Fuel-economy ratings for the 2013 Buick Verano Turbo have now popped up, and it looks like the Verano’s big-time power boost will result in just a minor hit at the gas pumps: The naturally aspirated Verano, which relies on a 2.4-liter I4 that makes 180 hp and 171 lb.-ft. of torque, is rated at 21 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined; the forced-induction model, buffed up to 250 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque thanks to its 2.0-liter turbocharged I4, will run off an EPA line of 20 mpg city/31 mpg highway/24 mpg combined. Even better: The high-velocity Verano will get those marks with a six-speed manual transmission that allows drivers full control of the car’s gearbox.
True, a six-speed automatic is the standard choice, and has yet to be rated by the EPA, but enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy the ability of the DIY option. It also continues the brand’s recent trend of providing manual transmissions in its more driver-focused cars, including the Buick Regal GS. On the other hand, the extent of that focus in the Verano Turbo will have to await an actual test drive, although on paper, its power-to-weight ratio and 0-60 time—about 6.2 seconds—certainly seem destined for success.
After all, that kind of performance, especially when it comes wrapped in premium-ish Buick appointments and a guess-timated price tag south of $26,000 is a fairly rare proposition nowadays.
2013 Buick Verano Turbo: Unleveling the Playing Field
Competition-wise, much depends on what you think about the state of Buick luxury. Consider: The going rate for the leading compact sedans from the up-level brands is in the mid-$30,000 range: The BMW 3 Series, for example, starts at $36,500, while the coming Cadillac ATS will open at $33,900. The Verano, about an inch longer than both, gets an MSRP of $22,585; assuming a $3,200 premium for powertrain technology—the amount it takes to move from the Regal to the Regal Turbo—the high-powered version of the Verano would be stickered at roughly $25,785.
At that stage, the Buick would offer notably better power and performance than the starter ATS, as well as more power (albeit without quite the acceleration) as the entry-level 328i sedan. But the Verano Turbo would cost, obviously, some ten large less than the BMW and come in more than $8,000 below the price of the Cadillac.
Now, I’m not sure how many folks will truly be cross-shopping that trio, but for owners looking for a small upscale sport sedan that is easy on the wallet, the Verano Turbo will be an interesting proposition.
2013 Buick Verano: New Features for the New Model Year
Beyond that new powertrain, the 2013 Buick Verano lineup also will get some other fine-tuning for the new model year. This includes the addition of the Buick IntelliLink connectivity/infotainment system as a standard feature on all models. It’s no Cadillac CUE, but IntelliLink does allow for voice, steering-wheel and touchscreen control of linked smartphones, providing a simple way to access a variety of mobile apps and audio streaming via Pandora and Stitcher.
A rearview camera system will be included on all Veranos as well, while safety measures such as Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert have been added to the standard equipment of all models above the base trim. Also, switchgear for the Verano’s OnStar system—another standard feature—has been refreshed, and two new exterior colors broaden the Buick’s palette: Luxo Blue Metallic and a trendy Carbon Black Metallic (the latter of which requires an additional charge).
More information about the 2013 Buick Verano, including pricing details, will be released in the near future.