But why is the brand testing a compact sedan in California?

It was May this year when we got our first look at the updated Buick Verano through a set of spy photos. While there are no official signs that Buick will resurrect the nameplate in the United States yet, the attached video above shows yet another heavily camouflaged prototype, testing in the Death Valley. How do we know it’s a Verano? Let’s see.

First, let us address something – the title of the video. It may say this is the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze but the model is basically dead in America. The last Cruze (at least for now) was assembled in March this year and Chevrolet has no plans to continue the series. Testing a vehicle that won’t be sold in the United States in Eastern California doesn’t make sense to us.

Second and more importantly, this is clearly not a Chevy prototype. You may be fooled by the rear end but the front fascia clearly shows the distinctive Buick flying V grille treatment seen on other recent models from the brand. Plus, the trial car here looks virtually identical to the Buick Verano prototype spied in Michigan earlier this year (photos attached below).

With more and more automakers abandoning the sedan segment and dumping resources into SUVs and crossovers, we can’t help but wonder why is Buick testing a compact sedan in the United States? The Verano was discontinued in North America after the 2017 model year and is currently available in China.

While the refreshed model is obviously going to arrive at Buick dealers in China soon, most likely sometime next year, we will have to wait to see what’s the company’s decision on bringing it back to the U.S. market. Currently, it’s offered with a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter four-cylinder, turning just the front wheels, and this is expected to remain unchanged with the facelift.

Gallery: Buick Verano Spy Photos

Photo by: Automedia