Last month, we told you about the five things we absolutely and positively love about the Buick Verano. But as is usually the case with any product, there are five things we would like to see improved — and the Verano is no exception. So, here are the five things we dislike, and therefore would change, about the Buick Verano.
2.4 Liter Ecotec Engine
The 2.4L Ecotec found in the non-turbo Verano isn’t a bad engine. It’s just not that good, either. The 2.4 LEA is rather coarse and unrefined, even though it makes adequate — but not stellar — power. The same can be said for the compact car’s fuel economy. Either way, the 2.4 has no place in a luxury car the Verano is trying to be. The new 2.5 liter LCV is quieter, more powerful, and more efficient — and it can’t come soon enough.
Front Vanity Window Trim
To say that the trim surrounding the small vanity windows immediately behind the A-pillar is unattractive would be an understatement. The black covers are somewhat uneven and downright awful-looking, not befitting any modern vehicle, let alone a luxury one. The pieces need to be improved in fit, finish, and overall quality… yesterday.
Fake Wood & Metal Trim
The Verano’s door handles, along with the center console, are adorned in a combination of silver and wood. The silver is supposed to resemble an aluminum finish, while the wood, is supposed to look like wood. The problem is that both look and feel fake, plastic, and cheap — and both are aspects of the car that the driver will come into contact with every day, since closing the door is accomplished by grabbing the door handle with the materials in question. Here’s an idea: make the metal-looking part metal, and make the wood, real wood.
The Monochromatic Driver Information Center (DIC)
This is 2012: why do any GM vehicles continue with a monochromatic driver information center? Heck, VW, Ford, and even Honda, among others, offer color DIC displays in their compact vehicle offerings, including the Jetta, Focus, and Civic. How is it that a vehicle that’s an entire level above all those mainstream (read: non-luxury) compacts is still offering a non-color unit? The doctor prescribed a color display long ago; it’s time to fill the prescription. But the blue backlighting is cool, though.
Front Plate Indentation
We’re sure you’ve noticed the Verano’s front bumper cover, which contains a very conspicuous cutout for a European-sized front license plate. Simply put, the cutout clutters the design aesthetic of what is an otherwise great-looking front-end; and it looks even worse with a U.S.-sized plate attached to the much wider-than-necessary space. The cutout, which harkens from the Verano’s European cousin — the Opel Astra, is simply not called for, as the front plate space could be integrated into the front bumper cover in a myriad of other ways that don’t require a cutout — just look at Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, or — heck — even Buick’s other vehicles such as the LaCrosse, Regal and Opel Insignia. Neither of those feature a plate cutout, why does the Verano?
And There It Is
That’s our list of things we would like to see changed in the Buick Verano, and — by association — the Chinese-market Excelle XT/GT. Addressing each of these items would result in a better vehicle that offers more value to the ever-discerning buyer. Some of our other gripes that didn’t make the top five list include the inability to equip the Verano with HID/Xenon headlights, the fact that push-button start is optional, and that the outside mirrors are not auto-dimming, even though the center mirror is. Our hope is that, with time, Buick will move each of its vehicles further up-market — as it’s doing with all of its 2013 units.
Is there anything you’d like to see improved on the Verano that we missed? Sound off in the comments, below.