harsh when pushed. Interior is rather gloomy and outdated and engine is non-turbo 2.5L max. Essentially it is a budget car, it is not premium by any means. Regal is a much nicer car with European feel but it is heavy and tall as all Europeans. I do not know how Verano can be in the same shopping list as Mazda6 or even Mazda3, I would rather compare it with Acura ILX. Compromises have to be made to lower the cost – don’t you think so?

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    I’ve always wondered who would pay nearly $40k for these cheap little FWD cars… wow. Why not get the $22k Chevy Cruze? I’m sure it’s not at nice, but at nearly half the price.. really?

    I’m pretty sure a manual Cadillac ATS 2.0T rings in at around the same price, no?

    :EDIT: I just saw the above post, so that’s $37k Canadian. I guess $29kUS is a little better price point, but my point still stands.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      He’s in CANADA!

      “In a recent comparison between American and Canadian vehicle prices, it was found that Canadians are paying almost 20% more than Americans are for their new vehicles. That means most Canadians are currently paying about $5000-$6000 more, on average, than their neighbors to the south.”

      http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/51492/cars/canadian_vehicle_prices_still_higher_than_in_the_united_states.html

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      @AMC_CJ

      Both price points suck.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      CPO used Verano Premium can be had for around $20,000 if that is more your price range.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m familiar with Verano price valuations, and it seems the MY12s (and surprisingly the MY13s) are finally falling into place. March of last year the MY12s were all holding around mid 19s. Fools pay $20K for a <15K ride.

        Additional: base and “convenience” trims in MY13 trade at near same pricing, but “leather” kicks it up a notch. I seem to recall the dealer telling me convenience retailed at $25K, which pretty much had me walking out the door.

        MY12 Verano base:

        05/14/14 DALLAS Regular $16,300 19,033 Above BLACK 4G A Yes
        05/15/14 ATLANTA Regular $16,000 19,854 Avg RED 4G A Yes
        05/15/14 CHICAGO Regular $14,300 28,648 Avg SILVER 4G A Yes
        06/04/14 DALLAS Lease $14,200 31,903 Avg BLACK 4G A Yes
        05/28/14 PITTSBGH Regular $14,400 32,555 Avg SLATE 4G A Yes
        05/21/14 CEN FLA Lease $14,100 32,721 Avg BLACK 4G A Yes
        05/30/14 PA Lease $13,600 36,450 Avg BLACK 4G A Yes
        05/20/14 GEORGIA Regular $13,800 37,660 Avg PEARL 4G A Yes

        MY13

        05/28/14 SAN ANTO Lease $15,300 17,099 Below SILVER 4G A Yes
        05/29/14 CHICAGO Lease $15,600 17,559 Avg BLACK 4G A Yes
        05/20/14 DENVER Lease $16,000 19,298 Avg BLUE 4G A Yes
        06/03/14 GEORGIA Regular $16,100 22,602 Avg GRAY 4G A Yes
        05/14/14 KC Lease $15,600 24,563 Avg WHITE 4G A Yes
        05/28/14 NJ Lease $12,400 30,914 Below BLUE 4G A No

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Who goes to auctikns to buy a car plus fees when ebay and Autotrader are already listing those asking prices with a little wiggle room to come down?

          Besides 28 I don’t ever seeing you buying new anytime tlme soon.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Not true, I looked at leasing last spring to replace the Saturn I recently sold. I was interested in Verano and ILX, both of which had advertised a 0% lease at the time (Verano’s was 225 or so, the ILX 260). The Verano was the better choice of auto by far but the salesman did two things that pissed me off: (1) refused to honor dealer offered incentive of 0% financing on the lease I can’t recall why and (2) bs’d me about the base trim “not being available” at msrp 23+dest vs convenience trim of msrp 25+dest. I did my research and Buick actually made so many things standard there was no need to get the higher trims unless you wanted moonroof, leather, heated seats (which I did not need for this car). The ILX just turned me off completely for its lack of power, so I ended up with neither. I fixed my old Saturn, ran it all winter, and sold it when a new Saturn SL was offered to me.

