MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

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Thread: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 CrunkedRL's Avatar
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    Post MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano



    My First Drive
    2012 Buick Verano
    June 25, 2012
    Titus L. (CrunkedRL)


    Verano.JPG

    Every now and then a car comes along that is truly a game changer. This car sets the standard for every other vehicle in it’s competing class whether it be through driving dynamics, luxury appointments, technological wizardry or dynamic design. I think this car has finally arrived in the form of the 2012 Buick Verano. I was a little hesitant about test driving this vehicle initially as I’m still trying to overcome the stodgy old Buick stigma from years of yore. I believe beauty can be found in many unique places and when I saw the Verano for the first time in person I thought to myself that the styling was a little conservative or as I like to call it understated elegance. Buick paid really close attention to the finer details of design without being too pretentious. Having driven my 1998 Saturn SL2 for the past 12yrs. I can honestly say that I’m not really into gimmicky flamboyant car designs. I would much rather prefer vehicles of whom designs will age well.

    As I scoped out the exterior of the Verano I was immediately drawn in by the premium 18” Manoogian wheels . The wheels look far better in person and in my humble opinion are worth the extra coin over the base alloys. The premium wheels have a grey graphite-like finish which should help in camouflaging brake dust really well. As I made my way into the driver’s seat I found the interior to be nothing short of opulent. Every material from the dash to the door inserts and trim pieces looked and felt very high quality. The screen on the center console was large and very well positioned and the redundant buttons on the center stack looked to be deliberately laid out. To my delight the large clumsy parking brake that one would find in the center console near the cupholders has all but been replaced by a small 1’x1’ electronic parking brake button. This was a very neat unique feature and a welcomed change from the norm. The seats would have to be the most comfortable seats I’ve sat in, in any GM product since my former bosses 1991 Pontiac Bonneville SSE. The driver’s seat hugged my 5’6” frame very well and was really plush----which would be great for over the road driving. Rear seat leg and hip room were adequate for a car this size and even the 6’ plus dealer who road with me on the test drive was able to shoe horn himself in the backseat. I normally do not like for dealers to ride along on a test drive but I wanted to prove a point about the rear seat room compared to other cars in this class.

    As I engaged the brake pedal and depressed the push button start I was greeted with the low refined hum of the 2.4l 180hp engine. I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about how much better I think the 2.4 engine sounds in the Verano over the Regal. The Regal seems to trumpet a little too loudly that it is powered by a four cylinder engine whereas the Verano seems to have a quiet confidence about itself when it comes to the 2.4l powerpoint. This could be due to the sound deadening materials and/or variations in exhaust notes being emitted by the Verano over the Regal. Over the road the car was unusually quiet so much so that it almost felt as if I was back in the sound chamber at the Honda plant that I toured in Marysville, OH some months back. I had a full panoramic view of everything in front of me while driving the Verano and even the small, often controversial, front corner windows helped to aid in overcoming blind spots. The Verano was able to get up to speed rather quickly and I think most would be really satisfied with the performance of the base 2.4l over the forthcoming 2.0T engine. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about my SL2 is the fact that I can toss it around and maneuver it rather quickly especially in trying to avoid road obstacles. The Verano outpaced my Saturn in every notable driving dynamic. From maneuvering, cornering, speed, agility, and steering wheel feedback the Verano clearly displayed it's european roots. The Verano handled quite well and the steering wheel albeit electronically controlled was very reminiscent of the hydraulic aided steering systems of the past. It provided me just the right amount of feedback without over compensating.

    The base model Verano was very well equipped and currently Buick Is offering really great lease rates at $239 a month for 24 months. Of course I’m holding out for the turbocharged Verano set to bow next year.

