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Chevrolet Lumina

Currently checking out new GM sedans to save $$
since a family member is an employee. He claims the
Lumina is one of best values and underrated too.
according to him, I can get a lot of options by
getting the LTZ top of the line model and come in
with a lower cost than adding options to other GM
models.

Other models I'm considering are the Oldsmobile
Intrigue and the Grand Prix (fred pros & cons on
other posts).

My current car is a 1988 Old Cutlass Ciera which
is pushing 126K. It's been a good car but recently
is developing maintenance problems.

Any comments on Lumina's track record as far as
maintenance, durability, handling in bad weather,
etc. would be appreciated. I expect to buy the car
vs. lease and plan keep it for 5 years or longer.
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Comments

  • I drove a LTZ on two occasions and was not impressed with the ride or feel of the car. The 3.8 motor is one of the best motors you can buy. The performance was strong but the seats were uncomfortable. The design is dated, not as good as the Intrigue. I ended up buying a Mercury Sable LS, it felt much better. You should try to rent both cars for a day and see for yourself. The lumina should have good reliability.
  • vbrahmervbrahmer Posts: 1
    My husband and I are checking out new cars and were wondering if anyone has had any problems with the Chevy Lumina? Is it a reliable car or does it have a list of known problems? Thanks for your help.
  • andys22andys22 Posts: 13
    We have a 97 lumina LS with 50k miles on it. 4/5 of that was on highway miles--had fuel pump replaced at 48k, intake manifold gasket replaced about 2 months ago ( it was drinking antifreeze) and now it starts to tick like a bomb when it starts up. The engine is lethargic. stay away from GM 3.1 engines-- ALL kinds of problems!
  • npawelknpawelk Posts: 4
    According to the most recent J.D. Power quality rating the Lumina is #1. This beats Accord, and Camery. I wonder why we hardly ever hear of this car's quality. It is also far cheaper then the Accord or the Camery.

    Just a thought
  • Could be that when a car is GOOD nobody takes the time to tell about it. Everyone that I have talked to that has a Lumina just loves it. True, it's not what you would call a sporty car, just a reliable transportation piece. As to the relability of the 3.1 motors I don't think they are any worse than any other GM engines. Consider the terrible rep of the Quad 4 but they are still putting them into all the GM line by the millions.
  • npawelknpawelk Posts: 4
    Ummm.... The Quad four has been out of production for along time. The "Quad" four that you are talking about was a 2.3 litre 4 cylinder with 4 valves per cylinder. The new L4, that has 4 valves per cylinder, and replaces the "Quad" four is a totally redesigned engine.

    And speaking of which my grandmother has a 1990 Lumina, and has absolutly had zero problems with this car. She usually buys new cars often, but she totally loves this car. I myself cannot believe how great this car is. It also has the 3.1 litre motor. Great low end power, and good top end also.

    Anyway, the Lumina is a great car made by a American manufacturer, much less GM, so nobody will bring it up because it is a slap in Japans face. That America can build a sedan that is much better then theirs for thousands less.

