I recently had the chance to ride around in the 2013 Buick Verano and Buick Verano Turbo for an afternoon and came away with a list of things that a prospective buyer should know about this car.
AMERICA HAS A CHALLENGER
Buick is steadily reshaping their once geriatric image into a stylish domestic alternative to Lexus and Audi. General Motors knows how to make a buck, but they are making it more fashionably than ever. On paper, the Verano shapes up to be a pretty good contender in it’s class. In person, it seems even better. After an uncertain future, America, specifically General Motors, has a well-rounded car on it’s hands.
IT HAS FEATURES
The Verano is well equipped seemingly above it’s price-point. However, be forewarned, this car is not a Chevy Cruze in an after-5 dress. Though it is based on Chevrolet Cruze architecture, It shares no body panels, and has a unique engine and suspension tuning. It is legitimately designed to give good value in the Upscale Small Car Segment. A 7” color-touch screen with Buick IntelliLink audio system, 18” wheels, On Star, Rear Vision Camera and Remote start are all included. Good value, indeed.
THERE IS A COST FOR EVERYTHING
Well-equipped is not the same thing as fully loaded. You do pay extra for goodies like Navigation, Heated Steering Wheel, Push-Button Start, etc. If you aren’t going to step up to the Premium Group or Verano Turbo, be prepared to do without some luxuries or be nickel-and-dimed for the extras you want.
….and so should you! Listen to how quiet this car is. Finishing a cruise down Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago, I exited the car and noted how loud it was in the area. It wasn’t that everything was loud, it was that the Buick was so quiet. Buick has learned that along with great handling & performance, modern equipment and handsome good looks, customers want to waft along at the end of the day. Exhaust noise has its place, but sometimes you need peace and quiet.
THERE IS A TURBO MODEL
the turbocharged engine is strong enough to compete with rivals like the Volkswagen GTI and Audi A3. Having the opportunity to drive both the normally aspirated ECOTEC 2.4 Liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine (180bhp @6700rpm / 171 lb-ft of torque @ 4900rpm) and the ECOTEC 2.0 Liter Turbocharged DOHC 4-cylinder engine, I can personally say that there is a great difference in response and thrust. Though a V-6 would probably put it over the top, the inline-4 is right in line with comparable sedans in its class and offers more than enough power for what it needs to do
IT PASSES THE CEREAL BOX TEST
The Cereal Box was where I leaned about value as a child. Not only could I get my favorite flavor, I could get a cool box to look at and read, I got my favorite characters and, if I was lucky, got a new toy – all in one box, the Buick Verano is like that. The Buick Verano (and Turbo) offer horsepower that trumps the Dodge Dart and Kia Optima and adds a little class as well. Be forewarned: You can get an entry level Hyundai Sonata or Honda Accord for around the same price, you may get better gas mileage in an Acura ILX. However, for the price of admission, $23,080 – $29,105 for the range, you get a car that gives you a quality feel adequate power on tap and a fully modern and comfortable interior.
THERE IS A SHORT LIST
There are a few shortcomings , the hints at the cars humble beginnings, the cost for extras, the feel that the car is sometimes grasping for power. All that aside, the list of gripes is short. Also, the engine can be a little anemic sometimes and the interior proves the Verano to be a more fully equipped car than luxury vehicle.
THERE IS HEALTHY COMPETITION
Be not deceived, there are a lot of cars out there that offer good value in this price range. They include: The Hyundai Sonata, The Mazda 6, The Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord. Most of them come in as the entry level models. Meanwhile, the Buick Verano offers mid-level accoutrements for far below what the others charge just getting in the door. The only drawback is that the Verano doesn’t have the name recognition many of the others have. Give it time.
IT LOOKS NICE
When compared to many of its rivals, the Verano offers something with more flair and substance. It looks good for an executive starter-kit sedan. There really isn’t a bad angle on this car.This is a refreshing design from the same company that brought you such car as the LeSabre and Roadmaster. Thank Heaven for change.
TEST DRIVE IT
If you are really looking for an alternative to foreign (ahem!) nameplates that provides the same kind of value. The Buick Verano is definitely worth a trip to the dealership.
On the TFLcar scale of:
- Buy it!
- Lease it!
- Rent it!
- … or Forget it!
I recommend that you Buy It!
Enjoy the 2013 Buick Verano in this TFLcar Video Mashup: