The 2017 Buick Verano proves that a quiet, comfortable car doesn't have to be big and, at the same time, that a smaller, more maneuverable car doesn't have to be loud and cheap inside. Unlike past small Buicks, this one is true to its brand values and we think it could be a great choice for certain buyers — especially older ones who might value its combination of an isolating driving experience and a more manageable size and price tag.
Then again, given its size and price, it is a bit of an oddball. It's not really worthy of luxury status as it falls short of similarly sized sedans from Audi and Mercedes, but then it also carries a much lower price tag. Like the rest of the Buick brand, it lands somewhere between mainstream and luxury brands. We would also point out that for about the same amount of money, you could get a bigger midsize sedan with roughly the same feature content and interior quality. Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that this oddball will be discontinued after 2017 without a replacement on the horizon.
Unfortunately, its previously optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been shown the door a year early. It provided the sort of superior acceleration expected of a more premium compact car — albeit with relatively poor fuel economy. The remaining 180-horsepower four-cylinder provides languid acceleration and disappointing fuel economy at 25 mpg combined (21 city/32 highway). Both are well off the pace of compact cars. Heck, Buick's bigger and more powerful LaCrosse actually gets the same fuel economy.
There are three Verano trim levels. The base model actually has less equipment than many base compact sedans these days, with a rearview camera and Bluetooth being reserved for the Sport Touring trim. Things don't actually seem vaguely luxurious until you opt for the aptly named Leather trim.
Inside, you'll find the sort of surprisingly roomy accommodations that have now become the norm for the best compact sedans. Most owners won't need more than it provides. The same can be said of its large trunk, which rivals those of midsize sedans. Unfortunately, the interior controls are dated and its excessive number of buttons may confuse and overwhelm.
So as much as we think the Verano is an intriguing alternative choice for some, it lacks a wide-ranging appeal. In most other respects we think that there are better sedans to be found here on Edmunds that will better meet your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.