2012 Buick Verano FWD 1 SL (914)


This week we’re looking at the 2012 Buick Verano FWD 1SL. It is Buick’s new compact sedan where they say the goal was creating an exceptionally quiet compact sedan that is even quieter than other larger cars. I believe they accomplished their goal and inside is a comfortable and refined compact. It is one of the quietest cars I’ve tested.

Verano features standard On Star safety and security technology. If you have never experienced it you should test it out and you too will be sold on the value. There is a peace of mind that alone is worth the price of admission. On Star includes a free Vehicle Diagnostics service and the navigation capability includes turn by turn voice directions with no need to look at a screen display. In practice I was traveling with a fellow journalist and were so busy talking we missed our turn and had traveled a long way before we realized we were lost in a remote and unfamiliar desert area. With the push of the On Star blue button we were connected to a live person to help get us out of trouble. They stayed with us until we were directed back to civilization.

Another time my wife and I were returning to LA from San Diego, California late at night and we were directed to an open gas station we surely would not have found by ourselves. It simply  removes the anxiety when you have nowhere to turn for that kind of assistance.

OnStar also has the capability of making voice activated phone calls without a cell phone. And a Remote Link application allows you to unlock your doors, start the car, activate lights and horn to locate it, get roadside assistance and more. Really cool.

On Star is exclusive to GM cars and trucks and there are about 6 million subscribers which makes it a viable safety net for the foreseeable future.

Handling & Performance:

Verano is powered by a 2.4-liter Ecotec 4-cylinder engine linked to a standard 6-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged 2.0-liter engine will be offered later.


Very “Today” in its look and feel. And apparently the design led one guy to ask if it was as fast as it looks? No, I hadn’t thought of it being fast but it does have that look.

Fit and Finish:



It is very well priced for the quality, comfort, and quiet ride you get in this class segment of the market and even beyond.

Conveniences and comfort:

In addition to the unique On Star feature, the listing of standard equipment below is broad for the price. I suspect that is, in part, due to the fact that GM has been humbled as it fell from the number one car maker position in the industry, which they enjoyed for about 100 years. Thus they must try ever harder to recapture the top spot… if they ever can. In the meantime you get a lot of great features for the money.

Consumer Recommendation:

Buick division holds the distinction of being the ‘grand daddy’ of GM brands. Buick models are sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, and Israel, with China being its largest market.  Many current Buick models are shared with other GM global subsidiaries.

Recognized Competition:

Buick Verano $26,000, Acura TSX $30,000, Chevrolet Impala $26,000, Ford Fusion $27,000, Honda Accord $24,000, Hyundai Sonata $26,000, Infiniti G Sedan $33,000, Kia Optima $27,000, Lexus IS  $34,000, Nissan Altima $21,000, Subaru Legacy $25,000, Suzuki Kizashi $20,000, Toyota Camry $25,000, Volkswagon Jetta $23,000, Volvo S40 $28,000.

Good News:

Impressive fuel economy for a Racey, sporty and luxury looking Compact car that is well priced. On Star system is standard. It is comfortable and quiet riding.

Bad News:

None noted

Standard Equipment:

2.4 Liter 4-cylinder 180 horsepower engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, rear park assist, On Star turn by turn navigation, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, stability and traction controls, front, side and head curtain and airbag sensing system, rear seat mounted airbags, daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring, 18” allow wheels, theft alarm, leather trim front sport bucket heated seats, driver 6-way seat passenger 8-way manual adjustable seat, power windows & locks, keyless start with remote starter, climate control, cruise control, power outlets front and rear, tilt and telescopic steering column with heated wheel and controls, XM radio with 7” color touch screen, CD/MP3 player and Bose 9 speakers, aux and USB port, Bluetooth, power heated mirrors, fog lights and headlights auto on/off control.

Gas Stats:

$4.27/ Gal avg. March 16, 2012


for more information.

21 City and 32 Highway MPG


MSRP $25,965.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair

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