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Buick Lucerne

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    >.but one thing GM doesn't offer is the resale value of the Japanese cars.

    So resale value is the only measure of the quality in a car? I never trade mine for 10 years currently and 150K or more. Do I care what it's worth at 2 years? NO.

    BTW, I can get you some stock that has higher value in the market than the real value of the stock; does that make it a better stock?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    >Can't wait to read the review.

    I fully expect many reviews of the car to be that it doesn't meet the little items that they feel should be in every car or the motors don't suit them because they aren't what that writer thinks should be in the car. The same writer would criticize whatever motor choice had been put in but we're not supposed to figure that out. Or the car doesn't have the $2000 navigation screen that their favorite Hondamobile has in it. Or the car doesn't have RWD so it's worthless as a luxury car.

    Prepare for the panning by the "knowing" editors/reviewers. The positive things they say will all be in paragraphs with a negative at the end of each paragraph. That way they can say "I said good things about it" but the influence on the reader will be negative.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Resale value is not the only measure of quality in a car. If you read my post closely you would have seen that I mentioned feature content and refined character as things that a quality car should have.

    You don't get change you car for 10 years for whatever reason. Other wealthier people who get a new car every 2 years wouldn't want a GM as the resale value would be poor, compared to a Japanese car. You may not care what it's worth after 2 years, but I can assure you that there are others who do.
  • 100%.

    Today the real quality difference between cars is so small its only for marketing purposes. It really is your luck with the car you buy, whetever make you buy from.

    GM really is missing key features on its cars, Ford even more so, but then again, Toyota does not have a 5-6 BILLION dollar heathcare bill, and rediculouse retirenmnet benefits for workers that easily dwarf the rest of the industry. Just look at some wonderful news for GM.

    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0510/10/A01-343339.htm

    Toyota does not have many of these problems. Cars are one of the last things America makes. The big reason is we have very high labor costs. The unions only add to the problem, and there removal of nullification could signal the rebirth of US manufacturing. Don't get rid of them, but don't let them kill our industries.

    The Lucern is missing some features, and the 3800 is there b/c of union contracts, but you know what... Its amazing that GM did it this good.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Any reviews of Lucerne yet?
  • I hear the LeSabre and Lucerne are very similar. Buick simply changed the name to attract younger, hipper buyers. Any truth to this?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    It's a new car.
  • I'll agree with many on this forum that GM CAN build a great quality car when it wants to, but it always seems to take three model years to get there. I was waiting in anticipaticion for the Lucerne, only to be disappointed. Here we have Buick's "top of the line" with NO telescoping steering wheel (heck, even the LaCrosse has it) or power adjustable pedals. Every other non-GM car in this class has at least a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Four speed automatic? The competition has at least 5 forward gears, if not 6! And while the marketing brochures tease with the image of DVD navigation, it is not listed even as an option on the web site. You can dismiss these as minor features, but I'm sure that many will choose other than the Lucerne for these and other "minor" omissions. :(
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Guess I am wondering how lack of features has to do with quality?

    There are some features missing though that should be available on a car in this price range. 6 speed is coming for FWD GM cars soon. Perhaps 2007? They are developing it with Ford. What other omissions do you see?
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Toyota is dying? I don't think so, considering they made 12 Billion in profits while the rest of the industry is tettering on the brink of insolvency. I will bet the farm that my 1992 Lexus LS400 will beat anything on long term quality. Believe me I owned two Buicks in the past to make a valid comparison. Anyone can build cars with great Initial quality scores, but the best test is long term..I haven't seen anyone come near Lexus yet. Lexus wins the quality bracket by a 2:1 margin in those surveys.

    They also have resale value that Buick can't touch...Couple that with industry leading customer satisfaction rates, fit and finish, excellent dealer service, brand new loaner cars, and cutting edge electronics that actually work. These are all measurable objective categories where Lexus has the edge. Keep in mind Lexus offers an extended warranty to 7 yrs 100K miles. Buick only recently upgraded theirs to 4 yr/50K.

    Styling is so-so but no one except Audi and Jaguar really builds anything special these days. I had a Buick Electra and Park Avenue in the late 80's-early 90's. The Electra was a disaster and the Park Ave was reasonable, but outdated. The car started to fall apart after 4 yrs, so I bought a Lexus instead. 13 years later, I have no regrets, the Lexus has been bulletproof.