            I look at whats being offered these days and truthfully I can’t get excited about almost any of it, so I will be buying used long into the future.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Wait until the 2015 Verano refresh/redesign for deals on the current models. Maybe you can move up a level or two as the Verani offers the most for the size. Which explains why it is best in segment.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Hey AMC,

      I did briefly consider the ATS, but I eliminated it from contention for a couple of reasons. 1, its base is $37500, with cloth seats, plus 1495 for the sunroof, it was beginning to leave my price range. 2, the only way to get the uplevel audio/nav is CUE, and I wouldn’t want to use that POS system every day. My opinion is that the Verano’s system of many buttons is far superior. This is based on both sitting in an ATS and also using the buttonless MyLink in a 2013 Acadia.

      For the record, 37000 was the MSRP on the sticker, I paid invoice + 3.5% which came to 34000.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Since I’m already in there, FYI for your future knowledge ATS in general does not hold its value well in the US. Buy one here and drive it home, I seem to recall that’s what your dad did with his Ninety Eight right?

        MY13 ATS 2WD I4 (“4GT” is I4 gas 2.0T, the “A” is auto, the “P” I think is manual, usually says 5 or 6 for # of gears)

        05/05/14 ORLANDO $22,400 9,095 Avg WHITE 4G A Yes
        05/21/14 DALLAS Regular $23,500 12,196 Above SILVER 4GT A Yes
        06/05/14 DETROIT $19,200 14,422 Below BLACK 4G A No
        05/21/14 NY Lease $20,300 17,119 Below WHITE 4G P Yes
        05/02/14 PA Lease $21,000 24,172 Avg GREY 4G P Yes
        05/12/14 ORLANDO Lease $21,700 26,509 Avg WHITE 4GT A Yes

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Wow, 28, that is eye opening. Thanks for pulling all those numbers together.

          I cant believe you can get a 2 year old on lease for 22k +-.

          I never even thought to look south of the border.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            CTS fares somewhat better but Cadillacs not named Escalade have not had good resale in decades. You have to remember though, those are wholesale valuations. From what I hear the ATS sedan isn’t lighting up the sales as Caddy dealers hoped it would, I’m curious to see the ATS coupe valuation when it starts hitting the block.

            One of my friends for reasons I cannot understand just had to have the CTS Coupe (V6) when it came out and he bought an MY12 new with his family’s GM discount for a sum not disclosed to me. Within nine months I saw a posting on Manheim in AZ with a “buy it now” of $29,999, 6K otc. GM sticker’d it in the high 40s to low 50s depending on package. Conversely an MY12 Mercedes E class conv being sold by the same AZ dealer was being offered for 55K, vs its 62K msrp. The lesson here is, nobody in the wholesale world is willing to spend real money on Cadillacs. Limited market, limited appeal, and the polarizing features are not doing them justice. You can sell a Merc conv to anybody with enough coin.

            Our laws regarding foreign cars are a bit excessive but then again out gov’t is completely out of control. However from what I remember you telling me, it seemed as if the Canadian authorities would accept a US market car rather easily. I would bear this in mind the next time you go car shopping.

          • 0 avatar
            koshchei

            Keep in mind, you will still have to pay HST to bring it up here, and the manufacturer may not honour the warranty.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            The manufacturer will honor the warranty. The dealers give you a hard time because they hate the Canadians circumventing their warranty. You might have to make some noise with the manufacturer but they will honor the warranty of a US car in Canada.

  • avatar
    omer333

    Before I bought my Dart I test drove a base-model Verano. Really good car, I’ve told lots of people that if they want an inexpensive luxury car to check out Buick’s products.

    As good as the car is though, it didn’t “get my motor going”, so to speak.

    And that’s an important thing.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      What did the Dart do to get your motor runnin’?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Ita fix hima plate ofa’the pasta!

      • 0 avatar
        omer333

        I went with the 2.4/6AT.

        I think it’s a great powertrain.

        I’m willing to offer up my car to the TTAC Gods for a review.

