All photos by General Motors
Buick is a star brand of General Motors these days, so we were looking forward to the newest offering from Buick to see where they are headed. The 2012 Verano educated us on how far Buick has strived and the depth at which Buick has recreated a storied American brand.
As with all Buicks, the waterfall grill greets you, and then you quickly notice the sleek and aerodynamic design of the Verano FWD 1SL, and from there, it’s thumbs up for the next week. Our test model had a striking white diamond tricoat paint and 18-inch machine-faced alloy wheels. The good looks don’t end with the overall design, either, with little things like solar-tinted glass, body color chrome strip door handles, power adjustable heated outside mirrors, chrome exhaust tips, front fog lamps and projector beam halogen headlamps for a complete package that all comes together with ease. Sometimes, compact sedans are designed for function or efficiency only, but the new Verano has all of that with an exterior that is as sharp as any compact sedan on the market.
Even though the Verano shares the same platform as the Volt and Cruze, you would never know it by jumping in the cabin of the luxurious 2012 Buick Verano FWD 1SL. The flow of the interior is right on target, and the fit and finish of the interior materials are surely in the luxury universe. Our test model was loaded with leather-appointed choccachino seats, including front sport bucket seats, driver and front passenger heated seats, power seat adjustable 6-way driver, power with express up/down driver and front passenger windows, power with express all windows, two-way adjustable head restraints, power door locks, door sill plate, keyless start and stop, remote vehicle starter system, A/C with automatic dual climate control, cruise control, power auxiliary 12V outlet, leather-trimmed shift lever, tilt and telescopic steering column, XM radio, Driver information center, 7-inch color touch radio with Buick Intellilink, CD/MP3 player, AUX input and USB port, Bluetooth for phone and music (Human Machine Interface), 9-speaker Bose Premium audio system, heated steering wheel and steering wheel controls.
Two main components of the technology offerings that stand out are the OnStar system and Intellilink with voice recognition that uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver’s smart phone to the 7-inch LED high resolution full-color touch screen display radio. Intellilink also enables streaming stereo audio from the phone through services like Pandora internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio or any Bluetooth media device. The ride in the 2012 Verano is quiet thanks to some quiet tuning elements including sound absorbing material and thicker acoustic laminated glass.
As much as the looks and interior wowed us, the handling and overall performance of the 2012 Buick Verano FWD 1SL left us very impressed with this compact luxury car. The 2.4-liter ECOTEC direct-injected 4-cylinder engine produces 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque with a 6-speed automatic transmission. I was actually surprised the Verano was measured at only 180 horses as the car is extremely quick out of the gate and highway driving is a breeze with plenty of power at higher speeds. There was no supercross during our test week, but plenty of winding roads and sharp turns for us to realize that the Verano has some sports car DNA and owns the road in various driving experiences. Fuel efficiency is also strong at 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg in highway driving. Buick knows their audience well and didn’t disappoint as the suspension was able to absorb plenty of bumps in the road to remind you that, whether in the city or on the highway, you are driving a luxury vehicle.
After a week of driving the 2012 Buick Verano FWD 1SL, we are convinced that Buick has a real winner on their hands that will make many new car customers very happy. The sticker price on our Verano came in at $27,345, which quite frankly is much less than one would expect after test driving this new offering from Buick. It’s nothing short of amazing when observing what General Motors has accomplished with Buick both in North America and globally, and the new Verano will also make the Buick brand that much more appealing for folks looking to purchase a compact luxury sedan!
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