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.