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02-29-2012, 03:10 PM #1
Review of the 2012 Buick Verano
The all-new 2012 Buick Verano was not at all what we expected. Since it is a Buick, we predicted it would live up to Buick’s reputation of producing vehicles that have a “boaty” appearance and only appeal to the elderly. Sadly, most people have forgotten about Buicks muscle-car past, such as the Gran Sport, produced between 1965–1975. That classic muscle car is not your granny’s Buick and neither is the sleek and modern 2012 Buick Verano. We know how easy it is to brush off Buicks because of the misconception surrounding them, but the Verano has made us rethink what a Buick represents. We were pleasantly surprised by this new compact car, which offers competent power, capable handling, and a luxurious-feeling interior.
The 2012 Verano has three different trims to offer starting with the base ($22,585), convenience ($23,785), and leather group ($25,965). Unfortunately, there is only one engine option, the Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which produces 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. Its six-speed automatic transmission offers smooth shifting and helps the Verano deliver relatively good gas mileage of 31 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city.
The handling was not as ideal as we would have liked, but it is definitely an improvement compared to the other much-larger Buicks. Still, its tires squealed in protest during even mundane cornering, providing a glimpse of how the car was designed to be driven.
The Verano has many amenities to offer depending on the trim. There are multiple add-on options if you want to spend the money, but in our opinion, you get a large selection of standard equipment. We also noticed how the quiet the cabin is; no matter what speed, we did not hear any whines, groans, or squeaks. However, we found a few niggles with the interior’s ergonomics: namely, the placement of the start-stop button, which was among the other buttons found on the center console, and reclining lever, which is way back where the seat back and seat cushion meet.
The Verano is based heavily on the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, and just as the Cruzes four-cylinder engine received boost in horsepower also in 2011, so will the Veranos. Following in its footstep, the 2013 Verano will borrow a detuned version of the Buick Regal’s 2.0-liter turbocharged motor. According to GM Inside News, the Verano Turbo will have 250 hp and generate 0–60 times of 6.5 seconds. Therefore, anyone looking for a little more performance out of his or her Verano may want to wait for the 2013 turbocharged edition.
Even though the 2012 car is not the most powerful vehicle around, it has a good price and offers a level of comfort and performance that isn’t normally associated with the Buick name.
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