The Buick Verano Proved That Premium Compact Sedans Are Dying


Can you guess why?

First things first, the Buick Verano isn't a bad car. Quite the contrary, it's actually a very nice compact premium sedan. When it first hit the market for 2012, it was widely praised for its build quality, ride and handling, and the fact that it in no way reminded anyone of Buick's previous compact sedan attempt, the Skylark. In fact, the Skylark was so bad that after its 1998 discontinuation, Buick didn't even bother with this segment for 14 years. But thanks partly to rebadged Opels, Buick is back in the game and the Verano helped – for a few years.

The situation is different today because crossovers of all sizes are outselling sedans. Buick estimates that 70 percent of its future US vehicle sales will be crossovers, so it really doesn't make any sense to replace the Verano with a redesigned model. 2017 will be its final model year and we managed to check one out before its permanent retirement.

Power comes from a lame naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque, with power going to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic. There used to be an optional engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter with 250 hp and 260 lb-ft but that was dropped last year. Why? Because Verano sales were going south, even with that optional turbo four. Our $25,385 all-in tester was the mid-range Sport Touring trim, and you do get a lot for your money. Perhaps its main competitor, the Acura ILX, only begins at around $29k. The Verano's fate is yet another clear cut sign that crossovers are taking over, for better or worse. Special thanks to Woodland Motors for letting us film the car.

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