2013 Buick Verano Overview

John Diether
Automotive Editor - February 11, 2013

Buick has dabbled in luxury compacts off and on for the past 40 years. Remember those 1980s ads touting the Skylark as your "little limousine"? So there's certainly precedent for the plush 2013 Verano sedan. Its styling cues, interior appointments and standard 18-inch wheels will remind you of a much larger car. But anyone with a tape measure knows that the Verano rates as a compact. It also has a smallish price and sporty driving characteristics that are bringing under-40 buyers into Buick showrooms for the first time in years.

The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower matched to a six-speed automatic—about what you would expect in this price range. What's not expected is an optional 250-horsepower, 2-liter turbo engine that can even be ordered with a six-speed manual transmission. The turbo propels the Verano to 60 mph in about 6.2 seconds, two seconds quicker than the 2.4-liter.

The upgraded engine helps the Verano live up to its marketing image as a luxury car for those who don't want to spend a bundle. On the performance end of the market, we could see a turbo Verano winning over enthusiasts who might appreciate the comforts of a Buick interior, especially when equipped with the stick and optional performance axle ratio.

The standard cabin accommodates five in cloth seats with premium fabric inserts and leatherette bolsters. Up front, you get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and dual lighted vanity mirrors. In the back, there's a split-folding seat to augment the 14.3-cubic-foot trunk. Other features include dual-zone climate control, power windows and locks, remote start, and a six-speaker sound system with 7-inch color display. Buick's Quiet Tuning technology keeps the interior remarkably hushed for a car this size.

The available Convenience Group gives a major injection of safety technology with its rear-vision camera, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking assist, and side blindspot alert. You also get an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated power side-view mirrors, and a power six-way driver seat.

The Verano hits its true luxury potential with the Leather Group, which adds premium-grade leather seats (heated in front), a heated steering wheel, a Bose audio system, keyless entry with push-button start, and eye-catching multi-spoke wheels.

What about the turbo with all that extra power? For that, you'll need the Premium Group, which delivers the best the Verano has to offer in both luxury and performance.