        I can send in the email later today, as I’m up to my eyeballs in toddlers right now.

        • 0 avatar

          There’s a Dart GT 2.4L/6AT on my driveway this week and TTAC reviews on the 2.0L/6AT and the 2.4L/6AT are forthcoming once my week with the 2.4 is done. I don’t want to tip my hand but I will say that Chrysler shouldn’t have even bothered offering the 1.4L Turbo and 2.0L. There may be no real world mpg advantage and the money they spent developing those versions would have been better put to use figuring out how to get the Pentastar V6 in the Dart. Since the Cherokee is based on the same CUSW architecture and since you can buy the Cherokee with the V6, my guess is that they can make it fit.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            The 1.4T and 2.0L were really compromises. The 1.4 MA was easily ported over from Fiat and the 2.0L only got relatively minor changes from previous applications. They plugged in those two because the 2.4L wasn’t ready, but the car needed to be launched. I agree, the 2.4L is much more appropriate.

          • 0 avatar
            omer333

            I am really looking forward to those reviews. I have a feeling the 2.4 (especially in SXT-Rallye trim) would get high marks from TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            omer333

            The flame-wars on the Dart forums over the 1.4 and 2.4 have gotten beyond ridiculous.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I am also looking forward to these reviews Part of the reason is, I actually really liked the Dart, but I didn’t enjoy my test drive of a 1.4T/6MT.

            Secondly, every buff book author states that the 2.4 /6MT combo is atrocious to drive. I know Ronnie isn’t testing an MT Dart but the reason it interests me is that everyone also panned the Verano MT, and I think its just fine.

            Maybe if I can find a 2.4/6MT locally, I can swing a test drive and write a few words.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            According to consumer reports, the 1.4T with the DDCT does 0-60 in 8.6 seconds. The 2.4L/6AT does the same in 9.3 seconds.

            I’ve driven a 2.4L/6AT combo and while it does have a stronger initial launch off the line, the 1.4T will smoke it once the turbo spools up. Midrange on the 1.4T is much better too.

            I’d be interested to see if the manual transmission changes the character of the 2.4L, but I can say I don’t much care for it if it has an automatic bolted to it.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      My daughter and I test drove a Dart SXT with the 2.4/6MT and the UConnect/sunroof package. Price was good, car performed very well (pretty good engine response)except for the stupid clutch feel. We’ve both driven manuals for years (she learned to drive on a manual) and we both agree that there’s something wrong with the way the clutches in these things feel – kinda takes away from the driving experience. She bought a new Fiesta with a 6MT and thinks it’s much better to drive, more solid and responsive. Oh, and the Dart we test drove set the “Check Engine” code during the test run with only 15 miles on the clock……

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Must be either that specific car or something about the 2.4L/6MT combo, because the clutch on my 1.4T/6MT feels much better than a lot of recent model vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          It could also be be relative. Maybe what Bullnuke and his daughter didn’t care for is what you like.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            Possibly. I cut my teeth on cars with mechanical linkages to the clutch and got used to being able to clearly feel the friction point of the clutch as it gripped the flywheel. Far too many hydraulic clutch systems lack this feel, and even worse, far too many of them engage/release right off the carpet.

            Contrast that with my Dart which has nice feel and engages partway into the stroke as you lift your foot, so you can control it well. I’d almost given up on stick shift cars since none of the young engineers designing these things today know how a proper clutch setup should behave and feel. Now get off my lawn!

          • 0 avatar

            “Far too many hydraulic clutch systems lack this feel, and even worse, far too many of them engage/release right off the carpet”

            What point of having MT like that. I remember Ford Sierra had this kind of clutch and I hated it, Japanese cars had more more precise and better executed MT but not much pleasure or fun to drive.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    It really slays me that GM will put a stick in a Buick, but not a half-ton pickup.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Good job on Part 2!

    Question 1: You mentioned you wanted a full instrument gauge package. What else is missing from what you have now – boost meter and battery? Are there any cars currently which don’t include a temp gauge?

