Buick’s recent renaissance has unfolded entirely according to plan, and until the current model year there was but one piece missing from the premium brand’s fresh portfolio of automobiles: a compact sedan. The 2012 Buick Verano is the first affordably-priced, entry-level option to be offered by the domestic car company since the ill-fated Buick Skyhawk of the 1980’s, a poorly-conceived clone of the thoroughly uninteresting Chevrolet Cavalier.
The Buick Verano is itself also based on a Chevrolet product – the excellent Chevrolet Cruze – but while the platforms might be the same the end result is quite different. Buick has gone to exceptional lengths to give the Verano its own distinct personality through the use of the brand’s well-established styling language, a unique drivetrain and a level of high end equipment that can’t be found on its more pedestrian sibling. For the very first time Detroit has stepped up to the plate with an honest option for drivers more used to looking overseas for a comfortable compact car.