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Auto blogSat, 22 Dec 2012 16:58:00 EST
If VIN tags recently posted online prove accurate, the 2014 Buick Verano may be getting a new base engine. Presently the Verano makes use of GM's 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine in non-turbo trim; 2014 documentation appears to indicate that GM's entry-level luxury compact will instead feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged mill.
If this is the same engine seen in Europe, GM Inside News suggests it may offer 192 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque - useful improvements over the larger naturally aspirated mill's 180 hp and 171 lb-ft. More importantly, the downsized engine would likely improve on the Verano's current fuel mileage estimates of 21 city and 31 highway.
We like the Verano in both of its current iterations, but the 1.6 turbo engine sounds like a worthwhile upgrade if this reports turns out to be true. Plus, if more performance is your bag, baby, there's always the Verano's optional 2.0 turbo engine with an impressive 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft from just 2.0 liters of displacement.
JD Power has released its annual Sales Satisfaction Index Study, and once again Mini and Lexus have taken top honors. Overall, buyers are more satisfied with the auto-buying sales experience than they were last year, with those surveyed reporting an average score of 664 points on a 1,000-point scale. That's up from 648 in 2011. Dealer satisfaction also increased by five points over last year as well.
All told, Lexus brought home an index score of 737, which was high enough to put it atop the luxury brands for the second year in a row. JD Power says Infiniti came in second in that category with a score of 728 and Cadillac rounded out the podium with it's rating of 725. Speaking of Infiniti, that brand saw the single largest jump in sales satisfaction of any brand on the survey, popping up 52 index points over 2011.
Among mass-market brands, Mini ranked highest with a score of 712, followed closely by Buick with 706 and GMC farther down the line with 683. You can check out the full press release below for more information.
One of the things that dogs the full comeback of General Motors is the instability of its marketing. That part of the automaker got yet another big shakeup today when GM confirmed what I have been tweeting for a few days - strong rumors that the Chevrolet and Cadillac ad accounts are walking to new ad agencies.
Cadillac, GM's luxury brand, is going into review from Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis and the indications are that Campbell-Ewald, Chevy's old ad shop, will end up with most or all of it. C-E just announced that it was moving from its long-time home in Warren, MI to a new downtown Detroit office next to Ford Field, just blocks from GM.
The other shoe to drop shortly will be the shift of GM's most important brand, Chevy, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco to McCann-Erickson of Troy, MI. McCann used to be the agency for Buick and GMC, as well as GM's corporate advertising, and has retained some pieces of business over the last few years. Sources have even told us that it was McCann that did a lot of the creative work on Chevy's new ad platform, Find New Roads. (Not to be confused with a former McCann tagline for Saab, "Find Your Own Road.")