Buick is trying to open up a market that was until now limited to one car. The compact, near-luxury market has until now been occupied by the Acura CSX, which has just been retired and replaced by the 2013 Acura ILX. Honda basically takes the capable Civic and turns it into an Acura by adding different suspension tuning, interior and exterior updates. Buick is following a similar path by using the very popular and award winning Chevrolet Cruze and turning it into a Buick. It should be pointed out that the Cruze is already a supremely smooth and comfortable car; in fact I chose it as one of my top ten cars from last year, because of the relaxed and graceful approach it has for daily duty. The Buick version, called Verano, builds on this smooth and refined attitude, to produce a car that is remarkably refined and luxurious especially for the price.
Starting at just $22,595, the Verano is accessible to a wide number of buyers but at the same time could be placed in no-mans-land. Not a thrifty compact car, not perceived as a true luxury car, and not a midsized car, the Verano might fall through the cracks, but it should be considered. The designers at GM should be applauded for not falling into old habits of placing a different badge on essentially the same car. This Buick might be based on the Cruze but it looks like a smaller version of the classy Regal sedan. The signature Buick waterfall grille and requisite portholes (ventiports) on the hood are not overdone, as is the chrome trim on the front, side and back. The base model comes with 17-inch wheels, in order to get the 18-inch wheels found on this test unit the buyers will need to order them for $270 or select the top model with leather.
My ~70 year old parents (in Powell River) are looking for a new vehicle. Currently driving a 2010 Honda Accord. Mom hates the passenger seat, wouldn't buy it again. (When they bought they were told that the power passenger seat was only available on the V6 - they purchased the 4). They're still quite active, and like to do short trips with the grandchildren (to Vancouver or Victoria ~3 hours), and occasionally longer ones - i.e. down the Orgegon coast.
Performance (cornering, acceleration) is not a factor in their consideration. Primary concern is comfort, smoothness, quietness - mom doesn't want to feel those speedbumps!
Price Range; up to ~40K. (They may consider a used vehicle as well.) They have always liked cars, but if there is a sport ute or crossover that fits the bill, that might work as well. I'm thinking it might be easier to get in and out of (higher ride) as they get older - and better visibility. But it HAS to be smooth riding - What mom really wants is a vehicle that rides like a 1976 Eldorado and is the size of a similar vintage Pinto! :-)
Any ideas you have would be very much appreciated.
Motormouth.ca says: 1:29 PM on October 15, 2012 This might surprise you but GM is doing a great job of producing smooth and quiet riding cars. The 2013 Chevrolet Malibu is just arriving now, it has a great 2.5L 4-cylinder with almost 200hp and is very comfortable and smooth. If you want something smaller, then the Chevrolet Cruze is another example of what GM is doing right. My top pick for a smooth quiet ride is the new Buick Verano. Loaded, it costs under $30,000 and is a great car. If you want something bigger, then the Chevy Equinox compact SUV is just as smooth and quiet as the other products. Check them out and see for yourself how good they have become as making a smooth car.
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