2012 Buick Verano Review

My automotive glass is always half full, meaning I can almost always find a lot of good in any new car that comes my way. Sometimes, however, I just can’t make sense of a car, and such is the case with the 2012 Buick Verano.

That is not to say there is not a lot of good in this car. It’s the quietest small car I’ve ever been in. It rides well and handles fine. Verano comes with a wide array of standard features. It has a very nice interior. All of those are very positive qualities, but I still cannot picture the buyer for this car.

Under the hood you get a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, and that is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. It is rated at 180-horses but I can’t find them. O-to-60 is measured in hours instead of seconds. The lack of power is a bit frustrating. If you follow my reviews, you know I either want ample power or great fuel economy, and this car doesn’t really deliver either.

The Verano is actually a nice-looking car on the outside, and it holds true to the roots of Buick. It seems to me to be bigger than a small car, but smaller than a midsized car. It is not a head turner, but I like the looks of the car.

This is ALMOST a small, luxury car. The interior is really nice and the Verano has good headroom, fairly limited backseat room, but has a really large trunk. All power equipment comes in the car. It has a 7” color monitor that operates everything efficiently, and comes with Bluetooth and some great apps like Pandora. This car also has a power sunroof.

Verano has push button starting, remote keyless entry with remote start, climate- controlled air conditioning, and power, heated seats with leather as standard. For the money, I would expect cooled seats and well, certainly a navigation system, but that is not part of this package. To further confuse me, it has a heated steering wheel, but no backup camera. The packaging on this car just seems a bit odd to me.

I mentioned earlier in the review, the quietness. Buick did a super job on this and even used thicker glass to aid in the sound deadening. The other thing they did very well was eliminating any harshness in the engine. This is a fairly common problem with many smaller engine cars. With Verano, you get smooth acceleration, and although it does not happen fast, you do not feel the engine inside the car or in the steering wheel.

My test car is getting the advertised mileage and even just a little more on the highway. However, it’s not enough to get 32 miles per gallon on the highway when there are SO many nice cars getting between 35 and 40 MPG. Many of those cost less money than this one.

Case in point, you don’t have to look any further than the Chevy Malibu Eco I had a few weeks ago. It got 37 on the highway, 25 in town, and it was a more substantial, larger car with a great interior. It was also a 2013 model and it was only $1000 more fully loaded.

I just don’t fully understand the Verano. It’s too expensive for younger buyers, and they probably aren’t going to look at a Buick anyway. The gas mileage isn’t good enough for a new car this size, and it is too expensive and oddly equipped to be a success. I had hoped GM would have their first successful small luxury car, but I don’t think this is it.

What I liked most: The quietness in the cabin.

What I would change: The odd equipment package.

MSRP: As equipped $28,075.

Fuel Economy: 21 in town/32 highway, doing slightly better on the highway.

2012 Buick Verano in a few words: I don’t get it. I am not sure who will actually buy this car.

  1. Patrick Campbell 6 years ago

    Hi Jerry,
    I catch your show on Saturdays here in Houston. What do you think of the 2013 Verano? The price is down in the lower 20s and it has a 6 speed auto with an ecotech engine?

    • Jerry 6 years ago

      Patrick, it’s a great car and probably the quietest I’ve been in. The mileage is awesome.

      When I did my review, I was not totally sold on the car, GM sent me an ultra loaded one. I went back and revisited the lessor expensive package and changed my mind on the car. It stacks up very nicely with many of the imports out there.

      THANKS for listening to the show! Talk to Terry at Wiesner, he’ll take GREAT care of you!

      Terry Hatfield, General Manager
      Wiesner Hyundai Buick GMC
      1645 I 45 North (I 45 North in Conroe)
      Conroe TX 77304
      Phone: 800.443.8161

      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”

  2. Rodney Wright 5 years ago

    Hello Jerry,

    I listen to your show on Saturday’s in Santa Clarita (North Los Angeles County). I just sold my 2008 Prius in search of a more comfortable car for commuting and weekend touring trips. I loved the 48 mpg and utility of the Prius but at 6’3”, I am having back issues and need more leg room.

    I am looking for a more comfortable mid-size sedan or crossover vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice too much in the fuel economy department. My two leading candidates are the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Buick La Crosse with the 2.4L e-Assist engine. I recently test drove the Mazda 6 and thought there was great value there but the style of the drive just didn’t seem to suit me. I really liked the comfort and quiet ride of the Buick but am wondering about the reliability factor. Any chance you will be reviwing this car soon?

    • Jerry 5 years ago

      Rodney, good to hear from you. The Buick is a nice car, I had it in 2012 and liked it but thought it was overpriced for it’s size.

      I just had the Fusion with the 2 liter Ecoboost and loved it. I have driven the hybrid but haven’t reviewed it. The Fusion overall is just a great car.

      Truth is, either would serve you well and you can’t make a mistake with either, but I favor the Fusion.

      I have good dealers for both! Thanks for listening to the show.

      Reynolds Buick GMC

      345 N. Citrus Avenue

      West Covina, CA 91791-1675

      Chuck Rhodes: General Sales Manager


      626.966.4461 Phone


      Ford of Orange

      1350 W. Katella Ave.

      Orange, CA 92867

      888.720.5471 Dealership

      Christopher Pratt: Car Pro Specialist Cell: 951-545-0440


      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

  3. Marvin Stolarz 3 years ago

    Need your thoughts on the following. Never leased before on my own. Did have leased vehicles when working. Am retired. Looking to possibly leasing a 2015 Buick Verano. Mark Chritopher currently offering lease @ $139 plus taxes & Drive offs. Cash down @ $1599. Pls your thoughts on the vehicle and the lease. Currently driving 2011 Ford Fiesta 36,000 mi. & 2004 Saturn Ion 60,000 mi.Would like your opinion on the vehicle (noted your review of the 2012) and this lease. Seems too good to me.

    • Michele Sanders 3 years ago

      I agree, it sounds a little too good the be true, but check it out and see. On the off-chance it is a real deal, it would be great. Verano today is a nice vehicle for sure, very quiet, great quality.

      If that doesn’t work out, check out our Certified Dealers.

      They are great people.

      Jerry Reynolds, President
      Car Pro Radio Network

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