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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,534
    >Suppose it becomes a definition of what you consider to be new and improved, doesn't it?

    It's obvious you don't have any real knowledge of a car with one in it to think it's still the early V6 unit. Perhaps your definition of what you like is different than some other people's idea of driving in a car without a buzzing high rev motor needing that to develop adequate power for normal driving off a race track.

    The 3800s have high mileage and very competent torque at low speeds for "normal" drivers in normal cars. I have found them very high on mileage moving large sedans for my family and traveling as well as quick departures from stop signs and ramps.

    "Suppose it becomes a definition of what you consider to be new and improved, doesn't it?"

    Yup, it sure does, although I've answered in a more polite tone to help educate you about the 3800 Series III.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    well, I'll tell you what, take your own advice and punch in Buick 231 V6 in your browser, and indeed you will get a history of that same 'different' engine dating back 50 years ago:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine
    and yes, certainly thanks to some gearing and the relatively high torque characteristics of any pushrod engine that has been around that long, it has proven to be decently reliable and economical despite its native imbalances and ancient technologies. The last Lucerne I drove BTW had the three portholes (meaning the V6) and could not hold top gear on even a slight incline. Annoying in a car that is supposed to be 'near luxury' highway cruiser. Referencing that article, incidentally, that Flint plant is apparently still where all the 3.8s are made, 50 years later.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Its funny.. the people that love the 3800 always comment how the torque of the motor makes it more driveable at low speeds. However they forget that it has such a high 4th gear that it downshifts constantly on the highway! Obviously, its to help with fuel economy.

    I don't care if the 3800 is in series 10, its still 50 years old. Its got to go, 200 HP out of such a big motor is a disgrace.

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,534
    I see we're piling on here.

    But I'll continue one more response. My 3800 Series II in my 03 LeSabre does NOT downshift going up and down slopes on Interstate 75 to Tennessee thrugh Kentucky nor on I71 from Cin to Louisville when I wouldn't expect most cars to do so. Oddly going to the Great American Ballpark in Cincy a few times in a friend's X3 I found it was downshifting all the time on I75 Day to Cin. Odd what torque can do and still deliver 31 mpg at 80 mi/hr traveling on those same roads on last trip to Smokey Mountains.

    I guess I'm just disgraced to quote your last post.

    It appears we disagree.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I guess I'm just disgraced
    not the intention here and I don't think you really believe that either ;) This whole thread started with a comment I made that said that the Lucerne needs to be fitted with the 3.6 DOHC engine and that GM would be well served to use that engine line wide. It is a helluva good effort on GMs part. If you really feel that the 3.8 (in whatever rendition) is adequate in a 3800 lb.+ automobile, then, yes, I guess we simply disagree. As far as the downshifting stuff goes, that would only be personal experience in a Lucerne not a 15 year old LeSabre that weighs maybe 400 lbs. less.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    sorry, 5 year old and 300 lbs. less but also with less HP in the Lucerne.
  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    I don't think the HP went down in the Lucerne.
    It was over-rated at 205 in the LeSabre.
    The 3800 is better than a 4 cylinder and that's about it. It is one of the worst V6 engines sold in the last 5 years. I have a DC 3.5L and it's way more refined than the 3800 in my previous GM.
    Too bad we won't be getting the Series IV. :P
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    We are not "piling" it on. I know you like the 3800, many people do. I couldn't justify that motor in a 30K+ Buick Lucerne at all. I drove the car it was much slower (and not as quiet and smooth) than even my 210HP '03 Avalon. I honestly can't believe anyone wouldn't think that the 3.6 engine wouldn't do the Lucerne better.

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

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    How can you say it's the worst without taking into account the reliability and low cost to repair?

    There's a reason GM uses it - and for a car like the Grand Prix and simmilar, it's perfect. Their mistake was to cram it into the Lucerne, which is too heavy for it.

    Also, if you really want to see it fly, just lock out overdrive - problem solved. Way more than enough power this way to handle passing. And no lag as the torque converter disengages and it downshifts. When I drive my mother's car (or I did on my old Buicks) if there was more than about a 5% grade, I immediately locked out overdrive(easy as can be with the shifter on the collumn) and away I went.

    The engine is a fantastic choice. But the 3.6 is better, of course. VVT and saving .2L in the process is a wonderful thing. It should be in the base Lucerne for sure.

    Shoot, even Consumer Reports, the bastion of all GM and Ford hating, recommends the GM vehicles with the 3.8 in it, new and used. You keep your new, pricey, and prone to break toys - I'll happily take another 3.8. (well I would, but where's the *MANUAL* with that engine? - sigh)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    You agree on the main point here: The Lucerne shouldn't have the 3.8.

    I don't think anyone ever said the 3.8 wasn't reliable.

    How much more gas would you use running a 3.8 in third gear at highway speed?

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,534
    >I'll happily take another 3.8.

