Buick has been pulling out all the stops in an effort to get some younger buyers into its new line of cars. Using celebrities and athletes like Shaquille O'Neal and Peyton Manning, Buick's parent company General Motors has put a lot of time, energy and money into rebranding Buick's geriatric image.

The Verano Turbo is a big part of this effort to help younger buyers see the "all-new Buick." Outfitted with an upgraded turbocharged engine, lots of standard features, a sportier exterior design and new technology, this small sedan is intended to prove that Buicks aren't just nice to sit in, but also a cool and sporty car to drive, capable of mention in the same breath as cars like the Audi A3 and Lexus IS250.

I had spent some time in the basic Verano and I liked what I experienced. It felt like a premium car in a nice, compact package for a tempting price. Does the Turbo add some needed sportiness to the package? I spent a week getting to know the new Verano Turbo and, thus, the new Buick (just like Shaq wants me to). I think it has a big flaw in that it costs too much -- more on that later -- but it certainly has some redeeming qualities. Read on to see what they are.

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Sticker Price: $29,105
Invoice Price: $27,941

 As Tested Price: $32,180

 Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine

 Transmission: 6-speed manual or automatic

 Performance: 250 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque

 Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city, 31 mpg highway

 Seating: 5 people

 Cargo: 14.0 cubic feet

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This is a nice looking car. Along with the LaCrosse and Regal sedans, the Verano employs nice curves, a sporty stance and comes in a variety of attractive colors.

My test model, which came in the Premium trim level, was loaded with chrome. Chrome wheels, chrome door handles, chrome taillight accents and a big chrome grille. Although it's a small car and the overall body isn't really anything that stands out in a crowd, the amount of shiny metal on this thing is going to ensure that almost everyone will see you coming.

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The smooth tan leather and wood accents give the whole cabin a nice, premium feel. The seats are comfortable and most of the controls are ergonomically placed, meaning the driver can change the climate controls and radio comfortably and easily. The steering wheel has a nice feel to it and the instrument cluster is clean and easy to read.

A closer inspection of some of the surface area reveals some disappointing and uncomfortable hard plastics in a couple of inconvenient locations -- such as where I rest my leg when driving. It's certainly not something you want to find in a luxury car, so I have to dock a couple of points off for that.

All in all, though, I'd call this a pretty solid interior with minimal wind and road noise.

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Given the small dimensions of this car, it's not surprising that passenger room in the rear seat isn't great. I would wager that anyone over 5' 6" is going to have a less than pleasant experience back there. But up front, I found nothing to complain about. Shoulder, leg and head room were more than adequate for my 6' 0" frame.

Cargo space is surprisingly good, as the Verano Turbo has a deceptively large trunk. You wouldn't think so after a cursory glance at this small sedan, but I think you'll find a good amount of versatility here. Of course, you won't be hauling lumber, but sports equipment and groceries shouldn't be a problem.

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Overall, the ride is pretty inoffensive and the average car shopper isn't going to find much to complain about.

If you're looking for a really fun car, this isn't it. The 2.0L turbocharged engine adds some power and torque compared with the base naturally aspirated 2.4L I-4 engine. But even with the manual transmission, the Verano just doesn't feel that fast. The steering is pretty numb and light, which is fine for a smooth daily driver. But if we're to be convinced that sporty little "Turbo" badge on the back is representative of its performance on the road, the car needs some tweaks in its suspension and handling to make it a little more engaging.

The Verano Turbo could benefit from a "Sport" mode that makes the steering more weighted and enhances the throttle response. This way, the car's performance on the road could cater to both drivers who are simply looking to get from A to B and those who are trying to have a little fun along the way.

Driving enthusiasts should look at the Buick Regal GS for a dedicated fun-to-drive vehicle in the Buick line.

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Buick's infotainment system -- called Intellilink -- is about as easy to use and clean as they come. The navigation takes a while to load, which can be pretty frustrating. Other than that, the system operates pretty seamlessly through either a knob located just below the screen or with your finger.

Like most GM vehicles, Buick has OnStar capability that puts you in contact with a real live human being at the push of the button. The representative can forward you directions, help in an emergency and probably even sing to you if you ask (I wouldn't recommend doing this, they're real people after all).

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The Buick Verano Turbo is neither the best or the worst car on the road. It's somewhere comfortably in the middle. For the most part, I enjoyed my week behind the wheel. But it has a major flaw: It costs too much money. My tester cost $32,180. A Hyundai Sonata Turbo, which has a more powerful engine, much more room, a better warranty and better fuel economy costs $27,595 for the highest possible trim level.

There's something to be said for badge recognition and if that's what floats your boat, by all means give the Verano Turbo a shot. It has a nice interior, a decent ride and enough chrome to light up the whole driveway on a full moon night all in addition to that luxury cache.

Just know that it's possible to get a lot more car for about the same price.

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