With its standard features and packages of options, the Buick Verano claims a place in the premium niche, even though its base price would fit comfortably in the Chevy lineup.
Standard equipment on the Verano for 2014 includes power windows, locks, and mirrors; automatic climate control; remote start; cloth upholstery; an AM/FM/CD player with steering-wheel controls and a USB port; satellite radio; and a rearview camera.
Control over the infotainment features is handled by Buick's IntelliLink, which connects its LCD touchscreen and Bluetooth to the user's smartphone. When it's paired, the car's touchscreen, steering-wheel controls, and voice become the interface for media, hands-free calling, and navigation when it's so outfitted. IntelliLink has a cleaner, less confusing layout than some other systems, and it's configurable to a degree--you can place icons for apps like Pandora and Stitcher among those for AM, FM, and XM.
IntelliLink now hosts Apple's Siri EyesFree firmware, allowing drivers to tap its voice interface for live search. The navigation system has given us pause on occasion, mostly when searching for destinations, but it's relatively inexpensive.
The Verano can be fitted with option packages. The Convenience package bundles rear parking sensors with heated seats, heated mirrors outside and an auto-dimming rearview mirrors; the leather package adds just that, plus a power driver seat, Bose premium audio, and pushbutton start. All said, options on the Verano can drive the bottom line toward, but just shy of, $30,000. With a base price of about $30,000, the Verano Turbo includes standard features above and beyond those offered on the non-turbo. They include dual exhaust tips; alloy sport pedals; a petite trunklid spoiler; and the features from the Verano's normally optional Leather and Convenience packages, including Bose sound and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.