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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison



  • tonycdtonycd Posts: 223
    "Buick forgets about their own Lacrosse that can be had with the better V6 incidentally."

    Sadly, not anymore. Now all you can get is the ancient 3.8, unless you get the Super with the pushrod V8 from the Impala SS.

    By the way, dragging this message back on-topic: I accepted the other poster's challenge to price the Lucerne CXL V8. But while there, I also checked its specs. Yes, the CXL has a package with the Northstar. But stability control (standard on Avalon and Azera) is an extra-cost option even at a $34K sticker, and you can't get the Magnaride suspension at all. That's critical, because everyone who's tested the car says it pitches like the Queen Mary without it. So if you want a Lucerne that drives well, you're still talking the CX$.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    Sadly, not anymore. Now all you can get is the ancient 3.8,
    REALLY, to me this is another indication of the sorry straits that GM must be in - seemingly they can't produce enough of the 3.6s (can you say Malibu) and are forced instead (UAW?) to continue with the 3.8 that nobody wants. Think SC is also optional on Avalons as well BTW- it's almost not possible to find one without it though - another excuse to add $600 to the price, I guess.
    As far as the 'tightened up' MagnaRide, agree with you, it does make the Lucerne decidedly not like a Buick, much like the Avalon Touring mods. take away a good piece of it being an Avalon. But, different strokes for different folks - for many buyers in this class, the 'softer' the 'better'.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Well...GM must be able to produce enough of the 3.6's because not only is it in the Malibu, but it's also in the Aura too (and was long before the Malibu was introduced).
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,468
    and you can't get the Magnaride suspension at all

    There is a special edition CXL coming soon that will have the Magna Ride and the V8 as an option. Right now the V8 is only available on the CXS. There is almost always rebates on the Lucerne that will lower the OTD price as well. If you don't mind the FE penalty the V8 Lucerne is nice. However, I think the Avalon is the overall better bet with the 2GR V6 (quicker and better FE) and while it will cost more initially it will hold its value better.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    Direct Injection. Which by itself does little, if anything, for power. The power comes when the compression ratio is raised. The ability to raise the compression ratio and still run on pump gas is due to the fuel being injected directly into the cylinder ( not the intake port ) just prior to combustion.
    Port injection systems inject the fuel into the port and then the gas/air mixture enters into the combustion chamber. It's temperature rises as it's compressed, and if the octane rating is not high enough for the engine's compression ratio, it'll preignite without a spark ( known as knock or detonation ).
    Note that the DI engines in use today will commonly run a compression ratio of about 12:1, not the 10:1 which is pretty normal for modern, non DI engines.
    The old hot rodders rule of thumb is that a 1 point rise in compression ratio will yield up to 10% more power.
    DI systems require higher pressure injection systems and very precise metering of the fuel, hence, higher cost.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,468
    GM must be able to produce enough of the 3.6's

    How could you forget the Acadia triplets. That is where GM is allocating most of the 3.6s to. I am sure they make more money selling those than the relatively low volume LaCrosse.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    and in your Outlook/Acadia/Enclaves, not to mention the CTSs.and the high volume Malibu. The LaCrosse would seem sell about as much as something like the Aura and NOT put that much more production 'load' on the factory(s) that build the 3.6 - this is why it is it so 'confusing' that the 3.6 would no longer be around for the LaCrosse. :confuse:
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    are forced instead (UAW?) to continue with the 3.8 that nobody wants
    I think you hit the nail on the head, when you mentioned Malibu. We have discussed the 3.6 shortage before.
    Considering how many GM vehicles use the engine, there's no wonder it's in short supply. As I've mentioned before, I live by Flint where the 3800 is made and ( drumroll, please ) that engine is in it's last year.
    The LaCrosse was the only vehicle on that platform ( Grand Prix, Impala ) that used the 3.6 engine, and the typical LaCrosse buyer probably had no clue that they were getting a modern, hi-tech engine anyway. It's probably cheaper to produce the 5300 V8 than the 3.6, and it makes production simpler without having to worry about the additional engine.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    it's a sorry state of affairs when the 'Indians' tell the 'Chief' that they won't be 'allowed' to offer a competitive product.... :cry:
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    whoooooo-sh, that's the sound of something going right over my head. ;)
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    After spending over 30 years in GM plants as a union electrician as well as a manufacturing engineer and skilled trades supervisor, I can assure you that the " Indians " don't tell the " Chief " what to do. You would not believe the ignorance of some of the decisions that come down from on high - a good number of them from
    " beancounters " instead of product people.
    GM has gotten itself in the mess it's in by arrogance and stupid decisions, not the UAW. For the last decade or more, hourly worker wages have increased by only 3% per year, while the people making the poor decisions concerning product have reaped millions. Most UAW workers return an honest days work for an honest wage, they only build what they're told to build.
    Fact is, for the past 15 to 20 years, the bulk of GM development money has gone into trucks, which have typically held the large profits which meant executive bonuses and stock options. Is it any wonder that their cars are generally not competitive? ( Bob Lutz is working to change that )
    As far as the LaCrosse, it's very expensive to certify, build, and ship the 3.6 to that assembly plant, as well as engineering the production process just for the few LaCrosse buyers that want that engine. Most of the old timers who are buying that car ( whose basic chassis debuted in 1990 ) are more happy with a good old V8.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Silly me, how could I forget! The triplets are soon to be quads with the introduction of the Chevy Traverse. So if GM can produce 4 CUV's with the 3.6, the Aura and Malibu as well...I find it hard to think they can't produce enough to put one in the Lucerne.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    it sure seems like you would be in a position to know:

