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Buick Lucerne: Real World MPG



  • 0311vn0311vn Posts: 48
    I put 2500 miles on a Lucerne CX with a six cylinder engine and averaged 25 to almost 28 mpg. I clocked every tank on the trip, which include some mountain driving. City driving dropped to 20 mpg and less on one tank. The six cylinder struck as a bit underpowered. This was rental car with cloth seats.

    Is it just me, or does the trunk of the Lucerne seem a bit small for a full size car?

    I would give the Lucerne a B minus overall, a decent grade, but short of the quasi-luxury car I was hoping for when I asked the rental agency for a Lucerne. I would probably go with the V8 engine if I bought one. (Is a Caddilac CTS that shares a platform with a Lucerne that much more expensive?)
  • I have an '06 CX and love it. Only complaint about the trunk is the arms on the hinges swing down into the compartment and can hit luggage ... something the hinges on the Century we traded in did not do. Other than that, it's fine. There's only the two of us so the size is adequate.

    Highway mileage is better than my smaller Chevy Malibu. With the cruise set at 65mph I get a consistent 31-32mpg. Granted, city driving takes down the average but once I'm on the highway, it's terrific.

    The CX starts at around $27000 ... a CTS starts at $35000. Take your pick.
  • fdunbarfdunbar Posts: 4
    Happy to announce that my 2007 Lucerne CXL (6 cyl) got 27.2 mpg on my recent trip from Florida to Miane. It is an improvement over theprevious 2 trips which were 25.9 mpg.
  • scandiakenscandiaken Posts: 11
    We bought an 06 Lucerne CX with a 3.8 V6 engine.
    It was during the 07 model year so we got a better price.
    It was a brand new car, with 33 miles on the odometer
    It now has 10,000 miles.
    In 3 trips from St. Paul to Chicago, we have attained
    30.3 mpg and once 33.2 mpg.
    I calcualte mileage by hand and find that the Lucerne
    knows how to calculate mileage as well as me.
    When we get on Interstate 94 heading southeast,
    I set the cruise at 72 mph.
    We love EVERYTHING about the Lucerne with the
    exception of the dash lights in daylight hours.
    See my blog entries in the interior blog.
  • scandiakenscandiaken Posts: 11
    append again
    We live 10 miles from the shopping areas that my wife frequents.
    Mileasge in these shorter trips is 24.5 mpg.
    We are pretty satisfied with that.
    Oh, we use the cheapest gas available at 87 octane.
    We carry 32 ppi in the tires.
    We use 10W30 oil just like suggested in the book.
    The tires are what came on the car. Rides fine.
  • buddiemacbuddiemac Posts: 4
    I notice with my CXS Lucerne that you need to pamper your driving habits to obtain good mileage. The sweet spot is around 55mph. Must accelerate slowly and let off pedal to up shift early.

    I also notice that I achived better milieage after my first oil change - wondering if GM uses a special oil for breaking in the car which may be slightly more friction generating.

    I now can obtain around 29 -31 on highway at 55 mph without stop and go. Around town milieage is very low.
  • taraleetaralee Posts: 13
    I'm not partial to "babying" a 6 cylinder car that should get 29-31 mpg regardless. I had a 1991 Ford Thunderbird with a 6 cylinder engine that got 32 mpg consistently, and later on, I had a 1995 Ford Thunderbird with a V-8 engine that got 25-27 mpg driving 70 mph....I don't feel like I should accept the poor mileage that I get from my Buick Lucerne, when I've had better results from my previous vehicles without complaining....P.S. Driving 55 on a highway with 70 mph traffic is dangerous, unless you're 70 yrs old, and don't mind the obscene gestures by other motorists.
  • scandiakenscandiaken Posts: 11
    As stated previously, on three trips to Chicago we got 29.5 to 30.5
    (average 30 mpg) driving at 72 mph. My wife tends to drive faster (closer to 75).
    We do not "baby" the car, but we definitely do not do jackrabbit starts.
    We only accelerate fast on ramps and when passing trucks.
    Also, we don't live in town. We live a mile from a small town
    and 10 miles from weekly shopping. Those trips are mostly 55 mph.

