2012 Buick Verano Review

For a week in July, Team RedlineNorth had the opportunity to put a 2012 Buick Verano sedan through its paces.  As Verano is the Spanish word for summer it was rather fitting we reviewed it during one of the hottest weeks this season. Redesigned for 2012, the Buick Verano shares GM’s Delta II platform with the Chevrolet Cruze, and is the first compact sedan marketed by Buick in North America since the 1997 Buick Skylark.

Our silver 2012 Buick Verano review vehicle came in the 1SG trim package which includes the following:

  • 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder engine with Direct Injection and Variable Valve Timing (VVT) making 180 horsepower and 171 lb.-ft. of torque
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • 10 airbags
  • Leather heated driver & front passenger seats
  • Bose premium 9-speaker sound system
  • OnStar® with 6 months of the Directions & Connections Plan, Turn-by-Turn Navigation and OnStarRemoteLinkTM
  • Air conditioning, keyless entry, power windows, locks and mirrors, cruise control, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, USB port and auxiliary audio input jack, and Bluetooth: hands free phone and audio connectivity.
  • 18 inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Trunk/storage space – 14.3 cubic feet– based on GM Canada’s vehicle information
  • $27,620 CAD MSRP from GM Canada’s website as of August 8, 2012 ($22,595 for entry level)

The interior lived up to all the hype with its luxurious leather seating, full colour touch screen display, sleek functional gauges and ultra modern ambient lighting. Dubbed as one of the quietest sedans ever produced, the Verano really delivers with its whisper quiet cabin and smooth classic sedan ride and feel.

With the average Buick owner in North America holding steady at age 59, GM is pushing hard to attract younger buyers and sporty new models like the Verano are a step in the right direction. The Verano’s sister model, the Buick Excelle was China’s best-selling passenger car in 2011 as China continues to be GM’s largest market for Buick and a great test ground for the development of new models.

Over the week, we averaged 9.7L/100 km (24 MPG) which is significantly higher than GM’s/Transport Canada’s official 6.2L/100 km (38 MPG) fuel consumption rating. However, this is based on the total mileage, which was more city based than highway miles so at the end of the day the fuel consumption was solid for the sporty sedan. Over the review, we took the Verano through a daily commute to downtown and traveled north to the heartland and farms of Georgian Bay’s Huronia region.

Our only complaints over the course of the week were during long drives the lower lumbar section of the front seats felt a bit awkward.  As well, at certain points in the acceleration curve the six speed automatic transmission seemed to be out of place resulting in lag. Nevertheless, in spite of these minor issues the Buick Verano delivered on its promise to provide a modern and more youthful experience from the oldest active American automotive brand.  And more importantly, we are quite sure Buick founder, David Dunbar Buick would approve of the direction GM is going with its 2012 Buick Verano model. Overall, we give it a 4.2 rating out of 5 in its class.

The main competitors to the Verano in the compact luxury segment are the Lexus IS 250, BMW 3 series, Acura TSX and the Audi A4 all of which start at a much higher price point.  That being said, the Verano also has competition from the Hyundai Sonota, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry especially with the lower entry level price of $22,600 CAD.

This places the Verano squarely in between both market segments and sales are quickly growing- surpassing 3,000 units in the US in May, over half of which were non-traditional GM buyers.

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