Just a few days before the official debut at the Detroit Auto Show, Buick has decided it was time to uncover the 2012 Verano. This new compact luxury sedan is the third model Buick has revealed in the past two years. It will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, with its sights set on competing with the Lexus IS 250 and the Audi A3.
The 2012 Buick Verano has a refined styling with a sporty profile, luxurious interior, and a powerful and efficient engine. "Verano expands our lineup, continues Buick’s momentum and gives us a great opportunity to attract a new generation of customers with a product that delivers on their expectations for design, performance and technology," said John Schwegman, vice president of Buick marketing. "It is a smart choice that delivers unexpected luxury in a compact sedan – and it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus."
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Buick Verano.
Exterior and Interior
The 2012 Verano combines design elements from the Enclave, LaCrosse, and Regal to get a bold, detailed black chrome waterfall grille, prominent blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes, chrome accents, premium wheels, and a tailored body-to-wheel relationship. It will be offered with 17" multi-spoke forged alloy wheels as standard, but 18" will also be offered as an option.
Being a luxury sedan, we expected it to feature a comfortable interior with premium soft-touch materials, and that is just what we got. The instrument panel blends with an integrated center stack that houses the infotainment display, climate controls, and radio controls. For the seating, Buick is offering leatherette/fabric seating surfaces, while ebony, cashmere, and a unique Choccachino color are offered on the available leather-trimmed interiors.
When it goes on sale, the 2012 Verano will be offered with an Ecotec 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 177 HP and 170 lb.-ft. torque. This engine will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds and delivers a fuel economy of 31 mpg on the highway. The engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Buick also announced that a 2.0 liter turbo engine will be offered at a later date.
The 2012 Buick Verano will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011. Official pricing for the Verano starts from $23,470, including $885 in destination charges.
As Buick has officially stated, the 2012 Verano will serve as a competitor for the Lexus IS 250 and Audi A3, although we can’t really see how it will do so successfully. The Lexus IS250 is powered by a 2.5-liter V6 engine that delivers 204 HP at 6,400 RPM and 185 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,800 rpm, which is blatantly better than the 177hp produced by the Buick. As far as luxury goes, the Verano has been updated to include better materials, but we’re just not sold on the fact that it will be able to match up to the Lexus standard. What the Buick does have that the Lexus doesn’t is the cheaper price tag, but that price has yet to be confirmed. The Lexus IS250 starts at $32,145.
The Audi A3’s price is a little closer to that of the Buick as it starts at $27,745. It is offered with both diesel and petrol engines. The groundbreaking 2.0 liter TDI clean diesel engine delivers 140hp and 236 lb-ft. of torque, while the 2.0 TFSI delivers 200hp and 207 lb-ft. of torque. So with one faster and one slower than the Verano, the choice is left to the customer. Even US residents will get their opportunity to choose since Audi plans to bring the A3 sedan to the US market.
sporty profile and luxury interior
efficient Ecotec engine
great fuel economy
quite slow for a luxury sedan
only one engine option
no manual transmission offered
The all-new 2012 Buick Verano compact luxury sedan, the brand’s third new model in the past two years and first in the compact luxury segment, will be revealed at the North American International Auto Show.
Verano goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, the latest model in a product renaissance that began with the Enclave and continued with the LaCrosse and Regal. Like them, Verano is distinguished by luxury and technology, including 10 standard air bags, an available heated steering wheel and a next-generation radio system with OnStar-powered connectivity that enables seamless communication between the Verano and the driver’s smart phone.
An Ecotec 2.4L and six-speed automatic powertrain combination is standard and delivers an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. torque (230 Nm), 0-60 mph performance of 8.0 seconds and an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. A 2.0L turbo engine will be offered in the future.
“Verano expands our lineup, continues Buick’s momentum and gives us a great opportunity to attract a new generation of customers with a product that delivers on their expectations for design, performance and technology,” said John Schwegman, vice president of Buick marketing. “It is a smart choice that delivers unexpected luxury in a compact sedan – and it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus.”