    We did NOT buy a big car for the mpg. We bought a big car for
    comfort on the freeway. We have that, along with reasonable
    economy on shopping trips.

    I wonder if our car is significantly better than the Lucernes that
    many of you are driving. I think not. I expect it is your driving
    habits. Also, I am sure that commuting in heavy traffic is a real
    mpg disadvantage. We do none of that.
  • taraleetaralee Posts: 13
    I do not perform "jack rabbit" starts with my car. I accelerate fast on ramps and when passing, I don't live in town, I live 40 miles from the nearest town, and I don't have any heavy traffic out here in the boonies. It's highway driving most of the time and not many start and stops. My average mph is anywhere between 65 & 71 always....So, where do you think my milage problem stems from? The driver? I think not. Again, there are Lucernes out there that are coming off the assembly lines with flaws that affect mileage. I know of 3 people personally here that are having mileage problems and they aren't speed demons. They treat their cars with respect, and drive like they should. Buick needs to address this problem but I've already tried that with no resolve....This problem in the Lucerne does not CODE when attached to the computer diagnostic system at the dealership, which leads me to believe it is a defect in a major part somewhere and Buick doesn't want to tear the car apart to find it.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    Check your tire pressures. Use a correct gauge and put them 2-3 pounds above the recommendation on the door post. Buy only good fuel. Put in a tank of top grade Shell or BP or another solid brand. Then put in a tank of Plus grade. Then check your mileage.

    But first check the idling. Check the quick starts. Check the heavy throttle. I'll bet I can take your car, make sure it doesn't have fuel with a lot of alcohol in it, run a bottle of Techron fuel system cleaner through it, then leave on a 300 mile trip and get 31-33 mpg driving at 65-70 on the interstate.

    If you believe the car is the problem, I'd suggest trading it for a 6 cyl Camry and report back the mileage after a few months.

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

  • kcwolfpack59kcwolfpack59 Posts: 122
    I reported earlier that highway mileage on a V-6 2007 Lucerne was 4-5 mpg less than the 2000 Lesabre Limited that we traded off for it. We were getting 25-26 in the Lucerne highway average, with easy interstate driving about 70 mph. I inflated the tires to 32-33 lbs., put in some Techron and tried synthetic Castrol as taralee (I think) suggested. Now it is 26-28 mpg, which is nowhere near the 31-32 we were getting in the Lesabre on the same roads. Our 1992 Olds 98 got the same mileage as the Lesabre did. All three cars have the same engine and transmission. I will give up one mpg less because of our Missouri state mandated 10% ethanol requirement that started a few months after we bought the Lucerne. I also realize the Lucerne in 100-150 pounds heavier than the older cars. I agree with taralee. Some V-6 get significantly different mileage than others. Other than that, I am crazy about this car and highly recommend it. A slight fuel milege penalty is worth it.
  • dstrokedstroke Posts: 1
    two weeks ago i drove from Queens to Eastern L. I. for work, trip was 64 miles each way, on the way east i turned off traction control, set the speed to 61 mph and got 34.5 mpg. On the way back west same speed 61mph, traction control enabled and got 35.5 mpg. I have a 06 Lucerne with 11,000 miles on it and I have 35psi on each tire
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    I'm curious about how you use the DIC to measure your mileage. If you're clicking it and included engine starts and stops on the average that may explain the difference between some Lucernes. E.g., if I start on a trip I click the DIC to reset when I hit the interstate (about 1 mile from cold start at home) and measure. If I include colds starts in the mileage, it lowers it, of course, unless it's a trip hundreds of miles long.

