By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
The 2012 Buick Verano is a compact near-luxury sedan that shares its core architecture with the Chevy Cruze. For some, mentioning Cruze and Verano in the same sentence dredges up haunting memories of GM"s "badge engineering" era; a dark period where subpar cars were shared among countless GM brands, distinguished only by grilles, trim and other superficial details. Thankfully, times have changed, as the Verano is distinctly delineated inside and out from its compact platform mate. For a comparatively modest price the 2012 Buick Verano offers much of the luxury, technology and comfort found in other entry-luxury vehicles, making it an appealing option in this era of inconspicuous indulgence.
You might like the 2012 Buick Verano if you're a young professional looking for a new car to reward your success without substantially increasing your debt. The 2012 Verano might also appeal to current luxury-car owners who want to downsize without giving up all the comforts to which they've grown accustomed.
If you think a luxury sedan is incomplete without a cavernous interior you may not like the Buick Verano. Along with compact exterior dimensions come reduced interior dimensions, a reality most apparent in the rear seats. If you require a spacious cabin the roomier Buick Regal is worth a look.
The 2012 Buick Verano represents yet another mile-marker on Buick's path to relevancy. Coming to market with youthful looks and a starting price around $23,500, the Verano stands a good chance of wooing younger buyers who might not have considered a Buick in years past
Driving Impressions On paper the Buick Verano's non-independent torsion-beam rear suspension seems a bit low-brow for a Buick, even with its stabilizing Watt's-link setup. However, on the road, the Verano's suspension works...just fine, gracefully absorbing surface imperfections without that floaty feeling familiar in Buicks of the past. Along with a smooth ride we enjoyed the vehicle's fluid, responsive steering, a noteworthy achievement considering the Verano uses an efficiency-enhancing electric power steering system, which in many cars results in artificial steering feel. With a 180-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission, acceleration in the Buick Verano is acceptable, though we're guessing the upcoming turbocharged engine might encourage us to change that "acceptable" to "great." In current form we wouldn't describe the 2012 Buick Verano as a sports sedan but it does provide the kind of comfortable and capable driving we think entry-luxury buyers will appreciate.
Buick makes a big deal out of its efforts to reduce interior noise, collectively labeled Quiet Tuning - and rightly so. The 2012 Verano features an impeccably-quiet cabin that will no doubt elevate occupant comfort and perceived vehicle quality.
Younger buyers love their connectivity and Buick knows it. That's why Buick equips all 2012 Veranos with IntelliLink, a system that lets the driver control the smart phone through a standard 7-inch touch-screen display. The system not only enables hands-free calling, but also stream music and podcasts from Internet audio services, including Pandora and Stitcher.
In look and feel the Verano's cabin channels the essence of its larger sibling the Buick LaCrosse. Like the LaCrosse, the smaller Verano features an interior outfitted in high quality materials and rich colors, with comfortable seats and an artfully drawn dash that flows gracefully into the doors. Less pleasing is the layout of the instrument panel, which features a confusing array of similar looking buttons, a fault partially countered by the bright, easy-to-use and intuitively-arranged 7-inch touch-screen interface that controls the audio system. Front-seat passenger space and trunk space are both good for a vehicle of the Verano's size but rear-seat leg room is tight, making it less than ideal for larger occupants.Exterior
The Buick Verano shares its fundamental architecture with the Chevy Cruze but that's a fact largely obscured by the Verano's unique styling. With an athletic and tasteful exterior the Verano projects an appropriately-premium on-road aura, in spite of its compact dimensions. Standout details include standard 18-inch wheels, a tasteful body line that dips toward the front of the car and technologically-appearing headlights with stylishly-subtle blue iris-like projectors.
Some of the standard features offered on the 2012 Buick Verano include leatherette-trimmed seating, automatic climate control, an electronic parking brake, steering wheel audio and cruise controls and remote engine start. Among the roster of standard safety features are stability control, traction control, OnStar with stolen vehicle location and automatic crash notification, and a whopping 10 airbags, including front- passenger knee airbags and rear-seat side-impact airbags.
