As we are witnessing with a slew of small car introductions from manufacturers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – premium luxury is in. Lexus is going after buyers in the entry-level compact segment with its CT 200h hatchback. Despite being a hatchback and hybrid-only, the CT 200h has done impressively well for itself….and I don’t find it to be the most stylish car in the world either.
Buick, surprisingly, recognized this emerging trend and fielded a new entrant in the form of the Verano. The Verano seems like a product that will make a splash in the segment; it looks premium inside and out and offers an impressive amount of content. It could attract an even younger set of buyers – don’t laugh its happening – to Buick as well.
The Enclave, LaCrosse and Regal have all brought down buyer ages for Buick. The Regal in particular has seen a lot of interest from Generation X and Y. Look for that trend to only continue with the sporty and relatively affordable GS. But I digress, back to the Verano.
The pricing point was a key factor – would it be too high to find buyers or too low to offer a compelling package? Today, official pricing has been announced, and the Verano starts at $23,470 and goes up to $26,850. Given that Buick has ditched trim level designations, options are added on either a la carte or in packages.
The standard features list is impressive: blue translucent projector beam headlamps, standard fog lamps, 18-inch multi-spoke, forged alloy, silver-finish wheels, leatherette seating, high-resolution 7-inch diagonal LED backlit color-touch radio display with IntelliLink technology, 10 standard air bags, automatic climate control, remote start, power windows and steering wheel radio controls.
For now (more options are coming later) an 180 horsepower 2.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic does duty across the lineup. The idea of luxury in a smaller and less expensive package could be an enticing one to many. Hopefully, a performance model Verano is in the works as well. Verano GS, anyone?