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Buick Lucerne



  • chgo29chgo29 Posts: 6
    I'm still hoping for a response to post #714. Does the Northstar V8 require premium fuel (high octane) or can you burn 87 octane? Cliff
  • the V-8 does NOT REQUIRE premium fuel.however,its use is required to get the EPA STATED MILEAGE. :cry: (OR CLOSE TO IT)
  • keith3keith3 Posts: 17
    OK, thanks, that's the same story as I have. I'm coming to believe that it is true.
  • keith3keith3 Posts: 17
    For what it is worth, I went through this exercise when evaluating an Avalon against the Lucerne for my wife. I use premium in my car (BMW 325) but she simply does not want a car that requires it.

    The Avalon sales person told us that there would be a slight but not noticeable drop in performance using regular. I looked in the Avalon owners manual and it clearly said that operation on Regular is OK but there we might notice some performance loss. I assume the Buick manual has a similar statement since literature says premium is recommended but not required. With the Lucerne we did not get into this since we did not want the V8.

    Car and Driver magazine did a story on this in November 2001. They tested with a couple of high output cars that "require" premium (BMW M3 and a Turbo SAAB). Both ran fine on regular but lost 6% to 10% of power as the engine management systems adjusted to the lower octane. I do not remember if they checked the gas mileage.
  • i agree with what you are saying .most f cars apear to be more fuel efieciant,however they are smaller, lighter andrequire premium fuel.avalon fell of my list.i have 2 3800s 110000k, 150000k i am happy i can get 1 more.they run great on reg big diff on premium much more power.most buyers are to busy to researce.they follow the crowd.i am looking forward to the arival of my CXLV6 it will be a long wait and well worth it! :)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Are you sure there was really more power? I have tried premium fuels and didn't really notice a difference.

    I think it is the same kind of feeling of better running I get after I wash and wax the car and it looks great. When I drive it the car seems to run better.

    I also don't notice a difference in mileage. I used midrange to Nashville and back at Christmas and didn't get a different reading; if anything, it was lower because of the colder weather.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    If the engine in you car/truck isn't designed/tuned to use premium, you won't notice/see any difference. If anything, you could actually lose performance/mileage since higher octane fuels have higher resistance to combust.

    I used to have a Nissan Pathfinder that recommended premium for max performance in the 3.5L v6. I would burn regular and notice a very slight performance difference. It would lose just a touch of responsiveness. When I'd tow with it, it was quite obvious if I was running regular, cause I could continually hear the engine begin to ping until the electronics re-adjusted the timing etc. So I would always use premium when towing.

    As long as the manual states something like "premium recommended" and not required, you won't hurt anything by using regular.
  • blckthreeblckthree Posts: 153
    I took a Lucerne out for a test drive over the weekend. It was a V6 CXL (memory fails me, the upscale model, not the cheap model). I searched GMBuypower looking for a V8 model, but those are hard to come by around here. The only one I found was sold, but they had another coming in.

    I took the V6 model out just to see how it felt. I could also not find one with the bucket seat console option. First off, let me say that the fit and finish of the car looked very good. The interior wasn’t breath taking, but it wasn’t terrible either. A slight improvement over a typical GM interior. My first impression upon sitting it the car.. they have made a better looking LeSabre and changed the name. Upon driving the V6, I was sure they had made a better LeSabre. If that was their intention, they have a great car on their hands. It was not a great car for me though. The steering was slow and had no feel to it, the ride was a nice soft ride, but the car just had no passion to it. It didn’t say buy me. The 3800 seemed sluggish and underpowered.

    After that drive I would like to try a V8 CXS model with the upgraded suspension, brakes, and tires. That very well might be a nice car, but since I cant find one, I don’t know.

    On a positive note, the looks of the Lucurne were enough to get me to look at a Buick. It doesn’t look like they have strayed enough from the LeSabre design to cost them sales. And maybe the V8 CSX will actually bring a younger buyer to the showroom. Overall, I would say the Lucerne is a well put together car, nicely optioned, and a good car for the market that is looking for a nice comfortable highway cruiser. It would do and admireable job of that.

