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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    think STS then even that being slightly stretched
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    The definition of hills varies greatly from one part of the country to the next. I test drove a CXL here in Western Ohio and didn't find it downshifting more than my previous leSabres. But slopes here may not be considered hills in other parts. But I didn't spend much time and miles to sense the OD unlocking which is usually what is felt as a downshift.

    I recall this being discussed somewhere before. I also suspect the readiness to downshift or unlock TCC is a learned characteristic of the transmission depending on the driver's pattern of accelerator demand; hence lots of people testing a car may teach the transmission to be quick to unlock and downshift. I'll have to test drive a LaCrosse with the 3.6.

    One must remember the target buyer and owner of large sedans is people who drive more like myself than people who drive it as a sports car.
  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    I agree the GM 3800 has seen better days and is underpowered relative to some of the newer engines. That engine is darn reliable however. I for one am going to miss it.

    Any engine these days is reliable, big deal.
    The 3.8L Series II was a leaker and it took 8+ years for GM to figure it out and come out with a Series III (no composite intake manifold).
    Transmission reliability and electrical problems are the biggest problem with newer cars.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    He is perceiving these current crop of V6s as nothing more than a Honda Si 4 banger with a pair of extra cylinders.
    ****

    Actually, if you go back a LONG way, I have always been wishing they would drop the 3800 entirely and only offer the V8. GM needs to learn to take risks and put only their best foot forward. The 3800 was and is a decision to satisfy rental fleets. They put a budget interior and a budget engine in it in a misbegotten attempt to compete with the full size competition. Not that they can't compete, but GM could toss its entire rental fleet sales and hardly notice it it makes so little money to supply them.

    The 3.6 would be a nice car, too - and again, they should only offer than in the LaCrosse. 3800? Toss that in a Pontiac, which has become GM's rental badge with a couple of exceptions.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "didn't find it downshifting more than my previous leSabres"

    Why would you?? Its basically the same powertrain. I remember the same behavior from my 98 Olds 88. I live in southern NJ (near Philly) and its fairly flat, it would have to be worse in other parts of the country.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "I have always been wishing they would drop the 3800 entirely and only offer the V8"

    They are actually doing the opposite and making the V8 available only in the pricey CXS. You are right that would hurt fleet sales but also average FE standards too.

    "Toss that in a Pontiac, which has become GM's rental badge with a couple of exceptions"

    GM should just dump Pontiac and focus on Caddy Buick and Chevy.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    and that 'best foot forward' in Detroitise would certainly have to be big ole iron block V8s. And nothing particularily wrong with putting cheap engines (the 3.8) in cars also intended for 'loss leader' fleet sales as long as that is understood to be what it is. Ford did it with its Taurus, the 3.0 DT 500, and now continues to do it with the CV. In all cases these are NOT competitive cars in this segment.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    Right. I recall a ride in an X3 or X5 to the Reds game last summer and that vehicle kept going up and down through the gears on I75 between Dayton/Cincy. It wasn't just changing the percent slip on the torque converter; it was downshifting. Why is that a problem with a 4T65E transmission?

    We've been down this topic before and whatever I say you'll respond differently, so I won't respond. Feel free to email. We disagree.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    You're right... we've beat this topic to death many times over.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I don't think the Lucerne sells that many examples to fleets. I haven't been renting as often this year, but, I don't recall seeing them on the lots. Now, Taurus, CV/GM and grand prix's have always been plentiful.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    GM should just dump Pontiac and focus on Caddy Buick and Chevy
    overall I think it can be said that GM does have the right pieces - the new G8 RWD Aussie 'Holden' is scheduled for early 08 intro with the 3.6 V6 as its std engine and a big 360hp 6 liter V8 as optional - should give that upcoming Genesis a run for its money. In V6 form it may be closer to competitive in terms of both power and FE with many of the other cars in this group depending on its size and weight. Why this is scheduled to be a 'Pontiac' intro and not a Buick is beyond me - Buick seem to be the more viable brand name at this point
  • jimmy2xjimmy2x Posts: 124
    I really would be interested to know just what the percentages of the 2006/7 Lucerne CXL's were sold with the V6 vs V8. I suspect that the V6 FAR outsold the V8 which was available then. We have to remember that we are all somewhat "motorheads" and enthusiasts on this forum and, as such, are not remotely representitive of most of the Lucerne's actual buyers.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    >what the percentages of the 2006/7 Lucerne CXL's were sold with the V6 vs V8