    Speaking of sporty a Lumina with the LTZ package is sportier then almost any japanese midsize car that I can think of save for maybe the Maxima
  • npawelk: Re the GM "Quad Four" A rose is a rose! The current four cylinder OHC engines in the Malibu, Grand Am, Olds Olero are a derivitive of the original OHC designs. You may be thinking of the old "Iron Duke" rattlers that preceeded it. Sorry, but I work for a vendor that sell bits and pieces to GM for that OHC engine and they are the same! Part #'s have not changed since 1992. True, they have added balance shafts, gear driven P/S pumps and a few other bells and whistles but it's basically the same old four banger with the same head gasket failure problem. Check with your local GM dealer and see if he will own up to all the "silent recalls" on that engine.
  • phl20dphl20d Posts: 1
    Got a 97 Lumina LS and it runs very good BUT I can't get really comfortable (I'm 6 ft) with the seat while driving for a while. Also I don't care for the steering, it isn't smooth and easy like the 88 Celebrty Euro Sport (why they stopped making this car is beyond me I would buy one in a minute. What a car and I still have it. I like driving it better than the 97Lumina.) As far as maintaining the Lumina---it hasn't givin me a bit of trouble.
  • marshapmarshap Posts: 1
    I have a 97 Lumina and am about to buy a 99 to replace my husbands care because the Lumina we have has been so low maintenance. I think I have only taken it to the dealer once in the 67,000 miles we have put on it. I bought an extended warranty to 60,000 and never used it - just zero problems. As far as comfort, I am only 5 feet tall and have to have the bench seats so Lumina is great there too. The only other car I am considering is the buick century because it has the same 3.1 engine as the lumina and bench seats - but why pay $1000 more?
  • I recently owmed a 92 lumina,it ran descent,but i
    was tired of working on it all the time.I had the
    car for about a year and a half,and in that time i
    put a new altinator,coil pack,and when i traded it the steering column caught fire.
    I traded it for a 98 lumina with 22335 miles thinking i would not have any trouble,WRONG,I've only had the car 2 months,so far i put a rebuilt transmission,map sencor,and in 2 days it goes in the shop again for a new computer.I will not buy another one.
  • irareniraren Posts: 1
    i'm looking into buying a used Lumina Ltz 1998 model only 11,800 miles. What would be a good price? Is this a reliable car. I have a toyota camry that is almost 10 years. I never has a problem with it. Same with a nissan stanza, it has way over a 100,000 miles. We are afraid to buy this lumina.
  • npawelknpawelk Posts: 4
    Do not be afraid at all. First off the LTZ has the 3800 drivetrain. Which is probaly the most reliable V-6 engine/transmission combo in the world, for sure here in the US.

    Also the Lumina is the top ranked midsize sedan in relability.

    Of course there are lemons with all makes, Lumina should please you quiet well. Lumina also carries one of the highest ownerloyalty ratings.
  • andys22andys22 Posts: 13
    You are wrong saying the lumina is the most reliable mid-sized car their is. If you look at the J.D. Powers award, the ownership ( number of problems, etc) experience is with in the first 90 days, not long term. As of lately, GM's fit and finish has been rather poor (Read Consumer reports, Edmunds , etc). I don't know about the Luminas, however. Our 97 Lumina with 52k miles has good fit, but the paint job on this 97 and our 95 have not been so hot. we have a "pre" rust bulge on the left rear door and paint chiping off the the rear doors and paint around the wheel wells.
  • npawelknpawelk Posts: 4
    You are wrong the initial quality award is tested up to 40,000 miles and not 90 days. And I hate to say it but I am right the Lumina does have the best relability, as for Consumer Reports.... They know as much about cars as I know about sewing, aka nothing.
  • ztzhangztzhang Posts: 1
    Hi:
    I am looking to buy either Lumina or Malibu. It seems that Malibu has a newer design, but actually it is unreliable based on my research. After reading the new issue of consumer report, I found that Malibu has the worst reliablity rating among about all 20 mid-size sedans, while Lumina enjoys one of the best. I am very surprised about GM's inconsistency. J.D. Power also has very good rating on Lumina. There is a lot rebate right now on Lumina. After rebate, Lumina only costs <1000 more than Malibu. Auto sales will slow down in the summer, partly because the federal reserve will raise interest to give a little pressure on the strong sales to slow down the economy. The dealer stocks are thus expected to pick up soon. May be it will be easier to get better and better deal. Anybody agree?

    Zhang
  • wimmer1wimmer1 Posts: 1
    My husband and I have just purchased a new 1999 LTZ. We have been shopping for a vehichle for about 6 weeks and for the price, ride, sportiness, and repuation we went back to the Lumina LTZ. We have never heard of anything major going wrong with the car. The interior is somewhat comparable to the LeSabre that we drove and it was around $7000 cheaper and with this package will hold its value. We are pleased with this purchase and will reccomend this to anyone!!!!
  • piggy1piggy1 Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Lumina LTZ purchased new and have had no major complaints. However, I am experiencing a clicking noise in the steering when turning, but it doesn't do it all the time. The dealer I took it to said this is normal.
  • allanpallanp Posts: 3
    Just my 2 cents worth: Just picked up a '99 LTZ (had to go out-of-state to get as the availability is diminishing). Got it home and initial impression is that this is a fantastic buy!! I got a $ 2000 rebate on it and took it with the 1SD package and CD player option, cloth interior. For the money, you can't do much better-and, you get great crash-worthiness to boot!!


