2013 Buick Verano Turbo Review

Sunday March 31st, 2013 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: One of the Best Drivelines Period
Gripes: A-Pillar Trim Mismatch, Cheapo Passenger Seat

A lot of years have passed since Buick built a hot rod called the GNX. Since the drag racing reign of the GNX ended in the mid 80s, Buick has focused on fine tuning their product line to appeal more to Chinese buyers, who value ersatz luxury and plush ride over performance attributes. The Buick Division’s focus on comfort and polish has made it GM’s number one sales leader in China. But back home, in the USA, where drivers remain performance oriented, Buick has had little to offer until the advent of this Verano Turbo, a sizzling rendition of their smallest sedan.

Prior to introduction of the Turbo model, Verano has been an innocuous four-door without particular merit for the enthusiast driver. Based on the same platform that Chevrolet utilizes for its hot selling Cruze, the Verano recasts the clean stylistic look of the Cruze with such vestigial Buick DNA markers as a toothy chrome grill and hood-mounted triple porthole emulators. These heritage devices look rather out of place on the Verano’s otherwise streamlined shell. Inside, Buick designers have done a better job of breaking with the marque’s customary serenity by offering up a strikingly bold two-tone cabin that posits mocha panels against chocolate trim to make an eye appealing combination.

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2012 Buick Verano FWD 1SL Review

Thursday May 3rd, 2012 at 8:55 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

For: Practical, Affordable, Made in USA
Against: Limited Side Vision

The best way to learn about a car’s aerodynamic efficiency is to wash it by hand. Does your sponge snag on trim? Does the car’s shape shed water or retain it? When I finished washing and drying this nifty little Buick sedan, I was impressed by the unimpeded flow of its skin, the cleanly sculpted face it presents to the wind. Good mileage figures (21 MPG City/32 MPG Highway), as well as a sepulchrally quiet interior, bear testament to the efficacy of the Verano’s air management program.

A lot of keen features belie the Verano’s bargain basement price of $25,965. Cabin furnishings head the list of surprises, with leather trim, dual zone climate control, express window lefts at all 4 doors, and 3-month free XM Satellite Radio subscription, all making for driving satisfaction. Best of all, the Verano, which is based on Chevy’s Cruze platform, uses a superior engine unavailable in the Cruze. That would be Buick’s Ecotec 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder unit good for 180hp. Coupled to its standard 6-speed automatic, this engine provides quietly adequate motivation under all circumstances. Leave the floor mounted stick in Drive, and the Verano will putter around town in high gear while returning excellent mileage. But if the sporty mood overtakes you, slap the stick into its manual gate and tap it backwards for downshifts, forward for upshifts. Buick doesn’t give you steering wheel paddles, but their absence is moot because the floor shift method works so dependably.

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Porsche, Buick, Modern Muscle Cars at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit

Wednesday January 19th, 2011 at 9:11 PM
Posted by: ponycargirl

©2011 Megan Green - Porsche 918 Spyder RSR at 2011 NAIASArticle and photos by Megan Green

Porsche 918 RSR
At a 6:30 a.m. press conference in snowy Detroit, the press gathered around in anticipation of the first reveal of the day. With smoky fanfare, Porsche rolled out their 918 RSR , a high-end hybrid sports car. The best of the 2010 Spyder concept and 911 GT3 R hybrid were combined to create the fluid yet powerful two-seat coupe powered by a V8 mid-engine. Two electric motors on the front axle contribute as well as store power while braking, utilizing its flywheel accumulator – taking the place of a second seat to the right of the driver. On the console, modern touch technology is eschewed in favor of rocker switches. Finishing aesthetic touches include brown leather bucket seats and steering wheel, wing doors, with the body painted a cool blue accented with bright orange racing stripes and brake calipers. It’s just a shame that the 918 RSR didn’t stick around for more admiration during the public show days.

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