by Stephen Dafoe
Excellent comfort and ride in small car class
The Buick Verano is a five passenger, four-door luxury sedan that falls into the small car classification. Built on the same platform as General Motors highly successful, Chevrolet Cruze, the Verano carries plenty of room over its 105.7-inch wheel base and beyond.
Though the vehicle lost some marks for its curb appeal (it simply looks like many vehicles on the market) Buick’s distinctive waterfall grill and colour options (particularly the Crystal Red) make this car stand out on second glance.
But what the car may lack in initial “wow” factor is more than made up for under the hood and in the cabin.
The vehicle we drove was the standard 2.4 L engine rated at 180 horsepower, which was plenty peppy in its own right. But a 2.0 L turbo engine, rated at 250 horsepower, is also available.
Regardless of the engine size, you will hear little because of the Verano’s use of QuietTuning technology, which blocks and absorbs noise like noise-cancelling headphones do. Add to this the interior comfort level and you have a vehicle that truly is a driver’s car.
Plenty of safety
Much of what is attractive about this vehicle is what cannot be seen or felt initially. The Verano has 10 air bags, including dual front, head curtain side, front and outboard rear-seat-mounted side impact and driver and front passenger knee-bags. The vehicle also features a collapsible pedal system that detached the pedals in a collision to prevent ankle and leg injuries.
Though there is much in the vehicle to keep you safe in the event of a collision, there are also a number of avoidance features available as well. A Rear Vision Camera allows you to monitor what is behind you when backing up. Side Blind Zone alerts offer audio and visual cues of vehicles passing in your blind spot. Additionally, available Lane Departure Warnings and Forward Collision Alert offer drivers additional cues of potential danger.
Rolling mobile device
The Buick’s premium sound system is married to the available Buick IntelliLink infotainment system, allowing hands free access to your own music library as well as hands-free calling. Available Bluetooth technology mates your smart phone to the car’s seven-inch LED-backlit touchscreen.
Though similar options can be found in many vehicles today, we liked the simplicity of the placement in the Buick and how everything could be accessed while keeping the eyes on the road.
The 2015 Verano will come with available 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, allowing passengers to access the Internet on the road.
After driving the 2014 Buick Verano 1SL for four days, we gave the car a 4.5 out of 5. Though considered a small car, the Verano provided ample room and a level of luxury one would probably not expect in a small car.