2012 Buick Verano Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Buick Verano Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Buick Verano Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 6700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/32 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Buick Verano

  • The all-new 2012 Buick Verano is a well-rounded entry-level luxury sedan that is worth considering, especially if you're on a budget.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Quiet and luxurious cabin; comfortable ride; ample feature content; favorable pricing.

  • Cons

    Underpowered compared to competitors.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Buick Verano is an all-new model.

Full 2012 Buick Verano Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Buick Verano is an all-new model.


When car companies take an existing vehicle, reskin it and hike the price, we're naturally going to be skeptical. But the 2012 Buick Verano silences most of our doubts, as it proves to be an admirable choice for the budget-conscious shopper seeking an entry-level luxury sedan.

On outward appearances, the Verano embodies Buick's latest push into the luxury market with a distinctive European flavor mixed in with the brand's freshened identity. Underneath this understated exterior, however, the Verano shares much of its underpinnings with the compact and economical Chevrolet Cruze. Fortunately for the Verano, many of the Cruze's flaws have been eliminated.

The Buick Verano comes with a larger 2.4-liter engine that is not offered on the Cruze, and its transmission is both quick and smooth-shifting (unlike the Cruze's). Power will likely be adequate for the majority of drivers, though it's hardly impressive. The Verano's interior, on the other hand, makes a favorable impression. Besides the cabin's graceful arching design, most surfaces are pleasing to the touch and the many standard features are easy to use.

Overall, we think the Verano is a viable choice for an entry-level luxury sedan. A similarly equipped Acura TSX -- the Verano's closest competitor -- will set you back a few thousand dollars more, while an Audi A3, Infiniti G Sedan and Lexus IS 250 will cost even more. For the added outlay of cash, you'll get more in the way of performance, but if that isn't an absolute priority, it is definitely worth taking a look at the 2012 Buick Verano.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Buick Verano is offered in three trim levels that sound more like option packages, starting with the base model and going up to Convenience Group 2 and Leather Group.

The base Verano standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, cruise control, keyless entry, remote ignition, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth (phone and audio streaming), OnStar telematics and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface, an auxiliary audio jack and Buick's IntelliLink smartphone-connectivity system.

The Convenience Group 2 adds heated sideview mirrors, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a power-adjustable driver seat. The Leather Group adds keyless ignition/entry, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, leather upholstery and a nine-speaker Bose audio upgrade.

Optional are a sunroof and a navigation system; neither one is offered on the base trim level. The Bose audio system is available on supporting trims, as is an Appearance package (chrome grille and rear spoiler).

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Buick Verano is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only transmission offered.

In Edmunds performance testing, the Verano accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds, which is slow for cars in this class. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, which is about average for this segment.


Standard safety features for the 2012 Buick Verano include front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, rear-seat side airbags, front-seat knee airbags, antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control and OnStar. In Edmunds brake testing, the Verano came to a stop from 60 mph in a class-average 122 feet.

In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Verano received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

While the 2012 Buick Verano is classified as a compact vehicle, it feels much more like a midsize. Head- and legroom are plentiful for four adults, though the rear center seat is decidedly less comfortable and is best used in a pinch. Throughout the cabin, materials quality is on par with other entry-level luxury sedans, with plenty of soft-touch surfaces and tightly fitted panels.

Among the available options, the Verano brings a whisper of technology with its IntelliLink system. Pairing with select smartphones, IntelliLink provides for streaming Internet radio like Pandora and Stitcher. Operation of this and other systems is thankfully easy, with well-labeled buttons and controls and a sharp touchscreen that is standard on all Veranos.

The trunk holds a maximum of 15.2 cubic feet of cargo, but that figure can drop to 14 cubes if you opt for the premium audio or tire/inflator kit. It's certainly spacious for a compact sedan, and is further helped by a lack of wheelwell intrusions or drop-down hinges.

Driving Impressions

Knowing that the 2012 Buick Verano is based on the economical Chevrolet Cruze might deter some from considering it a luxury car, but the Verano has managed to exorcize some of the demons that plagued the Cruze. Unlike the Cruze, the Verano's transmission provides smooth and quick gearchanges to suit the driver's inputs. The steering is also more responsive and precise, with a decent amount of feedback. The main dynamic drawback to the Verano is its underwhelming acceleration; most competing models (particularly those with V6s) are quicker by a fair margin.

The Verano's ride quality is quite refined and compliant, with all but the largest of road imperfections smoothed over with ease. The cabin also remains suitably quiet, thanks to a liberal use of sound insulation and laminated front glass. All in all, the 2012 Buick Verano delivers considerable comfort whether on long road trips or running errands in urban settings.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Blown away!

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick Verano 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I will confess I got into my Verano thanks to an almost unbelievable lease offer. Thought I'd use it as a second car for the price and limited mileage. Once I got behind the wheel and drove it for a few hundred miles I honestly felt deprived when I got behind the wheel of my Lexus LS 430! The Verano is quieter, smoother and has more features than cars costing many multiples of its price tag. Sold my Lexus and am driving the Verano on a daily basis now. Could not be happier! Already dreading the day my lease deal ends. Hopefully Buick will have another offer that comes close to what I currently have so I can stay behind the wheel of a Verano for another couple years...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Defroster vent stays open

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick Verano Leather Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Condensation builds up on the exterior front window when running the air conditioner. The dealer said this was because the defroster vent NEVER completley closes allowing cold air to exit. In certain temperature/humidity condensation forms. The windshield wiper must be run to allow visibility. Dealer states designed that way. No fix

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Breaking it in

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick Verano Leather Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I traded my beloved '08 Saturn Aura XR for a beautifully loaded Verano 1SL about a week ago & I am more than pleased. Today I took her out for a 481 mile daylong road trip that got me 33.3 MPG and that's just the beginning. The smoothness & quietness of the ride alone could take up another column. The 2.4L DOHC has not been lacking in power & has surprisingly proven itself more than capable both in city & on the hwy. This Verano is beautifully built inside & out from the flowing lines & curves of the body to the thoughtful comfort & design of the interior. Buick did this one right. I had originally wanted a LaCrosse & thought that the Verano would be a major step down. I was wrong.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Love it so much im

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick Verano Leather Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Bought my Verano last year and now have 21,000 trouble free miles on it. I planed to keep it at least 8 yrs, that is until i found out about the turbo model for 2013..... Im just a sucker for more power!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Good bang for the buck

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Vehicle: 2012 Buick Verano Leather Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I bought my Verano new on Leap Day and have since put over 17K miles on it. I commute over 100 miles a day, so I think I have a pretty good feel for what this car is all about. I have used every feature of car and used it a bunch. I will say that this car has the best seats Buick makes period! The fit and finish inside is as good as any higher brand and all buttons and controls are well placed. In over 17K miles I have had zero issues with the car. I average 30-34 MPG. For those that complain about a lack of power, not sure what your expecting. I do a lot of two lane passing and it has never left me wishing I had more power. This car is hands down the best bang for the buck!

13 of 23 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2012 Buick Verano Convenience Group 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I bought this car with high hopes that its looks would reflect its performance. I was and am still very disappointed. Within the first 1000 miles I started to notice that it was not only relucant to accelerate but struggling by jerking like the transmission is about to drop out of the car. The spoiler has broken off twice now and when I drive over anything but a smooth road the car rebels by sounding like the 96 saturn that I drive to work. To say its a rough ride is an understatement. Also the interior scratches very easy. Everyday I see new marks and we don't have small children nor any pets that ride in the car. Lastly, the seats are already bubbling up in the center making it look old.

Talk About The 2012 Verano

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Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 32
  • highway
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