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Buick Lucerne

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  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Would love to have put in a 5 or 6 speed. None was available from the GM parts bin for a FWD. 6 speed is coming soon. Why was it not available? GM did not see the need to spend the money on the tooling yet? So much is invested in the hydro 4 speed and it is a sweet tranny. New 6 speed would cost big big money for the volume. Bad decision on someones part about 6 years ago to not make the investment. Again a 6 speed is coming soon.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Bottom line, I am having trouble understanding the fuss about the 3.8 and the call for the 3.6. With your experience in the industry can you summarize for me the real operating advantages of the 3.6 over the 3.8?

    240 hp out of 3.6 L vs 200 out of 3.8L

    DOHC gives quieter performance

    DOHC if you rev them up give great performance, however the 3.8 gives great torque performance at low RPM where most drive.

    You could use a 3.2L with 200 hp and get better mileage than the 3.8L

    Also because many "feel" a DOHC is the best way to go for them when in actuallity the new 3.9 with VVT is enough to meet almost all customer expectiations.
  • keith3keith3 Posts: 17
    OK, thanks for the input. There is a great article that is related at:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=27&article_id=8025
  • keith3keith3 Posts: 17
    I think you are right - it is different expectations. I do remember thinking that the 3.6 was happier at high revs than the 3.8. But we seldom go there in our normal driving.

    It is good to hear from someone with experience with both engines. I'm expecting (or at least hoping) the 3.8 will be fine for us, given our expectations.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I'm sure that the 3.8 will serve you well. It's a venerable engine, especially considering that its basic architecture was designed 40 years ago.

    Here are its characteristics that I like a lot: low-end torque, low mileage, low oil consumption, idle rumble.
  • at the Pittsburgh auto show. The interior looks much better in person than it photographs. Iwas at first a little concerned with the "little buddah" looking radio pops, but I think it works - it's simple. The Avalon's fussy doors didn't impress me, and the buttons beneath look cheap. I did like Avalon's lighter wood.
    This si the first Bucik I've ever found captivating, at least from teh exterior. Then again, I really like the 2002 Q45, and the two look a lot alike.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    "little buddah" looking radio pops

    I give, what are you talking about? I looked at the radio on the Buick website and wonder?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    As I see it, the FWD 3.6 from the LaCrosse has very nearly the same torque as the 3800. Both engines have about 225 lb-ft, with the 3800's peak slightly higher. The big difference is that the 3800's torque is about 225 from around 2000 RPM's to about 4500 RPM's, then falling off with the peak horse power at 5200 RPM's. The 3.6 has 225 from around 2000 RPM's to about 5500 RPM's falling off with the peak horsepower at 6000 RPMs. The extra horsepower is a result of the higher speeds. The point here is that there is little point in having both engines. In the LaCrosse, the DOHC V6 is a performance option with a higher performance axle ratio and greater fuel consumption. I would say that when the 3800 is phased out and a six speed automatic is available, then the 3.6 might make sense. There are two tunings on the 3.6, one has 250 lb-ft of torque, which would be an upgrade, or middle range V6 for the Lucerne.
  • Sorry, should have said "little buddah" radio bezel. The whole thing (HVAC and radio) looks like a slightly rotund little belly on the dash. It's not offensive in person, but in photos where they show the whole expanse of the dash it looks a little too anthropomorphic to me.

    BTW, this 6 speed transmission that many are talking about, is that slated for the Lucerne?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The six speed transmission was developed for FWD and is going to start appearing in the 2007 model year. The Lucerne's future depends on where GM goes with RWD platforms. I do not know what Cadillac will do with the FWD DTS (DeVille) model. At present the sigma (RWD) Cadillac factory does not have the capacity to build a RWD large sedan in the quatities that the DTS is expect to sell in, while maintaining the present selling rate of the CTS, STS & SRX models. However, GM is developing a RWD platform for midsize cars. They may be developing a plan for larger RWD sedans too. The basic point is that the Lucerne will not get a six speed automatic if they plan to drop the large FWD sedans soon and replace them with a RWD sedan in the next 3 or 4 years (around 2010).
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I am thinking the same thing in regards to a 6 speed for the V8. If they drop in the 3.9 or 3.6 in two years or so then the 6 speed could become a reality. I dont see GM developing a 6 speed that can handle the Northstar's torque if they plan to go to RWD in 2008. One option is the replacement of the Northstar with a 270hp version of the 3.6 and 6 speed. Honestly, it would be just as fast as the curretn V8/4speed combo although down low torque would suffer somewhat.