    Is it not true that GM, for example, effectively can not shut down old plants etc. BECAUSE of obligations they have made to the UAW 'guaranteeing' the jobs?

    Or is it not true that Ford in its efforts to right its ship has been 'buying out' contracts with UAW employees so it can close plants, in effect paying folks NOT to work?

    This is definitely off topic except as it applies to Buick being unable to get a more competitive engine in the Lucerne or possibly just trying to save on some production costs as you mention, and would also agree that since the demographic of a Buick is indeed the 'old timer', that the HF 3.6 would not likely sell as well as that big ole pushrod V8

    A common perception (or misperception) though - but if true, this wouldn't be a case of the indians leading the chiefs? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,387
    The Lucerne is not meant to be a sports car. It sounds like some posters rate things based on ability to do 0-60 in 3.9 seconds or corners on two wheels. It is much larger than the Camry-based Avalon.

    The owners of Lucernes aren't looking for the same car as some posters. If that's what the poster wants that's fine for them. Don't paint large mainstream cars as having to meet your specifications. A Northstar in a Lucerne? Great. DTS. Great. A 3800 does fine. Dependable. No sludging problems. High torque.

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

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    A 3800 does fine
    197hp and 230 lb of torque have no business in a car that weighs damn near 2 tons (heck, it has no business these days in a car that only weighs 3000 lbs!) - a simple road test on any road that isn't billiard table flat will tell you that - and it has nothing at all to do with getting to 60 in 3.9 seconds (or 6 or even 7 (or 10)) .
    It had never occurred to me that 'mainstream' and 'asthmatic' were the same thing!
    Besides which, the Lucerne 3.8 rates pretty poorly reliability wise compared to even its own V8 cousins (at least according to CR) , never mind compared to things like Avalons/Azeras/Maximas. You really do need to sit in the back seats of things like Avalons/Azeras/Taurii b4 you can really judge which car is really 'bigger'..
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,468
    It is much larger than the Camry-based Avalon.

    Correct me if I am wrong but its only about 5" longer than the Avalon and has about an 1" more front leg room and less than a 1/2" of rear legroom. Honestly that is the same size class to me. The Avalon and Lucerne are shopped by the same buyer IMO. Someone looking for a quiet roomy sedan. The Lucerne is great and with the V8 drives very well. However, for my $$ I took the Avalon for the fact I can get the same power as that V8 with better economy than the V6 model Lucerne.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    The Avalon and Lucerne are shopped by the same buyer IMO
    Of course they are (and were) and by the same older demographic - and the reason why over the years that the Avalon has been 'the best Buick that GM never built'. It was in 2005 when the new Avalon got bigger and a whole lot more spunky that it became something more than that. ;)
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    The Lucerne is not meant to be a sports car. It sounds like some posters rate things based on ability to do 0-60 in 3.9 seconds or corners on two wheels.