    That's not available. The 3800 is available and I'd buy another in a minute. As for the Lucerne, lack of horsepower, balderwash. if I were a boytoy hotrodder with little motors with no mufflers that wind up like sirens, I might think that was "modern." As for now, I'll take the 3800; might even buy a used one with their longevity up to 300K mi easily and with the 4T65E transmissions with no hesitation, flares, no second gear problems needing lube tubes added..., I can expect lots of durable miles. Not even rattles on LeSabres and Lucernes.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    3.8 or 3800 is GM speak - kinda like pushrod engines turning into 'cam-in-block'. According, at least, to that V6 engine history article I referenced, GM does really have plans to discontinue it finally - apparently replacing it with the 210hp (?) 3.5 pushrod, and the 3.6 DOHC. So I guess you had better get 'em while the're hot because I would be willing to bet you that there is some torque falloff with the smaller engine.
  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    Funny you mention no flares. The 4T65E had flares in my Impala. Here you go the service bulletin:
    01-07-30-014 APR 01 A/T - 4T65E, Delayed Shifts/Flares/Extended Shifts
    The service bulletin that was given to me when I experienced delayed shifts at the dealership.
    Google "4T65E problems" and you will get lots of pages.
  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    How can you say it's the worst without taking into account the reliability and low cost to repair?

    Lots of people say that American cars are much cheaper to fix than German or Asian cars. But I haven't seen it.
    GM dealerships rape customers whenever they have the chance.
    Same $105/hour labour as Honda, Toyota or whatever.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    even Consumer Reports, the bastion of all GM and Ford hating
    I know you've been ragging on this for years, but I'll bite and ask you why this would be, if you can accept the fact the CR DOES have its own set of priorities in reliability, FE, and safety -
    1) is it because after surveying several million car owners over the years, that some other brands haven't shown consistently better overall reliability than GM and Ford?
    2) is it because the degrees of refinement and fit/finish in some other brands can far exceed what GM/F has and has had available for many years now.
    3) is it CR has some hidden agenda to destroy the auto industry in this country and is 'on the take' from some other manufacturers.
    OR
    4) is it because they don't happen to agree with you?

    IMO, I believe that questioning CR's objectivity puts you on some really thin ice and has no basis in fact. There is no reason that I could think of that they could 'gain' in any manner, by 'hating' anything whether it be a car or a clothes washer.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "As for the Lucerne, lack of horsepower, balderwash"

    Compared to the other cars in the class... yes the Lucerne 3.8 IS underpowered. To get the performance of the Avalon, Max, and Azera (heck, even the '08 500) you must opt for the V8 and suffer at the gas pump.

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

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    The 3800 in 3rd gear at highway speed runs about 2500-3000rpm - so you get about 23-24mpg, exactly like the old 3.8 from the 80s. But it powers up steep hills like it's got a small fire lit under its rear end.

    As for CR, I made no comment on the worth of their articles and ratings, but just mentioned that as a rule they hate GM cars. Well, except for the ones with the 3800 and 3.6VVT in them. Go figure. For them to like it, it must be a superb car. Kind of like trying to impress a Porsche fanatic with anything made in Japan - it's a tough sell to begin with, so if they think it's good, it's going to be great to the average person.

    And the CXS versions of the Lacrosse and Lucerne are very nice for the money. Doubly so a year or two used.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Same $105/hour labour as Honda, Toyota or whatever.

    I have not seen those type of labor rates ever here in Texas, nor in Michigan, and yes I get my cars usually serviced at GM, dealerships. :confuse: The most I've paid for labor is $65 an hour. Now since I never serviced a transplant car in my life I can't speak for their labor rates. As far as parts go on foreign vs. domestic's the onlt rape I see is on import owners taking their superior car to the garage and showing me the bill like my buddy's Camry's Tranny that set him back $3900. OUCH ! :P

    Rocky
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    My Lucerne CX does great with the 3800. 28-29mpg on the highway and 23 overall. The engine will downshift to 3rd going uphill at 60-65mph but so what?

    Power is more than adequate for a 3750 pound vehicle in 99% of MY driving. At higher elevations or fully loaded - yes I would want more power but I don't often drive under those conditions.

    The 3.6 VVT is a good engine but not worth the mileage penalty for me. Look at all the LaCrosse CSX owners getting 17mpg city and 24mpg highway in a smaller car and explain to me why I should take a 20% hit on mileage for hi-tech? ;)
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I guess Buick is lucky that they have loyalists that love the 3.8. I owned a 98 Olds 88 with that engine. Great 9 years ago, but after driving my Avalon and even other offerings from GM I could never go back. Just my .02

    As for the mileage with the 3.6, that # is with the 4 speed. They can squeeze a few more MPG by using the six speed.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The Aura is a heavier car that rates slightly better than the LaCrosse 4 speed FE wise, despite more HP, an indication that the 6 speed helps in that regard. And then, of course, there is always the CVT, something that GM has avoided to this point, but good for efficiency, if somewhat disconcerting.
    But I'll obviously agree with you, after 50k in my Avalon, the 2GR Toyota engine sets the bar awfully high in all respects and remains unmatched for over 2 years now.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    I'm curious - what rpm is your 3.8 pulling at a constant 70 in 4th? Can't imagine that it is a whole lot different than the Avalon which is right at 2100 in 5th, and also well into the 30s (mpg wise) at that speed. It is possible to GAIN at least that 20% with hi-tech - my overall mpg is a solid 27!
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    engines with narrow torque curves pulling a lot of weight are the ones that need extra gears in the transmission
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    I'm curious - what rpm is your 3.8 pulling at a constant 70 in 4th? Can't imagine that it is a whole lot different than the Avalon which is right at 2100 in 5th, and also well into the 30s (mpg wise) at that speed. It is possible to GAIN at least that 20% with hi-tech - my overall mpg is a solid 27!

    In my '06 Lucerne, I'm just under 2,000rpm at 70mph in 4th gear. I agree that you can can gain 20% in mileage with the hi-tech engines, it's just that GM isn't getting that mileage now. If you're getting "well into the 30s (mpg wise) at that speed" in your Avalon, you're doing a lot better than most people.

    The Avalon's a great car but I wanted to stay under $25K (I got my used '06 Lucerne with 18,000 miles on the clock for $19K) and the Avalon's were all well over $25K with less warranty compared to Buick's 4yr/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper zero deductible.

    I would never fault somebody for buying a Toyota as my company is a major supplier of engine components to them. ;)
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    you sound like somebody that might know - not knowing which Toyota engines your co. makes components for.
    kind of like this?:
    back in 03/04 Toyota Corporate/Design (California) in need of a new V6, that would rival anything available and be strong enough to share with a multiude of Toyota/Lexus vehicles - approached their engine plant (in Missouri?) and challenged them not only to design the engine but also to knock $1000.00 of mfgr. cost out of each and every one of them. Believe that "Japan" had very little to do with it, and the co. exports the engine to Japan primarily for Lexus? The result now apparently saving Toyota hundreds of millions per year??
    Yep, as soon as you put leather in an Avalon (Touring and above) it is tough to keep it under even $30k given some rather nasty profiteering that's been going on with the distributors since day one. Despite that, however, it remains the cheapest car in this group to own over a defineable period of time, given the relatively astronomical residual values. A simple choice IMO - you can certainly save money now, only to effectively pay it back later. 32 or 33 mpg in an Avalon at a constant 70, BTW, I don't believe is unusual at all!
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    understand the implication to which I would counter than none of the cars listed above 'need' the extra gears. These multiple gear trannies are a fad of sorts (of questionable virtue) for the consumer that thinks more is better. They may possibly (but not all the time) squeeze an extra mpg or two. Otherwise you might just have a hard time explaining 8 speeds in Lexus V8s, 7 speeds in 400 hp MBs etc. etc.. Incidentally, the VVTi (or even better CVVTi) systems in these better engines can and do serve to widen and flatten these torque curves that you pushrod guys hold so dear while you're sacrificing 50+hp and a whole lot of acceleration and smoothness/refinement. The 4 speed transmission and the smaller pushrod engines are dinosaurs that will go the way of the Powerglide, the Slant 6 and the 3.8 , inevitably replaced (2010 mandate) by these 5+ speed trannies in DBW systems so that the government can protect us from ourselves and screw up our cars in the process.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    I did not imply, but it seems you inferred.

    I just made a statement: "engines with narrow torque curves pulling a lot of weight are the ones that need extra gears in the transmission"
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    to which I said, this doesn't apply to any of the cars in this group - so why bother talking about it, we are NOT comparing a bunch of pseudo sports small cars here with high strung 4 bangers are we?
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Doesn't necessarily matter how many cylinders a motor has. A motor with fewer cylinders can have a fatter torque curve than one with more cylinders, or vice-versa. Two motors with the same number of cylinders and the same displacement can also have very different torque curves.
    I do not have graphs on all the motors of all the cars mentioned in this forum. Some may be peaky (narrow torque band) compared to others here. If so, the peaky ones are the ones which will more likely derive a performance benefit from extra gears.
    Is the new Lexus with the 8 speed auto transmission one with a peaky motor? I don't know.
    Can you post all the torque curves of all the motors for us?
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    IMO an engine doesn't need to be peaky in order to take advantage of extra gears in the transmission.

    What's important is the " ratio spread " which is found by dividing the first gear ratio by the top gear ratio. The higher the number, the lower first gear can be for quick acceleration, and the higher top gear can be for economical cruising.

    If there are less gears in between the extremes, then the engine will require a wider torque spread to bridge the gaps.

    One of the reasons that CVT transmissions get better mileage than a conventional transmission is because of their very wide " ratio spread " - usually greater than a figure of 6.0 ( most automatics, even with six speeds, don't get much over 5.0 ). IMO, Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, etc. are pursueing the wide " ration spread " of CVTs by using more gears ( CVTs being questionable at transferring large amounts of torque )
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