It has been nearly one month since I took delivery of my 2013 Buick Verano Turbo, and with the pint sized Buick recently surpassing 1500 miles (mostly due to my long trek to work) It is time for a long-term test update. I am the primary driver of this long term tester, and it has done an admirable job in getting me to work and back safely as well as various other errands and visits with family and friends. So far I am very pleased with my purchase, and I’m pleased to report that the Verano has not racked up any warranty related problems since its arrival in our family’s fleet of vehicles in July.
My initial first impressions of the Verano Turbo were very positive with highlights being its strong acceleration, spirited turbo punch, and its extensive list of standard features. This still holds true and with 0ver 1500 miles on its odometer, spirited runs with the turbocharger fully spooled were finally achieved. While there is some noticeable turbo lag when you first press the accelerator, once the turbo has the chance to fully engage acceleration is brisk and snappy especially in the lower RPM range.
Shifts from my car’s six speed automatic transmission were smooth and accurate, and while manual mode does add a bit more fun to the driving experience, The lack of a formal sport mode puts the otherwise excellent transmission at a slight disadvantage when compared to rivals such as the Volkswagen GLI and its DSG gearbox. A manual transmission is available as a no cost option for purists that prefer to shift the gears themselves, but its long throws and awkward shift knob design keep it from discernibly standing out against the automatic.
Handling also remains poised and secure with acceptable amounts of body roll. But my disdain towards the all season tires and their low handling limits are still fully intact after 1500 miles. Hopefully Buick will offer a slightly sticker tire as an option to remedy this issue, but in the meantime a swap for stickier rubber at your local tire store will silence the howling tires and sharpen the Verano’s handling at the same time.
When it comes to fuel economy the Verano Turbo (and its naturally aspirated sibling) are a classic example of vehicular Darwinism. Unlike other vehicles where the difference in fuel economy is noticeable especially after going into higher trim levels and engine choices, The Verano Turbo’s fuel economy numbers are not that different from the base 2.4 liter model, with automatic equipped models like my vehicle achieving 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway (manual equipped Turbos achieve 20/31mpg). This miniscule difference in mileage means that buyers will have to instead decide whether they want a Verano that is feature rich and slightly more fuel efficient, or follow the path of evolution and choose one that is feature rich, has more horsepower and can achieve both with a minimal MPG penalty. In real world driving, my particular example is currently achieving an average fuel economy rating of 23.9 mpg on premium 93 grade gasoline which is slightly higher than its 2.4 liter powered siblings 23.8 mpg, but falls just short of the EPA’s combined rating of 24 mpg for both versions of the Turbo.
While my time with the 2013 Buick Verano Turbo has so far been a positive and fulfilling experience, some minor flaws have made themselves apparent. A slight rattle has popped up from the center console area and is easily detectable over bumps and road imperfections. The side mirror on the front passenger door has also developed a loud creak when the door is opened or closed which we suspect is due to a component that is fitted too tightly preventing smooth movement.
While i’m holding off on fixing the two fore-mentioned issues until the Verano needs to be serviced under its 4 year/50,000 mile warranty, I am currently investigating the only major problem that has arisen during the Verano’s time with me and that is a software problem which occurred while rewinding a CD track on my way to work. This incident caused the radio to completely lock up leaving me unable to use the touchscreen, the rewind function stuck on, and the inability to either eject the CD or shut down the system using the power button. Pulling over at a nearby gas station and restarting the car initially failed to fix the problem, but two further attempts eventually allowed the radio to gradually reboot and eventually unfreeze. While this particular issue appears to be a software glitch and has not reappeared since, I have seen this exact problem occur in several other Intellilink equipped vehicles in the past, and I plan on bringing the Verano to my local Buick dealer if the system acts up in a similar manner again. Oh and one final complaint, the Ebony color scheme for the interior of my Verano is still looking handsome and luxurious, but just like other black or grey color schemes, it is also a massive smudge and scuff magnet and requires constant touch ups between major cleanings.
That said I look forward to many more happy miles with my Buick Verano, and stay tuned to Techshake for more long term test updates on the 2013 Buick Verano Turbo as well as our three other long term test vehicles: 2011 Ford F-150 Ecoboost, 2011 Ford Flex Limited Ecoboost, and 2013 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD.