December 5, 2013
Buick Lucerne, 2006–2011. Click image to enlarge
Review by Justin Pritchard
Vehicle Type: Luxury Sedan
History/Description: So – you’ve just graduated, you’re about to start in a promising new ‘position’ at a ‘company’ and you need a great big luxo-barge to tell fellow motorists and co-workers you’re a sophisticated up-and-coming shot-caller that doesn’t take any crap from anybody. Of course, you can’t spend fortune on said sheet-metal status symbol – which means you should check out the Buick Lucerne.
This flagship sedan from the American luxury brand seems solidly reliable, should be available on the relative cheap with some factory warranty remaining, and packs all the fancy stuff you’ll need to impress that scandalous-looking new secretary.
Lucerne exemplified Buick’s efforts to deliver a world-class motoring experience at an affordable price – and it took a place above the new LaCrosse in the brand’s portfolio while spiritually replacing the handsome and stately Park Avenue.
Quiet Tuning technology worked to keep offensive noises out of the Lucerne’s cabin by way of numerous engineering efforts, and passengers benefit from plenty of interior space and heaps of at-hand storage. Loading up the Lucerne with five people for a weekend away should be a non-issue where space and comfort are concerned.
The goodies? Power-adjustable eight-way front seats offer a memory function as well as heat and ventilation settings for your backside, and there’s a heated and motorized tilt steering wheel available, too. A magnetic ride control suspension and variable-assistance power steering work together to ensure ride comfort and relaxation while en route to the most important of activities.
Raindrop-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror help enhance visibility, and an available nine-speaker, 280 watt Harman/Kardon stereo enhances the blasting of tuneage into the craniums of audiophile drivers.
Other reasons you might want a Lucerne?
It has OnStar, which means anyone driving it benefits from push-button access to real-life help from a human being at a call centre who can dispatch a tow truck, ambulance, provide directions or tell you where you are. There’s a 481 L trunk if you like to carry around large things, as well as hazard detection systems that watch blind spots and lane markings to keep you from having a ‘whoopsie’ if your businessey goings-on distract you on the go. Available parking radar helps you get into and out of parking spaces at the office like a boss, and without playing tradesies with the paint on nearby bumpers.
Engines / Trim: A classy gentleman like yourself needs options – and a used Lucerne has plenty of them under the hood. Early models got the mighty GM 3800 – a solid and virtually bulletproof V6 with just under 200 horsepower. This mill got the axe after 2008 production completed. A 3.9L V6 was available too. Shoppers after instant baller status can look for a Lucerne with V8 power, namely from the Cadillac Northstar V8 which displaced 4.6L and turned out 275 hp, or 292 in performance-designated Lucerne ‘Super’ models.
2006 & 2008 Buick Lucerne. Click image to enlarge
Over the years, trim grades, in typical GM fashion, were more confusing and hard to follow than an episode of Game of Thrones – though the gist is that in most years, CX was the entry model, with CXL V6, CXL V8 and CXS ascending to fully-loadedness. That’s before the ‘Super’ badge replaced the CXS badge as top dog, and before the ‘Premium’ package was available on select models to try and cut down on trim grades.
In any case, you’re getting a four-speed automatic and front-wheel drive.
What Owners Like: Big-deal business folks don’t like surprises – which is fine because there are none when it comes to Lucerne owner reviews. Highly rated? The heated steering wheel, space in the cabin and trunk, ride comfort, noise levels, the confidence of the OnStar system, and the big stereo. Apparently, this lead sled feels stable and safe even driven through deep snow, provided drivers give it proper winter tires. Performance is rated well, and so is fuel consumption if you stick with one of the lower-powered engines.
What Owners Dislike: Complaints include some difficulty upon entry or exit for taller drivers, thick ‘A’ pillars obstructing the forward view, and bad gas mileage on models with the V8 engine.
Here’s a list of Buick Lucerne owner reviews from autoTRADER.ca