Why Buick stopped making the Verano

Sal Collaziano

Buick: World Class Luxury
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Thread starter #1
Well, this is my take on it, anyway...

The Buick Verano was a great small near-luxury sedan. In fact, it was the most comfortable small car I'd ever sat in. Even though it was small, it was still very plush inside. I was so surprised to hear that Buick was going to cancel it. At first I didn't believe it - but here we are. No more Buick Verano...

However... It occurs to me that the Verano is still here - kind of - in the Encore... The Encore is a small crossover utility vehicle (CUV) - and quite a plush offering at that. It's, again, the most luxurious small vehicle I've ever sat in. Mercedes-Benz makes small CUVs - but they're not as comfortable. They're more sporty than anything. The same goes for BMW. Yes, they have some really high tech features - that's great - but they're really not very luxurious inside - outside of "technology"...

The problem Buick had foreseen, in my opinion, is that sales would inevitably slow down - perhaps to a halt - as CUV purchases consistently replaced cars. Just like times change here - we recently had to move to new software to accommodate mobile phones. It was an inevitable change. Well, Buick saw change coming - and instead of continuing on with a small luxury car - they served what are, more or less, the same type of customers with a small CUV.

As more and more higher CUVs fill the roads, less and less buyers want cars with lower seating positions. It makes driving more challenging when you can't see anything around you because you're surrounded by higher vehicles... So, in my opinion, the Encore is the vehicle for the Verano buyer. I don't really love the idea. I'm a "car guy". But the market wants CUVs - not sedans...
 

KevinJ

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2013 Verano Premium (2.0T, AT)
#2
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Sal about the Encore.
My brother has a 2017 Encore, AWD, Preferred II option group, base engine.
It is not even close to as solid built or quiet running as a Verano.
Buick may think it can act as a replacement for the Verano.
AND they would be GREATLY mistaken.

The interior in the Preferred II option group is flat out CHEAP!!
Even my brother agrees with me.
A combination armrest/console is not even offered in ANY option group.
The driver seat instead has this cheap/narrow fold down armrest like you used to find in budget based mini-vans.

And the base engine is woefully anemic.
1.4L Turbo, 138hp
and the optional "sport" engine is only 158hp.

And like any typical CUV, it's center of gravity is too high for its overall width making the handling atrocious.

Lastly....
I am already forced to buy too much cheap crap from China.
I will surely not be buying an Encore, Excelle, or any other budget vehicle that Buick or any other manufacturer makes over there.
 

Skylarkin'

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2015 Buick Verano Turbo
#3
I believe part of the Verano's problem was that it was never updated after the Turbo option debuted as the Premium trim for 2013. There should have been a mid-cycle enhancement in 2015 to correct/upgrade many of the car's cost-cutting features. Another problem was, at least in my metro area, it was never advertised much; a negative side effect of being a 'sleeper.'

A perception issue was that since it shared a platform with the Cruze, the Verano should also have been an economy car. However, it was never meant to deliver high MPGs; its was meant to be a small near-luxury sedan that offered occupants comfort, technology and safety features.

As I posted in a different thread, I think Buick would do well to offer the second-generation Verano hatch alongside the Encore as a solid dual effort to bring first-time customers to the brand since not everyone wants a CUV/SUV.

I'll pass 20,000 miles on my Verano this week. It still makes me smile every time I get behind the wheel.

Clarification: the mid-sized Buick Envision SUV is made in China; the compact Encore is assembled in South Korea.
 

KevinJ

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Ohio
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2013 Verano Premium (2.0T, AT)
#4
Hey Sal, I agree 100% with your assesment.

Just as a clarification of my own.
The Encore is not a "bad" vehicle.
I am just not as impressed with it as my Verano.
And my Brother agree's with me that overall the Verano seems to be a "better made" vehicle.
His only real complaint with the Encore is that it could use a few more horses and lb feet of torque.
With that being said, my Brother really likes his Encore and plans to keep it long term.

Now back to the Verano...
The Verano's association with the "economy" Cruze created a Verano price point problem for potential buyers.
Hence, some pretty noticeable depreciation in value from new.
But this has created some good buys in the used car market for Verano's.
I personally don't fret depreciation since I typically buy used anyway and then keep vehicles until they are dead.

Definitely, poor marketing on behalf of Buick.
When talking cars to people, many times they have never heard of the Verano.
And then I have to explain that Buick no longer offers it anyway.....

A small size Verano hatch will appeal mainly to younger buyers.
So the real question is whether Buick can or even should try to change their market age demographic.
Because, that is what they are really trying to do.
Are they risking losing some of their "mature" buyer segment by offering these "economy" price and sized vehicles?

Interesting you bring up fuel mileage.
Just this last weekend, I did a quick, almost all interstate highway, 400 mile round trip.
A trip that I have made a few hundred times over the last 30 years.
I have to say that I absolutely love the 2.0 Turbo engine!!

On the first 200 mile leg, I drove very conservatively, probably averaging around 68 mph, and got 31.6 mpg according to the on-board computer.
I know from past fill-ups and a manual mpg calculation, that in reality I got 33+ mpg.
The on-board computer is always around 2 mpg less than my manual calculation.