    The Verano overall is a very solid vehicle and in my opinion is at the top of the class in every major category but it does have it’s short comings most notably in the area of storage space. While sitting in the driver’s seat I noticed that storage space throughout the cabin was at a premium. Overhead there was a voided space between to the map lights and sunroof controls. I thought this was a small overhead compartment for sunglasses but to my chagrin the space was just an empty void with a plastic covering. There was a small cubby at the bottom of the center stack, a storage compartment under the armrest and one near the left side of the steering wheel but none of them really yielded a lot of space. I like sunglasses and have collected many over the years but I would be hard pressed to find a space for them in the Verano. The trunk space was I think marginally biggerr than my SL2’s but I probably wouldn’t use this car for hauling a lot of large bulky items anyway.

    So I conclude my 'mini' review of the Verano by saying it is a game changer and for some probably a sleeper. For years I have been looking for premium small car to replace my SL2 and I think I’ve found it. I’ve test driven and looked at a few other compacts over the past year including the Ford Focus and most recently the Acura ILX. But to me there is just no comparison to the overall quality, performance, and luxury refinement found in the Verano. I may still be a couple years shy of making this purchase but I don’t know of any other car both present and forthcoming that would sway me from buying a Verano.

    Many props to GM for executing such a well thoughtout emmaculately appointed product.
    Thanks Dan Tobin Buick for a great potential car buying experience

    Pros:
    Elegant, upscale, opulent, interior
    Best in class base model equipment package
    Eloquently quiet well controlled ride
    Seated comfort; some of the best around
    Great lease rates available

    Cons:
    Storage space is at a premium throughout
    Last edited by CrunkedRL; 06-25-2012 at 04:00 PM.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Bob Daniels Buick-GMC FTW.

    I have yet to visit Dan Tobin actually. A little far from where I am.

    Nice review.
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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Quote Originally Posted by FenwickHockey65 View Post
    Bob Daniels Buick-GMC FTW.

    I have yet to visit Dan Tobin actually. A little far from where I am.

    Nice review.
    Heya Fen thanks! BTW I thought about visiting Bob Daniels but I'm very leery about driving in Morse rd. traffic especially in the old Northland area. Over at Dan Tobin's they have access to a nice little driving course that mixes just enough street and freeway driving to get a good feel for the car. At Dan Tobin's they were nice and ironically they all wore red polos which reminded me of my beloved Saturn retailer from years past.
    Last edited by CrunkedRL; 06-25-2012 at 01:42 PM.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Bob Daniels is my dealer of choice for service...they've taken care of the truck twice now. The first fix was a pretty big problem and they knocked off a good chunk of the labor cost to give me a break.

    They actually had the first Verano in the Columbus area, I got to poke around it the first week it was there.

    We'll probably be picking up a 2013 1SD Verano soon. Either that or a Cruze.
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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Quote Originally Posted by FenwickHockey65 View Post
    Bob Daniels is my dealer of choice for service...they've taken care of the truck twice now. The first fix was a pretty big problem and they knocked off a good chunk of the labor cost to give me a break.

    They actually had the first Verano in the Columbus area, I got to poke around it the first week it was there.

    We'll probably be picking up a 2013 1SD Verano soon. Either that or a Cruze.
    Huh....interesting Bob Daniels looks bigger off the street than any other Buick dealership here in C-town so I'm not too surprised they were the first to take delivery of a Verano. I wouldn't mind having a Verano 1SL but the Turbo model I looked at, at the NAIAS last year had dual exhaust and rearview mirror sidemarker lights. I can probably live without the dual exhaust but the sidemarkers are a must have for me, I'm hoping they eventually offer them on a sub-turbo model. I surmise the Verano is replacing one of your trucks?
    Last edited by CrunkedRL; 06-25-2012 at 01:55 PM.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    My dad actually "totaled" my mom's Malibu so it'll be replacing that.

    I say "totaled" because the insurance company just doesn't feel like fixing it. She still runs, the front fascia is just destroyed. Besides that, no other exterior damage.

    There was the possibility of frame damage as well so I'm assuming that's what caused their decision.
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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Quote Originally Posted by FenwickHockey65 View Post
    My dad actually "totaled" my mom's Malibu so it'll be replacing that.

