Autoreview by Veeno Dewan

The 2013 Buick Verano is Buick’s first entry into the luxury compact car segment and is aimed at such stalwarts as the Lexus IS 250, the Acura TSX and Audi A3. The look is sleek and defined with the traditional waterfall grille and side character lines as found on the Buick Regal. It is neat, smart and conventional looking rather than showy.

Standard exterior touches include 18- inch alloys wheels, chrome mouldings, body colored door handle with chrome detailing, front HID headlights and fog lights.

The Verano is powered by a 2.4L 4-cylinder Ecotec engine delivering 180 horsepower. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and transmits power via the front wheels.

Interior equipment as standard includes: power, heated door mirrors, power heated seats. Leather seating surfaces, rear 60/40 split seats, tilt and telescopic steering wheel power windows and doors, , cruise control and ambient lighting in addition to a host of creature features. features include CD and MP3 player, USB port, Bluetooth audio, 7 inch color touch screen and Buick Premium available features include push-button start, Bose audio, remote start as well as a heated steering wheel and seat heaters that are automatically activated by temperatures below 7 degrees C (45 F). The Buick cabin is a sea of luxury with plenty of Soft-touch materials, gleaming wood, rich leather and aluminum accents as well as ambient lighting.

Based on same Delta II platform underpinning the Chevrolet Cruze, the Verano is engineered quite differently. For starters the suspension setup is composed of MacPherson struts up front with a Z-link and Watt’s linkage setup in the rear while the shocks and springs are performance enhanced. In addition the setup is placed further back under the body for better handling and as a side benefit the rear suspension does not eat into the trunk space so much. In addition layers of sound proofing material and a fanatic attention to detail ensure the Buick Verano is incredibly quite inside.

Our tester came in at $27,620 plus options including the 18- inch ten split wheels with silver finish priced at $525 plus a power sliding sunroof priced at $1725.

On the road the Verano is a supremely comfortable and eerily silent car to drive. It is not an out and out sport car and has been tuned that way it seems for more relaxed sedate driving. Steering is medium feel courtesy of electric delivery and does not have the sporty feedback one associates with its competition. Still, the tuned suspension handles winding roads and rough surfaces competently with good steering return and resistance to body roll and scrabble.

As standard Stabilitrack electronic stability control, traction control and a tire pressure monitoring system also aid in safety whilst a full complement of head, side airbags and knee bags offer extra protection.

Standout attributes are the simply amazing quite ride and hushed cabin and the comfortable front seats. Underhood, the 2.4L 4-cylinder Ecotec engine delivers 180 horsepower and its attendant 6-speed automatic transmission is a solid unit. Fuel economy seems to be its forte rather than fast acceleration and responsiveness. The Verano’s fuel figures are an estimated 6.4L/100km fuel economy during highway driving and 9.3L/100km in the city.

A Buick Verano with a 250-hp turbocharged engine is on the cards and due at some point which will no doubt offer more scintillating performance. Offered in four trims, the Verano will appear in Canadian showrooms later this year, starting at $22,595. Not much to complain about, although the high trunk means more alertness whilst backing up as there is no backup camera option.

To sum up the Verano is a very impressive first attempt at a competent luxury compact sedan and is defiantly needed to bring in younger buyers to the brand. It is a good complement to the excellent Buick Regal and Enclave line. Highly recommended and offering very good value in terms of luxury and equipment, the Verano is tight, well made and high quality. Offered in four trims, it is on sale in Canadian showrooms starting at $22,595 – $27,620.

2013 Buick Verano Price as tested $30, 849 including destination charge and options