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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

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.


  • 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
    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?

  • 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!
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