by Tony West and Sommer Thornton
The 2014 Buick Verano plans to take over the compact sedan segment. With an efficient EPA, a 5-Star safety rating (NHTSA), and a wealth of new technology, the new Verano with its 4 available models will give the Chrysler 200 and the Hyundai Elantra a run for their money. The 2014 Buick Verano, thanks to available Standard (1SD), Convenience (1SG), Leather (1SL), and Turbo (1ST) models offers many standard safety and infotainment features. New vibrant colors and a slick body style make the Verano one of the coolest looking new compact 5-seaters on the market.
The Verano turned many heads as the LaCrosse’s younger sibling. And the interior design perfectly compliments the styling of the exterior. We reviewed the 2014 Buick Verano FWD Turbo (1ST) – Chrystal red exterior with cashmere colored interior.
Stout Sporty Design
Fans of the new Verano were surprised at how stylish it is. The turbo Verano (1ST) has a sporty yet stout frame with a chrome black waterfall grille and 18 inch forged alloy wheels.
The turbo Verano also has halogen headlamps, chromed-tipped dual exhausts, and a cool rear spoiler.
The projector beam headlamps have a trippy new blue translucent ring that resembles an iris. Chrome also accents the door handles, door sills, and scuff plates. And the leather interior has metallic and wood trim. Though the Verano isn’t spacious as the Sonata, it still has 42 inches of legroom in the front and 34 inches of legroom in the rear.
Classy Tech-Functional Interior
The interior of the new Verano Turbo (1ST) has a ton of standard features like the heated windshield, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and a 7 inch color touch radio. The Verano 1ST also has a 9 speaker Bose sound system.
I like the soft blue ambient lighting and how well the soft cashmere leather contrasts with the chocolate brown trim. Driver’s have an 8-way adjustable seat, while front passenger seats are manual. It’s hard to get the driver’s seat to my specific comfort with a manual lever for the seat height. It’s especially hard for passengers with manual pumps. But the leather bucket seats are more comfortable than I expected.
The driver’s instrument cluster has gauges and a digital Driver Information Center that displays fuel range, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy, a digital speedometer, along with a configurable display for oil life, tire pressure, compass, and battery voltage.
The Verano Turbo has an optional sunroof. A 7 inch touch screen features navigation with weather, a photo viewer, XM Satellite radio, and traffic info. Storage is limited in the Verano with only a small center console. Another issue I had with the Verano is that it beeped constantly with warning after warning. GM has a reputation of installing very conservative settings for their vehicle safety alerts. And as part of the Lane Departure Warning, the Forward Collision Alert, and the Rear Cross Traffic Alert, the Verano beeps when reversing, when parking, or if a pedestrian crosses in the front or rear of the vehicle with it in “Drive.”
IntelliLink is standard on the Verano turbo and enables Bluetooth or USB connections. IntelliLink features Pandora, SmartRadio, and voice command as well as address book download and steering wheel controls. The rear vision camera is also featured as part of IntelliLink.
New for the 2014 Verano turbo is Siri Eyes Free and text message support. Along with enabling iPhone connectivity via the steering wheel controls, drivers can have their text messages read aloud and answered with voice command.
Efficient Modest Performance
The 2014 Verano Turbo has a standard Ecotech 2.0 liter turbo 4 cylinder engine that has the power of an efficient V6. The 4 cylinder features direct injection, dual overhead cam shafts, and variable valve timing. The 2.0 liter boasts 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. A 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine is standard on the base (1SD) model and boasts 180 horsepower, 171 lb-ft of torque and a 31 mpg highway EPA.
The turbo Verano offers an optional manual transmission and a standard automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The standard 6 speed automatic transmission has Driver Shift Control.
The 4 cylinder engine is very efficient but performance is just decent. The Verano 1ST has a combined EPA of 24 mpg’s (21 mpg city/ 30 mpg highway.) The Verano Turbo has more pick up than the standard model, but that’s not saying much. I expected more from 260 lb-ft of torque; especially because the Buick LaCrosse has outstanding performance. The Verano Turbo has a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds. Driving in manual mode is more spirited, but not thrilling. Cornering in the Verano 1ST is tight and steering is fluid thanks to electronic power steering. Lightweight MacPherson strut front suspension and Z Link rear suspension make the Verano Turbo agile on turns, stops and at high speeds. The Verano 1ST is equipped with four-wheel disc brakes. The Verano is ideal for young adults and older seasoned drivers who don’t need a lot of power.
Buick’s QuietTuning technology ensures the ride in the Verano is tranquil with triple door seals and acoustical laminated front and side glass that absorb and cancel noise. The windshield also contains solar absorbing materials.
High-tech Safety Features
The Verano Turbo offers active safety technology that contributes to its IIHS top safety rating. Standard on the 1SD is the side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, Stabilitrak, a collapsible pedal, and a rear vision camera. Traction Control, ABS and Brake Assist are also standard. The Park Assist system would be less annoying if the driver can adjust the settings as they can with the forward collision alert.
The 2014 Buick Verano is a fun car to drive. And the four trim levels with a ton of standard luxury and dynamic features offer a lot for $29,065. Fully loaded, the Verano Turbo costs $32,180, still less than many of its competitors. The Verano turbo edges out a lead with its classy exterior and plethora of safety technology.