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
Not Luxury. Not Sport. Not Buick. Not Bad.
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.
Of course, "interesting" is rarely a descriptor that fills one with lust - and so it goes with this example. There are two competing forces within this near-premium subcompact sedan, and the balance struck between them must resonate with any potential customer before the Verano Turbo can become a serious purchase consideration.
People are a weird sort. Even after registering over 70 recalls through the first three-quarters of 2014, General Motors saw its best Q3 results since Jimmy Carter was in the White House, registering over 2.4 million global sales between June and September on the back of strong results in the US and China.
US sales were marshaled by good results for GM's pickups, the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which bumped the manufacturer's truck market share to 35.6 percent, up nearly three points from Q1 2014. Buick has seen healthy growth as well, with the Encore dominating its segment for the sixth month running.
It was China, though, that really bolstered GM's sales, as the company's efforts to top last year's record-setting 3.16 million units continued apace. Small SUV sales saw massive growth, with Encore, Chevrolet Trax and Captiva figures jumping 90 percent in Q3. Brand-wise, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick all saw sales gains in the PRC, with each recording double-digit year-over-year jumps. Cadillac sales alone were up 63 percent compared to the first nine months of 2013.
Looking to set itself apart in the mid-luxury segment, Buick is looking to introduce a diesel engine somewhere in its US lineup. And according to Edmunds, the two best chances of a diesel Buick rest with the Encore and Verano.
In both our First Drive and Review of the 2013 Encore, our chief complaint about the compact crossover was the the lack of power from the 138-horsepower turbo engine. Edmunds says that the recently introduced 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (with both gas and diesel variants) from the Encore's overseas cousin, the Opel Mokka, could make its way into the Encore delivering the much-needed boost in power.
Then there's the Verano. As a close relative to the Chevy Cruze, which just added a diesel engine for 2014, the article speculates that a Verano Diesel might actually be the more "probably candidate" if and when Buick decides to add a diesel model to its portfolio. Either way, offering such an engine in one of its products could be a great way for Buick to differentiate itself from Cadillac and possibly even attract buyers from Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz looking for a luxurious, fuel-efficient vehicle.