The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2013 Buick Verano Turbo, Enclave AWD - Buick's Entry In the Race By Michael Bernstein

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2013 Buick Verano Turbo

By Michael Bernstein
Detroit Bureau
The Auto Channel

The rolling hills outside of Lou’-a-vul, that’s Louisville, KY (The Auto Channel's Corporate Home) for those of us that haven’t been to this surprisingly cosmopolitan city, is the beginning of horse country and the pastures and farms that are sowed into the fabric of the countryside, served as the perfect backdrop for Buick’s introduction of two new thoroughbreds named Verano Turbo and Enclave AWD.

The Verano Turbo is a young colt of a car in both age and experience. Introduced only nine months ago as a luxury compact that would serve as a gateway to younger buyers, the Verano appears to be a hit and the newest model to the venerable brand’s stable has enjoyed increased sales each month by appealing to your dollar and senses. That’s right the Verano is affordable luxury and performance wrapped in an attractive package.

The exterior styling features a sport inspired profile that is sleek and contemporary. The interior is dominated by a very busy IP and dash that resembled some of the modern art that adorned the walls of the tony hotel where the event was staged, it takes time to appreciate its beauty, but once its beauty is appreciated and the driver sensitized to the array of buttons and displays, I found them useful, especially the ignition button.

I point this out because the Verano’s key fob has a retractable “key” that does not start the car, as I found out when first entering the vehicle and tried in vein to locate the ignition, but only serves as a “fail safe” backup to the power locks.

The real beauty, however, is in the way the Verano Turbo performs on the road. The handling, featuring Macpherson strut front and Watts Z-Link rear suspension, acceleration, 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds, and braking were all rather impressive, especially when you consider we are referring to a compact sedan that features over 14 Cu.Ft. of storage and earned a 31 mpg highway fuel economy.

Currently available in four models that start at $23,000, the Verano Turbo, with its Ecotec 2.0L Turbo, capable of generating 250HP, is the top end model and has a price tag of just under $30,000.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The other stud on display was the elegant Enclave AWD, Buick’s rather impressive Sport-utility Vehicle that is moving into its second generation as the 3-row segment leader. That’s a pretty impressive feat for Buick and moreover it speaks to the tremendous amount of intellectual capital, design refinements and production capabilities that were employed to create the next generation Enclave.

Nothing was left to chance when it came to the new Enclave. Buick conducted intensive research into customer and consumer expectations with regards to design, available options and engine performance. The result is evident in the way in which it looks and more impressively the manner it takes to the road.

The Enclave’s great new look is matched by the outstanding road handling characteristics the vehicle achieved while I traversed the back roads of Kentucky. Whether it was the smooth acceleration needed on the freeway or the road hugging suspension that had the feel of a sports car, not a sport-utility vehicle, the Enclave delivered an outstanding road experience that was greatly enhanced by the Enclave’s outstanding NVH.

The Enclave has a base MSRP of $45,625 and the AWD model driven had an MSRP of $51,690. The Enclave earned an impressive EPA rating of 22 mpg highway and 16mpg city from the 3.6L WT DI, V6 engine that is harnessed by the Hydra-Matic 6T75 six-speed transmission.

No matter if is the Verano or the Enclave, both of these outstanding vehicles will be hitting their stride in dealer showrooms and Buick hopes you will put one or both of them in your stable.