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Buick Verano (2013)

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There hasn’t been too much excitement at the Houston Auto Show in the past few years except for a handful of cars; the Buick Verano one of them.

New as a 2012 model, the baby Buick caught many of us journalists’ off guard. Here was entry-level luxury in a compact sedan package that looked great and felt right then and the new 2013 model adds a bit more swagger to it.

The Verano is built on the same platform as the Chevy Cruze, but don’t think for a minute that it looks or acts like a Cruze. Buick managed to massage the ride characteristics and looks – both inside and out – to give the Verano a luxury twist that the Cruze simple doesn’t own.

If you like the look of the Buick line, you’ll love the Verano since most of its design cues were taken from the Enclave, LaCrosse and Regal including an arching roofline and the signature Buick waterfall grille.

The interior really shines with straight forward lines that make sense. On the road, this is one of the quietest cabins on the planet thanks to special glass and attention to the type and placement of noise deadening stuffing.

There are plenty of soft-touch materials found in all the right places on the Verano that give this Buick just the right amount of class.

Another surprising interior find was rear seat legroom. For my 6-foot frame, back seats are NOT usually a priority for knees. Somebody at Buick drank the legroom Koolaid and called my name.

What would a Buick be with some bells and whistles? Well, it wouldn’t be a Buick now, would it? It has all of the goods that you want and expect in an entry-level luxury car and what isn’t standard is certainly available.

The Verano is powered by a solid 2.4-liter EcoTec 4-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower. The 6-speed automatic transmission is my choice for gear boxes, but for those that want to row it yourself, a 6-speed manual is available. Fuel economy is 21-city and 32-highway.

Some naysayers among the motoring press have complained that 180 horses just isn’t enough in the Verano and there should be at least an option for more power. Buick heard those cry babies and now offers a sweet little 2-liter turbo 4-banger that cranks out 250 horsepower and still gets 20 and 30 MPG. Oh yeah…0 to 60 in 6.2 seconds too…from a Buick!

Entry level pricing on entry level luxury starts at $23,080, the turbo model begins at $29,105.
So you’re gonna shop the competition and here’s what you’ll find; The Acura TSX. Nice little ride starting at 30K. The Infiniti G Sedan beginning at 33 grand and the Lexus IS 250 that starts at 33-8. Get the picture? The Buick, starting at 23, is the new found bargain here.

I’m giving the 2013 Buick Verano 4.75 stars out of 5.

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