2014 Buick Verano, headlight, wheel. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos by Tom Sedens
The Verano is a smaller sedan sporting graceful lines that won’t offend anyone. It’s not the most beautiful car, to be sure, but it has been blessed with a design integrity that offers up a good-looking car with cohesive elements. If there’s one thing that stands out for me, it’s that Buick grille. I find it’s a bit stodgy looking here, and is a nod to the old school – which isn’t necessary. Heck, the hood-mounted faux air ports are enough of a nod in that direction if you ask me.
The headlight pods contain sophisticated-looking projectors and the rear end is finished nicely as well with its chrome eyebrows over the tail lights and the dual oval exhaust tips.
Lovely 18-inch rims are shod with 235/45 gummies, and complete the Verano’s classy and understated look. I’m a big fan of brown cars, and my review vehicle’s Mocha Bronze Metallic was an outstanding match for the Verano’s shape.
You’ll enjoy the Verano’s keyless entry system, and once you get in, an impressively finished cabin greets you. Though this is entry-level luxury, the serene space is a very nice place to be, combining some soft-touch plastics, some hard plastics, some wood grain and nice, expensive-feeling textures with what appears to be outstanding fit and finish. I really like the horribly-named Choccachino colour scheme – you get some lighter tones and a handsome and attractive match for my car’s exterior colour. The interior styling doesn’t break any conventions but I found it to be a very pleasant place to be.
Continuing with the theme of nice materials, the leather upholstery on the seats is beautiful. The heated thrones are comfortable and very supportive, as is the heated steering wheel. I am a fan of Buick’s gauges, and I’ve always thought the numbers on the gauge bezels make them look like a fine timepiece. The driver information screen is useful and easy to access, but is starting to look very date with its crunchy green font and graphics on a black screen. Time to update that, GM. The seven-inch IntelliLink touchscreen that handles your media, phone, navigation and vehicle settings is much easier on the eyes, with crisp graphics and colours. The tragedy lies with the messy sea of similarly-sized, -shaped and -coloured buttons below the screen – thankfully you don’t have to use them very often, but there is no way you can use these buttons without taking your eyes off the road. The Bose system sounds good, there’s a dual-zone automatic climate control for comfort and you can enjoy the blue skies in your life through the standard-sized sunroof overhead.
This loaded up Verano has a fairly complete suite of driver assistance technology. The rear-view camera, parking distance sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and forward collision alert make for a nice electronic safety cocoon.
2014 Buick Verano dashboard, centre stack, BOSE speaker grille. Click image to enlarge
There are a couple of little nooks and crannies here and there where you’ll find space to drop your phone and other sundries.
The back seat area isn’t huge in the Verano, but it’s a nice space too. Two outboard seats offer enough headroom and legroom for me at 5’10″. Forget about the centre position, which is very narrow, straddles a tunnel and loses most of its legroom thanks to the centre console. Rear passengers get a 12V plug and a small storage bin, and the middle seatback folds down to become a nice wide armrest with two cupholders.
The trunk is a useful size at 405 litres, and the rear seats fold down, splitting 60/40. I was surprised at how wide the pass-through was for a sedan with a trunk, and it effectively increases the cargo carrying capability. The trunk lid’s arms are not shrouded, so they’ll pinch your luggage if it gets underneath. I appreciated the trunk release button inside and on the key fob, but hated that there isn’t a button to open it on the trunk lid itself.
2014 Buick Verano seating & trunk. Click image to enlarge