2017 Buick Verano Review

Verano

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2017 Buick Verano Overview

The Buick Verano debuted for the 2012 model year and is heavily based on the Chevy Cruze sedan, but while the Cruze has proven to be a wildly successful model and one of the best-selling cars in America, the Verano hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. Althought it's been Buick’s second best-selling sedan, the company is focusing more and more on its fairly popular lineup of SUVs and has actually decided to phase out the Verano. A second generation will be available to China, where Buick is a surprisingly popular brand, but will not arrive stateside. The 2017 Buick Verano, then, will be the last of its kind here in the U.S. General Motors obviously isn’t going to put time, energy, and money into revamping a model that it's about to discontinue, so no significant updates arrive for the upcoming model year.

While the Verano shares much of its architecture with the Cruze, it does have a different engine lineup. Base trims get a 2.4-liter four with 180 hp, which is enough to get the front-wheel-drive compact luxury sedan from 0-60 in 8.6 seconds. Fuel economy is decent but unremarkable at 21 mpg city/32 highway. A Turbo trim makes things more exciting with a 2.0-liter unit making 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. That car will do 0-60 in 6.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 129 mph. It also makes more power at the lower end of the rev range, whereas the base 2.4 doesn’t really scoot until it’s revving higher. The Turbo also gets just one mpg less than the standard car and weighs only 100 pounds more. Visually, turbocharged trims are only subtly different, with dual exhaust tips and a small rear spoiler. The standard transmission for the 2017 Buick Verano is a 6-speed automatic; it has a manual mode, but there are no paddles, so shifting is done via the gear lever. A 6-speed manual is apparently available, but few examples are equipped with it.

Compared to the Cruze, the Verano is set up for quiet, comfortable motoring. Turbo trims are a little tighter and stiffer and have faster steering, but it shouldn't exactly be a night-and-day difference. This isn’t a sports car, and, unlike some of its German peers, the Verano doesn’t really make any pretension of being sporty.

The Verano’s comfortable ride is further enhanced inside, where Buick has really pulled out all the stops towards better sound deadening--triple-sealed doors and a host of other materials ensure that the ride is quiet over all kinds of surfaces. The interior is fairly roomy as well, with lots of headroom and rear seats that fold nearly flat. This being a compact luxury car, though, things may get a bit tight with adults in both the front and the back. Dual-zone climate control, steering-wheel controls, and a USB port are standard, but the base trim doesn’t get Bluetooth or Buick’s IntelliLink touchscreen interface with voice controls. A heated steering wheel and navigation system are optional. A Convenience group adds an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated outside mirrors, heated front seats, and rear parking assist, and a Leather Group adds a power driver’s seat, Bose Surround Sound audio, premium leather upholstery, and keyless ignition. Turbo trims come standard with everything in the Leather Group.

Being a GM product, the Verano comes with OnStar Automatic Crash Response, and other available safety equipment includes rear parking assist, a rear-view camera, and a blind-spot monitor. In crash tests, the Verano got 5 out of 5 stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and scored well with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though it hasn’t been subjected to the new small-overlap test.

The Buick Verano probably won’t be sorely missed. It’s not a particularly attractive car and nothing about it was groundbreaking. In fact, it’s little more than a classic case of badge engineering, this time from the Cruze. That said, it still offers decent luxury value (especially for someone who puts comfort ahead of performance) compared to cars like the Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz CLA. And while it only offers that value for one more year, a discontinued model can sometimes mean great deals for buyers as dealers try to make room for newer and more exciting things. That means a 2017 Buick Verano might be had at a bargain price.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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