For the 200 mile return leg, I put the pedal down, running around 75 mph most of the way, with some quick bursts up to the 90-100 mph mark.
I still averaged, 27.5 mpg on the car computer. So close to 30 mpg in reality.
It may not necessarily be classified as a fuel miser but the 2.0 Turbo it is definitely not a fuel hog.
Of course you do need to run Premium 92-93 Octane to get the better fuel economy and performance.
______________________________
 
Last edited:

Skylarkin'

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2015 Buick Verano Turbo
#5
Car impressions are relative. Coming out of a 2006 Saturn Ion 3 sedan (the top-level trim), my partner's 2012 Cruze LT impressed me (except for the carpeted dashboard and it's lack of power vs. my Ion). I liked the Cruze's solid build quality, analog and digital gauges, stereo and its ride.

After it perished in a 40-vehicle fire, he bought a '14 Encore, which impressed me even more compared to my Ion. Loaded with gadgets, heated seats and steering wheel and easy to park, it is an impressive cute ute. He averages 32-34 mpg on his mostly interstate commute. Raw power doesn't interest him; good mileage and practicality does. My Verano impresses me more than any of those three preceding cars.

I'm not sure there was an "association" between the Cruze and Verano since most people, as you pointed out, never knew the Buick existed or mistakenly called it a Suzuki Verona. As for a price point issue, Verano's started in the low 20s so expecting to find a new Verano as cheap as a new Cruze was unrealistic. Depreciation isn't a factor for me either as I keep my cars for years.

Buick buyer demographics have skewed younger in the last decade. According to Forbes, the average age was 64 in 2008 and it dropped to 57 in 2013. I've noticed a fair number of younger folks on this site who own Buicks. Toyota/Lexus is the new Buick for the blue-rinse and Q-tip sets, at least in my area.

I don't trust the on-board computer for my fuel mileage. I always calculate it on paper. It's easy to get the LHU to give 30 mpg on the interstate; I've done it, too.

Running the a/c, driving in daily in stop-and-go traffic, in extreme temps or indulging too often in that glorious hp and tq all sabotages that 30 in short order. City mileage complaints is what a lot of reviewers and Verano owners mentioned. They expected the Verano to get the same kind of mileage as the Cruze even though they never shared engines.
 

Sal Collaziano

Buick: World Class Luxury
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Thread starter #6
I do believe the Cruze hurt sales of the Verano as people didn't understand what they were getting for the price of the Buick. But, as many of "us" know, the Verano was a very luxurious car for its size. It's a great car whether you're young or old. For older people, it was nice to have something small and easy to drive - but also comfortable. Where do you go for that now?

I do hear the Encore isn't everything the Verano was. The Encore is good for what it is - it's just the Verano was VERY good for what it was...
 
491
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2018 Regal Sportback - 2010 Yamaha R6 (track bike) Past cars: 92 LeSabre, 98 Regal, 02 GrandPrixGT
#7
Verano was made in USA
Cruze in Mexico
Encore in China

My brother has a 2014' Verano and I can't believe how agile the car is. Suspension is stiff enough for hard cornering but also works amazing at absorbing bumps (my 2018 Regal doesn't absorb bumps as well as his Verano).
Verano 2.4L motor lacks a little umph for my liking, but my brother doesn't complain.


In 2016, the 2013 Verano got the JD power most dependable award. Which looks at ALL the cars sold in the USA during that year.

Brother's Verano has 50,000 miles (80,000km) and has not has a single issue, but had to replace the rear break pads this year.

His fuel economy is 10L/100km (23-24mph) all city driving with 3 male adult passengers he take to work and back.
 

LCromwell

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New Braunfels
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#8
I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Sal about the Encore.
My brother has a 2017 Encore, AWD, Preferred II option group, base engine.
It is not even close to as solid built or quiet running as a Verano.
Buick may think it can act as a replacement for the Verano.
AND they would be GREATLY mistaken.

The interior in the Preferred II option group is flat out CHEAP!!
Even my brother agrees with me.
A combination armrest/console is not even offered in ANY option group.
The driver seat instead has this cheap/narrow fold down armrest like you used to find in budget based mini-vans.

And the base engine is woefully anemic.
1.4L Turbo, 138hp
and the optional "sport" engine is only 158hp.

And like any typical CUV, it's center of gravity is too high for its overall width making the handling atrocious.

Lastly....
I am already forced to buy too much cheap crap from China.
I will surely not be buying an Encore, Excelle, or any other budget vehicle that Buick or any other manufacturer makes over there.
Is this the Buick that looks like a roller skate?
______________________________
 

Sal Collaziano

Buick: World Class Luxury
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Thread starter #9
Verano was made in USA
Cruze in Mexico
Encore in China

My brother has a 2014' Verano and I can't believe how agile the car is. Suspension is stiff enough for hard cornering but also works amazing at absorbing bumps (my 2018 Regal doesn't absorb bumps as well as his Verano).
Verano 2.4L motor lacks a little umph for my liking, but my brother doesn't complain.