    Mike :)
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I have a 2002 Seville LS with the 275 hp northstar, the same V8 as the Lucerne. My owners manual states that one should use at least 87 octane fuel, but that premium will give better performance. I have experimented with some regular, but I live in a high altitude zone and our regular is 85 octane. What I found was that the shifts are somewhat sluggish on regular fuel, but otherwise fuel consumption seems no different. From my point view, with a 20 cent per gallon difference in price, premium will cost about $100 more for 500 gallons of fuel, which will take me about 10,000 to 12,000 miles in local driving.
  • yes, i am sure.I have tried mid range fuel did not notice a diff over reg..premium is a diff story. I have driven this 3800 for 12 years, 110K miles,and can say its performance is much better on a diet of premium. others will come along & disagree. :mad:
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    If the aversion to premium is relative to mid-grade, there shouldn't be an issue. My 300C averages 1.5 mpg better with premium than with midgrade (though I've read where other owners report no difference). The premium is running 10 cents more per gallon but but with the better gas mileage, running premium is cheaper with each tankful. And the engine seems to run peppier.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    What car is your 3800 in? I trust that you've done enough tests that you have found an improvement. I usually run a half tank fillup and then another fill up on one grade. The second fillup is mostly that new grade.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • the car i am talking about is a 1994 bonn SLE 3800-170 HP.regardless of which motor one chooses (V6 / V8)both will run well on reg/prem . my choice of fuel will be based on extensive testing.(53 days to go!),max i hope. :blush:
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I have driven this 3800 for 12 years, 110K miles,and can say its performance is much better on a diet of premium.

    At this mileage, there may be carbon deposits in the combustion chamber that may cause pinging unless higher grade gas is used. When there's a ping, the computer will delay the spark, thus sapping power. Using a higher grade gas then avoids pinging, thus keeping its rated power.

    However, when flooring, until the computer reacts and actuates the injectors, there may be lean mixture for fractions of a second, which tends to ping, thus limiting power. Therefore, even in cars which require regular, a higher grade gas would help in these situations.

    Whether 10 or 20c extra and potentially lower mileage, due to the higher flash point of higher grade gas, is worth more power in these fractions of a second is up to the owner. ;)

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Here mid-grade is ethanol. While it is only 10% ethanol, ethanol increases fuel consumption.
  • great, thanks for the info. my desion to use prem was based on testing i did in my first year of ownership.never a ping .is it possible by using prem i avoided carbon build-up.? :D
  • does anybody out there know were i can buy a buick hat & t-shirt? :D
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Is it true that ethanol useage helps clean out the deposites in the combustion chamber?

    Also using premium is said to leave more deposites behind than the regular if the car's meant for regular.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • A few days ago I was able to take back to back test drives of a new higher content Avalon and a CXS Lucerne from the same dealership (Yup, Toyota and Buick). I took out the Avalon first, which had the advantage of sitting inside the showroom. The interior: nice, very airy and inviting. The techy dashboard doors were pretty cool, but I wondered how long they would stay working, esp. with children. One kid doing the kind of things that little kids do and...crack. The Avalon drove nicely, but there was the dreaded Toyota transmission stumble. Punch the gas in first or second gear and there is a big hestitation, then it goes pretty good. The first gear acceleration is heavily tamped by traction control. The worst thing: SEATS! They are very hard, almost like boards under the leather. The Avy sounded like a 4/6 cylinder. Nice in the high end revs, but pretty weak down low. Overall: A 7 out of 10.

    Then the Lucerne. Inside was not as techy, and seemed almost a bit old-school. But, there were no folding/hiding doors. Lots of technical info (mpg/trip/engine data), but you have to access it. Seats were MUCH BETTER. Very soft leather yet firm. My daughter who was with me liked the back seats much more on "Car Two". (She didn't like the Av. seats either in the back.) The difference between the Av. and teh Lucerne v8 is immediate the moment you turn the key: Lucerne has an immediate rumble. It's much more prominent than I had thought it would be. I liked it very much. Not loud, just there. The Lucerne's transmission shifted more quickly and assertively. It may only have four speeds, but it's a much better unit. The toyota has more speeds, but the buick has better quality. On the road, the Lucerne tracks better. It feels more stable and it FEELS quicker off the line. I wouldn't doubt that the Avalon will beat it in a longer drag race -- once the Toyota spools up it goes pretty good -- but I'd have no doubt which car is better for accelerating in the half second after you hit the gas: the buick.
    The Lucerne was quieter at 80 mph (enough for me to carry on a normal conversation with my back-seat daughter), and quieter on a dirt road.

    I came away VERY impressed with the Buick CXS. It's MUCH better than the old Park Ave/Lesabre. I'd give it a 9 out of ten, and cleary a better deal than the Avalon. (the sticker prices on the two were almost identical: 36,000)

    So, good luck. Just my few cents worth....
  • Any taller drivers, especially in the 6'6" area, have
    experience with the Lucerne? How does the head and leg room
    feel? Thanks
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    >sticker prices on the two were almost identical: 36,000)

    But the Lucerne is a price to negotiate down from and the Toyo will have a ?$300? distributor fee added on--depending on your area of the country. Do I understand what I have read correctly about the addon fees?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • algeealgee Posts: 78
    Thank you for confirming what I have said several times on this forum and got ridiculed for it.

    You'll find the road noise ( Tire/road)is also poor.

    The NAV system is horrible and takes a long learning curve.

    The engine is very loud and gets worse as it ages.

    Those seats get worse the longer you set in them.