    Observation 1: I can’t get with the way Buick does their seat patterns/stitching. It dates the cars to me, and (especially in this model) takes away any notion of sport luxury intent. These seats look almost exactly like the ones in my grandfathers 2005 Terraza.

    Thought 1: I really hope you end up with better lifetime MPG than that, because this size car without AWD should be doing much better!

    Observation 2: Agree that the lack of trunk button and the hood prop are ridiculous. How much do gas shocks cost, that they couldn’t toss them on? IMO, keyless entry/start these days means you don’t need to touch the key -at all- to access any passenger/storage part of the vehicle.

    Observation 3: Didn’t realize before the side view similarities between this and say, the M.

    http://static.hgmsites.net/images/cache/2008-infiniti-m35-4dr-sdn-rwd-blue_100141662_400x240.jpg

    Question 2: Are the gauges on full bright in the photos? Seems like there isn’t enough color contrast for daytime use.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      I always admired that 3rd-gen M – what separates it to me is that it has the proportions down. The Verano looks like an M that was left in the dryer too long – the same design elements are a little awkward for its size. I hadn’t noticed the similarities before, though.

      As a tie-in to the regulation & design article today, I think where it’s most apparent is with compact (and subcompact) sedans. They’re just too chunky for their overall size. The hatch/wagonlet version of the Astra wears much better to my eyes, even looking more premium to me, but not sure if Buick will want to go there.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Why thank you.

        And I agree. The smaller the car, the harder it is to fit in all the reg-required “design” (safety) elements. That’s why the Encore is so derpy.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          It is also harder to keep the airflow straight around a shorter car and hence keep the drag coefficent down than it is a longer one; that is probably driving the coupe roof style; probably the same is true for the pulled back headlights as well.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Answer 1: I always liked the 6 gauge cluster; speedo, tach, fuel, temp, oil pressure and voltage. My dads big olds, have full clusters, for example. I know the Cobalt has a 3 gauge pod, speedo, tach and fuel, with temp in the LCD screen driver info center.

      Thought 1 reply: Yeah, I have been doing naught but straight commuting since I got the car. I have been working on a great many projects strictly at home and work and little else of late. I am pretty sure when I go back to my usual driving habits of commuting, traversing the city and such, my economy will improve.

      Answer 2: There is enough contrast for daytime use. The gauge face is a dark grey and the blue lighting stands out against it fine.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        You forgot to mention the the door handle lighring that shines down from the door pulls into the map pocket and the small laccent ight that shines down from the map light.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      “Are there any cars currently which don’t include a temp gauge?”

      Depends on what qualifies as a temp gauge. Newer Subarus only show a blue thermostat that goes away once the coolant is in its normal operating range. You do mean coolant temp when you say temp, right?

      I would personally prefer an oil temp gauge to get a more specific idea of when it is OK to user higher RPM. Seems like oil temp gauges are only found on performance-oriented cars (if you are lucky), or trucks expected to tow.

      If only all cars would copy BMW M cars with the dynamic tach…

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    Really enjoyed this review. Thank you.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    In the US this exact model retails for around $31,000. I sure hope no one pays MSRP here. Truecar has them for $29K similarly equipped.

    Nice and very detailed article having owned one for year and have close to 18K miles. If you want more rifle bolt acttion in your shifting, Mtech makes a short throw shift for you. Personally i just relocated the shifter cable llinkages to give similar effect over on Buickforums. The Buick Excelle from from China has strut tower if you want tighten up the front end from Ultraracing.

    The Trifecta Tune has givien the Verano 2.0T 6MT more snap in the mid range. Enough that when the 3.9l Impala with engine racing saw me comng around to pass before the lane narrowed my off then on again on the throttle with excellent mid-range torque was enogh to get by him in 2nd gear.

    I love the small triangle windows up front as it makes it easier to see the cement curbs. The visibility out the back is poor like most modern day cars but in the US we get the backuo camera and warning sensors standard. Nice for watching the dog run around the back end.