    I had a LaCrosse as a rental recently. It was okay, a evolution of the Buick's I've owned in the past. The cabin materials were nothing special, and I wasn't impressed overall. Considering the price it was an utter ripoff.

    I think they did a much better job in the Lucerne. Offering a FWD with a V-8 is a clever marketing move. I don't think anyone else offers that. IF Buick can show better resale values, I'll definitely consider it. It is a sharp looking car that is well priced. I question the wisdom of putting a 1970's era engine in a supposedly modern car..I understand the need to make the car appeal to Buick's customer base, but aren't they trying to grow their sales?

    You might complain about the Auto mags all you want, but their opinion matters. Ask Infiniti how much public perception hurt them in 1990 when they went head to head with Lexus. $30,000 is still a good amount of money for a car, so it had better offer all the options the competition does. I'd benchmark it against the Avalon and Acura TL.

    SV
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    I'll bite.

    Which model was the LaCrosse rental? I would assume it's the base model with the 3800 motor? If you really are used to driving one of the larger Lexuses, I am sure it was a come down.

    Your Park Avenue and Electra were from a different era. Let me tell you about my Fords... Talk about your 2002 Park Avenue or your 2004 LeSabre to compare to today's cars. I'll give you that things weren't built as well in the 80s and 90s.

    Your purchase of a higher-priced Lexus and finding it reliable and economical in the long term reminds me of a story about a lady buying a higher-priced item for her home or something rather than the cheapest. She said, "I'm too poor to afford to buy cheap. I need something that lasts."
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Well then, let's compare a 2002 Park Avenue to a ES330..You could get a fully loaded ES on the street for for the "starting" price of a Park Ave. Fit and Finish aren't even close. I

    I'm comparing the LaCrosse to cars of its bracket, such as the Toyota Camry. A Park Avenue in 02 still retailed for around $40K.I'm making the comparisons based on price. What does a fully loaded LaCrosse sticker for? $32K? That puts it close up against an Acura TL and Lexus ES if anything. Look at the JD Power Ratings for the year 2000. There is a marked difference between the Buick and the Japanese.

    Posters here seem to single out Lexus so I gave a return volley. An ES330 ought to hold up just as well as my 1992 LS. And an ES has all of the Lexus advantages I stated in my previous post. The Lucerne will be taking that car dead on. If you expect to compete with Lexus then Buick needs to compete not just on Price, but all the other factors I've listed. You can't argue with the story that the Financials tell. I think a quote from Bill Parcells says it best, "You are what your record says you are."

    If anything I do want to buy the Lucerne. It is a well thought out car, but when spending that much money it has to make sense to the consumer. Supporting Detriot is nice, but they've got to build cars that offer the same value, reliability (Which Buick has for the most part) and technology that the imports have.

    SV
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    I asked you to consider the reliability of the cars. I didn't ask for a personal opinion comparison based on list price. I could have bought an 03 ParkA for way below list price.

    You also didn't answer my question as to which model LaCrosse.

    End of dialogue.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    My understanding is NAv will be added later in the '06 model year. We know it will have the feature because it was mentioned in the press release and is shown on the site. There is no FWD auto that can handle the Lucerne's torque. I would assume a variation of the GM/Ford auto will make it to the Lucerne but the initial version to be used in the Aura wont be able to handle more than 280 lb-ft of torque. I wouldnt base a car buying decision on lack of a telescoping steering wheel. Up until last year the SLK convertible had a steering column that couldnt be adjusted period. The Crossfire still has this steering column.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    I just can't get excited about the navigation systems. It seems to be a chic item to say you have or to ask about, but I doubt that I would use it. I hear people in other columns comment that some screens are hard to read in light or too small or off to the side. I think I'd just get a Garmin and put it where I wanted it if I wanted to use navi to find something.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Lacrosse is an "utter ripoff"?? How do you figure that? The car is a value leader in every way. Perhaps you mis-read the price.

    I agree with you though, Toyota is not dying.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    still retailed for around $40K.I'm making the comparisons based on price. What does a fully loaded LaCrosse sticker for? $32K? That puts it close up against an Acura TL and Lexus ES if anything

    Not to disagree but $33k is where the Lexus ES starts. Add a few items and you are over $35k. LaCrosse starts down at $23K and you can get it up over $33k if you get every option, some of which are not available on the ES.

