2016 Buick Verano Debuts in Chinese-Market Form in Shanghai

Redesigned sedan uses a new 1.5-liter turbo-four.

China is Buick’s biggest market, so it’s no surprise that the automaker revealed its redesigned 2016 Buick Verano compact sedan at the Shanghai auto show this week. Though an updated Verano bound for the U.S. may not look exactly like this Chinese-spec version, the car’s overall styling and technical details aren’t likely to change much when the new model reaches our shores.

The new Buick Verano falls much more in line with Buick’s current design cues, with a larger grille up front, the characteristic “sweepspear” line along the side, and LaCrosse-style taillights in the back. It also appears larger than the outgoing Verano, though GM has not yet provided specifications or dimensions for the redesigned sedan.

The new Buick Verano will still be based on the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, which is also scheduled for a redesign for 2016. Both sedans ride on a new version of GM’s Delta platform. In China, the Buick Verano will use one of GM’s new EcoTec four-cylinder engines, specifically a 1.5-liter turbocharged unit making 166 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This same engine will be used in the U.S.-market 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, though it pairs with a new seven-speed automatic transmission in the Verano as opposed to the six-speed in the Malibu. The Buick Verano headed to the U.S. will also likely receive a more powerful turbocharged engine to replace the existing Verano Turbo, which uses a 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Confusingly, the new Buick Verano will be sold alongside the old model in China, as that market’s Buick Excelle GT is identical to the outgoing Verano we get here in the U.S. The Buick lienup makes much more sense on our shores, where the Verano will continue to slot in below the midsize Regal sedan.

Expect to hear more details about the 2016 Buick Verano sedan as we near its U.S. debut later this year, as the car’s Shanghai debuted lacked information about the interior and detailed specifications.