The poster car for luxury on a budget, the Verano promises greater refinement and comfort than the rest of the compact class. The Verano succeeds well enough in its mission to be considered a credible alternative to entry-level sedans from prestige brands.
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2016 Buick Verano Overview
What's New for 2016
The Verano is now availble in price-leading 1SV trim.
Choosing Your Buick Verano
Most Verano models run with a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The available turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder lays down 250 horsepower and comes with your choice of the six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. Expect 25 mpg in combined driving with the base engine and 24 mpg from the turbo. You can be assured of luxuriously smooth, quiet running with any Verano.
This year's lineup consists of five Verano models:
The 1SV, while undeniably affordable, is too austere for a modern-day Buick in our view. Most buyers will feel more comfortable with the popular Base model. However, if you're looking for a real luxury car (and not just a nice compact), the posh and speedy Premium Turbo is the way to go.
2016 Buick Verano Review
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.
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.
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
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
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.