    About 8K miles is when the 2.0 T Ecotec seemed to loosen up. Your gas mileage will show it. Plus the hotter the day time temperature it is the better the fuel economy is. With a freer flow exhaust and a full 3″ intake was able to see 39 mpg on kne take of my 118 mile, mostly highway commute last year. This year i have a 8 mile commute like you but half highway with six stops and am seeing over 31 mpg…that is hwy EPA numbers on a combined route. Not many hybrid cars kn 18″ wheels and power output can match that.

    Motor Trend’s figure-eight handling test actual has it at the top for medium to big FWD cars. Which it very good considering it is a Buick. :)

  • avatar
    Macca

    I’m a little surprised that HIDs aren’t even an option with the Premium package. They’re available on the Regal w/ the Premium II pack ($34k USD) so I guess that’s an up-sell from the $29k Premium Verano?

    I had luck in the past with Silverstar bulbs – perhaps a bulb upgrade could improve them a bit. At least they are projector lens halogens.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      I’ve had terrible luck with Silverstar bulbs.

      The main problem is that they do appear to be brighter than regular halogen bulbs…with the caveat that they’re at most 10% brighter. Hardly a noticable increase, and totally different from their too-good-to-be-true in-store advertising.

      The second problem is longevity. You can usually get 2-4 years with non-long life halogens. My Silverstars burnt out within a week of each other in 14 months. They seem to be designed to deliver their output equivalent to a pocket rocket that never goes below 5,000 rpm to stay on boost.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Macca,

      Thanks for the reply. As a matter of point, Silverstars are actually terrible bulbs. I had them many moons ago but then I did a ton of research and found this article, among other resources, by a noted expert in headlights in North America. It tells you why any and all blue tinted bulbs are a straight up waste of money, even though our perception is that they are good. This is an EXCELLENT read for anyone interested in headlight performance and legality.

      http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/blue/bad/bad.html

      For anyone interested in how to LEGALLY get the best performance out of your headlights, I have been visiting candlepowerforums.com automotive subsection for a while now. The moderator there is an industry expert, and can tell you what legal upgrades for your headlights exist, if any, based on FMVSS 108. In the case of the Verano, the low beam projectors use H11 bulbs stock, and the H9 bulbs has the same filament geometry while producing more lumens, which maintains the beam pattern as designed by the OEM.

      http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?378583-New-Car-shopping-want-good-headlights&highlight=verano

      I was told that the Verano’s projector can safely accept the H9. Please note, H11 to H9 isn’t always a good idea, it is application specific. I have since installed the H9 bulb and found that they still are underwhelming, though brighter. I am not at all willing to entertain any sort of HID drop in. Even though the projector would maintain the sharp cutoff, the beam distribution underneath would be totally ruined, and so its not an option.

      Read this article for authoritative technical info on why any sort of HID or LED drop in to a projector or reflector are a really bad idea.

      http://www.danielsternlighting.com/tech/bulbs/Hid/conversions/conversions.html

      So I am accepting that poor headlight performance is a weak spot of this car.

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        It’s been a while since I’ve driven a non-HID equipped car (about 6 years) but I do recall coming across your linked article from Daniel Stern while doing a little research to that end.

        I don’t mean to wholeheartedly endorse Silverstars (or at least backpedal a bit) – I didn’t use them for long (less than two years before I sold that particular car) and I understand some of my ‘gains’ were from the perception of the lighting temperature. I also did not perceive them to produce ‘blue’ light, just whiter – they were used in ‘jewel’ type halogen fixtures that were aimed properly. I do remember complaints of longevity (or lack thereof) on forums – funny that Sylvania suggests replacing bulbs “every couple of years” due to “reduced output” (aka over-driven filaments).

        However, they are ODOT & CMVSS legal bulbs, unlike all the cheap bulbs that cropped up with the F&F movie franchise and early HID craze. Those really do produce overly blue light with diminished returns.

        What’s even worse are the folks using non-DOT HID conversion kits in improper housings – those are the most dangerous culprit – I never considered that when I had halogens.

        I recall also liking GE Night Hawks, they aren’t tinted.

