The Buick Verano may be kin with the Chevy Cruze, but there's enough daylight between its more comely sheetmetal and the Cruze's relentlessly conservative lines to give the Buick breathing room.
The distinctions in exterior and interior styling tend to make the Verano look like a larger car than it is, or than the Cruze. It's all in some well-conceived details that underplay to the Verano's long roofline. The grille and headlamps are atypically small for GM as of late, but still cleanly faired into the Verano's sculpted nose. It's a handsome look that's just generic enough to woo new buyers to Buick.
It's not without some foibles. There's more bright metallic trim here than need be--it's a given these days, when even German cars are applying it in liberal doses. The bright veins that angle around the rear corners and angle downward toward the center in back are pretty and subtle. But those "ventiports?" The Verano's front fenders don't need them. Where's the delete button when you need it?
The Verano Turbo's subtle changes are dual exhaust outlets and a pert trunk spoiler. We wish that Buick would go just a little further to distinguish the zoomy version of its little car.
Inside, the look is radical and swoopy, with gorgeous two-tone themes and a tall sill that wraps from the top of the doors to where the windshield and the dashboard meet. The Verano's door cards carry through the dash's broad arcs. Matte metallic trim classes things up here and there and even the little windows at the front of the doors improve visibility.