    Nav-There seems to be so many that want this feature but with vehicles under $30k they do not sell. Just to expensive at $2000. Go to a Toyota and Handa lot and see what they stock.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi all,
    I think I had the LaCrosse CX. It was a rental car after all. Still this car stickers at 23K according to the Buick website. I'm comparing it with a Camry that begins at 18.7K. I think it is a fair comparison. Have a look at a Camry and then see where I am coming from. Also the Avalon begins at 26K which is line with the mid range LaCrosse. I see you are an avid Buick fan, but have a look at any review of this car.

    I'm sure you can understand that Reliability is one of many aspects in a buyer's decision. It's great Buick has good reliability, but have a look at any JD Power Survey you want comparing a List price Park Ave vs a GS (which also listed around 40-43K at that time). It doesn't matter whether you "could have" bought a Park Ave below list or not. People are going to make their initial judgement on the basis of list price. That is what brings many Mercedes buyers to Lexus..Even though you can negotiate on a S430 listing at 77K it's hard to compete with a LS430 starting at 57K.

    Having said all of that, I am a fan of the Lucerne and can't wait to see it in person. They've done a good job on the details, styling, and marketing. It is the first Buick I'm actually excited about. I bought my Electra and Park Ave because they were different, nicely styled, and a pleasure to drive. The resale value and quality issues are what made me look elsewhere. It's clear from all the surveys that Buick is one of the top tier brands in reliability these days..That leaves value.

    If anything the Employee Discounts demonstrated to me that the MSRP pricing at GM was out of touch with the marketplace. It's good to see they've been reasonable with the Lucerne. I'd gladly pay $35K for a loaded one.
    I'd agree Nav is too pricey for the under 30K bracket. Lexus still bundles it with the Mark Levinson stereo for a 5K package price. It would be nice to have it available, as I think they are doing.

    SV
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    Let's try to stick to the Lucerne, please! We've got a good Buick LaCrosse discussion going, and this discussion isn't about Toyota/Lexus. Thanks!

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • Navigation systems, as they are currently configured, will almost certainly be obsolete within a couple years. Thus, even if I wanted one, I would not get one because of where I am reasonably confident the technology is going. Additionally, GM already has 2/3 of the needed technology already built into the car to make this happen, thus they may be the first to change. I will guess that within 2 years, navigation will be entirely communication based. One will make a request to go somewhere via a cell phone (or, GM's Onstar). (For simplicity, I will assume that the system is based on Onstar.) Onstar will give the location of the car via GPS locator, and directions downloaded. Since the system will be GPS directed, and Onstar can also track miles traveled via the odometer, other options are available via this system. A wrong turn, and an appropriately named "idiot light" comes on (or, the pleasant voice from Onstar tells you that you are an idiot). If there is a turn you need to make in 12 miles, the odometer will measure when you have gone 11, and give you a heads up. This can be combined with the GPS to take account of wrong turns, etc. Thus, I think the DVD based systems, as one can get in the Toyota Avalon for a mere $1600-1900, will be obsolete within a couple years. The only downside to this approach is if you are in an area that lacks cell coverage. Again, evolving technology will probably result in the communications being satelite based. Off topic, but if one compares identically equipped Camry's and LaCrosse's, the LaCrosse is less expensive - see the Lacrosse board, or compare them directly.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The base Camry is a stripper with a 4 cyl. engine. Not quite comparable. LaCrosse has a V6, standard ABS & TC, all disc brakes and SABs.

