IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

Verano offers all the merits of a premium compact at a bargain price.

BUT…

Rear-seat room is rather tight, even for a compact car.

WORTH NOTING:

The turbocharged engine option gives the Verano added oomph.

WHAT IS IT?

Verano is Buick’s smallest car, slotting below the midsize Regal in size and price. It borrows much of its basic design from the Chevrolet Cruze compact car and is produced alongside it in the United States. Verano is offered only as a 4-door sedan in four trim levels. Even the base model is luxuriously trimmed and nicely equipped, which is why we classify the Verano as a premium compact car rather than a compact. The standard engine is a 180-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder—bigger and more powerful than what’s offered in the Cruze—and a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four is optional. An automatic transmission is standard, but the turbo can be ordered with a no-cost manual.

WHAT’S NEW?

Verano sees no major changes for 2015. The OnStar communications system adds 4G LTE Internet connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot (a three-month trial period is included), and an appearance package with a rear spoiler and a silver/bright chrome grille is available on all but the Turbo model.

FUEL ECONOMY

In Consumer Guide® testing, 2.4-liter Veranos averaged 26.6-27.5 mpg. In mostly city driving a Turbo with the manual transmission returned 22.3 mpg. Buick recommends regular-grade gas and/or E85 ethanol for the 2.4-liter engine. Premium is recommended, but not required, for the Turbo’s 2.0-liter.

VALUE IN CLASS

Verano occupies an interesting middle ground between popular- and premium-brand compact sedans. It’s comfortable, handsomely finished, well equipped, and delivers a convincingly upscale driving experience. The 2.4-liter models offer the strongest value; they can significantly undercut the prices of premium-compact rivals. The pricier Turbo offers welcome additional power, albeit with a slight hit to fuel economy.

BASE PRICE RANGE $23,380 – $29,215
BODY STYLES 4-Door Sedan
AVAILABLE ENGINES 180-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cyl.; 250-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cyl.
DRIVE WHEELS Front
BUILT IN USA
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 21-32 MPG

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