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2012 Buick Verano Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Performance
BASE INVOICE
$21,681
BASE MSRP
$22,585
On Performance
For a vehicle that emphasizes comfort and quiet, the 2012 Buick Verano is surprisingly capable and fun to drive.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

drivers often will find themselves accelerating through a 4000 rpm to 5000 rpm dead zone, where gearing for fuel economy will necessitate a downshift from the six-speed automatic
Motor Trend

Not the stuff of legend, but reasonable performance for a small premium sedan running on 87-octane.
Edmunds' Inside Line

performance was solid and deserving of the luxury moniker Buick has bestowed upon it
Popular Mechanics

feels sporty and responsive, although the engine noise gets a bit harsh at full throttle
Edmunds

drives so remarkably well that you crave more wheel time
USA Today

The 2012 Buick Verano is hardly pulse-quickening, but we don't think that's part of the Verano's mission statement (its extreme quiet might have something to do with it, honestly). For raciness, there's the refined but still giddy Regal GS.

The Verano gets a 180-horsepower, 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission in all variations (it's the only powertrain), and it's by no means quick, but it's responsive enough for most needs and very smooth. Buick says 0-60 mph takes 8.9 seconds (just a few tenths shorter than the Cruze 1.4T), and the 2.4-liter, while it has decent grunt off the line, seems to lack its full stride if you're much below 4,000 rpm or not really mashing the throttle. There are no paddle-shifters, but you do have full manual control if you slide the shift lever over to the side.

The suspension layout, and the basic geometry of it, are actually shared with the Cruze, although the pieces themselves are different. With a MacPherson strut design in front, paired with a Z-link (Watt's linkage) design in back, GM engineers argue that you actually get better, more predictable response and better body control on quick transitions—no matter the surface. even compared to an independent setup. Four-wheel disc brakes and a relatively quick steering ratio (with a fat, somewhat small-diameter steering wheel) complete the hints of sportiness.

Four-wheel disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power, even if the pedal feel is old-lux spongy. Handling is better than you might think, given the Verano's relatively soft ride; it's safe, responsive, and even quite fun, with a sense of confidence and more enjoyment than in cushy alternatives such as the Lexus ES 350.

And all the while, if you're driving hard, this whole “quiet tuning” thing plays mind games. With so much foam and matting, engine sounds distant, even at full throttle--not at all a bad thing, really.

 

Conclusion

For a vehicle that emphasizes comfort and quiet, the 2012 Buick Verano is surprisingly capable and fun to drive.

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