Buick Verano

By Paula MacPherson

Our 2012 Buick Verano scores high on the gizmo scale. Equipped with the Leather Group, our Verano had push button start and keyless access. It also had a rear parking assist system, navigation, all the power assists I could think of, and a powerful Bose stereo system.

Despite its trim exterior dimensions, the Verano has the feel of a bigger car when you climb behind the wheel. The driver’s seat bottom cushion, for example, feels as if it had been lifted from a larger car. It was too long for this shorter driver and ended up rubbing my leg behind the knee. The base of the windshield pillar and outside mirror area was also large; it blocked my view at intersections, despite the addition of a little triangular window between the mirror and the base of the windshield.

The controls and gauge are all straight forward. I liked the keyless access and starting feature; it’s a real convenience when your hands are full. The trunk was also decently sized. It held several folding chairs along with a good assortment of other items for a get-together with friends.

The rear seat prompted protests from a smaller adult. She found space to be tight and the view blocked by the head restraints on the front seat.

Driving the Verano was a pleasure. It rides and steers nicely, has a light feel to the controls and with its trim size, it’s easy to navigate through traffic and tight parking lots.

Fuel economy was quite good. We averaged 29 miles per gallon on regular gasoline.

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