        Otherwise, nice detailed review!

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          You are 100% correct that the Silverstars are legal for use, because they are just a tinted version of the recommended bulb. Filament geometry is not affected.

          I did an experiment though, a few years ago, where I was driving to Winnipeg overnight in my Alero, equipped with Silverstars at the time. I stopped at a gas station and swapped my bulbs back to stock halogens. Damn if I didn’t notice that my eyes just felt far less tired driving behind the unfiltered, slightly yellowish, (ie less “cool” :) light than the “whiter” light from the Silverstars. That sold me.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheeljack

        Dave,

        Be glad you didn’t have to suffer through the horrible headlamps on my 2003 Stratus I drove for 10 years. Consumer reports tested the headlamps on a bunch of cars around 2005-2006 and said the lamps on the Stratus/Sebring were the worst they’d ever seen. No bulb upgrade will help a poorly designed optic. Too bad, as the rest of the car was decent and it served me well for the 10 years I owned it.

        The crappy headlamps on that Stratus drove me to special order my Dart with the HID lamps (which used to be a nice $395 standalone option on a Limited, not anymore for 2014 – bundled in an expensive option group now…sigh). While all Darts have projector beams like your Buick, the HIDs are definitely a step up.

        I will say that HIDs are not the end-all/be-all that the fanbois would have you believe. The Cibie 7″ round H4 lamps on my old Wrangler outperform the HIDs on my Dart in many ways, not the least of which is total throw on high beam. No way you could “outdrive” these lamps unless they were on something that could do 150+ mph. In fairness I am running an upgrade harness that feeds direct voltage from the battery to the lamps, and I am running Osram Rallye high output bulbs.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Hey Wheeljack,

          I had ECE spec, genuine GM (made by Carello I think) Alero lamps with a relayed harness and Narva H7 and Osram H1 bulbs. That setup worked really well, much better than both the stock, North American lamps, and also better than the Verano. Sadly, I corresponded with the expert in the above link, and he suggested that the H9 was the best I could do legally in the Verano. Apparently, relay harness won’t do much on the Verano. My guess is the Verano is PWM.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            I think I saw your posts on your Alero over on CPF. Unfortunately no such options existed for my Stratus save for a set of higher-output Phillips bulbs (not blue, thankfully), but they could not make up for the crappy optics of the headlamp reflector.

            That’s why good headlamps were a priority on my next purchase and why I ponied up the money for the HIDs. Still wish they had the long range punch of the halogen Cibies, but it’s a step in the right direction. The upside to projector beams is that they have a similar light pattern to the European ECE lamps, with the sharp cutoff and slight kickup to the right.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Uhm, $37k?! Even in Canada, ouch. It seems like a really nice little car, but I would have shut the door and walked away at 30k, considering what else can be had for $37k. Yes, even in Canada.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Such as?

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Hey danio,

      37k was the sticker price. I got it for 34, for what that’s worth. Alternately, 37k would have got me an Accord V6 coupe EX-L or a fully loaded Jetta GLI. The Verano is down on size compared to those two but feature content is roughly equivalent.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Not dissing your choice as you were clearly looking for something very specific.

        To jmo, a Charger SXT Plus stickers for $37k in Canada. Or if one must have a stick shift with some options, a Fusion SE 1.6T 6MT with leather and MFT comes in at a hair over $29k. Mustang GT starts at $34.5k as well.

        Clearly Dave spent his $34k where he saw fit, and thats great. But there’s unquestionably some solid value in that price range, even in Canada.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          No worries danio, your replies are always well measured and thought out, and always add positively to the conversation, and I didn’t read any “diss” into it. Hope my reply wasn’t to snippy.

          I was definitely limited in my own choice by my own strict set of criteria. It probably also cost me a few thousand. Funny, the Fusion was never even no my radar. I have never cared for the current Fusion. Much prefer the facelifted last gen. Also, the 1.6T @ 180-ish hp in a 3400 lbs car didn’t float my boat.

