2017 Buick Verano Review
Edmunds expert review
For decades, a luxury car meant a large car. Think big Cadillacs and Lincolns from the 1960s and 1970s, then later the long, stately sedans from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. It wasn't until the Europeans and Japanese declared that small and midsize cars could also deliver a rich driving experience that American buyers — and automakers — finally caught on.
With the Buick Verano, GM has delivered an entry-level luxury compact sedan that offers upscale styling, a well-crafted interior, and an impressive list of standard and optional features. What the 2017 Verano no longer offers, however, is the optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gave the car some much-needed shove on the highway.
The Verano is "compact" though, something you'll notice in the backseat, where legroom is tight. If you need more room, it's best to consider one of the more mainstream midsize sedans that are in the same price range.
This tidiness might be part of the reason that there aren't a wealth of choices in this class. Soon there will be one fewer when Buick ends Verano production after this model year to refocus its efforts on small crossovers such as the Encore. But the Verano and its closest rivals — the Acura ILX, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class — are still worth a look for buyers seeking a small, well-appointed sedan.
But considering its price, features and composed ride, the 2017 Buick Verano is a well-rounded choice for a compact premium sedan, especially if you stay alert for deals as the Verano is phased out of production.
Standard safety features for the 2017 Buick Verano include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags.
Additional safety features, including blind-spot monitoring, forward collision, lane departure and rear cross-traffic warning systems, are optional on all but the base Verano. The OnStar service provides automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance and stolen vehicle assistance.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Verano came to a stop from 60 mph in 122 feet, an average result for the class.
In government crash tests, the Verano earned a top five-star overall rating, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Verano received the highest rating of Good in the moderate-overlap front-impact test, as well as a Good rating for the side-impact, roof strength and head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Buick Verano is a five-seat compact luxury sedan offered in three trim levels: base, Sport Touring and Leather.
The base Verano offers standard features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, eight-way manually adjustable front seats, OnStar (with 4G Wi-Fi connectivity), and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and USB port.
The Sport Touring adds remote engine start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Buick's IntelliLink technology interface, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice recognition, smartphone app integration and satellite radio.
Upgrading to the Leather trim adds 18-inch wheels, foglamps, heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, and heated front seats.
For the Sport Touring and Leather trim levels, an optional Experience Buick package can be added to get a sunroof, navigation, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system, while the Driver Confidence package adds forward collision and rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. The Appearance package, only available on the Leather trim, adds a chrome front grille and a rear spoiler.
The 2017 Buick Verano comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends the power to the front wheels.
Fuel economy is rated at a respectable 24 mpg combined (21 city/31 highway), although that's lower than some larger midsize cars including the four-cylinder Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. In Edmunds testing, a Verano with the 2.4-liter engine accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.0 seconds, a slow time for a sedan of its size.
Two key highlights of the 2017 Buick Verano are its supple, comfortable ride over almost any road surface and its supremely quiet cabin, even at highway speeds — inviting attributes that help strengthen the Verano's case as an entry-level luxury sedan. It's also steady and composed when hustled around turns and curves.
The Verano's four-cylinder engine is passable for a regular compact sedan but comes up short for a premium-branded car. Unfortunately, there's no longer an optional turbo engine, which made for brisk performance on the highway and minimal sacrifice in fuel economy. If some measure of performance is important to you, it might be worth looking at a 2016 or earlier model.
In spite of its compact exterior dimensions, the 2017 Buick Verano is roomy inside. With plenty of seat adjustability and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, virtually any driver will be able to get comfortable behind the wheel. The absence of driver-seat memory functions or a front power passenger seat as standard equipment, however, undermines the Verano's impression as an entry-level luxury car.
The Verano's rear seat legroom is reasonable, but it's not as accommodating as a similarly priced midsize sedan, especially in the rear center position. Some of the rear seat room likely went into trunk space, which measures a roomy 15.2 cubic feet — an impressive capacity for this class.
The 7-inch touchscreen is large and legible from a distance, and the arrangement of its icons can be customized, as on a smartphone. For iPhone users, there's additional voice command control through Siri Eyes Free mode. On the downside, the user interface can occasionally be slow to register finger inputs and sometimes misses commands entirely.
The Verano's interior is well-crafted and uses higher-grade materials than you'll find in more mainstream compact or even midsize sedans. The large block of look-alike buttons on the console and some of the trim pieces don't reinforce the Verano's luxury aspirations. This lack of refinement stands out especially in comparison to the much nicer interiors available in the Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.