    It's not about doing 0-60 in 3.9, but...with a car that size, you do want to feel confident when merging into flowing traffic on a highway, or knowing that you're capable of passing at highway speeds...even with 5 passengers and a load in the trunk. 197 hp would be fine in the likes of a Civic, Elantra or Corolla as they are much lighter.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    197 hp would be fine in the likes of a Civic, Elantra or Corolla
    yes it would
    IF the particular engine we are talking about here didn't have to pull 5200 rpm to get that 197hp. The GM 3.8 at 5200 is not the same animal at 5200rpm as many of the other engines here are at well over 6000. 'Defending' the 3.8 is amusing - heck even GM seems to understand that it has no place under the hoods of 'real' cars.
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    Is it not true that GM, for example, effectively can not shut down old plants etc. BECAUSE of obligations they have made to the UAW 'guaranteeing' the jobs?
    Not true. Flint used to be the home of Buick, and at one time the massive Buick complex employed tens of thousands. Everything that was there is now gone except for the previously mentioned 3800 plant, and an axle plant. Total employees now - less than a couple thousand. This county ( Genesee ) during GM's heyday employed close to 200,000 while GM owned over 50% marketshare. Total county GM employment is now less than 10,000 and headed down - along with their marketshare, which is now about 26%.
    GM does not guarantee " jobs for life ", and provides the UAW with a list of plants it will close during a contract period. That list has seen the closing of, on average, about 4 plants per year for the past 10 or 15 years. They have divested themselves of Delphi which once had its World Headquarters here - they're leveling the Delphi complex this week.
    GMs goal, IMO, is to get rid of all plants except engine and final assembly. There's no money in metal stamping, interiors, electrical systems, etc., and they prefer to outsource that work.
    The huge volume of buyouts that they ( and Ford ) have offered in the past 3 or 4 years have enabled them to hire new workers at half the wages with no pension.
    Sorry about going off topic, but there is a conception that the UAW is resposible for GMs problems, and it's not true. Offer a World Class product that people want, and they'll buy it.
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    The Lucerne platform is about done, and the plant where it's made is not setup to install that engine on the DTS/Lucerne chassis. Other than the few car people in this blog, IMO, Lucerne buyers are pleased as punch with the 3800 or Northstar option.
    Why go to the expense of adapting that plant for the 3.6, which is already in short supply, only to redo the car in a year or two?
    I wonder, also, how the 3.6 engine would work in a 4000 pound car? It has much less torque than the Northstar - an engine/car combo that modern V6 cars in this segment will run circles around. Would you describe your heavy SUV with that engine, as " frisky "?
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Actually, to be honest...the 3.6 in the Outlook is quite frisky. It's pretty amazing because the truck is actually closer to 5000 lbs (4936 to be exact). I think the friskiness is attributed to the fact I have the AWD model and the torque is listed at 340 lb-ft. It pulls very strongly and it's hard to tell just how fast you're going without peeking at the speedo. Cruising at 80 mph is smooth and quiet and doesn't feel like 80 at all. The only downside is the FE, but then again...this is my first dealings with an SUV of size and considering the HP (275) and the weight...16/22 mpg really isn't too bad...I guess. :confuse:

    The Northstar, by the way (in the SRX anyway) is kicking out 320 hp w/315 lb-ft of torque and weighs almost 500 lbs less than the Outlook. It's no wonder it would be more frisky in a similar type of vehicle. Heck, even the 3.6 that's in the SRX is only kicking out 255 hp w/254 lb-ft of torque would feel more frisky since it weighs over 700 lbs less than the Outlook.

    The difference is...the SRX designed function is more towards performance and the Outlook's design leans more towards function.
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    appreciate you 'straightening me out' because I also was of the opinion that while GM had agreed to some rather 'unusual' labor contracts (their fault) back in the truck/SUV craze, that it still was the UAW that was preventing GM from doing perhaps what it needed to. But, you've got to admit that the UAW 'protections' of its members in that buyout scenario you outline can't be helping GM/Ford's bottom lines. In most other businesses (sans a union) those abandoned employees in that abandoned plant would simply be SOL. Cadillac has the right idea if we are talking about offering a world class product IMO - perhaps GM needs to reconsider any ambitions it has to be #1 and simply do things better on a smaller scale - size/volume certainly has hurt Toyota a bit
  • captain2captain2 Posts: 3,971
    wonder, also, how the 3.6 engine would work in a 4000 pound car?
    quite well I think, its called the CTS and seems to work well in base and direct injected form.
  • cobrazeracobrazera Posts: 352
    torque is listed at 340 lb-ft.Obviously a typo on the Saturn website. I think you'll find that the max torque for your engine is 251 lb-ft, just like the Acadia and Enclave. That's less max torque than your Azera.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...could be right, I'll check with Saturn on that. However, that 251 lb-ft of torque is pretty strong. I have a buddy who owns an Expedition and he remarked at how strong the Outlook pulled one day when we were going up a hill. For the Outlook to be as heavy as it is, it's friskier than one might think.

    Okay, okay...enough about the Outlook, gotta get back on topic.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I'll check with Saturn on that.

    I'm sure he is right.
  • allmet33allmet33 Posts: 3,557
    Like I said, he just might be right, but Saturn needs to know that their info is wrong if that is the case.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    A 3800 does fine. Dependable. No sludging problems.

    It ought to be dependable after decades of production.

    High torque.

    Lowest-in-class torque (227) AND horses (197), I believe. Where'd you get "high torque?"
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