When we first drove the 2012 Buick Verano in Oregon, and again in Michigan, it was quick to conclude that one of the vehicle’s lowlights is its base 2.4L Ecotec engine producing 180 horsepower and 171 pound-feet of torque. It’s not that it doesn’t provide performance — ther Verano isn’t trying to be a sports car — but it felt a tad unrefined, and returned fuel economy numbers of 21 mpg city and 32 highway. These figures seem mediocre at best for a modern front-wheel-drive compact, though still better than the Acura TSX and ILX. But as we know, the Verano will offer a 250 horsepower turbocharged 2.0L mill and a manual transmission for the 2013 model year come the fall season.
This is where things get interesting, as the power jumps 70 horses, and 89 pound-feet while only sacrificing one mile per gallon both on the city and the highway. Officially rated by the EPA, the numbers come in at 20 mpg city and 31 mpg highway while also out-muscling the alike four cylinder, front-wheel-drive Acura TSX and ILX compact sedans. In addition, the Verano Turbo achieves the same fuel economy as its bigger brother, the Regal Turbo (with the same drivetrain, but less power) in the city and on the combined cycle, but 1 MPG less on the highway, even though the Regal is a full 371 pounds heavier than the Verano.
Pricing still hasn’t been announced for the Verano’s boosted four-banger, but from our current vantage point, it seems that the minimal fuel economy trade-off will make the upgrade well worth-it.