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2017 Buick Verano: New Car Review

The 2017 Buick Verano is a premium compact sedan that proves that a small car can be just as quiet and comfortable-riding as a full-size one. It most definitely lives up to its Buick badge, and if you’re looking to save some money and trade down from a bigger car, the Verano is an excellent choice.

At the same time, the Verano is getting on in years (it’s set to be discontinued), and as such, it suffers from an antiquated interior design and tech controls. Its only available engine, a 180-horsepower 4-cylinder, also produces slow acceleration and underwhelming fuel economy. That won’t matter as much if you’re indeed trading down from a thirstier, bigger car, but it’s definitely something to give you pause about this otherwise pleasant little sedan.

 What’s New for 2017?

The Verano’s trim level herd has been culled down to three for 2017. The turbocharged engine has also been eliminated. See the 2017 Buick Verano models for sale near you

 What We Like

Extremely quiet and comfortable for a car its size; affordable compared to other luxury marques; excellent crash scores

 What We Don’t

Tight rear seat; busy control layout; meager performance

 How Much?

$21,100-$26,600

 Fuel Economy

Every Buick Verano is now powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic is standard. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this engine returns 21 miles per gallon in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving — these are lower than those of bigger, more powerful midsize sedans.

The Verano Turbo is no longer available.

 Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Buick Verano is available in three trim levels: base (1SV), Sport Touring and Leather.

The base-level Verano or 1SV ($21,100) comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-way manual front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats, OnStar, 4G Wi-Fi and a 6-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port and a media player interface.

The Sport Touring ($24,100) adds a rearview camera, remote ignition, Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio and Buick’s 7-in IntelliLink touchscreen display.

Next up is the Verano Leather ($26,600), which adds 18-in wheels, rear-parking sensors, foglights, heated mirrors, keyless passive entry with push-button start, leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Sport Touring and Leather are available with several options. The Experience Buick package adds a sunroof, a navigation system and a 9-speaker Bose audio system. The Driver Confidence package includes a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning.

 Safety

The Verano offers 10 standard airbags: front, side, curtain, front-seat knee and rear-seat side. It also has GM’s OnStar telematics system. Options include parking sensors and a Driver Confidence package that offers a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning.

In government crash testing, the Verano received 5-star ratings for overall, frontal and side-crash protection. The non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the best-possible rating of Good in the moderate overlap front, side and roof strength tests.

 Behind the Wheel

Despite sharing the same platform as the previous-generation Cheverolet Cruze, the Verano’s ride quality is considerably more upscale and comfortable. It swallows up most road blemishes with ease and would have to drive across a very rough surface for occupants to feel discomfort. The Verano also benefits from a quiet cabin thanks to Buick’s sound-deadening efforts, with wind and road noise minimized to an almost imperceptible level. Really, the Verano feels an awful lot like its bigger Buick brandmates — albeit at a lower price and with more manageable dimensions. The Verano is a capable handler, too, and can actually be surprisingly fun to drive.

Unfortunately, the engine is a huge letdown. Acceleration is slow — regardless of whether you compare it to similarly sized compact cars or similarly priced midsize cars. It’s laughable compared to entry-level luxury ones. Mediocre fuel economy compounds the problem.

Inside, the Verano is attractive and quality is quite good, but the busy control layout is dated and can be difficult to use. There are too many buttons that look exactly the same and the touchscreen is too far away. Interior storage could also be better, and other compact cars have bigger back seats.

 Other Cars to Consider

2017 Honda Civic — You’ll be surprised at just how luxurious the Honda Civic is in its EX-L and Touring trim levels. It’s comfortable, quiet, powerful and efficient with a spacious, high-quality cabin packed with features.

2017 Ford Fusion — For about the same money as the Verano, you could get a Fusion. It boasts better performance and fuel economy despite its greater size. It also looks great and is notably comfortable and quiet.

2017 Audi A3 — The A3 is more expensive than the Verano and offers fewer features, but it’s stylish, sharper to drive, gets better fuel economy and it’s hard to top the small Audi’s opulent brand name.

Used Lexus IS 250 — The Lexus IS is more refined and upscale than the Verano. Although the Lexus is not as performance-oriented as others in its class, it still offers more power and better acceleration than the Verano. Prices are high, though, so you may have to consider a used model.

 Autotrader’s Advice

Forget the base model — sure it’s cheap, but it’s missing key features like a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. For just a bit more, the Sport Touring provides all of the above plus Buick’s IntelliLink touchscreen. We would note, however, that the more you load up the Verano, the pricier it gets and the more it starts to look like a questionable decision, given non-premium midsize sedans that offer comparable comfort but more space and better fuel economy. Find a Buick Verano for sale

 

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