Michigan-built Verano is a hit with Buick lovers - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Michigan-built Verano is a hit with Buick lovers

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(03/27/12) - It might be one of the smallest Buick's ever made, but the 2012 Verano is also designed to be one of the company's most fuel efficient cars.

The Verano uses the same architecture as the Chevy Cruze and is only slightly larger. It's considered a five seater, but three will definitely make a crowd in the back seat.

"I was impressed with the interior. It's got a lot of legroom, particularly up front," said Al Hatch of the Back to the Bricks committee.

"It's got a big trunk. It would definitely handle three or four suitcases in there," commented Ed McDonough of the Back to the Bricks committee.

For years, Buick was known for its big cars. But federal regulations and rising gas prices now factor into the creative process. Designers had to come up with a small car that's worthy of the Buick name but also gets great mileage. The EPA says Verano drivers can expect 21 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway.

"Everything's becoming small and more compact but they seem to be able to get everything they need into a small package," said Joe Rundell, also a member of the Back to the Bricks committee.

There are two surprising things about the Verano. As you're going down the road it's very quiet. And the four cylinder engine offers very good acceleration.

The 2.4 liter engine and six-speed transmission make up the only powertrain available at this time. Final assembly for the Verano is at GM's Orion plant in Oakland County.

"That's good for Michigan and good for our area,"McDonough said.

"You can't beat this: Michigan built, Michigan designed," said Jason Watson of the Back to the Bricks committee.

And speaking of design, Buick kept it all in the family. The Verano has the well-known waterfall grill and styling cues like its bigger brothers the Regal and the LaCrosse. 18-inch wheels add to the classy look.

"It's nice to see larger wheels and tires on these cars being standard. That was one of the things that has made a change over the last couple of years, to give it a custom look," said Watson.

The sticker on the Verano ranges from $24,000 to $27,000.

For more information on the 2012 Buick Verano, click here.

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