New Car: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo

A turbocharged variant has been promised since the Buick Verano was unveiled almost a year and a half ago. Given that it’s the tiniest Buick, we figured that the Verano’s force-fed 2.0-liter would make—at most—the same 220 hp as it does in the Regal Turbo. We were wrong. Instead, the car gets 250 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is, you know, kind of a lot, and actually puts it closer to the Regal GS, which also uses the 2.0-liter. Another item of import: It will be the only Verano available with a manual transmission. A six-speed auto is standard.

There isn’t much else that separates the Turbo from Veranos with the naturally aspirated 180-hp, 2.4-liter four. Exterior cues are limited to dual exhaust outlets, a little T badge, and a decklid spoiler, while sporty pedals and the optional manual shifter are the only tip-offs inside. Despite carrying an additional 100 pounds or so, the Verano Turbo is claimed to be more than two seconds quicker to 60 regardless of transmission; in our testing, a 2.4-liter 2012 Verano hit the mark in a leisurely 8.2 seconds. The Turbo model should get at least 30 mpg on the highway, says Buick, not far off from the 2.4’s 32-mpg highway rating.

Among the items that carry over to the super-powerful model are the wheels and tires. Buick won’t be positioning this as a performance vehicle, but rather a little luxury car that offers a skosh of performance. The suspension is a little stiffer, and the steering has been recalibrated to provide more weight and better on-center feel, moves we applaud based on our experience with the base car.

There won’t be a GS-badged variant of the Verano; not adding such a model allowed Buick to install a hotter version of the Ecotec 2.0 than the 220-horse version. And so the Turbo (“Premium 1ST” in your Buick order guides) will sit atop the Verano lineup, above the base car (1SD), the Convenience model (1SG), and the Luxury trim (1SL), all of which get the 2.4 and a six-speed auto.
Thanks to: Car and Driver


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