When the Scottish-American inventor David Dunbar Buick needed to come up with a logo, he looked to his family coat of arms and adapted that to the familiar tri-band, tri-color logo to represent the three models that the carmaker had at the time: red for the LeSabre, grey for the Invicta and blue for the Electra. Once the 80's and 90's came along and everything got chromed, Buick followed suit with their logo. However, everything old being new again, the carmaker had brought the tricolor back to its former patriotic glory, and it's evident on the compact Buick Verano. What other surprises await?
How much luxury should I reasonably expect?
A fair bit, as long as you're mindful of that fact that it's still a compact car. Thanks to the Quiet Tuning feature of the Verano, the interior is a silent sanctuary from road noise, and this silence is indeed priceless. The cabin is fitted with laminated and acoustic glass, padded and triple sealed to shut out both the road and the engine, which is all the better to tune into the Bose surround sound audio system that's available as an upgrade. For a smaller car, the interior is spacious and can accommodate a wide range of drivers for an entire day on the road in comfort. While it seats five, you're probably better off with four, as legroom might get a bit tight depending on how long you're in the car. At least you won't be craning your necks to hear each other.
Is there any real power?
Well, that's debatable. The only powertrain left on offer for the Verano is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 180 horsepower won't have you burning down the highway, and they probably won't even have you overtaking slow-moving Nissan Maximas on the Interstate. It handles 0-60 mph in a leisurely 8.6 seconds but the automatic transmission is quick on the uptake, and the steering is light enough to trick you into feeling like you're moving at (relatively) brisk clip. However, this is a compact car, and it's at its best when you treat it as such. It's great for city driving, great for new drivers who could stand to be limited in the amount of speed they can conjure, and very capable for a more leisurely ride. It might be hard to remember that you're in a compact when you're cruising along with your stereo blasting, but cruising you will be. If not by choice, then by sheer necessity.
How's the fuel economy?
Fuel efficiency leaves something to be desired in the Verano, with 21/31/24 putting it on the lower end of the spectrum for compact cars. There's no way around it, this isn't a Nissan Leaf nor is it a Chevy Bolt, and you won't get much bang for your buck. However, if it's a city car that you're looking for and you're trying to balance out your personal style with your compact needs, the juice might be worth the squeeze on this one. If it makes you feel any better, the Verano scores slightly better on fuel economy than the Subaru WRX (which gets the lowest scores) and if it does wind up being the car you purchase for a new driver, this will teach them the important lesson of being a responsible adult driver and having to budget for gas. Hooray for silver linings!
Isn't it just like the Chevy Cruze?
You would be forgiven for thinking so: after all, the four-wheel independent suspension on the Verano is the same as the Chevy Cruze, and many of the basic components are identical. However, the Verano is a more comfortable ride and is significantly quieter than the Cruze, and it has more luxury features available in the cabin. The Chevy's influence is evident along the lower bumper and front wheel intakes, but the Verano takes these flourishes and does a little bit more with them. In short, while the Cruze has a number of viable features of its own, the Verano has a more stately look and feel, and retains a slight edge as a compact luxury sedan.
What's up with those ventiports on the front hood?
Some of the features are unique to the Verano, and some of them are admittedly a bit odd. The fake portholes on the hood of the Verano make it sort of look like a middle-aged dad who's trying to look cool while dropping his kids off at prom, and it doesn't quite work for the overall look of the car. There is some debate as to whether these ventiports actually serve a purpose or enhance the performance of the car, but for now we'll chalk it up to the last hurrah for a model that's set to be discontinued after 2017, and we'll forgive those little forays into the world of looking cool for cool's sake (it happens to the best of us). All in all, the Verano offers comfort, style, and reliability for a wide range of drivers and road conditions.