When a carmaker takes an existing car and reskins it as a more upscale model, the result has traditionally been something with little reason to recommend it over its less expensive corporate twin. Thankfully, such is decidedly not the case with the Buick Verano, an entry-level Buick based on the Chevrolet Cruze but bolstered with more than a few key upgrades.
In addition to more sophisticated styling and a nicer interior, the Buick Verano also boasts a larger engine, a quieter ride and the availability of a few luxury features not offered on its Chevy relative. It all comes together harmoniously, as the Verano is a good example of Buick's efforts to produce more modern and engaging vehicles that still maintain the style, comfortable ride and quiet cabin expected of the brand.
Current Buick Verano
The Verano debuted for 2012 and is a compact luxury sport sedan loosely based on the Chevrolet Cruze. Although they are platform mates, the Verano differs in some important ways. For starters, the upscale Verano comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's rated at 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
There are three trim levels: base, Convenience Group 2 and Leather Group. Highlights of the base Verano include 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth (phone and audio streaming), OnStar telematics and a six-speaker sound system with Buick's IntelliLink smartphone-connectivity system. The Convenience Group 2 adds items such as 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 Bose audio upgrade. A sunroof and a navigation system are optional.
The Buick Verano's handsome cabin provides room for four adults (though legroom in back is a bit tight for tall folks) and the overall fit and finish is on par with other entry-level luxury sedans. This Buick also offers leading-edge technology via its IntelliLink system that allows streaming Internet radio like Pandora and Stitcher. Operation of IntelliLink and other systems is intuitive, thanks to simple controls and a sharp touchscreen that is standard on all Veranos.
In reviews we've been impressed by the Buick Verano's smooth powertrain, precise steering and athletic handling. Performance is more than adequate for daily driving, but unimpressive compared to much quicker rivals sporting turbocharged four-cylinder or V6 engine options. One of this Buick's greatest strengths is its compliant and quiet ride quality. Whether on a thousand-mile road trip or just running errands around town, the Buick Verano is pleasant for drivers and passengers alike.
Read the most recent 2014 Buick Verano review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Buick Verano page.