Five elements infused in Verano that define its character:
Sculpted design – Refined styling with a sporty profile, blending Buick’s signature cues – including a black chrome waterfall grille, blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes and chrome accents
Luxurious interior – Premium seat comfort and support redefined for a compact sedan and matched with upscale, soft-touch materials and premium leather – all complemented by leading-edge infotainment and ambient lighting
Quiet tuning – The quietest compact sedan on the road – quieter than many midsize and full-size cars – Verano’s quietness is supported by acoustical laminated glass, triple door seals, refined chassis dynamics and specially manufactured 17-inch standard forged alloy multi-spoke wheels, which minimize road noise
Refined and responsive performance – Powerful and efficient Ecotec 2.4L/six-speed automatic powertrain matched with a refined, responsive suspension system, including a sophisticated Watts Z-link rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes with standard anti-lock brakes, full-function traction control and StabiliTrak electronic stability control
Purposeful technology – Convenience and safety features that enhance the driving experience and are rare for the segment, including 10 standard air bags, a next-generation radio, touch screen navigation and advanced connectivity technologies powered by OnStar.
Verano carries the modern Buick design cues introduced on the Enclave and interpreted for the LaCrosse and Regal. They include a bold, detailed black chrome waterfall grille, prominent blue translucent projector beam headlamps, portholes, chrome accents, premium wheels and a tailored body-to-wheel relationship. An arching roofline connects a steeply raked windshield and fast-sloping rear pillars to give the car a sporty profile that’s complemented by large, 17-inch standard multi-spoke forged alloy sterling silver-finish wheels. Two premium 18-inch wheel designs are available.
“Verano translates Buick’s sculptural design language in a new size, with all the refinement and attention to detail pioneered by the Enclave and LaCrosse,” said Dave Lyon, design director. “Beyond all that, it’s simply a great-looking car. It has great proportions and sophisticated details that will look great for years to come.”
Unique to Verano are translucent blue projector-beam headlamps, which give the car a distinctive, upscale appearance. A palette of rich colors enhances the premium look, including Claret Red Tintcoat and White Diamond Tricoat. Other exterior color choices include Black, Olympic White, Switchblade Silver Metallic, Cyber Gray Metallic and Mocha Bronze Metallic.
Complementing Verano’s precisely crafted, premium-accented exterior is an interior marked by exceptional seat comfort and support, as well as premium soft-touch materials, including ambient lighting inspired by the LaCrosse. Metallic and wood trims and warm ambient lighting make the cabin an inviting environment.
Neutral and medium titanium colors are offered on interiors with leatherette/fabric seating surfaces, while ebony, cashmere and a unique Choccachino color are offered on the available leather-trimmed interiors. Verano uses the same premium leather material for the seats that is used on the LaCrosse.
The instrument panel blends with an integrated center stack that houses the infotainment display, climate controls and radio controls. Flush-mounted components within the center stack have a gap tolerance of less than 1 mm, while the instrument panel-to-door panel gaps are less than 5 mm. Those tolerances are among the best in class.
Verano’s headliner cover is made of a knit material that is one of five layers of an acoustically designed headliner to help quiet the passenger compartment. The interior pillar and other moldings are color- and grain-matched to the headliner.
Additional interior standard and available features include:
Push-button engine start
Dual-zone climate control with standard air conditioning (automatic climate control available)
Heated steering wheel
Heated leather-appointed seating
Electronic parking brake
Console armrest that slides and locks
Power windows with express up/down in the front and express down in the rear
Steering wheel radio controls
Uplevel front and rear reading lamps.
Verano’s heated steering wheel and heated seats are linked with the remote start feature. In temperatures lower than 45 F (7 C), the steering wheel heater and seat heaters automatically activate.
Verano delivers the library-quiet driving experience for which Buicks have become known. Quiet-tuning systems, processes and components are built into every facet of the vehicle’s architecture. All are designed to block or absorb sound and dampen or eliminate vibrations.