    I drove the Lucerne and I'm sold on it too. I'm just waiting for it to get its NAV system a little later in the year and I'm getting on and getting rid of this AVALON monster. What a mistake I made.

  • Regarding headroom: Very good in the Lucerne, (it did not have a sunroof. I hate sunroofs. I'm a little over six feet...) Not as good in the Avalon, but it had a sunroof, I brushed my head against the headliner in the Toyota. Legroom, excellent in both cars. No problem.

    Regarding road noise in the Avalon: I too was really surprised how noisy it was on anything less than perfect pavement (which is 99 percent of the roads around here). On rutted roads or, worse, a dirt road, it really was loud. Very similar in noise levels to a Camry. The ENGINE is quieter at idle, but it lets out a pretty good whine at redline, and almost all real world noise levels its worse. By the way: don't believe everything about dB levels. Study sound engineering. The human ear is much more sensitive to certain pitches of the same dB. A 65 dB of one pitch can be perceived as much louder than a 65 db of another pitch. Fact is, the ears show the Buick to be much quieter on real roads than the Avalon. It is heavier, of course, and my guess is that the extra 400 pounds includes a fair bit of noise insulation.

    And to price: Yes, I realize that the Buick could probably be bargained a bit more (but maybe not: the dealer I went to had a half dozen Avalons lined up and they'd sold every Lucerne they'd gotten, except for the one I drove, which had come in the day before).

    I'm looking for a new car and the Lucerne is pretty sweet.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Carbon build-up is caused mainly by rich mixture, which can happen for various reasons, but not fuel grade. Fuel quality, yes, but has nothing to do with fuel grade. As a matter of fact, the most important additives are present in all grades.

    Modern cars whose engine is computer-controlled fare much better in this regard, but fuel injection components wear can throw the control off. That's why tuning every 60 or 100000mls is not a bad idea.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Actually I've heard both opinions:

    The premium fuel question has been answered opposite ways by mechanics I've heard. One says he only used premium in all his cars. He has pickups, Impalas, Vettes... He owns a body shop with mechanical repair facility.

    The others say that it burns slower and does not burn as completely especially in a cylinder where the compression isn't as high and the valve timing aren't optimum for it. He says it leave behind deposits.

    Another comment is to use one fuel for a while then switch to a different brand which you hope has good additives. The additives often leave their own residue and changing cleans that one out and starts depositing another residue.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Is it true that ethanol useage helps clean out the deposites in the combustion chamber?

    Not really. Ethanol burns more slowly and is generates less heat than gas, decreasing the explosion temperature, therefore promoting the formation of carbon deposits.

    Also using premium is said to leave more deposites behind than the regular if the car's meant for regular.

    It can be true, as it's harder to ignite than regular, unless the engine has been designed to use it.

  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    In the days of carburetors, premium fuel had better additives to keep the engine clean. Nowadays, with all cars having fuel injection, all gas grades carry the same cleaning additive packages. The reason is liability, more than anything else.

    Premium doesn't burn slower, it's actually faster, but it's ignition point is higher. In an engine designed to use regular, the compression ratio cannot be too high or pinging will occur. If premium is then used, the charge will then be a tad too cool because of the lower compression ratio, though OK for regular, making it hard to ignite. The primary result of this is lower power, resulting in higher fuel consumption as the driver's reaction is to accelerate more to get the same responsiveness he's used to. The secondary result is that it can actually promote the formation of carbon deposits due to a cooler combustion.

    However, in old engines with significant carbon build-up, which increases the compression ratio a bit, premium avoids pinging, which can melt a piston and bend rods. Therefore, more carbon build-up is better than a ruined engine, at least until a mechanic can clean it up.

    BTW, removing carbon build-up chemically is not as good as mechanically, which requires removing the engine heads.

  • keith3keith3 Posts: 17
    I am a bit over 6'4" with 36" inseams and legroom is my first priority in any car I look at.

    I found the Lucerne to be the best car I looked at for legroom - with the CXL power seats adjusted properly. Maybe a bit less than the 02 Envoy we are trading but better than Avalon, Ford 500 or VW Passat which were contenders.

    Headroom was fine in front - without sunroof. (This is a plus of the Lucerne for me. We could get the features we wanted (e.g. heated seats with memory) without the sunroof which some others make you take as part of a package.) Rear headroom was acceptable but not great.
  • keith3keith3 Posts: 17
    Just a follow-up to your message from Monday:

    "About the 55 days, I asked several salesmen in person and over the phone. The answer was always the same, 6 to 8 weeks(42 to 60 days) for a customer order. My order went in on Jan. 23rd."

    Our dealer called this morning to report that our car, which we ordered Jan. 18 was built Jan. 30. We should expect it within two weeks. Looks like we will get to test the quality of a (shudder) "Monday built" car. I hope yours comes as quickly - and that it is built Tues - Thurs.
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