In the past, automakers would never hesitate to rebadge a cheaply manufactured vehicle to gain more market share. With the power of a consumer today, however, the mold is different, and the 2013 Buick Verano is a great example of a growing trend against rebadging.
Even though the Buick Verano, which has been manufactured since 2012, uses the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze, the 2013 model offers a European flavor with sleek and curvaceous sheet metal, plus extra performance thanks to an optional turbocharged engine. Also, the statement-oriented grille is all-Buick and will never be mistaken for anything less.
The inside is also pure Buick. A high-class interior is roomy by design, refined compared to the Cruze and fitted with top-quality soft-touch materials and high-caliber stitching. The cabin has great energy, offering a creative use of color that is visually appealing yet not exaggerated.
The Buick Verano comes in four trim levels: Base, Convenience, Leather and Premium. Each trim has great standard features, including Bluetooth, USB connectivity and GM's Intellilink interface system. The top option for the Verano includes a GPS navigation system that may be a little complicated for some, since it requires many additional buttons scattered throughout the dash.
All trim levels of the Buick Verano are front-wheel drive and have two engine choices, including a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter, inline-4 base engine and the turbocharged 250-horsepower, 2-liter 4-cylinder engine. Even though the base engine has enough power for the small Verano, the turbocharged engine allows for sprints to 60 miles per hour two full seconds faster! Two transmissions are available in the Verano as well. One is a 6-speed automatic transmission; the other is a 6-speed manual. The manual transmission is only available with the turbocharged engine.
The Verano is not exactly a powerful car; however, enthusiasts should opt for the manual transmission, as it will create more of a sporty feel. Throw in an alert electric power steering system and the 2013 Verano feels extremely responsive and light on its feet.
Unless the Verano is treated as a race car, 24 to 25 miles per gallon can be expected with either engine choice. Both vehicles also have similar highway mileage, which should be a reasonable 32 mpg.
Price-wise, the Buick Verano is a genuine bargain, with the Base trim starting at well under $25,000. The Premium trim with the optional turbocharged engine is typically less than $30,000. For either engine, the 2013 Verano comes with a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Competition for the Verano includes the Acura TSX, Audi A3 and Lexus IS250. The Buick rides more smoothly and is quieter than all but the Lexus, but it doesn't perform as well as the Acura or Infiniti.
With eye-catching good looks, high-end accommodations and all the features and extras that make it a good, comfortable ride, the 2013 Buick Verano is a great choice for full-size luxury owners or young shoppers with an eye toward upscale motoring -- something Buick has been doing for generations.