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First Drive: Buick Verano

GM shows it has mastered the idea of building different vehicles off the same platform.

by on Apr.17, 2012

Buick is billing its new Verano as a luxury compact. At the very least, it shows that GM is getting better at what used to be called "badge engineering."

What exactly is luxury? Is it fast? How about big? Does it have exquisite design? Can it possibly be described as compact?

Whatever you think constitutes luxury, Buick hopes one attribute you start to associate with luxury is small. With fuel prices, as well as fuel economy standards, going up, automakers everywhere are looking for ways to help buyers squeeze more miles out of every dollar.

A Compact Resource!

Enter the Buick Verano. Based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Cruze, this is no shoddy badge engineering job that used to be typical of General Motors. Look closely and you can see that the Verano’s hardpoints are pretty much the same as the Cruze, but the styling is completely different, inside and out.

But is it luxurious? Let’s find out.

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Buick Verano Aims to Expand Brand’s Reach

Third new Buick sedan in three year.

by on Jan.12, 2011

The 2012 Buick Verano rolls onto the stage during its Detroit Auto Show unveiling.

It’s a Cruze, it’s a Regal….no, it’s the Verano.

The 2012 Buick Verano shares its platform with the Chevrolet Cruze and its engines with the larger Buick Regal, but despite those facts, Buick folks are quick to point out that the Verano isn’t just an exercise in badge engineering, a la the old GM.

They’ll tell you that the Verano offers more amenities than the Cruze, along with a quieter cabin and more luxurious ride. And while we haven’t driven it yet — meaning we can’t verify the latter two claims — we have to admit that the proffered amenities list is deeper than that of the Cruze.

That doesn’t mean customers won’t need convincing. It’s true that Lexus ES 350 customers, for example, often know that they’re buying a more-opulent Camry, but they don’t seem to care.

With GM, it’s a different story. The “old GM” often took heat for having too many badge-engineered vehicles – for the uninitiated, products that are virtually identical but for the nameplates bolted to their trunks. To that end, the company has worked hard to differentiate vehicles that share platforms, and the Verano represents the latest effort.

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