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#6

in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $23,700 - $29,065
Invoice: $22,752 - $27,902
MPG: 21 City / 32 Hwy
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Buick Verano Performance

Play 2014 Buick Verano Performance Review Video Video: Verano Performance 2014 Buick Verano Performance Video Review

While the automotive press says that the 2014 Buick Verano’s standard engine gets the job done around town, they agree that the Verano Turbo provides ample power and a dash of fun. Whichever engine you choose, the Verano offers an incredibly steady, quiet and pleasant ride, reviewers say. Braking and steering are admirable, but an emphasis on comfort makes the Verano’s handling less agile, reviewers say. As a result, a few wish it had sportier handling to match its energetic turbocharged engine.

  • "At the same time, Buick's small sedan is steady and composed around turns, and its steering is precise with appropriate effort levels. We wouldn't exactly call the Verano's handling invigorating, but it's certainly competent." -- Edmunds
  • "If there's one word to describe the Verano, it's ‘comfortable.’ That shouldn't come as a surprise since it's a Buick, but it is a significant distinguisher among compact sedans." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Still, the Verano is devoid of surprises, smooth, and quiet. The turbo delivers a nice rush with instant throttle response." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The base Buick Verano has a standard six-speed automatic transmission, which is paired with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower. The Verano Premium (Verano Turbo) has a 250-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. In the Premium model, a six-speed manual is available at no cost. According to the EPA, the base Verano with an automatic transmission averages 21/32 mpg city/highway, which is on the low end of the class. The Acura ILX, by comparison, gets 24/35 mpg. Equipped with a turbocharged engine and an automatic transmission, the Verano Premium averages 21/30 mpg.

Reviewers say the Verano’s base engine is competent for everyday use. They have much praise for the optional turbocharged engine, saying it provides ample power and thrilling acceleration without much compromise in fuel economy. Test drivers note that the standard automatic transmission has fluid shifts. While reviewers say the manual transmission available on the Premium trim lends a sporty air to driving, several comment that other cars in the class are more fun to drive.     

  • "Performance from the 2014 Buick Verano's standard 2.4-liter engine provides adequate acceleration in normal driving, and the automatic transmission provides smooth, refined shifts. Still, we'd be inclined to upgrade to the Turbo, which provides brisk performance on the highway with minimal sacrifice in fuel economy." -- Edmunds
  • "Turbo versions add a cherry on top with quick acceleration and plenty of passing power for not a lot more money." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "At heart, it's a perfectly nice car in almost every area, fitted with a potent engine/transmission combination for this class, but without any trace of the involving character that would engender passion in someone who cares about driving for pleasure." -- Autoblog (2013)
  • "The Turbo's output is a pleasant surprise. With 250 hp and 260 lb-ft, this Verano gets out of the starting blocks in a hurry and is arguably quickest among its competitors. The option of the slick six-speed manual gearbox is a plus, although the standard six-speed automatic is seamless." -- Popular Mechanics (2013)
  • "The 6-speed manual transmission operates smoothly, but not as crisply as some premium-compact competitors. With either engine, the automatic transmission shifts fluidly, but the manual shift gate is useful for summoning the best acceleration." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the Buick Verano is extremely comfortable, even on bumpy roads. The cabin is also exceedingly quiet, they say. Brakes and steering are responsive, but given its emphasis on comfort, the Verano’s handling isn’t very athletic, test drivers note.

  • "The Verano's ride is probably its most appealing attribute. It backs up its luxury car aspirations by providing a supple, comfortable ride over almost any road surface. It's also supremely quiet in the cabin at highway speeds." -- Edmunds
  • "Where other entry-level luxury sedans strive to be sporty, this one puts on few such airs. Its non-independent torsion-beam rear suspension may seem dated, but the setup works with aplomb to soak up bumps. The Verano glides over roads like a little cloud." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The suspension is well damped, the steering accurate and possessed of some feel, and the body motions are nicely controlled, but any sportiness is buried beneath a layer of marshmallow-like luxury." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "Verano aims for serene ride quality over handling ability, so it doesn't feel particularly sporty for its size. Steering feel is accurate but rather lifeless, and the car exhibits moderate body lean around fast corners. The brakes, however, are strong and have good pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide (2013) 
Review Last Updated: 5/16/14

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