2013 and 2014 Buick Verano Turbo Drive Review

this is the 2013 Buick Verano now this particular model is the turbocharged Verano with the 6-speed manual transmission and is that enough to convince shoppers to take a look at the Buick / brands like Audi and Acura for instance

with the Audi a3 and the TSX let’s hop in and take a look the Verano is of course based on the chevy cruze but this is not badge engineering with General Motors as you’re used to so this is not like the Buick Century or the Buick Skylark from you know essentially

my childhood what they’ve really done here is they’ve just taken the basic parts of the Chevy Cruze that platform the chassis some of the suspension things etc the transmissions and that put a completely different Buick body and interior on this platform you’ll notice that the doors are different the via the Chevy Cruze doesn’t have these windows here and the Civic Cruze doesn’t have these windows back here in fact

they have that that’s somewhat more rental car looking rear window where there are two panes of glass and the rear window and only one of them moves and here in the Buick Verano we get a slightly classier third window back here

if you were expecting a Chevy Cruze interior in the Verano you’ll be either disappointed or surprised you know depending on what exactly you were after but this interior of the Verano surprised me honestly because this is not an interior I would expect from General Motors and honestly in comparison with the Cadillac ATS which we recently reviewed and I found its interior

just a little bit cheap in certain areas this Buick Verano is pretty good and that’s not because it’s objectively better than the Cadillac ATS it’s really about that value question for the price this verano interior is very good maybe it’s the interior color combo

that’s really doing it for me but this interior combination is very refreshing when you look at the acres of black in something like an acura tsx or an Audi a3 there’s really very little black going on here in the dashboard of this particular Verano we have this sort of camel colored section here in the sport and a dark-brown upper dark-brown lower and a very nice dark brown steering wheel the steering wheel is a variation on a theme for GM

it uses their standard buttons here in steering wheel and an airbag cover that’s fairly similar to the Chevy products Buick however covers the steering wheel in much softer leather and of course it’s brown instead of that boring black color

which really goes well with this interior combo here in the center console we have a button bank that would make accurate jealous there there really are a lot of buttons going on here but a few that I’d like to point out or down here they have a heated steering wheel we have heated seats of course and we have dual zone climate control which is a nice touch for car that’s that’s really starts under $30,000 and our particular model here fully loaded only hits 32,000 so it’s a fairly decent value even in this segment of course no car is perfect and we do have a few cheat plastics here within easy reach of the driver

this plastic panel right here by the door handle this is fairly hard plastic which contrasts fairly strikingly with this fairly soft plastic upper and this soft plastic middle here front seat comfort in the Verano is very good even though we don’t have the same range of motion electrically as some of the competitors now the recline mechanism in this seat is still manual we do have a tilt telescope steering wheel with a decent range of motion which really helps you find that right driving position one serious omission however is a lack of lumbar support that’s adjustable in this particular seat and I have to ding them a little bit for that however here in the passenger seat

we have a seat that’s just as adjustable as the driver seat only it’s completely manual so you can adjust the height of the front seat the front of the seat cushion on the bottom and the back of the seat cushion on the bottom you just have to pull levers on the side of the seat to do that but it is adjustable which is a step up from something like the Acura TSX where there’s fairly little adjustability in the passenger seat I’m six feet tall and there’s a decent amount of headroom back here and this front seats adjusted for me at 6 feet tall as you can see I still have a few inches of legroom left in this seat if I move to the middle seat there is a decent hump going on here in the Verano for a front-wheel drive car but I still have enough Headroom to sit here in the middle now the Verano is not a terribly wide car so sitting three adults here in the

back would be a little bit tricky for longer car trips and because this is a compact car you can see in the video the shape of this door-opening is a little bit well restrictive if I’m honest this side light back here the side window sort of behind the rear door and the shape of the rear door make ingress and egress into the rear seats just a little bit more difficult if you’re an adult if you’re kid it’s probably not going to be a problem but I ended up banging my head several times in the making of this video on the ceiling in the Verano the Verano score is eight out of ten points in our exclusive trunk comfort index because this truck is fairly nicely finished and we do have trunk hinges

that cut down on my leg room and my Headroom but I do have the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic flight in here behind me you could probably carry three or four of them and one journalist in the trunk and another nice touch is we actually have a handle to help close the lid on the trunk this is something that I find missing in a surprising number of vehicles honestly even high-end luxury vehicles don’t have a nice and handy way to close the trunk as you’d expect with the turbo Verano under the hood we have a turbo engine this is a 2-liter four-cylinder direct injection turbo engine good for 250 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque essentially the same engine that you’ll find into the Cadillac ATS as well now this particular engine is mated to your choice of a 6-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission which is kind of an interesting thing for Buick and of course power is sent right here to the front wheels I’ve never been the hugest fan of Buicks ventiports but these strike me as a little bit strange because the Verano only has a four-cylinder engine as you can see here we have 1 2 3 ventiports over here on this side then we have another 3 over on the other

