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#29 of 87 My 2012 Buick Verano Comprehensive review
Apr 14, 2012 (7:28 pm)
A review of my 2012 Buick Verano just after passing 1900 kms
General note – This review is not intended to either prove or disprove anyone’s prior, existing opinion(s) & or reviews of the car. It is, for all intents and purposes, my thoughts after having driven up to, and just passing the 1900 kms mark. I am not, and do not claim to be a professional auto reviewer. However, like many of you, I do happen to like cars & truth be told I am really, really liking this vehicle.
And NO, I am not either 60 or 70. But let’s just say I am in my earlier 40’s.
About me: American born but raised in Lugano Switzerland in my early hood then back to the U.S where I served in the USMC and afterwards worked at Boeing under Alan Mulally’s leadership. Now a part of the Canadian landscape. My Grandfather, who raised me in Lugano (Switzerland) basically retired from MBenz. As such, he was truly passionate about cars and as such I was raised around Alfas, Fiats, Opels, Peugeots, Renaults Porsches, you get the picture. He was also good friends with Clay Regazzoni and I was offered the opportunity to be introduced to Niki Lauda. As a side note, my Nonno most idolized the Opel GT.
Cars I have owned: Ford Pinto, Toyota Starlet, Toyota Celica, Chevelle, (2) Chevy Camaros, Chevy S-10, Merkur XR4Ti, Audi A4, Suzuki Sidekick, VW Jetta, Mazda Miata and lastly the Verano. As it happens, once the Verano Turbo arrives I may be upgrading to it.
What I was looking for in a new car: An entry level luxury / luxury vehicle focusing on several aspects of the car ownership experience to include: well built, reliable, great to drive, safe, decent on gas, comfortable & lastly aesthetically pleasing.
On to the car
2012 Buick Verano – (EXT) White Diamond Tri-Coat - (INT) Cashmere Leather Package with Intellink (less Navigation) but with the optional wheel package.
Average combined mileage so far (as per trip computer): 12.4 L - Not that great but as it happens, and with anyone being familiar with Richmond, B.C., one should know that it has more stoplights per capita than the rest of the world combined. Not sure as to what the City Planners where thinking when designing roads, but traffic must not have been one of their top priorities. IMO, Bangladesh has better roads for Heaven’s sake.
So, why the Verano? The only reason that I was swayed in the first place towards this purchase was after being talked into test driving a Chevy Cruze. After doing so, it led me to believe, that for once, GM along with its other American counterparts, were finally changing for the better. The fact that the Verano has German DNA also helped to have it as one of my choices.
Interior: All that I can say is wow. The fit & finish in this thing is truly a step up for GM. As it has been highlighted in several professional reviews, if one was to remove the badging one would think they are sitting inside a Bimmer or Audi. It is really that good. But can it be considered luxury? Well, that defines what luxury means to each one of us. Is it a Bentley? No. Is it an Audi A7? No. But I would be diligent in stating that the Verano’s interior can definitely go head to head with any of its luxurious counterparts. And considering the price of entry, one should not find much to fault in its execution.
The seats are well bolstered and I have found it to be relatively easy to find a good driving position. All the controls, knobs, buttons etc. move and/or click with a reassuringly quality feel when either being pushed and/or pressed. The instrument cluster, along with its gauges, is set up very nicely in pods which I have found to be easy to read in all lighting levels being either sunny or at night. I would have preferred that Buick use white background lighting as opposed to the “usual” and overused orange and blue hues. But it is not something to really complain about. The cabin ambient lighting is just beautiful. Additionally, while driving at night, the chrome on the speed / tach pods reflect outside reflections form streetlights which truly help in exuding some sort of class. All that I can say is that they really thought about everything when designing the interior. The Bose audio system is decent enough. I am aware that everyone craps on Bose’s back door in regards to their sound reproduction qualities but I am not buying a car so I can listen to Beethoven or Bach in “D” Minor, or in my case, Eminem, Jay-Z, Wyclef Jean and other forms of Hip Hop etc., at 700 Watts of power. Is it nice? Yes. Does it sound good? Yes. I believe that GM with its “Quiet Tuning” initiative has achieved what they set out to do. As previously highlighted in several reviews I have had passengers ask me if the engine was running. It is really whisper quite inside. So, I guess, all the better for Bose to do its thing as advertised.
In regards to all the radio & heating / air conditioning controls on the center console. In short, S-I-M-P-L-E. I have read reviews stating that there are so many buttons that it is confusing to use them. I say, YEAH RIGHT! to that. Everything is set up so simple a 2nd grader can figure everything out in about 3 minutes.
I find that my choice of interior color mix is quite nice. Not old looking but then yet not the same atypical boring all black with aluminum a la MBenz. One thing is for sure. It is not austere. There are wood grain inlays (fake) on the door pulls and around the center dashboard inset in brushed aluminum dash trim which add a subliminal classy touch. Other than that the color on the rest of the dashboard and doors is two toned (brown / cashmere) and it is made with good quality plastics. Everything, gaps – panel alignments etc. is up to snuff. If anything, this in itself should speak in volumes as to how different, and better, the Big 3 have improved in the past few years. Speaking of doors. When they are either opened or closed these doors shut with that Teutonic thunk. Not sure if this is due to Opel’s help in the engineering but I find the Verano very substantial or solid, so-to-speak.
Technologies on board – In short, Onstar & Intellink with Pandora / Sticher are amazing to have. The fact that I can also start, stop, warm the seats & steering wheel, check my car’s vitals, and do all this with my phone is a feature that I can wholeheartedly brag about. Yup, truth be told! I have had several German auto owners that have asked as to why this is not available in their cars for the price of entry.
Exterior – Simple, classy, and elegant without being flashy. In this respect I really have not much to say since everyone has their personal taste in respect to how a car should look like.
#30 of 87 My Verano Review Part 2
Apr 14, 2012 (7:30 pm)
So, not to get into a heated debate over this, but knowing how great Hyundai is doing these days, I may be in the minority when I say that I am not a big fan of their fluid sculpted look. At first I liked it but now it seems already somewhat dated. But then again I can say the same for the VW Jetta, which basically looks like everything else in their lineup. I can never be too sure as to which car I am seeing ahead of me, or behind me for that matter. Jetta? Jetta GLI? Passat? Audi A4? They all look alike. Does it work? I guess it must since they are selling like candy. Alas I continue to receive positive feedback in the design etho of the Verano. The headlights work as advertised. The blue “halo” around the headlights help in adding some substance to the front of the car without having that “Wow, looks like a BMW” statement. In fact, IMO, the LED crap that is happening has gotten way out of hand. I would presume that all auto designers must have only 1 letter in their alphabet this being an “L” shaped design theme. At any rate, the High Beams also work very well and not sure as to the way that they have been aimed but have had several cars flashing me back to turn them off. The taillight design/implementation is also very simple & clean. No weird shapes on the back. Everything looks appropriately dimensioned to include the mostly talked feature, this being the chrome Angry Birds eyelids. I personally like them and it does create some sort of design flair on the back.
Engine & Suspension – This is an easy one. Great engine, very smooth and quiet, but it certainly could use the addition of a few ponies. The car does feel heavy and being several hundred kilos heavier than most cars in its segment, GM should really work towards in rectifying this. But I am told that the Verano GS should be arriving soon with an extra 40HP so I guess they are already aware of this. As for as the Suspension system and how well it works all that I can basically say is that the car feels pretty planted and feels secure when driven. Again, It is in fact very Teutonic in the way that it drives, soaks up potholes pretty well, is stable. The car is quick to respond to driver inputs and it handles quite well. The car arrives with pretty much all the standard fanfare of today’s models, Traction Control, Slippage Warning etc. IT IS a great car to drive and always look forward to taking the long way home just to keep on driving it.
So at the end: If anyone should have any doubts as to how good this car really is, you should really take the time to test one. Is it better than A, B, or C? Well that is subjective in itself since what is purchased should only be dependent on the requirements of the end user. All that I can say is that I am duly impressed. Very good luxury car for the price I paid for it. Is it a 3 Series? Audi A4? Possibly not. But does it aspire to be? Not really. But I can say this. GM has garnered its fair share of criticisms as of lately but criticisms aside GM has always been at the forefront of automobile technology. I for one, can wholeheartedly say that I have been won over by the Verano. Or better yet an American car. In truth if they can continue to build the cars that they are building they should be able to change people’s perceptions of what kind of company that GM aspires to be.
#31 of 87 Re: My 2012 Buick Verano Comprehensive review [todefy]
Apr 15, 2012 (6:36 am)
Does the Verano's Pandora work in Canada? I know they turned off the online version of Pandora because of rights issues some time ago and you could no longer access it from Canada.
#32 of 87 Re: My 2012 Buick Verano Comprehensive review [ab348]
Apr 16, 2012 (6:22 am)
Good morning ab348,
I don't have any resources available to answer your specific question as I assist US drivers. However, GM of Canada may be able to assist you with this if you wanted to contact them at 800-263-3777 (Hours: M-F 7:30am - 11:30pm, Sat 7:30am - 6:00 EST).
All the best, and I'm sorry that I can't answer your question for you right here,
GM Customer Service
#33 of 87 Toughtful Review >>Thanks!
Apr 16, 2012 (7:19 am)
Great observations on the Verano. The non independant beam rear axle is a cheap out on the Verano and really keeps the Audi comparision from working for me. What I also noticed is that the front seat recliners are non power and hard to work. Also something inhertited from it's Cruze sibling. 12 to 13 mpg Avgis unacceptable mileage for a small car! Is anyone else doing better than this? Does the car at least have back up beeper alarms inside? Are the tailights LEDs?
Conversly the sound suppression work on the Verano is world class! Honda needs to sit up and take note! I'm going to look at the Acura ILX due out this spring before I make any small car decision.
#34 of 87 Buick Verano 2012
Jun 17, 2012 (5:37 am)
Update on Verano 2012 6 month to-date.
This is the little lady's ride and I get it on weekends. So far no problems to mention at all. This car is well built and fit and finish are excellent. For a car in this category it handles well and mpg not bad but could be better.
Pick up outstanding and rides like a library on the highway. Compared to Regal I tool around with this car comparable but a notch better as far as transmission and luxurious interior.
Only thing to note, front end is very low and I have a sidewalk crossing my driveway so I have a slight incline. This puppy front end dam rubs against it when I pull out to fast. Keep in mind also when parking near parking lot bumpers this baby will rip apart if you go to close.
Had a recall notice regarding air bag, but dealer inspected and said all was good!
Thats it for now!
#35 of 87 Re: Missing options [m6user]
Jun 22, 2012 (9:56 am)
A rear view camera will be available for the 2013 models.
#36 of 87 Re: Missing options [guy1974]
Jun 22, 2012 (10:56 am)
Yeah, I read about that. What about Homelink? They put it in the 2012 Regal so I thought maybe they'd put in the 2013 Verano. I just don't understand their thought processes. They want to market Buick as a premium car but don't even offer stuff that is standard on most other premium makes or even offer it as an option. Strange.
#37 of 87 Re: Missing options [m6user]
Jun 26, 2012 (6:41 am)
I suspect something must be cut somewhere, or the Verano would end up as expensive as the top end Regal or Lacrosse. It has got to be a conundrum to figuring out how to market a small luxury car without having it cost every bit as much as every other premium car. I think most manufacturers choose to make less profit on small premium cars and hope to make it up in somewhat greater volume. However, in the Verano's case, Buick is wading into territory (premium compact) where it has no track record or reputation. It certainly has made a good first effort, but sales are hardly remarkable so far.
Jun 26, 2012 (7:58 am)
Truth is you can get better deals on larger cars that have been out longer such as the Regal Vs Verano etc. It always costs to be first with a new model. If you option the Verano up too much, you'd be wise to price out other family models.