Buick is in the middle of a renaissance these days, reinventing itself from a purveyor of dull-but-quiet sedans for the AARP set, to a maker of near-luxury cars for the masses.

Gone are the boring, conservatively-styled box-on-box sedans, replaced by genuinely attractive cars like the LaCrosse and the Regal.

Or, like the new-for-2012 Buick Verano. Buick’s answer to car’s like the Acura TSX and the Lexus IS250, the Verano is a new-from-the-ground-up compact sedan from Buick, designed to get younger buyers into its showrooms.

If you want to check out the new Verano in some detail, and even build one as you’d like it in the comfort of your own home, Buick’s Verano configurator website is now up and running.

Roughly the size of a Chevy Cruze, with which it shares a platform, Buick wants buyers to know that the Verano is a much different animal under the skin. The two GM models share a floorpan, but that’s about it, since the Verano gets a different body, a different powertrain and an interior that emphasizes the quiet comfort that Buick is renown for.

Buick’s got ambitious plans for the Verano, and the product range will ultimately include both a sportier version and a hybrid offering. We liked the 2012 Buick Verano well enough, and found it’s sub-$30k price point to be competitive, given the amount of content for the dollar.

We suspect that Buick is onto something here, and wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Buick enjoys the same kind of success with the Verano as Chevy is seeing with the Cruze. That's one comparison we're sure Buick will readily accept.

Click here to visit the online configurator.