Buick Verano

The 2017 Buick Verano is offered with a 180-horsepower, 2.4L 4-cylinder engine with direct injection. It powers the front-wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission and provides acceleration on par with most mid-size sedans. It is also quiet and refined, all while returning EPA ratings of 21 mpg city and 32 mpg highway.

The Verano has one of the quietest, most refined interiors in any sedan this size, thanks to Buick's Quiet Tuning philosophy, plus soft-touch materials and tight detailing throughout the interior. There's space for five in the Verano, but the rear bench seat is better contoured for two adults than for three across. Thanks to an acoustic windshield, triple-sealed doors, laminated side glass and other measures, the Verano's interior is luxury-quiet, with ride quality that is firm enough for good handling but compliant enough to soak up irregularities.

The Buick Verano is offered in three distinct trims. At the base level, the Verano includes a rich feature set that could fit into any true luxury-brand vehicle, with 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, ambient interior lighting, a 6-speaker audio system with USB port and iPod connectivity and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Sport Touring trim adds 18-inch alloys, front fog lamps, a rear lip spoiler, remote start, heated driver and front passenger seating with 8-way power-adjustability for the driver, a rear camera with park assist, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, satellite radio and Buick IntelliLink with a 7-inch color touchscreen.

The Verano Leather trim is optioned much like the Sport, with the addition of heated power mirrors, leather seating with heated front seats and 8-way power adjustability for the driver, a heated leather steering wheel and a 9-speaker Bose premium audio system with subwoofers.

With Bluetooth and USB connectivity, IntelliLink includes a 7-inch touch-screen for audio display, and it allows voice activation as well as steering-wheel-mounted controls of audio and hands-free calling functions. Users can also listen to Pandora and Stitcher Internet radio services using the smartphone's data connection. The available Bose audio system fully complements IntelliLink and XM Travel Link services and can provide access to gas stations, fuel prices, movie times and weather forecasts.

For Sport and Leather trims, The Driver Confidence Package adds forward collision alert and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as lane departure warning and side blind zone alert. Meanwhile, the Experience Buick Package brings navigation, a power moonroof, and the Bose 9-speaker audio system

All Verano models include OnStar safety, security and concierge services. Through a smartphone app, owners can have remote access to some OnStar functions. Otherwise the Verano includes a robust set of safety features, including ten standard airbags plus StabiliTrak stability control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Panic Brake Assist and a collapsible pedal system.

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Editors' First Take

I've heard people wonder aloud why, if crossovers are the new hotness, automakers even bother with sedans anymore. But while lifted hatchbacks are being sold in droves, sedans are still quite popular -- unless you stop offering them. It looks like Buick's taking that route, sadly. It's allegedly putting the Verano out to pasture as buyers keep moving towards utility vehicles.

The Verano won't be refreshed after the current model runs its course, according to Automotive News, which cites "a company source" and "another person familiar with the plans." This should happen at the end of the 2017 model year.

This alleged departure is not without good reason. Automotive News points out that 70 percent of Buick's US sales are crossovers. And while a new LaCrosse sedan is on the way, that likely won't make the market any less hungry for crossovers. It's not the end of the Verano, however. A new-look model was rolled out in China last year, but Automative News' source says it won't be coming to the US. Buick declined to comment.

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