    Hopefully, this car will surface again in the future for I would sure like to be able to buy an updated model when the '99 gets old!!

    If you can get a Lumina LS, LTZ or whatever, do it, before they're all gone. The only other choice is to get that 2000 spaceship they're calling the new "Impala" - if you stay with the Chevy product line, that is!!

    Good luck to whomever is still shopping - look no further!!
  • ktjongktjong Posts: 1
    I just bought my LTZ with a CD player but am wondering if there is a way to install a cassette player. The salesman told me there is no place to install it. Is it true?
  • whizkid1whizkid1 Posts: 1
    My friend from California is here visiting and at the rental car company gave them a Chevy Lumina. At first we made fun of it becuase we thought it would be a piece of crap, on the contarary. The car has a few annoynaces that i've noticed. First is that some of the interior pannels don't quite fit correctly or meet up with each other (I might be a tad spoiled tho becuause i drive a Mercedes but I always expect a lot). Second is the fact that all of the seats in the car sit too low and allow your butt to sink in too much which makes them seem even lower! My third small complaint is that one time I drove the car I noticed that the car is a tad underresponsive in the wheel. Now for the positivies. My first is the stereo system, from what I know it's made by Bose (their home speakers suck but their car systems are pretty good) and for what they charge for this car it's pretty good, and the CD player is quite nice. It also has that nice "Auto Tone" button which is handy to have while your driving for easy adjustment. At first when I got in i thought the buttons looked dumb but because they're large they're easy to use and read! I also like the engine in it, it's smooth and easy going, laid back. It's smooth under noraml driving but when needed it does have enough power!

    I guess I have to put in perspective the fact that it's a $17,000 car for what it costs it's the best of it's kind!!!

    From my limited experience it's a good car, despite it's few annoying shortcommings!
  • ald3rdwldald3rdwld Posts: 1
    i own a 90 lumina eurosport with about 97k on it - ive had it for 4 years and the the 2 problems i had where replaceing both back brake assembies and the computer - besides those 2 problems the car runs great - i dont know if the motor is 3.1 or 3.3 but it runs strong - im thinking of getting a 99 but i read the malibu is better - true or false ???
  • allanpallanp Posts: 3
    Re: #19: I think it's one or the other with regard to the CD player or cassette. I chose the CD as it is far more convenient than pulling the tape out of the unit when it eventually gets stuck (they all get stuck at some point it seems). If you have to have a cassette, carry a portable player with you and lay it on the seat! (That's what I will do when a tape is all I have).

    Re: #20: Your assessment seems plausible and yes, you are correct, for under 20K you will get 99.5% fit and finish--just short of perfect and certainly tolerable!! The LTX is a last great bargain from Chevy and I said before, I hope someone in GM looks at the sales figures and resurrects it in the coming years. When sales of the new Impala space ship don't meet expectations (as I predict they will not), maybe the Lumina will come back. We'll wait and see!

    Good luck to those of you that bought one, you did the right thing - I know I'm glad I did!!!
  • bandmombandmom Posts: 2
    Well, this morning my husband and I are going to sign on the dotted line for a 99 Lumina LTZ. Have to replace my 86 Cougar that my son totalled. He's ok, the car isn't. My mechanic told me that I should either get a Saturn or a GM car with a 3.8 in it.

    Test drove the Lumina LTZ, Grand Priz. Grand Priz was nice but just enough over our budget we had to say no. Just to be sure, we looked at a Taurus, UGHLY! Didn't like the options available with only a 3.0 V6. Test drove a Dodge Intrepid with a 2.7 because the ES version again put us over budget but their largest was 3.2.

    So went back to the Lumina LTZ (FYI - we did test drive the Impala. Same engine as the LTZ). We've decided that it's the Lumina LTZ. Other GM models over our budget. Besides, great sale this weekend at our Chevy dealer.