In 2016, the 2013 Verano got the JD power most dependable award. Which looks at ALL the cars sold in the USA during that year.

Brother's Verano has 50,000 miles (80,000km) and has not has a single issue, but had to replace the rear break pads this year.

His fuel economy is 10L/100km (23-24mph) all city driving with 3 male adult passengers he take to work and back.
It's interesting how the Verano managed to soak up bumps better than the larger Regal - and still handle so good. And the Verano Turbo was actually a sleeper with a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds - which was pretty impressive in 2013. Especially for a car that had such great creature comforts...

Is this the Buick that looks like a roller skate?
This is the Buick Verano...

 

Davidsmad

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#10
Well my 2015 is junk.a car that shakes going into 2nd gear and surging on the highway leads me to believe that there are major mistakes engineered into this car and it may bankrupt Buick GMC.recalling these problems
 
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#11
Well my 2015 is junk.a car that shakes going into 2nd gear and surging on the highway leads me to believe that there are major mistakes engineered into this car and it may bankrupt Buick GMC.recalling these problems
I just looked through my Brothers 2014 Verano Transmission ecm parameters and not to my surprise they have the tcc apply/release speeds too low. This would cause major shutter because the tcc is trying to lower the cruising rpm in (for example) 2nd gear BEFORE the ecm commanded the transmission to shift into 2nd gear !. When auto shift is set at 10 mph (at 6% throttle for example), the tcc can not lower the cruising rpm at 9mph in 2nd gear because the trans is not in second gear yet !!!.... the computer can figure out that this is not good and overwrite it, however it will not do so when those 2 numbers are within 1mph (for whatever reason).

Had this problem with 2 different GM 4 speed transmissions when shifting into 4th gear at light throttle. Sure as hell in the tune the ecm was commending the tcc to lower the 4th gear cruising rpm 1 mph before the 3-4 shift. I fixed it myself with HPTuners but it's something the manufacturer should of caught right away. And you can not PROVE to them they messed up because reading their ECM and reprogramming it is not road legal ! it's a catch 22.

Tuning software like HPTuners is not cheap ($500 base price) and it's VERY easy to destroy the motor and transmission if you input the wrong number.
There are THOUSANDS of parameters and you must know which to change to what value to make the corrections. Not something anyone can learn over night.
 

KevinJ

Contributing Member
128
14
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Ohio
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2013 Verano Premium (2.0T, AT)
#12
I just looked through my Brothers 2014 Verano Transmission ecm parameters and not to my surprise they have the tcc apply/release speeds too low. This would cause major shutter because the tcc is trying to lower the cruising rpm in (for example) 2nd gear BEFORE the ecm commanded the transmission to shift into 2nd gear !. When auto shift is set at 10 mph (at 6% throttle for example), the tcc can not lower the cruising rpm at 9mph in 2nd gear because the trans is not in second gear yet !!!.... the computer can figure out that this is not good and overwrite it, however it will not do so when those 2 numbers are within 1mph (for whatever reason).

Had this problem with 2 different GM 4 speed transmissions when shifting into 4th gear at light throttle. Sure as hell in the tune the ecm was commending the tcc to lower the 4th gear cruising rpm 1 mph before the 3-4 shift. I fixed it myself with HPTuners but it's something the manufacturer should of caught right away. And you can not PROVE to them they messed up because reading their ECM and reprogramming it is not road legal ! it's a catch 22.

Tuning software like HPTuners is not cheap ($500 base price) and it's VERY easy to destroy the motor and transmission if you input the wrong number.
There are THOUSANDS of parameters and you must know which to change to what value to make the corrections. Not something anyone can learn over night.
Hey Zero, Does your Brother's 2014 also have these same drive ability issues as reported by David?
Does anybody know if these symptoms are being widely reported?
Is this only an issue for certain model years and/or motor combinations?
______________________________
 
491
104
43
Location
S.W. Ontario Canada
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal Sportback - 2010 Yamaha R6 (track bike) Past cars: 92 LeSabre, 98 Regal, 02 GrandPrixGT
#13
Hey Zero, Does your Brother's 2014 also have these same drive ability issues as reported by David?
Does anybody know if these symptoms are being widely reported?
Is this only an issue for certain model years and/or motor combinations?
My brothers Verano seems good, but I feel like it shifts worst now than at the beginning. He's got the base 2.4 engine. Now at 50k miles (80k KM). It might be that the 6 speed trans tables work differently than my previous 4 speed. And the TCC doesn't lower the cruising revs ?
I haven't tuned his car because it's still under warranty and now with the newer ecm's the dealer tech knows if the ecm was ever accessed.
 

Davidsmad

New member
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#14
Hey Zero, Does your Brother's 2014 also have these same drive ability issues as reported by David?
Does anybody know if these symptoms are being widely reported?
Is this only an issue for certain model years and/or motor combinations?
Yes please if anyone is having these issues they must be reported to GMC.this is the only way they will move to correct these problems.
 
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