Buick has continuously worked on its image over the past decade, as it tries to shed the reputation as the car of choice for retirees. Sure, selling cars to folks in their golden years is nothing to be ashamed of, but Buick has had a rough go of it trying to attract the younger crowd. But with new models like the Verano in its stable, Buick is finally starting to show that it has something to offer buyers of all ages.

Pricing and Equipment

We find the Verano to be refreshingly inexpensive, considering its upscale segment. Base prices start from just $23,480 and include:

  • AM/FM/CD audio system with steering wheel controls
  • USB ports
  • Air conditioning
  • 4G LTE connectivity from OnStar

For buyers looking for more luxurious features, the Verano Convenience Group is the way to go at $24,475. The next step up is the $26,505 Leather Group trim and the final jump is to the $28,670 Premium Turbo model.

Performance Pros

Buick Verano Rear Quarter

The shining star in the Verano lineup is the Premium Turbo model, which features a potent 2-liter turbocharged engine. With 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque from its boosted four-cylinder engine, the Turbo’s 6.2-second dash to 60 mph puts it in range of German sedans. Low-end torque, meanwhile, makes for fun launches.

Performance Cons

The base 2.4-liter engine feels underpowered and fails to excite us. Additionally, GM based the Verano on a chassis shared with the Chevy Cruze, and this is a very noticeable flaw.

  • 8.6 seconds to 60 mph in base model leaves a lot to be desired
  • Not the most luxurious of rides
  • Lack of paddle shifters added to the base model's "blah" performance

Interior Pros

Buick Verano Interior

The Verano’s cabin is surprisingly quiet for such a small car, even when compared to its German rivals. We also find the interior surprisingly stylish.

  • Two-tones color scheme and high sill lines feel very premium
  • Matte-metallic trim is a nice touch and well done
  • Trunk space is ample
  • The cabin is whisper quiet

Interior Cons

Seating for more than two adults can get a little crowded, thanks to the Verano’s cramped rear seat.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The noise level in the cabin is simply incredible. It often leaves us wondering if we're driving a more expensive car. It's not what we'd expect from a compact car, and certainly not a compact car that's essentially a freshened-up Cruze.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The fuel economy was surprisingly bad in the base Verano. The EPA rates the 2.4-liter-equipped model at 21 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined, which is pretty low for its class. The Turbo takes a slight hit in fuel economy, but at least it's in the interest of driving fun.

The Bottom Line

Sure, it doesn’t have the brand cachet of Audi or Mercedes-Benz, but with a super-low base price and lots of features for the money across all the trim levels, it is a great alternative to the A3 and CLA.