    The Lucerne is a value buy for a near lux full size car. I don't think I can swing a V8 but if they have tuned the 3800 ok, I may go for a base CXL in a couple of years.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Engine aside, the Lucerne is actually pretty well equipped. We all know the Avalon's engine whips the 3800 for $27K but if you compare a CXL V8 to an Avalon it stacks up pretty well. If buyers are really concerned about hp and acceleration they would probably be looking at a 300c, not an avalon. Plus you have the avalon's styling to contend with. I think the new large Hyundai looks better than the Avalon and it will be cheaper to boot. Another funny thing about he Avalon is that everyone was making a big deal about the Avalon outpowering the Lucerne V8 but now we know the engine makes 268hp, not 280hp so that argument goes out the window. The hp/l in the Avalon is impressive, but the lack of displacment means it has 52 less lb-ft of torque than the V8. In fact the 3.5L only has 20 more lb-ft than the 3800. The mags may be able to ge 6.5sec 0-60 times, but you wont get that in the real world launching from a stoplight. I am willing to bet in real world acceleration, the Lucerne V8 will be faster than the Avalon. Not that most buyers in this class really care. The best thing about the Avalon is the mileage.
  • I'm afraid Buick and GM have a long way to go to keep up with Toyota. I've owned a 1992 Park Avenue, a 1997 Riviera, a 1999 Ultra, and before that various Oldsmobiles back to my first car, a 1972 Cutlass Supreme. I still own the Riviera and even belong to the Riviera Owners Association. Given all that, I think I qualify as a GM loyalist if anyone does.

    But when my wife wanted a "mid-life crisis" car, we bought a 2004 Toyota Solara convertible. The car arrived in perfect condition, is impeccably finished, hasn't had a single glitch in almost 20,000, and is often mistaken for a BMW or a Mercedes (at a distance, at least).

    Compare that with my last two Buicks. My Riv (which I love and would like to keep forever) has spouted oil leaks in literally every possible gasket and seal, sometimes twice. My Ultra's transmission needed a rebuild at 35,000 miles, just within the warranty, and suffered trim problems that shouldn't happen in a car of that price level.

    The Toyota, by comparison, is the first car I've ever owned that didn't require at least a couple of trips to the dealer to finish the assembly that should have occurred at the factory. I've since bought my son a Toyota truck and am seriously considering an Avalon to replace the Riv. I'm hoping the Lucerne will meet the quality and features of the Avalon, hence my attendance to this board. And I'm willing to wait awhile to see. But my Riv has 105,000 miles and with a reported major supercharger rebuild likely at about 110,000, I can't wait too long.

    Please, GM, make me a believer again. I never bought a foreign car before my Solara and would prefer to buy American if I can. But...
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    "The mags may be able to ge 6.5sec 0-60 times, but you wont get that in the real world launching from a stoplight."

    Actually, Car and Driver is the only mag that does both an advanced launch technique as well as a stop-light thromp of the go pedal (called the Street Start) and their Avalon Touring hit 60 in 6 seconds flat with the advanced technique, and 6.3 in the Street Start 5-60 test. Even Consumer Reports hit 60 in 6.7 seconds in their Avalon XLS. In both tests, the Avalon did really well with fuel efficiency, so youre right, that is definitely a strong suit.

    For the record, you seem to forget that styling is subjective. To date, it seems that many are more than willing to 'contend' with the Avalons styling.

    ~alpha
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosconsumer/0510/12/F03-345652.htm

    Per the report by Anita Lienert (not a GM lover here in Detroit) she was fooled :) into liking the Lucerne for quietness compared to the lexus. How did it happen? A/B testing was done using microphones and played back thru headphones in a blind test.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I think you need to check the Avalon's sales. It is selling far better than the old one, but it terms of monthly sales is in the same neighborhood as the Lacrosse, which most people are calling a modest success for Buick, if that. I think the Avalon sold nearly 9K units last month. People who buy Toyota's dont care about styling so I wouldnt expect them to not like the Avalon. We'll see how it sells when it has some real competition. Right not, there is no legit competition for the Avalon. The 500 is too underpowered and under-equiped to be considered a true contender.

    Those C&D test numbers were way off for all the cars involved. The fastest I have seen the LAcrosse in any other test was 7.6secs and they had it clocked at 7secs flat. The Maxima was also much faster than anything I've ever seen. They had a bunch of ringers. There is no way a 268hp Avalon is running to 60 only .3 secs slower than a 350hp Charger. I wouldnt expect to see similar test numbers ever again.
  • ...Or driven one?

    When are they actually going to be on the dealer lots?
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    You have not bought a Buick this decade yet and GM quality has come WAY up since 1999. I suspect if you bought a LeSabre in 2004 for example, you would have had a similar experience to your Toyota. Numbers back my prediction.

    My parents have a 2004 LeSabre in fact and they have not had 1 problem with it either. Gas and oil changes only.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Nothing here in the Toronto area yet.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    I read somewhere the car would be on sale in December.
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