Just three years ago Buick introduced the its smallest passenger car — the Verano sedan — for the 2013 model year. Now, the life of the first-generation Verano is coming to an end, as Buick gets ready to introduce the second generation of its compact passenger car, according to an Automotive News report. To note, Buick has already unveiled the new Verano in China, and the U.S. model will likely be largely the same with the exception of a few differences in styling and features. Nevertheless, here’s what to expect.
Set to hit the streets in the latter half of 2016 or early 2017 in the U.S., the completely-overhauled 2017 Buick Verano will likely share a significant amount of genes with the 2016 Opel-Vauxhall Astra K Sedan. Like the Opel-Vauxhall Astra K range, the new Buick Verano will ride on GM’s new, global compact D2XX platform. This compact architecture is also shared with the second-generation Chevrolet Cruze family. D2XX will allow the second-gen Verano to shed a considerable amount of weight compared to its predecessor, which was underpinned by GM’s Delta II platform. The weight savings will undoubtedly help in improving the small Buick’s fuel economy and handling characteristics, if the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze is any indicator.
However, those changes are likely to go overlooked by most consumers. As such, the most noticeable change to the second-gen Verano will be on the outside, as the compact sedan will wear all-new sheet metal in line with the evolution of Buick’s design language. Moreover, it is likely that the model will grow in size and interior volume, just like its platform mate — the new Chevrolet Cruze. The larger interior is also expected to bring with it improved materials and interior design.
Another expectation is that the second-gen Buick Verano will swap out the current model’s naturally-aspirated 2.4L I4 LEA Ecotec as the base motor for a smaller, more efficient, and turbocharged four-cylinder unit. At this point we don’t know precisely which powertrain will be fitted, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see the either the turbo’ed 1.4L or 1.5L Ecotec, the latter seen in the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. GM’s ubiquitous 2.0L LTG I4 turbo would most likely replace the current model’s boosted 2.0L LHU I4 as a potential up-level powerplant.
It’s currently unknown whether the Verano sedan will be joined by a five-door hatch variant, though it’s certainly possible given the existence of the Astra K hatch in Europe and GM’s alignment of the Opel-Vauxhall and Buick brands globally.
Like the 2016 Astra K and Chinese-market Verano, we expect the North American market 2017 Buick Verano to have the latest technology in infotainment and active safety/driver assistance systems.