On The Road

2013 Buick Verano offers a trip back in time

Photo By: courtesy of General Motors
Photo Courtesy Of General Motors

The 2013 Buick Verano Turbo averages 24 mpg overall.

If you’re of a certain age and remember when General Motors led the world in automobile production, then you may be wondering whether the good old days could possibly return.

Driving the luxurious new 2013 Buick Verano Turbo recently – with an optional six-speed stick shift complete with clutch, for heaven’s sake – we were almost convinced one could roll back time.

The fact that the General Motors lineup now includes only three marques – Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac – indicates that time inevitably marches on. Nevertheless, it is nice to report that with the Verano, GM once again has a solid four-door, four-passenger sedan in the mid-range market that owners can proudly tout was built in Detroit.

And with the passage of time, the new offering from GM comes with 10 airbags, rear-vision camera, side blind-zone and rear cross-traffic alert systems, stability and braking safety systems and fuel efficiency of 20 mpg city, 31 highway and 24 overall.

The Verano boasts four available trim levels; the lower three levels are built around the underpowered base version of the 2-liter Ecotec engine.

We would definitely choose the top-of-the-line Verano Premium with turbocharged engine. At approximately $30,000, it is less expensive and offers more power than comparably equipped alternatives such as the Lexus IS250, the Acura ILX 2.4L and the Mercedes C250.

What we liked: Response of the 250-horsepower turbo engine with the superb handling of the new chassis; comfort and luxury of the attractive and well-appointed interior; and safety offered by the all-around radar sensors that not only watch parking distances front and rear, but also provide alerts when backing out of blind parking spaces.

What we would change: Manual adjustments for the seats when all comparable makes offer automatic, multidirectional adjustments; and the somewhat bulbous exterior styling, probably necessary to wrap around the large trunk and spacious interior within the compact length of this mid-sized sedan.

Bottom line: With the comfort, handling, power and quality that GM has built into the new Buick Verano Turbo, it is time to look seriously at this American manufacturer when shopping for a mid-price near-luxury car.

Buick Verano Turbo by the numbers

Vehicle type: 4-door, 4-passenger sedan

Under the hood: Ecotec 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with front-wheel drive; 6-speed automatic transmission (6-speed manual transmission optional); 250 horsepower; 260 lb-ft torque

Get up and go: Zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds

Length: 184 inches

Weight: 4,371 pounds

Cargo space: 14.3 cubic feet

Fuel economy: 20 mpg city, 31 highway, 24 overall

Price: $29,105, plus dealer prep

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