2013 Buick Verano Turbo

2013 Buick Verano Turbo Extended Review

Buick pumps more power into its luxury compact.

By: Tim Healey

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: March 18th, 2013

Buick is working hard to make inroads in the entry-luxury segment, taking on cars like the Acura ILX with its Chevrolet Cruze-based Verano compact. It's not unusual for enthusiast buyers to shop in this segment, so Buick decided to add an optional turbo engine.

We like the non-turbo Verano well enough; it's a quiet, competent entry-level luxury sedan, but there's always room for more performance and pizazz.

  • Performance

    The Verano Turbo is a modern sleeper--a car that accelerates quickly without looking or sounding as fast as it is. The turbo helps get it moving quickly, and the six-speed manual transmission is well-matched to the engine.

    Buick gets the ride right on this one--it's always smooth and never stressed out, but it's firm enough to be sporty. When it comes to handling, the Verano's smoothness gives the driver the confidence necessary to drive fast, but the steering is too light and not accurate enough, and the car never really engages the driver. It's easy to drive fast, but not fun.

    At more sedate speeds, the composed ride and quiet cabin are appropriate for an entry-level luxury car.

  • Exterior

    Turbo models get a dual exhaust and rear spoiler as well a badge identifying the car as a turbo model. Otherwise, it has the standard Verano look, which differentiates itself from the Cruze with its hood portholes and waterfall grille, along with lines that are influenced by other models in the Buick lineup, like the larger LaCrosse and Regal sedans.

    A trained eye will spot the Cruze DNA, but Buick does a good enough of job of separating the two.

  • Interior

    Opting for the Turbo doesn't change the interior much. Buyers who do so get aluminum pedals, but that's about it. The big news here is that a lot of features that are optional on non-turbo Veranos, such as heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and an uplevel audio system, are standard on Turbo models.

    Buick's QuietTuning sound deadening material is also standard, and it works, making this one quiet ride.

    Headroom and legroom are adequate, if not excessive, up front, but things get a little tighter in the rear.

  • Final Thoughts

    If you like quiet luxury cars with a dash of performance, the Verano Turbo will fit the bill. It does both the luxury thing and the performance thing fairly well, although it's not exceptional in either area. The Acura ILX is a better performer (at least with the 2.4 four-cylinder engine), and the Acura TSX and Audi A4 do luxury a bit better.

    If you're just looking for a competent luxury compact, there is no reason to splurge on the Turbo. The Verano is already a pretty solid car, and while it does offer more power and solid performance, the Turbo isn't "must have" enough--it's the Verano for leadfoots, but not the Verano for all.

  • Specs, Features, and Prices

    Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic or six-speed manual

    Drive Wheels: Front-wheel-drive

    Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city/31mpg highway (21/30 w/ automatic)

    Base Price: $29,105

    As-tested price: $30,785 (includes $895 destination fee)

    Available Features: heated front seats, heated steering wheel, navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB port, auxiliary port, rear spoiler, dual-zone climate control, tilt/telescope steering wheel.

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