The 2012 Buick Verano's option list includes a heated steering wheel, heated seats, navigation, a nine-speaker premium Bose audio system, moonroof, premium 18-inch wheels and leather-trimmed interiors available in Ebony, Cashmere and the tasty-sounding Choccachino themes. Keyless push-button engine start is also available, though we would prefer the button be placed in the typical ignition location rather than next to the radio controls on the dash.
In its first model year the 2012 Buick Verano comes with one engine, a 180-horsepower 4-cylinder matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission. A more powerful turbocharged model is on the horizon but, for now, the current engine provides acceptable performance - at least for those who accept 0-to-60-mph acceleration in the mid 8-second range. Among compact sedans the Verano's highway fuel economy of 31 mpg is below average, especially in light of the larger Buick Regal's 36-mpg highway economy. The Regal's superior efficiency is due in large part to its mild-hybrid E-Assist powertrain, a technology we hope is applied to the Verano in the future.
2.4-liter in-line 4
180 horsepower @ 6,700 rpm
171 lb-ft of torque @ 4,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/32
By chefbar on Thursday, September 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Inexpensive for what you get, very comfort & quiet"
Cons: "Not very powerful"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This is a well-made car. The ride is smooth, comfortable and very quiet. It gets admirable gas mileage around town (22+ in AZ with the A/C on all the time and 30+ on the road with a semi lead foot. It has lots of standard features that are upgrades on most other cars. I have had zero issues with the car. The lease deals on the car are very affordable. Unfortunately they do not hold their value. I may just lease another!"
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Jim on Sunday, August 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,100overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very quiet ride, handles very well, great value."
Cons: "Wish this car had a little better mpg."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Nicely finished with above average quality. An incredibly quiet ride and handles well too. Plenty of power but a little weak on mpg. Very happy I bought this car."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By mommyd on Saturday, August 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautful to look at -- drives like a dream"
Cons: "no place to put my purse"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Looks like heaven --- most people think it's a caddie. Great price for a sporty luxury car. Lots of get up when getting on the Highways. Sirius Radio, Bluetooth, MP3 available all excellent features!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By goodluck2go on Saturday, August 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Look luxury- But POOR performance"
Cons: "Interior is tight on space- Engine start NOISY"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"First time own this American car, driving this car about 150 mileages in two weeks, when I drove on the freeway, I heard one big explosion sound underneath my car then I continue drive to the restaurant. After dinner I go back to my car I found out back camera displace the view is dead. Engine light error is on. When I press the gas panel, car go very slowly, I have to turn on the emergency light to drive about 10 miles to closest dealership. Thorson Motor at Pasadena, California sale me a defected car. GMC refuse to exchange another car for me, they totally ignore my concern."
4 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By QuickVT on Saturday, July 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 512overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "turbo, suspension, comfort, tech"
Cons: "No sun glass storage, no powered passenger seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I test drove every compact and mid size sedan out there over the course of 6 months and could not find my car. Then I stumbled across a review for the Verano and decided to check it out. I was sold within 10 minutes of getting behind the wheel. Initially tried the 2.4L engine and it was okay but then drove the turbo and said this is it. There are a very few minor things about the car that I would change but all things being equal, this is the best value in the entry level luxury small sedan category(Period) The turbo engine, seat comfort, tech, exterior and interior design are all extremely impressive. Get past the Buick name and try one. You will not be sorry."
10 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By bankheist on Friday, July 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "A Great Small Luxery Car"
Cons: "Interior is tight on space"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I am pleasantly surprised how well Buick did with the Verano. It is not perfect, but for a small car and very good price it is a great car. Ride and quietness is what sold me. Good options, nice styling, and very comfortable car. The door pockets could be better designed to hold a drink, missing a coin holder, and could use more storage areas. The cabin is a bit tight on space, but you do get used to it. Very good MPG, engine is pretty good with acceleration, transmission shifts smooth. Very quiet and well built. No regrets here."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful