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2012 Buick Verano

2012 Buick Verano Prices
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2012 Buick Verano Fuel Economy
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2012 Buick Verano — Flash Drive

By Staff of MSN Autos

The Buick Verano takes a while to grow on you. The compact sedan doesn't make a good first impression; its styling is dowdy, and the steering wheel is thick, more suggestive of arthritis than a good steering feel. But if you stick with it the Verano overcomes these issues. There is a solid-handling car hidden underneath that accelerates well enough to make freeway driving more relaxing than stressful. It's even fun to drive on back roads. Not much has to change to make the Verano a great car. But until those changes are in place I worry that the Verano depends too much on a superficial appeal to American patriotism rather than on a straightforward pitch for long-term consideration of its underlying virtues. – Paul Hagger

The 2012 Buick Verano is a surprise. Here's a new near-luxury compact sedan with an attractive design, luxury amenities and a solid sport sedan lurking just beneath the surface. The Verano has an aggressive stance and its design has some attitude, but I find the portholes in the hood and the extra chrome above the taillights a bit much. Based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze, the Verano targets a luxury ride, but you definitely feel the influence from GM's European Opel division. While the Verano is smooth and very quiet, the steering is still crisp and responsive and the chassis remains well balanced, giving the Verano a very composed feel. The 2.4-liter 180-horsepower Ecotec 4-cylinder engine delivers just the right amount of power, and the 6-speed automatic does an excellent job responding to a driver's input. With an EPA rating of 32 mph highway, the Verano delivers consistently in the mid-20s. The Verano's interior offers the level of luxury and refinement now expected from Buick in terms of design, colors and materials. The large A-pillars and outside mirrors create blind spots for the driver, however. The small window helps on the passenger side, but it doesn't really improve driver's side visibility. – Mike Meredith

Not to be too cliché, but this is not your father's Buick. The Verano carries on the recognizable Buick styling, which looks good. The sedan's interior is attractive and sports 2-tone leather trim, but it's nothing fancy. There are a lot of buttons on the center console - it might take some time to remember the location of every control. The rear seat is surprisingly cramped; I expected more rear-seat room based on the size of the car. But the trunk is quite large, so apparently that's where the rear seat legroom went. Driving the Verano is quite nice - its ride is very quiet and smooth, but not completely removed from the road. It's not like driving a pillow, which is what you might expect from Buick. Steering is very precise and responsive, giving the Verano a sporty feel. The 180-horsepower engine is more than adequate, but I expected fuel economy to be a bit higher; I averaged around 24 mpg. Overall, the Verano is a good alternative if you're looking for a premium compact that starts under $25K. – Perry Stern

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BB01 - 8/31/2014 3:14:26 AM