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2012 Buick Verano Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Buick Verano was new.


Performance: 7.7

Buick markets the 2012 Verano as an upscale city car, and test drivers say the Verano is just that, calling it essentially a smaller version of the Buick Regal.

  • "Quiet and smooth--pretty much like a Buick only in a smaller-size outfit." -- AutoWeek
  • "The Verano managed a quiet ride except when we mashed the accelerator, when the engine became a very vocal participant, and over the coarse aggregate highway surfaces on the logging back roads of Oregon that would make a Bentley seem unbearable." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

With a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 180 horsepower, reviewers say the Buick Verano isn’t overly powerful, but should work for most city driving. The standard six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive allows you to change gears on your own if you choose. According to the EPA, the Verano averages 21/32 mpg city/highway.

  • "Acceleration is reasonably strong for a four-banger, and the six-speed is a nice partner." -- AutoWeek
  • "The power from the 2.4-liter was adequate, but much of its steam was lost above legal speeds when attempting two-lane passing maneuvers." -- Autoblog
  • "The Verano's drivetrain is equipped with GM's Hydra-Matic 6T45 six-speed automatic transmission. A refined version of the Equinox transmission, it offers row-it-yourself abilities by switching the shift lever to a +/- gate. It works fine enough and offers faster shift points then the transmission it replaces. We wish that in this case they offered paddle shift levers instead, so the driver's hands never needed to leave the steering wheel." -- Left Lane News

Handling and Braking

The 2012 Buick Verano isn’t sporty, but test drivers are pleased with its good stopping power and composed handling, which is great for a luxury car with a focus on comfort. If you want a small car with sharper handling, they suggest the more expensive Audi A3.

  • "The chassis is seldom bothered by road imperfections and the body remains composed in corners and turns. The brakes are linear, returning even response and stopping power, and the steering has a light feel off-center followed by increasing weight into maneuvers." -- AutoWeek
  • "Unlike past Buicks, gains in comfort don't sacrifice dynamic poise. The feel through the Verano's steering, suspension, and mostly high-strength-steel body structure is distinctly Germanic. There's enough spring, bar, and damper to restrain body motion even as hints of road feel come through the electrically assisted steering." -- Car and Driver
  • "Steering feel has never been a strong point for Buicks. Most of the time it didn't matter, as they weren't for driving quickly anyway. That doesn't fly with modern luxury cars, though, so the Verano has been tuned accordingly - and tuned well." -- Edmunds

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