Hydraulic ride bushings, for example, and an isolated engine cradle reduce or eliminate vibration pathways that could be transmitted to the passenger compartment. Similarly, a number of noise-reducing and noise-cancelling technologies are employed throughout the body structure, including:
The steel front-of-dash panel is sandwiched between two damping mats
Nylon baffles are used in various hollow portions of the body structure and filled with sound-absorbing foam that expands when the body enters the paint oven
The headliner comprises five layers of thermal fiber acoustic material, including a premium woven fabric on the visible outer layer
Patches of sound-damping material are applied strategically throughout the body structure and melt into place when the body passes through the paint oven, allowing the patches to follow the contours of the sheet metal below
Sound insulation material between rear-body structural components that is made from recycled denim
Triple-sealed doors that feature fiberglass “blankets” serve as water, airflow and noise barriers. The doors are also beta-braced, meaning they close with a solid, precise sound and no resonance
Optimized windshield and side glass for quietness, with 5.4-mm-thick laminated windshield and 4.85-mm laminated side glass
The engine’s intake and exhaust systems are tuned for quiet performance
Isolated brake and fuel lines prevent vibrations.
Even the wheels and tires contribute to Verano’s quietness. The standard 17-inch aluminum wheels are manufactured in a unique way to enhance quietness, while the tires minimize road noise.
Refined and responsive performance
A power-dense Ecotec 2.4L four-cylinder, with dual-overhead camshafts, variable valve timing and E85 capability, is the standard engine in the Verano. It produces an estimated 177 horsepower (132 kW) and 170 lb.-ft. of torque (230 Nm). Direct injection technology helps it produce more power with less fuel and lower emissions – including up to 25-percent reduced hydrocarbon emissions when compared with a multi-point fuel injection engine. The engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission that helps the Verano deliver an estimated 31 mpg on the highway. Electric power steering and a more efficient transmission design help optimize fuel economy.
The front suspension uses decoupled MacPherson struts for better isolation, providing greater separation of extreme road conditions – large potholes, for example – from everyday driving conditions. At the rear, a technically advanced Watts Z-link design helps center the rear axle during cornering, which helps keep the Verano’s handling responses symmetrical on both left-hand and right-hand turns. The linkage’s capability to center the axle during cornering delivers a more-balanced driving experience because the rear suspension better follows the lead of the front suspension.
The Z-link design is also lighter and requires less space than a typical fully independent rear suspension. The lower weight contributes to Verano’s fuel economy, while the compact design enables more trunk space.
Steering inputs are executed by an electric power steering system, featuring a dual-pinion rack. Electric powering steering helps save fuel because it removes the conventional power steering pump from the engine’s driven accessories. Engineers tuned the speed-sensitive system to provide quick, direct reaction to steering actions and a strong on-center feel. The system has a ratio of 15.5:1 and requires only slightly more than two turns, lock to lock.
Stopping power is handled by a four-wheel disc brake system with standard anti-lock and electronic brake force distribution, as well as StabiliTrak electronic stability control with traction control.
Comprehensive connectivity is enabled by OnStar’s remote vehicle access, which makes keeping tabs on the vehicle a breeze from anywhere with a smart phone. Highlights include:
Heated steering wheel
Touch screen navigation system
Bluetooth connectivity (both phone and audio)
XM Satellite Radio
Bose sound system
Downloading an OnStar app enables the use of remote vehicle features from anywhere in the world. With a few taps, customers can check the:
Fuel tank level and range
Remaining oil life
Other remote-access features include remote vehicle locking/unlocking, remote vehicle start and a vehicle locator.
The next-generation radio system includes a navigation system, along with USB and auxiliary input jacks, and includes full Bluetooth with streaming audio, structural speech recognition, SMS texts and more. Additional connectivity features include text-to-speech conversion of SMS texts, smart phone app integration (Pandora, Stitcher, etc.) and Gracenote music organization for external devices (USB drives, etc.), including Playlist Plus and Album Art features.
Safety is another component in Verano’s technology story. Primary features include:
Ten standard air bags, including frontal, head curtain side air bags, front and outboard rear-seat side-impact air bags and new knee air bags. The head-curtain side air bags deploy in a rollover crash
StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control and anti-lock brakes
Collapsible pedal system, which allows the pedals to detach during a crash to reduce the risk of leg or ankle injuries
OnStar with Automatic Crash Response.
Verano has a strong, unitized body structure that incorporates 60-percent high-strength steel in key areas to enhance strength and crash protection. It is used to help prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. Safety development included testing at GM’s rollover test facility.