    Wish us luck!
  • bandmombandmom Posts: 2
    Sorry that should have been '89 Mercury Cougar
  • i believe that Taurus are ugly, but Lumina are ulgy too and I rather buy a Sable than Taurus or Lumina because Sable isn't ugly but is roomier and better looking than a Taurus.

    besides I so glad that you didn't buy the Saturn because Saturn are Junk as a Joke!
  • plmills66plmills66 Posts: 1
    We've had great luck with the Luminas. First was a 1992 Euro. Bought it for my husband's work car as he had to have a 4 door. He liked the sportiness of the Euro. He drove it 3 years and put about 80,000 miles on it. Only bad thing was that it needed several brake jobs. In talking to other people, we found out this was common with the 92 Euros. Traded the 92 for 1995 Lumina LS. Had the regular 3.1 engine, which my husband did not like nearly as well as the 3.8 -- there was nothing wrong with the engine, he just missed the power of the 3.8. He also missed the sport suspension on the Euro. But the 95 Lumina was a wonderful car. We never had to have it in the shop for anything except an oil change. Right before we got ready to sell it (a few weeks ago) with 76,000 miles, we noticed a brake squeal, so we had to get new front brakes. Only $109. That was the total repair for 3-1/2 years!! His new Lumina is a LTZ. He had to buy the LTZ because he likes bucket seats. But he's glad to be back into the sport suspension and larger motor. He got leather seats, CD, sun roof. Our only complaint with the all the Luminas is that it's kind of a noisy car -- you hear wind noise through the windows and road noise through the floor. But you're also paying less than comparable cars, so I guess they have to cut corners somewhere. Based on our experiences, we would highly recommend a Lumina.
  • j_colemanj_coleman Posts: 143
    This is the car my grandparents drive. They have a '95 and it's done good for them except the battery and alternator that had to be replaced. Very common with GM vehicles, I think.
  • jpstaxjpstax Posts: 250
    We have one of the first Lumina LTZ models built in the summer of '97. So far, I've only had to replace the oxygen sensor. Like #17, I also hear a clicking noice in the steering column. I heard this noise before, in my '89 Celebrity. It was the rack & pinion starting to act up. I eventually had it replaced at no charge.

    When the warranty runs out, I'm thinking of adding the Eaton supercharger and performance kit. I heard it can be done, but the transmission might also have to be changed to a heavy duty type (40 extra hp and 55 ft/lbs extra torque is tough on a standard trans).
  • rb3914rb3914 Posts: 1
    Just thought I'd add my 2 cents worth. I currently own a 92 Lumina Euro with 98k on it. It was a demo with 5900 miles when purchased in 92. So far I've had 3 alternators, coil pack and rear brake calipers replaced. Just 2 months ago I replaced valve cover gaskets to stop an oil leak. This may sound like a lot, but I feel it is very low problem levels for a 7 year period, and car has peformed flawlessly.
    I too opted for the Euro styling, and am con-
    sidering a new Lumina or the Impala this year (intend to keep the Lumina as a second car) if the budget will reach.
    Roy
  • jpstaxjpstax Posts: 250
    Response to rb3914:

    I'm in the same boat with you! I own 2 Luminas. My '93 is a 3.4 Eurosport with 85,000 miles, that I drive to work. It's still pretty quick off the line, but doesn't always want to start on very cold days (0 or less). I've had it towed 3 times due to engine flooding. Chevy dealer said it's the reason they replaced it with the 3800 for the LTZs and Monte-Carlos. So, I went out and bought a '98 LTZ for my wife; traded in my '89 Celebrity.

    Anyhow, for my next car (to replace the '93 Euro), I'm torn between the Pontiac GTP and Buick Regal GS, both of which come with the supercharged 3800.

    However, as I've stated in other forums, I heard a rumor that Chevy may bring back the Impala SS for 2001, and it will have the SC 3800 as the standard motor. That would surely satisfy my "baby boomer" desire for a higher performance engine in a sedan.

    My wife is perfectly happy with her LTZ, but most guys my age would prefer a car with more "getup and go". Does anyone else agree?
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