          I totally agree with you that a Mustang of any trim is an excellent deal these days. Sadly, I felt something a bit more mainstream sedan style would work better for me right now, but I do like the ‘Stang.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          Challenger R/T Plus is $32,495 US – not sure about Canada.

          Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s an amazing deal.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            R/T Challengers start at 40k around these parts.

            I like the Mustang, I also like the Challenger. One of the main reasons something like a ‘Stang or Challenger wasn’t in the running in this case was, the 2 door Alero doors were already too big for my parking situation, a Challenger would have been even worse.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I concur, great review.

    And since you’ve pointed out those rear chrome eyebrows, yes, they are hard to get past.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Nicely written review! I’ve had a couple of Veranos as rentals and liked them. Buick is really on a roll. Kudos for going for both the manual tranny and for not settling for something off the lot. Nice color choice too! The ride will certainly be much better with tires with some sidewall on them.

    I have to agree with mars3941 that the price is a bit hard to take – I hope Dave got a decent discount off that MSRP! Especially on an order where the dealership has no inventory carrying costs, I would expect to pay pretty close to invoice price at worst.

    Do Canadian prices include the PST/GST whatever taxes, or is that extra like in the US?

  • avatar
    css28

    Minor point:
    If the forward collision detection system is like on my Volt there’s more to it than the green car/yellow car symbols. If you’re closing in on a much slower car (particularly if its brake lights are on) it will sound an quick urgent beep sequence to alert you.

    It’s generally transparent and silent (if you’re doing it right) but I’ve found it helpful in rush hour traffic.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    As far as I know, hill start assist doesn’t use the parking brake. It’s using hydraulic pressure from the service brakes.

    As far as the climate and radio “dials”, it’s one thing my friend (who has a Regal) found as a head shaker as they don’t have the quality feel that you can feel in the Regal.

    Otherwise it’s a good car, I see a good amount on the road. Too bad they didn’t call it Skylark.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Agreed on how hill start assist works. I have it on my Dart and it is basically like a old-fashioned “line-lock” on the service brakes, but controlled by the computer.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Thanks for that info guys, I had yet to research the system in depth. I wondered why I could feel the brake pedal soften or firm up when (dis)engaging the park brake. If is uses the service brakes that makes a lot of sense.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Nice review… those pictures don’t look like iphone quality though, so you may consider a new smartphone. In case you need an excuse to upgrade :).

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      All I has is my iphone 4. I tried my best but the pictures just look like hell. Hopefully they are good enough to convey the details of the car alongside the words.

      Aside, I am happy with my 4 in general. It looks and functions as if new still, and does everything I need it to. Avoiding signing a new wireless contract as long as possible.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Sign a new contract and take their subsidized new phone, otherwise you are continuing to pay for a phone you have already paid off.

        That or look into whether an unlocked phone on a prepaid plan will work for you. Sometimes I feel like a commercial for prepaid plans, but the discovery was an eye opener for me and I like passing it along. If you don’t need the minutes it works really well.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Can you elaborate on that? How am I still paying for the phone? As far as I understand (and I could be wrong) I pay monthly for my minutes. When my contract expired, I just went month to month on the monthly plan that I had.

          My contract isn’t one of these tab types where you are paying into the hardware costs specifically each month.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            When you signed your 2 year contract and got a IPhone that they would charge you $600-700 for upfront for $200, theyfigured that $400-500 into your two years. At $450 it comes out to about $18.75 monthly for the phone. Burgersandbeer’s point was that you are still paying that $18.75 and the phone is payed off.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Just read on A/B the 6M will continue.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Part 3 long-term wrap up?

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Part 3: The brand new Verano with the faulty F40, and GM’s (pending/ongoing) resolution.

      Stay tuned!

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Can we have a sneak preview of part 3? That doesn’t sound good.

      • 0 avatar
        turbosaab

        Awaiting Part 3 with interest, my Saab shares a similar F40 6-speed with your car. Based on pre-purchase research, they are generally reliable units with minor quirks (crunchy going into 2nd and 3rd, especially when cold). I did read about a few being replaced under warranty when they first came out, can’t remember specifics.

