What Sets The Buick Verano Apart From The Chevy Cruze

Front 3/4 view of 2014 Buick Verano
The 2014 Buick Verano
A bit more than two years ago, Michael reviewed the Buick Verano and had a very basic problem.  Even though the Verano was nicer and smoother, it cost three thousand dollars more, felt slower with the 2.4-liter four compared to the 1.4-liter turbo in the Cruze and got worse gas mileage.

Since Michael's drive, there's been an addition to the Verano lineup that erases most of those concerns. The 2-liter turbo engine.

Rear 3/4 view of 2014 Buick Verano
2014 Buick Verano.
While Michael thought the Verano's 180-horsepower 2.4-liter four felt less peppy than the Cruze's 138-horsepower 1.4 turbo four, the Verano's 2.0-liter four with 250 horsepower settles all arguments.  That is a 70 horsepower increase over the normally-aspirated engine.  And it comes with a very small penalty in fuel economy...just a mile per gallon or two (EPA rating for the turbo: 21 city/30 highway).

More to the point for an enthusiast---though our test vehicle didn't have it---the turbo Verano is available with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Base price for what our window sticker calls the Verano FWD 1ST, but Buick's consumer website calls the Premium Group, was $29,065, and it comes with a long list of standard equipment.  Click here to see it on Buick's website.

Interior View of 2014 Buick Verano
2014 Buick Verano interior.
Ours had options. $995 for white diamond tricoat paint, $795 to upgrade to an audio system with navigation, and $600 for 18-inch alloy wheels with Manoogian silver finish.  Add $925 for destination charges and the as-tested price was $32,380.

Using Chevrolet's consumer site's build feature, you could load a top-of-the-line Cruze with every available option and still spend three thousand dollars less.  So the price disparity is still what it was when Michael wrote his review.  But the 250 horsepower in the 2-liter turbo is transformative.  It elevates the Verano to a different type of car despite its common roots.