2016 Buick Verano Driving Impressions

Impressive comfort makes the Verano an excellent daily driver, as well as a fine choice for vacation trips. Delivering a quiet and well-controlled ride, Buick’s smallest sedan simply does its job without fuss, imparting a healthy helping of confidence. Because the Verano is so quiet, the engine sounds as if it’s off in the distance.

A responsive automatic transmission helps the standard 180-horsepower engine feel more eager than its specifications suggest. Manual shifting is possible, though no paddles are provided.

With 250 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the Turbo is a stronger performer.

Handling is predictable and better than expected, considering the Verano’s relatively soft ride. This is not a sporty car, however. Models with the standard 180-hp engine are softly sprung, and the Premium Turbo’s suspension is only a little more taut. Turbos get a slightly faster steering ratio, also.

The Verano is enjoyable to drive, though when driven hard body lean in curves can become considerable. Despite a spongy brake pedal, stopping power is good.

Gas mileage is not great for a compact. The 180-hp engine is EPA-rated at 21/32 mpg (City/Highway), or 25 mpg Combined. The 250-hp Turbo is almost as thrifty: 24 mpg Combined, with either transmission.

Buick’s Quiet Tuning uses tangible steps for precise sound-deadening, including triple-sealed doors, an acoustic windshield, laminated side glass; plus a variety of foams and baffles. Even on coarse pavement, road, wind, and engine noise won’t impede conversation in soft voices.

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