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First Look: 2012 Buick Verano


Will Buick repeat its BUICK ENCLAVE magic with the Verano? The BUICK ENCLAVE shares its platform with the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. It also shares Buick-GMC dealership floors with the Acadia Denali, a premium crossover that comes with similar sticker prices. Yet GM says there's virtually no cross-shopping between the BUICK ENCLAVE and Acadia Denali. Different customers, the company says, so BUICK ENCLAVE sales continue to increase, four years into the product cycle.

The Cruze was supposed to be a new-age Chevrolet compact, with premium attributes at a Chevy price. Well-equipped models have pretty nice interiors and a long roster of features. Where is there room for a Buick version? North American market Chevy Cruzes even got the Z-link rear suspension (except for the fuel-miser Cruze Eco) that GM was saving just for the Buick.

 While the Cruze is a global-market car, the Buick Verano, like the Regal, is heavily based on an Opel/Vauxhall, in this case the Astra four-door sedan. Chief engineer Jim Federico notes that the Buick/Opel has an especially rigid body structure, so he was able to tune it for a more comfortable ride, while maintaining good handling attributes. True to Buick's reputation, the Verano will have the tightest body sealing possible and engine compartment acoustics to ensure it's among the quietest compacts extant.

 The Verano shows off the kind of elegance that made the 1961-62 Special a standout. It "has the kind of proportions not unlike the LaCrosse," notes Buick design director David Lyon, with its long cabin and sleek aero. It shares no sheetmetal with the Cruze, and unlike the Chevy or the Opel/Vauxhall, it has "portholes," or ventiports, on each side of the hood. The Kennedy-era Special comparison is apt because GM's first modern compacts were distinguished by engines as well as layout. The Special, with its all-new V-6 and mini-LeSabre/Invicta/Electra 225 styling, won our 1962 Car of the Year award, one year after the Pontiac Tempest and two years after the Corvair.

(Source)


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