    I saw a base model today and the 16" wheels look too small for this car, they do not fill the wheel wells at all.
  • I saw the base CX, the CXL, and CXS side by side. The CX was embarrassing - bad cloth and a bench seat. It screamed rental. The CXS looks so much better.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I saw the base CX, the CXL, and CXS side by side. The CX was embarrassing - bad cloth and a bench seat. It screamed rental. The CXS looks so much better.

    Why do you mention bench seat? Is it a bad looking design?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The bench seat is an extra cost option. However, the CX model is the low end and is aimed at the LeSabre and rental market. Rental cars are needed. I do not think that there are manufacturers that build just for the rental market. One can rent almost anything that is sold including Mercedes, BMW and Audi, so why not a Buick.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Good point about Horsepower and torque. Just quoting and comparing the peak figures misses most of the useful information. You need to compare the curves. With everyone now having fancy computers with fancy graphics capabilities, I don't know why we are not all displaying and discussing the curves, although it sure would help if Edmunds or others would publish the horsepower and torque curves with their reviews and/or specifications sections.

    I receive C&D electronically and was just re-reading their March review of the Lucerne. They picked a dull gray car with a dull gray interior, yet the car is stunning in many of the other colors - the light blue with the blue and gray interior, the cranberry red, and so forth. By the way, who else is glad to see more colors than than tan, gray, and black creeping back into the interior selections?

    I rented a DTS for three days several months ago and did not like the jumpy initial throttle response, hints of torque steer, and the fact that I had to lean way far out the driver's door to grab the handle and close it (I'm not short). I did like the nice, but quiet V8 rumble.

    The Lucerne looks better, although the lack of the telescoping steering wheel which does go into the Cadillac coming down the same assembly line may make for a less than comfortable seeting position. Of course, it would not be difficult to swap in the Cadillac part, although it is downright silly that GM does not make it standard, as many much less expensive GM cars have it. If they felt they had to, they could make it an extra cost option.

    The Lucerne comes with (standard or optional) a nice assortment of very helpful little features such as a dimming exterior mirror and rain sensing wipers. I'll find time to really get a good test drive some time in the next few weeks.

    I am tired of waiting for Ford to upgrade teh Five Hundred and Montego, and the Lincoln MKS will apparently not be out for until two years from now, so the Buick has a chance with me.

    Forget the Avalon! Algee - sorry to hear about your bad experince with an Avalon. I also made the mistake of falling for the Toyota hype earlier this year when I bought a Sienna XLE Limited for $33,000. I had to sell the junk at a loss of over $8,000 after 4,500 painful miles driving it - the steering column tilted to one side, causing me severe upper neck and back paint, the seat was horrible (the top of the back curved forward), and the sound system was pure junk compared to that in my fully loaded (sunroof, skylight, rear seat DVD, and everything else) 2005 Mailbu Maxx which cost me just $24,003!

    Splatsterhound- Thanks for the review.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    GM does make the horsepower and torque curves available on its media website. I am unaware of where to find this type of information for other companies.
  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    That sounds like a good explanation of the current system. You can record the directions and play them back as you need them. Also, as I have recently found out through experience, you can always just call for directions as long as you have an address. They don't have the ability to look up the address if you know the name of a person and the town, however.

    I have also heard that Onstar was going to change, but I don't know when. I was initially told by a GM area rep that Onstar provided that service already, but I think you're right and the real time directions are going to be added. If that does occur, I suspect that feature will be the better way to go, given the costs.
  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    The system does not give you real time nav directions at this time. At least it didn't when I last used it in late January. I haven't been told anything has changed in the mean time.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    The system does not give you real time nav directions at this time. At least it didn't when I last used it in late January. I haven't been told anything has changed in the mean time.

    Some Buicks and Cadillacs being built now supposedely have this feature. Upgrades to the ABS sensors and computers were needed.
  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    So the Lucernes that first came out don't have the capability that ones coming out 2 months later have?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    Isn't the cost of Directions on OnStar on the order of 4-500 per year?

    Frankly OnStar has left me underwhelmed on my 03 Buick. The cost is too much for the basic "we'll notify authorities if your vehicle is able to call in after an accident if the power is still there and if you're in an area where your car car see an antenna, if..., if....

    I just went to the website and found they are claiming the directions will be part of basic service ($16.95 mo) but only in certain areas. I recall when Verizon cell sharing was available in 03. It was only in certain parts of US, very certain parts. I'm not even sure if our OnStar was digital and able to do it. The idea that the OnStar may not work after 07 comes because it requires digital and GM didn't want to put digital into 03 models our OnStar wouldn't even work when the analogue/digital cell conversion finalizes.