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

  • taraleetaralee Posts: 13
    Some of us here are having mileage problems with our Lucernes and have since the first day we brought them home....Some of us have been getting excellent mileage from the git go. I have been informed that the dealership that I do business with has a few Lucernes out of hundreds that they have sold, that are having mileage problems that they cannot resolve. They have opened service orders on each one with Buick and checked all possible parts like injectors, fuel pump, throttle body, etc....They (the technicians) took trips over 100 miles with the cars and used premium fuels, they couldn't improve the mileage. Buick gave them a list of things to check, but none solved the problem. They had mine for 3 weeks with no resolve. I used to work in service at a dealership and I had a great Idea....
    WHAT IF, it was a certain year, or a certain engine, or a certain assembly line that these lemon Lucernes are coming out of that are having these problems? I compared my VIN number with a friend of ours Lucerne at our dealership, it has the same 6 cyl engine, same year model, but different interior package. Mine is the luxury package with Gold Flash white paint, power leather seats and Onstar. Hers is the standard package with standard white paint, fabric seats, with no Onstar. She is getting 28-32 mpg, I am getting anywhere from 19-23.....HUGE DIFFERENCE! We need to have Buick do a random VIN comparison between the Lucernes having these problems, and the ones that are not. If you know someone who owns a Lucerne that is getting great mileage, go to the dealership and have them compare your VIN information to theirs and note the differences. There could be a unmistakable pattern here!
  • kcwolfpack59kcwolfpack59 Posts: 122
    I check the highway mileage same as you do.
  • kcwolfpack59kcwolfpack59 Posts: 122
    Taralee, does your Lucerne have a sight dead spot in the throttle when you barely start to press down on the gas pedal? Mine does. It is just enough that some folks would not notice. I wonder if this has anything to do with the lower mileage. I drove two other V-6 Lucernes at the dealership and they seemed to do the same thing. Dealer says this is drive by wire and is normal. They hooked everything up and said it was OK. I got their song and dance about how mileage will vary etc. I don't want to be the one that has to keep the car in the shop for a week for nothing conclusive. I can tell you that mine was made in May 2007.
  • chuck21401chuck21401 Posts: 11
    My commute to work is 40 miles each way. 35 minutes at 75mph and 45 minutes at 15mph stop and go DC beltway traffic. The driver information center indicates a consistent 23 mpg. I have the CXL V6; the car has 40K miles on it now. I don't think this is that bad for such a large car and this type of driving. I'm not happy about the price of gas but I'm not ready to trade my comfy Buick for an econobox.
  • I agree 100%. We toyed with getting a Vibe for a while before opting to go 180 degrees and get the full size Lucerne. No regrets whatsoever. For the couple miles per gallon you might gain on the small car it's just not worth the tradeoff of room and comfort, not to mention safety. We have gotten a steady 26.5mpg average ... winnter/summer/city/highway. I'm puzzled after reading about others who aren't getting nearly as good of mileage as we are, can't figure that out.
  • taraleetaralee Posts: 13
    I really haven't noticed whether there is a hesitation on start up, but I'll check. I was on my way to an appointment yesterday and I needed to pass a slow truck....My Lucerne almost got me killed! It hardly had enough power to get around the truck and I had the pedal to the metal....I test drove a Ford Fusion yesterday, it has a great sporty look, comfortable seats, power, and gas mileage. I have owned 2 Fords with great performance, I may just trade.
  • Taralee, you might have something wrong with yours. My V-6 has plenty of power and torque to get me out of danger. It seems to have more than the Lesabre it replaced. The power of this car exceeds my nerve. The dead spot in the gas pedal is barely noticeable when you are on a highway and are on slight inclines and trying to hold a steady speed without using the cruise control.
  • taraleetaralee Posts: 13
    I agree with you totally. There is something wrong, but the dealership and Buick won't address it because they can't prove it by hooking it up to the diagnostic computer and finding a CODE for the problem....It won't code.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    What I would try is taking the car out on a lonely road and driving it in 1st and seeing if it has a lot of power when you step on it at slow speeds--say 20. Then try in 2nd and floor it at 35 or 40 in that gear. Then driving in 3rd at 50 and floor it quickly. Then floor it slowly after the car is cruising in 3rd and the torque convert clutch is locked up.

