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2013 Buick Verano Turbo Update 8: A Regal Issue

Zach Gale
Jan 8, 2014
Photographers: Zach Gale
I like the Buick Verano. As a lower-volume alternative to larger, non-premium midsize sedans, it could make sense with the right powertrain. The car is very quiet and it rides well enough, but for the 2014 model year, Buick has made the now-more-powerful turbocharged car the base model. Newly refreshed, the 2014 Regal has a larger center-stack screen and similar fuel economy to our Verano Turbo. So which Buick makes more sense?
Photo 2/12   |   2013 Buick Verano Turbo Front Side View
The fuel economy of an automatic-transmission 2014 Buick Regal Turbo is 21/30 mpg city/highway, matching the automatic-transmission numbers of the 2014 Buick Verano Turbo. We’ve extensively covered whether the six-speed manual transmission makes sense in the Verano (it doesn’t), but the 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine feels like a worthy upgrade. So now that the refreshed 2014 Regal has a 259-hp engine as standard on the base model, the decision isn’t quite as easy.
The 2014 Buick Regal Turbo carries an MSRP of $30,615, not far off the 2014 Verano Turbo’s $29,990 base price. Regional incentives will probably push the Verano $1000-$3000 below the newly refreshed Regal, making the larger sedan a no-go for many. But let’s consider what you get for that extra money: a more exclusive body style, more rear-seat space, a slightly larger center-stack screen, eight-way power driver seat (Verano has a manual recliner), and an instrument cluster screen that doesn’t look like it would be at home on a Buick from the mid-2000s.
That is the feature that bothers me the most about our Verano — the instrument cluster and its old-looking display. I like the rings of blue that are matched by the accent lighting below the gear selector area, but the lack of electroluminescent lighting or a more modern display such as the Regal’s standard 4.2-inch color unit really puts me off. With GM now installing partially or fully digital instrument cluster displays on new Buicks, GMCs, and Cadillacs, I can only hope the possibly refreshed 2015 Buick Verano has some update in this department – the 2014 Verano is a mostly carryover car. Perhaps the partially digital display on high-end Regals and LaCrosses is cost-prohibitive on the Verano, but an updated and more attractive design would be appreciated.
Photo 3/12   |   2013 Buick Verano Turbo Interior Instrument Cluster
Based on my time in the Verano, it’s clear to me Buick has a good foundation for an entry-level premium model. The automaker better hurry up, though, with Audi and BMW soon to enter this space with new models, to say nothing of loaded compacts such as the 2014 Mazda3, which can be priced up to $30,000 with a 184-hp engine, HID headlights that turn around corners, a head-up display, and a safety system that can apply the brakes if an obtrusive object is detected at speeds up to 19 mph. None of these cars are likely to be as quiet as the Verano, but some buyers may want more than that in a premium-ish compact.
More on the Buick Verano Turbo:
2013 Buick Verano Turbo Arrival
Verano Turbo Update 1: Power and Mileage Balanced
Verano Turbo Update 2: This Thing is Confused
Verano Turbo Update 3: Go North, Small Buick
Verano Turbo Update 4: Not Your Grandpa's Buick
Verano Turbo Update 5: Justifying the Automatic
Verano Turbo Update 6: The Road Trip
Verano Turbo Update 7: Is It On?



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