2013 Buick Verano Turbo
January 3, 2013
by Seyth Miersma
Those of you who still think of the Buick Verano as some sort of callously badge-engineered, gussied up version of the Chevrolet Cruze ("Why would anyone spend that much money on Buick's Cruze?" you may have been heard to mutter) have got the wrong idea. Entirely. Even in its most modest form, the Verano turns out to be a sedan that is feature-rich, insulated from wind and road noise in proper luxury car fashion, pretty good to drive and not bad to look at in the new school of high-nosed pedestrian-impact-regulated fashion. In a less modest form then, one that attaches the word "Turbo" to the moniker and plops a force-fed 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood, the Verano is downright interesting.
Just a few degrees of throttle has the Verano Turbo doing its best Mazdaspeed3 impression.
The car certainly benefits from having a well-tuned basic chassis to start with, especially because Buick hasn't really touched the underpinnings of the Verano for this go-fast iteration. The Turbo doesn't offer the same torque-steer reducing HiPer Struts of its big brother, the Regal GS, but its independently sprung MacPherson units still manage to keep the nose headed quickly in the requested direction. And, critically, they offer a smoothly modulated ride over bumps, swales and potholes
Buick hasn't really touched the underpinnings of the Verano for this go-fast iteration.
Pushed towards the true luxury buyer, the Verano might shine brighter as well. We've mentioned that we do like the car's overall cabin design and suite of technology, but the truth is that a few more dollars spent on metal, leather and real wood (if you must) in the cabin would make it more of a credible premium space. A slightly glitzier center stack in place of the dull, button-heavy unit there now could potentially net Audi comparisons. Don't misunderstand – the Verano Turbo's insides offer quite a good luxury-like value, but that's a different thing than being luxurious.
The Verano Turbo could be one hell of a Chevy Cruze SS.
The Verano Turbo, like the Regal GS introduced before it, will likely be pointed to as an example of Buick turning the corner, if, years from now, General Motors' most ill-understood brand can start to build a reputation for itself again amongst youngish American shoppers. Dual-natured though it may be, the high-po Verano is, quite honestly, entertaining to drive, and priced and spec'd very well against a pretty weak set of direct competitors. But that future is both uncertain and likely to be pretty far off.
It easily outpaces the few other quasi-luxury players in the country.
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