    Then leave the car in OD and try flooring at different speeds and see what gear it shifts down into and how the power feels at different speeds. All I can figure is the transmission didn't do a full downshift to the lowest gear for full power when you accelerated to pass the truck because you may have pushed down slowly on the pedal and it didn't perceive that a request for lots of power was being made. I'm picturing you going at 45 or 50 and attempting a pass, right?

    Be clear that I'm not blaming you for not doing something the way the car wanted. I'm trying to help you figure out what the car wants. There have been lots of posts on a Toyota discussion about quirky communication between transmissions and software and engines in certain cars. I have my 3rd leSabre with the 3800 and can't imagine not having enough power to pass. It's not a 455 cu. in. V8 engine like used to be available but it surprises me occasionally when I punch it with the downshifts and the power it comes up with because I usually drive it very, very tamely. I'm not going to pass semi trucks on 2 lane roads at 65 mph with an oncoming car 1/2 mile away as I start to pull out, but it provides more than enough power for me.

    Good luck getting it straightened out.

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

  • taraleetaralee Posts: 13
    Thank you for your help. I will get my hubby to ride with me and do what you suggested and post my findings.
  • pdg5710pdg5710 Posts: 1
    Can anyone tell me if there is or should be any significant difference in mileage with the traction control on/off? My 07 CXL doesn't come close to my 02 LeSabre - same engine.
  • I've never switched the traction control off in my '06 CX so I really couldn't say ... but I'm getting excellent mileage as it is anyway. 30+ on the highway, 26 overall city/highway/winter/summer. The variation in mileage that people are reporting is a mystery to me. My Lucerne gets better mileage than my '01 Malibu with a 3.1L V-6. Go figure.
  • hjw1hjw1 Posts: 17
    Our 07 Lucerne CXL has just over 8,000 miles on it, and we finally took it on a road trip this past weekend. We traveled 668 miles that were mostly interstate and rural highway. The DIC indicated 27.1 MPG, but my calculated MPG was 28.3. I carefully topped off the tank before, during, and after our trip, so I think that my calculated 28.3 is more accurate.

    My wife drives our Lucerne 3 miles to work. With the daily short trips in the city, our mileage is 17 - 18.
  • On November 1st., I bought a new 2007 Lucerne CXL V-8 from Perrine Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Hummer in Cranbury, New Jersey. I immediately drove it home to Florida, approximately 1200 miles. It performed flawlessly. The car has a 4.6 liter Northstar V-8; mileage ranged from 25-26.5 MPG with 2 passengers and a small amount of luggage. This was all on I-95, the speed limit being anywhere from 55-70 MPH depending upon which state and whether there was road construction going on. I thought this was good mileage considering the larger engine. I am sure that the V-6 would have given a couple more miles per gallon, but it would not be worth it when you compare the engine noise, strain, etc., that you would have to endure with the V-6. The V-8 has the torque and power to move the care effortlessly. It is a quiet engine and made for an extremely nice ride.
  • lane2lane2 Posts: 28
    Glad you are having good luck with your V8. I just purchased a leftover 2007 CXL V8 and would like to know what octane gas you are using. The dealer started me off with a tank of 87 octane and I haven't noticed any pinging and it seems to have plenty of power. Getting ready to take a trip to the mountains and would like to get the best mpg possible. Bought the car for my wife because she has a bad back and needed as many seat adjustments as possible.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,319
    I'd put in a tank of a quality brand name premium and see if you notice any difference in the driveability. You probably will pay the same per mile; slight increase in gas mileage and a slight increase in cost per gallon at fillup.

    Myself, I'd just put in the plus grade and be happy. But I am a gentle driver.

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

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