    I say "totaled" because the insurance company just doesn't feel like fixing it. She still runs, the front fascia is just destroyed. Besides that, no other exterior damage.

    There was the possibility of frame damage as well so I'm assuming that's what caused their decision.
    I see, I imagine the insurance company have not paid out the claim yet as they would've confiscated the car by now...insurance guy here.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Quote Originally Posted by CrunkedRL View Post
    I see, I imagine the insurance company have not paid out the claim out as they would've confiscated the car by now...insurance guy here
    Oh it's paid, they wrote us a check just a few days after the accident, for more than she was worth actually. I have no idea where the Malibu is now.

    Just waiting on 2013 models to hit dealer lots.
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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Pretty good review.

    I sat in a Verano at an autoshow and was immediately impressed by what GM has done in such a small package. Im waiting for the turbo to come out to see if I want to truly drive a FWD turbo car. Plus, for its price and eqiupment its just a good deal.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    I said it elsewhere, but I'll repeat it here. I hated the Verano when I saw the pictures, I thought it was more bland than any other Buick in the past 15 years - and I think the 2000-era LeSabre and Regal make toasters look downright sexy.

    But then I saw the Verano in person, and in person I would say it's the most attractive car in the Buick sedan lineup. I find the exterior of the Kia Optima and 2013 Ford Fusion more appealing, but that's about the only midsize or smaller sedans that in my view trump the Verano.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Pretty good review.

    I sat in a Verano at an autoshow and was immediately impressed by what GM has done in such a small package. Im waiting for the turbo to come out to see if I want to truly drive a FWD turbo car. Plus, for its price and eqiupment its just a good deal.
    I'll say, I've seen alot of Verano's flooding the web markets with list prices in the circa $22K-$23K range which is a really good deal for the amount of standard options it has. I think the power to weight ratio is pretty good in the 2.4 so I know when I test drive the 2.0T it is going to send me into a state of absolute nirvana.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    I said it elsewhere, but I'll repeat it here. I hated the Verano when I saw the pictures, I thought it was more bland than any other Buick in the past 15 years - and I think the 2000-era LeSabre and Regal make toasters look downright sexy.

    But then I saw the Verano in person, and in person I would say it's the most attractive car in the Buick sedan lineup. I find the exterior of the Kia Optima and 2013 Ford Fusion more appealing, but that's about the only midsize or smaller sedans that in my view trump the Verano.
    Michael I know what you mean pictures can be very deceptive. I really didn't find the Verona all that appealing either from the initial press release photos. But then I saw it at the autoshow and more recently on the road and I now think it is a very nice looking car and I too like both the newer Kia Optima and 13' Ford Fusion designs.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    I test drove one. It was nice overall, and we would/will consider one for an upcoming car purchase. Just 2 things that I thought I wasn't 100% happy with:

    1. The car IS a compact car, but it still seemed a bit tight inside. Once again, not bad for a compact, but I felt more comfortable and seemed to have more room in the drivers seat of the Chevy Sonic than this.

    2. The 2.4. Once again, not a huge complaint as it actually was a bit quicker from a stop than I would have expected---just the problem was how it was when you hit the gas at 30 or 40mph---it is a real dog when trying to accelerate form 30-40mph and up.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    I think that this car should have an 8-way power driver's seat as std with lumbar. The base models lack these features thus making the driver's seat hard to get comfortable in for me and my friend. The base engine should be the 2.5 as in the Malibu by now as the 2.4 seems to run out of steam real quick as speeds increase let alone if there are passengers and or cargo aboard. Agree about the interior storage, it is poor on every current Buick sedan for some unknown reason. I also think the interior could be roomier as in the similar sized Elantra which positively feels like a limo in the back seat in comparison.

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    Re: MINI REVIEW: 2012 Buick Verano

    CrunkedIRL, thanks for posting the thoughtful review! I'm going to document everyone's valuable feedback in this thread, and I'm always available via direct message if anyone would like me to document their feedback further or investigate concerns on their behalf!

    Best,

    Katie
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