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Buick Verano

Buick’s smallest sedan is a takeoff of the Chevrolet Cruze.

The Verano is the smallest Buick sedan since the late, unlamented Skylark. Much has been made of the fact that the Verano is a sibling to the Chevy Cruze, but in fairness, GM has done a lot more to differentiate these siblings than it did with past models. Exterior changes include nearly all the sheetmetal as well as the glass area. Inside, the Verano gets its own dashboard and door panels, higher-grade materials, and wood trim. Leather is available, as are a heated steering wheel, a touch-screen navigation system, and keyless ignition. Although the Buick is 2.9 inches longer than the Cruze overall, it rides on the same 105.7-inch wheelbase, and the two cars have similar interior room and trunk space. There’s more differentiation under the hood. The Verano’s 2.4-liter engine is larger than the Cruze’s 1.4-liter and 1.8-liter units, and the Buick’s 180 hp is substantially more than the 138 hp cranked out by both Chevy engines. The flip side is that the Buick’s 22/31 mpg ratings are significantly lower. The Verano now offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, which brings another 70 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque to the party. Unlike the standard Verano, the Turbo can be had with a manual transmission. It comes with a smattering of sport-sedan bits, as well as the equipment from the convenience and leather trim packages.

COMPETITORS

Acura ILX

Audi A3

Lexus IS250

Volkswagen Jetta GLI

new for 2013

The Verano Turbo, with the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder seen also in the Regal, is new for 2013. All Veranos now come standard with a backup camera. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are included on all but the base model.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, knee, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; a tire-pressure monitor; stability and traction control; and a backup camera are standard. Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are standard on Convenience, Leather, Premium, and Turbo trims.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 20–22

HWY 31–32

PRO

Quiet

Maneuverable

Available luxury features

CON

Interior room

Fuel economy

No manual for base car

Base Price: $23,470–$29,990

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Verano, Verano Turbo

BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger

ENGINES: 2.0L turbo I-4, 250 hp, 260 lb-ft

2.4L I-4, 180 hp, 171 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 95.0 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: 15.2 cu ft

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