    In this Dayton area I'd say 6:1 for the 3800 V6. I believe many of the CXS/CXL Northstar models are sold to GM retirees and workers at discount because they are in stock, just based on intuition observing who's driving.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    if you are going to recognize the 60+ age demographic for Buick sedans I agree you'll find many fewer buyers that even care how underpowered the V6 is, but care more about the rather substantial price premium for the V8 and the FE. Buick has been 'tightening up' its sedans lately perhaps as a means to widen appeal - a Buick ain't quite as 'soft as they used to be.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    And, if GM only offered ONE engine, it would help their resale value as well as get rid of their rental image(with certain models of course).

    Want a Lexus GS? One engine. Want a S500? Correct - no options on what engine you get. 911? Turbo or non turbo?Manual of course being the only real option unless you actually custom order automatic. Same engine, in any case.

    The Lucerne from what I remember is close to 50% rental(over 40% IIRC) and fleet sales(for its admittedly small numbers, mind you). Almost all of those being the base version. No options, really, just leather and the V6. The picture is even worse for the LaCrosse, with an enormous number of rentals.

    What GM's managers don't get is that if a model is offered with numerous engines and trim levels, the lowest priced option always sets the resale price for the entire line. You want a used Lucerne? The CXS is the CL plus a couple of thousand for the V8.(2 years old/18-20K) It's also usually what gets reviewed as well, and is what people get if they get one as a rental. All negatives to the resale value and image.

    Toyota got it with Lexus. Would you like sunroof and/or navigation with that? That's it. Rental companies avoid them like the plague, since it's not a good car to run as a rental(unless you up your fleet age to 5-6 years before retiring them, which nobody does), and people buy them purely because they want one and can afford to spend a bit more.

    Nearly 0 fleet sales, high resale values, stellar image, and easy to make and sell(image and less options which means less tooling at the factory and a more streamlined process).

    Thats not to say that even Lexus doesn't fall into the GM trap as well, from time to time. The IS250 is a good example. BMW also does this with their base 3 and 5 series, which should just be removed in favor of the bigger engine. Mercedes also has gotten into this habit, unfortunately, in their models. Though in the case of the new C class I can see why - the base model is a nice budget car that's a step up from a VW or a Honda.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Apparently (despite some of our opinions here) there must not be a huge demand for the V8. In Jersey there is about a 5 to 1 ratio of the V6 to the 8. Obviously Buick making the V8 available only on the CXS tells us something. The only problem I have with that is now you have to spend 36K on the Lucerne to get the V8. Why? Was it costing them that much to offer the V8 on the CXL? Does anyone remember Buick advertising the Lucerne as a V8 sedan available under 30K (of course $29,995).

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "Want a Lexus GS? One engine"

    Bad example on the GS (3.5 V6 and 4.3 V8 are available). However, I see your point.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Really? So what is the 6-speed connected to that I have in my Saturn Outlook???

    A repair bill??? Awwwww...phooey, it's covered for 5 years / 100K miles. If anything goes wrong with it in that time, the bill will be $0 compared to your $1800. In most cases, if you take care of the preventive maintenance such as getting the transmission power flushed and refilled...you shouldn't have any problems at all.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Yes, I do. :(
    The thing is, that is the V8 was the ONLY option, AND they priced it a bit lower, say 32K with no incentives *ever*, it would suddenly compete directly with the Avalon.

    I guess it's a different philospohy. A "buy our car or don't, we're not making a cheap version" mentality. I do see this in the CTS, though, so maybe someone is listening a little bit.

    If you dropped fleet sales from Buick, you'd get about a 60/40 split. Considering that the V8 is a special order option on the CXL and normal on the CXS, the trend of course is towards the bigger engine if it's offered. Not surprising, actually, given American's love of power and space. That keeps that from being over 50% is it being a special order option on the CXL and 35K for the CXS. $35K is just too much money in Buick's demographic's minds'. $30K and standard on the CXL... You'd see it dominate its segment.