side making the total 6 so I’m not quite clear if what Buick is saying is that the turbo counts for two extra cylinders or something I mean I suppose that’s logical Ford claims that with their EcoBoost engines but really six ventiports and a four cylinder car track viewing this in HD it’s time to click that 1080 button down there on your YouTube bar our particular model is equipped with the 795 dollar optional navigation system and we have this fairly high resolution LCD here in the dash now this is a touchscreen LCD as you can see and we have this button array for controlling the system as well we have a home button to go back to this main page where you can select your particular sources just like navigation phone FM XM satellite radio your iPod interface etc we also have iphone app integration so we have Pandora and stitcher available in this particular

model now these are available only with the iPod app I’m sorry the iPhone app at the moment there is no Android app at this moment although General Motors tells us to expect one soon we of course get an in-dash CD changer that’s right down here we have our tone control here on the home screen so that’s where you’d find that we have course car options auxilary input Bluetooth audio streaming we have XM satellite weather information as well and we can go home using these quick shortcuts on the top or the home button down here lower we can of course get movie information fuel prices and quick information on the system as well this takes you to your audio information so you can see what’s playing your navigation your five-day forecast nearby fuel stations with price information and as you can see right now in our particular area of California we’re averaging about three dollars and forty cents three dollars fifty cents a gallon it takes a bit of getting used to but this little menu knob here in the dash is actually a nice change from some of the other systems on the market because we do have this little four-way joystick button here for zooming around the map and in a lot of systems namely the Acura systems you have to push that down in order to use enter but in this particular system you push down on the ring since the silver ring that you push down to actually select something on the map that makes it a lot harder to accidentally select something in the system

I really appreciate that touch as you can see the system plays album art from your iOS or USB device and navigating your iOS and USB device is fairly easy as you can see we have full access to our artists playlists genres etc and navigating this system is fairly snappy as you can see it loads your playlists fairly quickly and then navigating around the playlist once it loads here is usually similarly quick as well now the system also offers voice commands via the steering wheel voice command button please say a command play artist Madonna I found multiple results as you can see the system is very speedy and compared to something like Ford my touch and link in my touch this system this system is definitely faster than the Ford systems the voice commands are also a little bit smoother in many many times in this particular system over on the navigation interface we of course can voice command our navigation destinations navigation please say a navigation command or say help enter a dress save a destination address six five eight one Camden Avenue San Jose California now driving to 6581 Camden Avenue San Jose California so you can see that was fairly speedy for entry as far as voice navigation commands go on these systems and also there are no voice confirmation prompts to get it to actually go to that navigation destination which

I find handy because a lot of the other systems if they are not quite clear what you’ve asked for you know they won’t start navigating you there right away and well sometimes it is nice to have that confirmation I think that overall I really appreciated at navigating me directly to this address rather than asking me for confirmations upon confirmations thanks to a well-designed suspension and 2:35 with tires the Verano handles and stops very well for a car of this size and in this class especially when considering that the Audi a3 and the Acura TSX are fairly direct competitors in terms of straight line performance our Verano ran to 60 in 6.3 seconds of course we do have the manual transmission so that really just depends on how good you are at shifting the automatic transmission was a little bit slower in our tests at six point four seconds but of course it does all

the shifting for you and that six-speed automatic transmission is just as slow and just as reluctant to downshift as pretty much anybody else in this segment the Verano steering is fairly light and fairly numb as well but honestly these days so is pretty much everything from a BMW 5-series to an Audi a3 and you can thank the electric power steering for that in terms of dynamic performance out on the road I probably would take the Audi a3 over the Buick Verano but honestly compared to the current generation Acura TSX I would take this Verano over that in terms of pure on-road performance that’s because this car seems to handle better than the TSX it also has a slightly better feel and more predictable feel when you’re doing that this engine is a great engine it’s full of mid-range torque which is very important for passing maneuvers as well as fun on those winding mountain roads one area where the Verano really excels is in cabin noise now we’re going about 65 miles an hour on a you know moderately rough

Californian freeway and the cabin noise is extremely hushed this translates into a very comfortable long-term road trip experience as well as improved speakerphone performance so this car has a very natural sounding speakerphone and the people that I have spoken to on it you know sometimes weren’t even aware that I was in a vehicle because the car is so quiet it translates into less road noise on that speakerphone after a week with this car really the only problem in my mind is Buicks brand reputation and it’s really not necessarily a reputation in terms of quality but in terms of the people who buy the car and the types of cars that they are you know they do have a reputation for building somewhat boring softly sprung cars that aren’t really engaging to drive but if Bielek keeps building cars like this then perhaps the next generation will start associating Buick with something that’s worth cross shopping with Audi and BMW after a week with the Verano this is definitely a car that I would recommend to my friends and family not because the Verano is the best handling car or the best performing car or even necessarily the best looking car but it is one of the most consistent cars in this segment everything from the way the car looks to the way the car drives to the way that the interior parts fit and feel and and work is very consistent in this vehicle it’s also a decent value at 32,000 as we have equipped here which is essentially fully loaded except for that automatic transmission we in the automotive press sometimes get a bad rap for being import biased they claim that we love import cars and we hate the domestic cars regardless of anything that’s just not true actually Buick has really had some pretty awful products in the past but this Verano is not one of them well I’m really not quite sure what Buick is turning into I would definitely buy this car over the Audi a3 or the Acura TSX and that’s really saying something

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