For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Exterior Color: Yellow
Interior Color: Burgundy
Number of Cylinders: 8
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Well, all good things must come to an end. For 2015, the Buick Verano's experiment with a manual transmission will cease, as the American manufacturer has announced it will discontinue the 6MT in the turbocharged version of its compact sedan. According to Buick, the take rate on the Verano Turbo 6MT was (unsurprisingly) low, leading to its discontinuation.
That's not the only bit of news for the Verano, though. After a few years on the market, Buick has seen fit to refresh the popular sedan. The visual changes aren't huge, really, with subtle tweaks to the headlights and taillights. We'd bargain that the average passer-by wouldn't notice a difference between the two.
The main aesthetic change is a new appearance package, available on the mid-range Convenience and Leather option groups. Unimaginatively called just that - Appearance Package - it offers up a new paint color, Desert Dusk Metallic, as well as a grille treatment and a rear spoiler. The new package is, however, limited to naturally aspirated models.
The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Survey (right) is out, and the top two spots look much the same as last year's list with Lexus and Toyota in first and second place, respectively. However, there are some major shakeups for 2014, with Acura plunging eight spots from third in 2013 to 11th this year, and Mazda replaces it on the lowest step of the podium. Honda and Audi round out the top five. This year's list includes six Japanese brands in the top 10, two Europeans, one America and one Korean.
Acura isn't the only one taking a tumble, though. Infiniti is the biggest loser this year by dropping 14 spots to 20th place. Other big losses come from Mercedes-Benz with an 11-place fall to 24th, and GMC, which declines 10 positions to 19th.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's not traditional mechanical bugs hauling down these automaker's reliability scores. Instead, pesky problems with infotainment systems are taking a series toll on the rankings. According to Consumer Reports, complaints about "in-car electronics" were the most grumbled about element in new cars. Problem areas included things like unresponsive touchscreens, issues pairing phones and multi-use controllers that refused to work right.
Just the other day, we told you about how Lincoln isn't really a luxury brand, according to Ford's head design man, J Mays. His argument was that Lincoln lacked the unique DNA to differentiate it from the rest of the market, although the arrival of the MKZ is beginning to change that. Now, we have this video from Autoline Detroit, where Jim Hall, an analyst for 2953 Analytics who was quoted in yesterday's Lincoln story, explains the influence of certain styling cues and how they impact the brands.
Using BMW (Angel Eyes) and Buick (Ventiports) as examples for small, simple touches that serve to distinguish the brand's vehicles on the road, Hall then points out how changing trademark styling features, as Chevrolet has done on the new Corvette Stingray, can hurt the vehicle's public perception. Take a look at the full video below for an interesting dive into what these styling features mean to their individual brands.