When we here at Autosavant first met the Buick Verano back in 2012, we raved about the compact Buick’s handsome exterior styling, impressive list of standard equipment, as well as its slick interior design. However, many reviewers noted that the Verano did have one fundamental flaw: its base 2.4 liter four cylinder, which did not have the power needed to move a fairly heavy small car. While the Verano brings less-geriatric buyers into the fold, younger buyers tend to want more performance than the base Verano offers.
By Roger Boylan
Do you like American compact cars? Have you ever desired an Escort, or yearned for a Chevette? I thought not. Many, if not most, of our homegrown compacts have been duds. I still shudder when I think of the Dodge Neon I once briefly owned. Not that there haven’t been some bright spots here and there: The Ford Focus has always been a pretty good car, and the Chevrolet Corvair made automotive history—the wrong kind, but hey. These days, the Cruze and Sonic look promising, as do the Fiesta and revamped Focus. Still, by and large, the best part of the compact-car market in this country has been dominated by imports, whose dimensions are dictated by the price of fuel and the exigencies of urban geography in their home countries, and engineered accordingly. My guess is that most American compacts have been bought for want of anything better, by college kids and the chronically hard-up (I fell into the latter category when I signed on the dotted line for my Neon).
By Charles Krome
Some time later this year, the folks at GM’s Orion Assembly plant, located in Orion Township, Mich., will start putting together the all-new Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano. It will mark a significant change in the General’s usual strategy of building its small cars in other countries with reputations for low labor costs, but that’s because it marks a significant change in the UAW’s usual strategy, too. As some readers may already know, as part of its efforts to support GM’s recovery from bankruptcy, the union agreed to institute a two-tier wage scale at the plant. While veteran workers will continue to earn their usual salaries, newcomers will be hired in at pay rates some 40 percent lower.
And now the Detroit media are reporting that the UAW will consider extending the two-tier system to other GM plants, again in return for the promise of more jobs. It’s just the latest news about what this fall’s union negotiations with the Detroit Three will likely bring, but it’s also one of the few areas in which the UAW is expected to cut the OEMs some slack.
By Charles Krome
Buick will venture into the compact luxury segment this year by introducing the 2012 Verano, which is slated to make its public debut at the coming North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Verano sits atop the same platform underpinning the Chevrolet Cruze, but wears all-new sheet metal that is right in line with that of the slightly larger Buick Regal. It’s a sleek, sculpted appearance, with a bold Buick waterfall grille and some subtle but interesting character work on the flanks. The view from the rear, on the other hand, is notably awkward. The chrome accents over the tail lamps, combined with a rear bumper that extends well beyond the end of the trunk, give the rear of the Verano the “face” of an angry robot with a severe underbite.