The 2012 Buick Verano, introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, displays more Regal DNA than Cruze. Although it’s the smallest in the line-up, and the brand’s first compact luxury car, the front-wheel drive Verano offers the same level of refinement and available features as its larger sibling.
Outwardly, the Verano presents a taut, sculpted appearance, with design cues such as the waterfall grille and side character lines picked up from both the LaCrosse and Regal. It’s finished off nicely by eye-catching taillights, projector beam headlights and available 18-inch alloys.
The 2,685-mm wheelbase is identical to the platform-sharing Cruze, as is the interior volume; the cabin is only about 2 cubic feet smaller than the Regal’s. Outwardly, the Verano is about 3 inches longer, 0.3 taller and 0.8 wider than the Cruze.
Underhood is the same 2.4-litre, inline four-cylinder engine that’s found in big sister Regal, unlike the Cruze’s available 1.8L or turbo 1.4L four-cylinder engines.
Output is a respectable 177 horsepower with 170 lb-ft of torque, but enthusiasts might want to hang tight until the GS version boasting a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is available later on. Exact numbers aren’t available, but it’s probably safe to assume that it will be the same 220-hp engine found in the Regal.
Buick claims the naturally aspirated Verano will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in about 8 seconds, with an estimated 6.4 L/100 km highway fuel economy.
Buick claims that the Verano is the quietest car in its segment, with a Quiet Tuning package consisting of plenty of sound-deadening materials installed in the hollow sections of the body, laminated glass, triple door seals and a headliner made with five layers of thermal acoustic material. Even the brake and fuel lines have been insulated to prevent vibration and the wheels themselves were engineered to be especially quiet.
The interior has all the luxurious touches expected from the Buick nameplate: Ebony, Cashmere and Choccachino leathers, rich wood and aluminum accents, warm ambient lighting and soft-touch materials.
Premium available features include push-button start, Bose audio, remote start as well as heated steering wheel and seats that are automatically activated by temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. The gadgetry checklist includes OnStar remote vehicle access (using a smartphone) and remote systems check (tire pressure, fuel level and oil level), touch-screen navigation and Bluetooth connectivity.
Like its siblings, the Regal and LaCrosse, the Verano was sold in China for a while before being launched in North America. The decision to release the new Verano in China first is largely due to Buick’s uninterrupted popularity there–which probably saved the brand from extinction during the tough years.
The brand’s reinvention and subsequent appeal to a younger demographic appears to be working in North America, too; once near-dead, Buick is now outselling Lexus in the U.S. luxury market. The Verano’s main competitors will be the Audi A3, Volvo S40 and Lexus IS250.
The Verano is projected to hit Karp Buick by the end of 2011. Pricing is expected to be announced shortly before the car’s on-sale date.
Karp Buick (www.karpbuick.com) is a division of Karp Automotive (www.karpauto.com). Karp Automotive is a family owned and operated dealership since 1957 located in Nassau County on the South Shore of Long Island in Rockville Centre, NY between Baldwin and Lynbrook. Since its inception, Karp Automotive has made a commitment to upholding its core values of integrity and honesty. Karp is an active member of the community sponsoring many local outreach programs, community service projects, and community development initiatives. This has made Karp Automotive widely regarded as “the Auto Authority” and providing a superior ownership experience. As our customers would attest, there are many places a person can purchase a vehicle, but only here will you be treated like family by family.