    Leaves me cold.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    So the Lucernes that first came out don't have the capability that ones coming out 2 months later have?

    Yes, I believe cars built sometime starting in March will have the capability. Do not quote me on this, just what I read somewhere.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Costs for basic system is $17 a month which is cheap. Read that they unlock ~50,000 cars a month for people who locked there keys in. That is amazing. full boat system is $400 which includes navigation and concierge which allows you to buy concert tickets, get much more. This is too expensive for my tastes since I do not need the service.

    Having the new nav as part of the base system for all Lucernes and DTS's at the same price will make it very competitive with in car screen nav. If they keep the reup price at $17 it will sell very well since they already have a reup rate of 70%.

    I just went to the website and found they are claiming the directions will be part of basic service ($16.95 mo) but only in certain areas.

    Actually it sounds like legal gobbletgoop. Will have to see where it does not cover but imagine those areas will be minimal.

    The new OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation system advantages include:

    Safe, Simple Interactions:

    Hands on the Wheel, Eyes on the Road: No data entry or touch screen to distract drivers from the road; OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation features convenient voice-guided directions delivered through the radio speakers to guide the driver turn-by-turn to the destination.
    Easy to Use: Press the OnStar blue button, give the advisor an address or point-of-interest destination and directions are sent to the vehicle.
    Advisor Access: OnStar advisors are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.

    Smart, Intuitive System:

    Route Corrections: OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation detects when the driver leaves a planned route and automatically offers updated directions to the destination.
    Pinpoint Positioning: The enhanced GPS system utilized by OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation, is fully integrated with the vehicle’s ABS module to deliver a more precise positioning solution.

    Accessible and Affordable Navigation:

    Available in approximately 1 million GM cars and trucks equipped with GM’s anti-lock brake system in Model Year 2007 and will be expanded further within the portfolio in 2008.
    Available at a fraction of the cost of other competitive navigation products.

    Access to OnStar Services:

    Unlike single-function navigation systems, OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation comes in addition to OnStar’s suite of safety, security and peace of mind services.
    OnStar services, including Turn-by-Turn Navigation, offer advisor and system interaction in English, Spanish and French.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    For those who do not know, you can use On-Star for safe cell phone calling. I set my handheld cell phone to forward to my car's phone number if there is no answer, then turn it off when I am in the car. If someone calls, I just push the button on the mirror, the car sound system switches to the call and I and everyone else in the car can hear and speak to the caller. I don't use it for outgoing calls, but it provides the same safe hands-free capabilities for outcoing calls. While I would prefer Bluetooth so that I could just leave my handheld cell phone on, and have it forward to my office if there is no answer, the On-Star service is a cloase second best alternative.
  • Many LeSabre buyers changed out factory tires for Michelins. Anyone found this to be desirable on Lucerne? Which factory tires do you favor?
  • rake2rake2 Posts: 120
    My CXS came w/ Bridgestone Turanzas. The other trim levels I saw had Continentals on them, as I recall.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    I would stick with the new tires that came originally on the car. Only if there were a tire that wouldn't balance on a road-force balancer would I switch out.

    If I dont' like the tires after 25-30000 I might switch them early--putting up with the last 15% of tread wear I'm going to get ain't worth the cost and the lesser traction of partly worn tires if I want a different tire.
  • Hi i am going to buy a lucerne cxs, fully loaded, in the next three or four months...i have received two or three quotes, with the last dealer claiming they are giving me invoice price....with something included called a value certificate....but according to edmonds and kelley the invoice price is actually about $1200 lower....normally i would not trust the information from the dealer but this guy strikes me as a straight shooter (he has agreed to show me the invoice) so i wanted to ask anyone out there if edmonds and kelley are usually accurate, and any other thoughts you have on the subject....thanks
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    To the extent that both Edmunds and Kelley report the same invoice price, I think they are accurate. However, the invoice price is not the actual cost to the dealer. What the car actually costs the dealer depends on how long they have the car before selling it; which determines how much interest they have to pay for having it sitting in their inventory. There are also costs for operating the dealership too. What you want to know is how much for a car that you want to buy. With some quotes for specific cars, you can decide which dealer is giving you a good price. A $1200 mark-up is not bad, but you should be aware that there is a "hold-back" too, which is money that the dealer can get back if his interest charges are less.
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