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2014 Buick Verano Overview
Buick's latest compact dose of sunshine enters its third season with new safety technologies and safety-minded gadgets on the options roster. Translated from Spanish to mean "summer," the Verano warmed up to the road for 2012 with a breezy air of graceful comfort, adding a turbo engine for 2013 and promising a hybrid for its upcoming 2015 refresh. This year is the tech update, adding forward collision alert and lane-departure warning systems alongside voice-activated text messaging and the single-button Siri Eyes Free system of television fame.
Only moderately peppy in its Base form, the Verano offers no less than a 9-second sprint to 60 mph or 6 seconds to the same with the top-shelf turbo engine and its optional stick shift. Otherwise a typical front-wheel driver with a 6-speed shiftable automatic, it stands out for a comfortable ride in a beautiful interior with many practical appeals such as a 15.2-cubic-foot trunk and as much as 32 mpg highway, not to mention top-notch safety ratings all around.
The only downsides are its compact-classic rear bench that 2 adults will find a bit cramped and some unfortunate Buick-classic challenges with high technology. More than a few drivers of previous years note glitchy behavior in just about everything computerized, from the dual-zone automatic climate control system standard in the base trim suddenly throwing hot air on up to the top-shelf stereo systems forgetting which channel to start on, and yes, the optional navigation system is not immune, either.
Not every example has these issues, however, and they're likely a product of trying to keep up with the Verano's massive Chinese demand. Even so, if that doesn't encourage a thorough test drive on its own, bear in mind the Base Verano doesn't offer power-adjustable front seats by default. Expect to opt up for some features other makers offer standard in their entry-level luxe lineup, even if those options are very competitively priced.
That said, the Base is handsomely equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, 7-inch touchscreen IntelliLink infotainment system, OnStar and a 6-speaker stereo with CD player, satellite radio, USB/iPod and auxiliary jack connectivity.
Move up to the Convenience Group for features like heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming rear-view, blind-spot warning system, rear parking sensors and a 6-way powered driver seat. Nearing the top, the Leather Group adds keyless entry, leather interior, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and a 9-speaker Bose sound system to the Base. All these trims come equipped with a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine good for 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque and rated at 21 mpg city/32 highway.
Buying in at the Premium Group nets the turbocharged 2-liter putting out 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque for a rating of 21/30 with its automatic or 20/31 directed by an optional 6-speed stick. For features, this trim adds all the Convenience and Leather perks together with a rear spoiler. Although it's named after the sunny season, a sunroof is merely optional for all trims, almost as if to punctuate its departure from the norm.
Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.