        Great job on the reviews. Makes me wish Saab had been able to stay in business and made a hatchback or version of this platform :)

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          burgersandbeer,

          Not too much spoiler, but it was improperly installed (since fixed) and now I am dealing with other “serviceability” issues. Car is currently driveable. Will elaborate later as I am waiting on some info from the dealer at the moment.

          turbosaab,

          The Vauxhall/Opel Astra is related to the Verano (or vice versa more likely). Maybe they will ship one across the pond for you!

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Did you do too many no-lift up shifts? :)

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    This was an excellent review, with writing on par with the TTAC staff. It sounds like I have similar priorities in functionality and features as well.

    So true about halogen not necessarily worse than HID. This is going to sound ridiculous, but I remember the halogens in my ’02 Mazda Protege being easier on the eyes than the HIDs in my E46. It’s possible that my eyes are deteriorating, but the auto-leveling in the E46 keeps the beam from lighting as much of the road as I would like. And yes, the sensor on the control arm is in the right position.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      So many people just assume the newer technology (i.e.: HIDs, LEDs) is automatically better because its NEW. There have been some spectacularly bad HID setups out there, and I’m not totally sold on LED headlamps yet.

      The problem with most of the modern halogen lamps is that they are designed by focus groups who want the lamp to look pretty, hence the proliferation of these awful “clear lens/complex reflector” lamps since the 1990′s. I have yet to see a good implementation of a complex reflector lamp – they are truly form over function. Granted, the US spec complex lens lamps (think glass halogen round and square lamps that dominated up until the 1980′s) weren’t much better, but that has more to do with our lousy lighting regulations here.

      Now, take “old” technology like a halogen lamp with a complex lens, but put some careful effort into the beam pattern and design, use top quality materials and use a good high output bulb with a “hotter” gas mixture, and the performance can be spectacular. One of the things I love about my Jeep is the old fashioned 7″ round headlamps – it opens up a world of possibilities to improve the lighting performance. I bought a set of Cibie lamps (generally considered the best performing 7″ round housing available) and Osram Rallye high output bulbs, and the results outperform most of the HID equipped cars I’ve driven.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Irony – you liking how familiar this car feels, posting a picture of Falling For the First Time on the radio?

    I do feel compelled to relisten to Maroon again, haven’t heard it in years. Also, good set of reviews!


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

  • Re: Piston Slap: 4Runner to A New Life?

    CoreyDL - Oh don’t be dramatic with your fuel economy figures. The LC is also cooler, and you’re more likely to get more money back when ya sell. Also 7...
  • Re: 2015 Ford F-150 Order Guide Released

    Drzhivago138 - @Lou_BC: Especially since it’s more true to the original FX4 being a package on top of XLT/Lariat rather than a trim level.
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    trackratmk1 - She’s a 1987 model. Mint condition. You have great taste ;) I’ll leave a note on your blog. Definitely hit me up anytime in New England.
  • Re: Piston Slap: 4Runner to A New Life?

    mkirk - Double the price and half the fuel economy.
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    darrinkaiser - I had no idea Jack had so much flatland game. Aside from that, don’t know…tl;dr
  • Re: Piston Slap: 4Runner to A New Life?

    Onus - People here seem to think you need California Emissions. You don’t. This is why California requires a car to have something like 8000 miles to be...
  • Re: Junkyard Find: 1959 DeSoto

    Lorenzo - Yeah, the industrial processes were still WWII vintage and wearing out, but hey – they gave us flashy design, acres of chrome, and tri-tone paint jobs in a...
  • Re: European Review: Peugeot 208 GTi

    Russycle - I like it…but not that steering wheel. At least the shift knob should be easy to swap. As for the gauges, I like MINI’s solution: mount the...
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    Jack Baruth - They don’t have that kind of money.
  • Re: Thank You And Goodbye (Sort Of)

    Pch101 - Bare Trees is a personal favorite, and what I like most of all is a Danny Kirwan instrumental: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EbyRK Mzirg

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India