2012 Buick Verano Review

Jerry Reynolds | March 8, 2012
2012 Buick Verano Review

My automotive glass is always half full, meaning I can almost always find a lot of good in any new car that comes my way. Sometimes, however, I just can’t make sense of a car, and such is the case with the 2012 Buick Verano.

That is not to say there is not a lot of good in this car. It’s the quietest small car I’ve ever been in. It rides well and handles fine. Verano comes with a wide array of standard features. It has a very nice interior. All of those are very positive qualities, but I still cannot picture the buyer for this car.

 

Under the hood you get a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, and that is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. It is rated at 180-horses but I can’t find them. O-to-60 is measured in hours instead of seconds. The lack of power is a bit frustrating. If you follow my reviews, you know I either want ample power or great fuel economy, and this car doesn’t really deliver either.

The Verano is actually a nice-looking car on the outside, and it holds true to the roots of Buick. It seems to me to be bigger than a small car, but smaller than a mid-sized car. It is not a head turner, but I like the looks of the car.

This is ALMOST a small, luxury car. The interior is really nice and the Verano has good headroom, fairly limited backseat room, but has a really large trunk. All power equipment comes in the car. It has a 7” color monitor that operates everything efficiently, and comes with Bluetooth and some great apps like Pandora. This car also has a power sunroof.

Verano has push button starting, remote keyless entry with remote start, climate- controlled air conditioning, and power, heated seats with leather as standard. For the money, I would expect cooled seats and well, certainly a navigation system, but that is not part of this package. To further confuse me, it has a heated steering wheel, but no backup camera. The packaging on this car just seems a bit odd to me.

I mentioned earlier in the review, the quietness. Buick did a super job on this and even used thicker glass to aid in the sound deadening. The other thing they did very well was eliminating any harshness in the engine. This is a fairly common problem with many smaller engine cars. With Verano, you get smooth acceleration, and although it does not happen fast, you do not feel the engine inside the car or in the steering wheel.

My test car is getting the advertised mileage and even just a little more on the highway. However, it’s not enough to get 32 miles per gallon on the highway when there are SO many nice cars getting between 35 and 40 MPG. Many of those cost less money than this one.

Case in point, you don’t have to look any further than the Chevy Malibu Eco I had a few weeks ago. It got 37 on the highway, 25 in town, and it was a more substantial, larger car with a great interior. It was also a 2013 model and it was only $1000 more fully loaded.

I just don’t fully understand the Verano. It’s too expensive for younger buyers, and they probably aren’t going to look at a Buick anyway. The gas mileage isn’t good enough for a new car this size, and it is too expensive and oddly equipped to be a success. I had hoped GM would have their first successful small luxury car, but I don’t think this is it.

  • What I liked most: The quietness in the cabin.
  • What I would change: The odd equipment package.
  • MSRP: As equipped $28,075.
  • Fuel Economy: 21 in town/32 highway, doing slightly better on the highway.
  • 2012 Buick Verano in a few words: I don’t get it. I am not sure who will actually buy this car.
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