    Oh - about the transmission.(other post's response) - the Buick is also covered for 100K as well. The real trick is what it does to resale value. Who wants to buy a car with a $4000 transmission and 80-120K on it? I've seena lot of Toyotas lately for silly low prices when they hit 100K. Age isn't the big deal - it's how close to needing a new transmission it is, because it's an enormous potential expense the second it's out of warranty.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "GM does have the right pieces"

    I agree, they just can't seem to get them all together in the right vehicle. Enclave triplets aside.

    I think the G8 is really suposed to be a "performance" vehicle I guess that is why Pontiac is getting it first.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    yep would imagine even the base 300C would have trouble keeping up with a G8 "GXP", it is projected to be closer to the SRT8 variant - Niagara Falls in the intake manifold as well. maybe 14 mpg overall downhill. Well maybe they can try the inevitable 'variable displacement' gimmick - not available on the 400hp SRT8.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    $30K and standard on the CXL... You'd see it dominate its segment.
    WHY- the Northstar has really nothing to recommend it(other than being a better choice than the 3.8 - uses more fuel, uses more expensive fuel, and still yields a slower ride than several of the V6 engined cars in this group - the Avalon, Maxima, the Azera, Kia , the Taurus (?) etc. and some of these vehicles well under that 30k
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Not buying that model model for economy thats for sure. Speaking of economy got to stretch the legs of my Avalon this weekend. 300 mile round trip 80 - 85 and averaged 28.8 with A/C running the whole time. This included a one hour traffic jam crossing the bridge back to Jersey and some city driving. Not too bad, probably would have hit 30 if I wasn't a lead foot.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    that's pretty darn good, I would anticipate 25 or 26 out of mine, throwing in that traffic jam ;)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Surprised me too, the trip down was what did it 150 miles of flat highway only a slowup at the toll booths.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Why? Because there is a large segment of our population that's older and wants a big lazy high torque engine in a large car. Having to wring the crud out of a Toyota V6 to get it to make its maximum torque.

    4800+RPM is moot when we're talking 2000-2500rpm around tow. Not to mention 4800rpm in an Avalon is what - 50mph in 2nd gear? It may be rated for 250+HP, but you're lucky if you get 150hp around town with normal driving. That's why a big V8 is exactly what people want in a big car.

    And, there's a lot of people what equate luxury with a V8. Witness how almost every Cadillac is seen as a joke unless it offers a V8. Or a SUV. Yep - has to offer a V8. BMW and Mercedes also know this and offer a V8 option, as does Lexus now. It has to have loads of low end torque and say "I'm so wealthy who cares what my mileage is?"
  • The thing with the Northstar is that it isn't a high-torque, low-end grunt of an engine. To get to its potential, you need to wring some revs out of it. Max torque comes around 4,500 RPM IIRC, not far from the Avalon's peak torque RPM number. The old 3800 gets max torque before 4k RPM.

    The 4.6L gets 275 hp at 5,200 RPM. The bad part is that there are several sedans that will outrun this V8 due to lighter weight and much better gearing. Those same sedans can also get 5MPG better than this same V8, not to mention do better than the 3800!

    For example... the Lucerne weighs 3764 lbs and has a 4-speed transmission, getting 15 MPG city. The Avalon weighs 3495 lbs, has a 6-speed transmission, and gets 19 MPG city, all while being within 7 horsies of the 1.1 liter larger Buick V8.

    The 197 hp 4-sp Lucerne gets 16/25; the 260 hp 6-sp Taurus gets 18/28; the 268 hp 6-sp Avalon gets 19/28.

    Let's face it, the Buick is a decent automobile. GM made the best they could with the hand the bean-counters dealt them. But they are behind in the powertrain department.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I invite you then to compare the performance figures (peak torque and HP relative to rpm) for both the Northstar and the 2GR as well as some of these other better V6s. You will find negligible difference s because the Northstar while it is bigger is NOT a 'lazy' engine at all (that distinction goes to some older design pushrod V8s), it is more similar to all these 'efficient' V6s than even you would care to admit - only less so!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The thing with the Northstar is that it isn't a high-torque, low-end grunt of an engine.
    EXACTLY and the 'sad' part of this is that the Northstar is likely the best engine out of GM in a number of years - the new 3.6 is in the running as well, in some respects representing a 'downsized' Northstar.
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