2013 Buick Verano new car reviews

Buick is pulling out all the stops in attempting to shed the built-for-septuagenarians image it cultivated for a good two decades. Color us impressed: This new Verano has a turbo four-cylinder engine boasting 250 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and, heavens to Betsy, a proper three-pedals-and-a-stick manual transmission. That stick, we should add, is only available with the hot-spec Turbo trim.

It's not just specs, though. The car is modern inside: well appointed and not designed for the large-print crowd. Buick is pushing itself into business class. This one comes competitively priced at just under $30,000 for the well-equipped Turbo.

Other staff views

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar

"Oh, wow. Nice."

That's what I said when I got in this thing, and that's not entirely the effect of lowered expectations. This car is comfortable and has a dashboard with an effective, attractive layout. And hey, three pedals! Rowing the shifter is a little on the unexciting side, unfortunately. It's a little vague, and its engagement doesn't have the click-in satisfaction you might expect. Spongy is probably the word, but I still find it much more satisfying than an automatic.

This is really a good competitor for the segment, and it'll get 30 mpg on the highway, too. My main complaint is the taillight styling. It doesn't attract me at all.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Buick, how far we have come.

Remember when the brand was viewed the the first choice for dentists everywhere?

Remember when we questioned why Buick was saved while Pontiac and Oldsmobile were put out to pasture?

How far we have come.

The current Buick lineup sports more than one car fitted with a real, live manual transmission--no floppy paddles, no "manumatic." Shifting gears in the Buick is just like doing it in my Miata or 911. Oh, and then there's the engine, a direct injected, turbocharged 2.0-liter four.

This is a brand that's taking aim at BMW. Yes, you're trading rear-drive for front-drive, but I'm not sure if the masses matter.

What's not to like? It took me a while to get comfortable in the front seats, but that's about it. Good power, nice interior, solid looks, and that stick shift are all major plusses for me.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more articles.
View comments on the GRM forums
Our Preferred Partners