Buick is set to show their third new model in two years at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. The Verano is Buick’s entry into the compact luxury segment (although I have a hard time writing “Buick” and “compact” in the same sentence), and will slot into their product line below the recently launched Regal sedan. John Schwegman, Buick’s VP of marketing, sums up their reason for launching a compact sedan as follows: “Verano expands our lineup, continues Buick’s momentum and gives us a great opportunity to attract a new generation of customers with a product that delivers on their expectations for design, performance and technology. It is a smart choice that delivers unexpected luxury in a compact sedan – and it will compete head-to-head with competitors from Audi and Lexus.”
The Verano’s exterior styling carries over design themes penned for the LaCrosse and the Regal, and the interior is chock full of comfort as you’d expect from Buick. Buick emphasizes the interior’s “Quiet Tuning”, so think of this as an isolation chamber on wheels, just like its bigger brothers. I’d expect the suspension to be tuned fro a plush ride and not for handling, but that’s what Buick buyers expect. Power will come from a 2.4 liter Ecotec four cylinder engine (the same used in the Regal and the LaCrosse), but the Verano’s smaller size will be a better fit for the 177 horsepower. Buick says the Verano will hit 60 miles per hour in eight seconds, but I doubt many buyers will ever test Buick’s claim. A 2.0 liter turbo version will be offered sometime after the cars launch in the last quarter of 2011.
Source: GM Corp.