Overview & Reviews
The Buick Lucerne was the last sedan of what we'd call traditional Buick design. Without a doubt, this front-wheel-drive, full-size car put passenger comfort as its top priority. Seating was spacious and luxurious front and rear, and Buick's "Quiet Tuning" measures, which covered everything from the thickness of the carpet padding to the design of the windshield wipers, made the Lucerne one of the quieter cars on the market. Soft suspension tuning provided a plush, absorbent ride.
Although this Buick's coddling nature was a strong attribute, consumers looking at used full-size sedans should be aware that the Lucerne has numerous faults, the main ones being a lack of desirable luxury features, sloppy handling, unimpressive V6 acceleration, subpar brakes and a dated four-speed automatic transmission. Traditional Buick buyers may be willing to overlook these faults, but otherwise we think used luxury sedan shoppers can do better with other, more highly regarded choices such as the Hyundai Genesis or Toyota Avalon.
Most Recent Buick Lucerne
The Buick Lucerne full-size sedan was produced from 2006 through 2011. Trim levels initially consisted of the CX, CXL and CXS. Powering the CX and CXL was an underwhelming 3.8-liter V6 good for just 197 horsepower. The more desirable CXS came with a 275-hp, 4.6-liter V8 that was optional for the CXL. The 4.6 could move the big sedan to 60 mph in a respectable 7.7 seconds.
The base CX was well equipped with alloy wheels, full power accessories (including driver seat), a CD player and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls among its standard features. The CXL added larger wheels, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and an MP3-capable stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The CXS featured driver-seat memory, a Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, 18-inch wheels and a Magnetic Ride Control suspension.
The Lucerne was essentially unchanged its sophomore year, while '08 saw the debut of the Super (which replaced the CXS and offered a more powerful 292-hp V8) as well as the adoption of modern technologies such as lane departure and blind-spot warning systems.
For 2009, the 3.8-liter V6 was finally retired as the Lucerne got a new 227-hp (219 hp in California-emissions states) 3.9-liter V6. That year also saw the addition of Bluetooth connectivity. The following two years brought minor styling and equipment updates, though the final year saw stability control become standard across the board.
Mostly unchanged throughout the years, the Lucerne's cabin has a clean design with solid materials and simple, well-organized controls. Unfortunately, there are some cheaper plastics thrown into the mix, and build quality can be inconsistent.
Though the CXS and Super boast adaptive "Magnetic Ride Control" shock absorbers (that automatically firm up the suspension when the car is pushed on a curvy road), the Lucerne still won't appeal to demanding drivers. However, its comfortable cruising demeanor was hard not to like on long road trips. Braking was not one of the Lucerne's strong points, as testing revealed stopping distances that were the longest in the full-size sedan class.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 376.00
I hope this helps someone looking at purchasing one - 2011 Buick Lucerne
By Drew - January 1 - 7:49 pm
I bought my Lucerne from a dealership a year ago. It’s had its ups and downs. I’m only 20 and the car was previously owned by a couple in their 80’s who drove the Lucerne on a 2,000 mile round trip yearly and had grandkids out of state they visited, so it’s not super low on mileage like most of them are. The car itself is beautiful, but some of the beauty is just for show, especially on the interior. The dashboard feels quite cheap to me. Some newer Buick’s with the same price point have higher quality interiors. I have the V6 in mine, and it does get some pretty good speed, although with a V6, the gas mileage won’t be the very best, and this is not by any means a fuel efficient car. This car is also not oil efficient. I had a Chevrolet Cobalt before this and could go 6 months between oil changes. In the Lucerne, I can barely make it four months between oil changes. The Lucerne uses the “North Star” engine, which was only available in higher trim Cadillacs before it was put in the Lucerne. It’s a good engine, but North Stars knock and tick a LOT, especially when it gets cold outside. Other Lucerne owners I’ve talked to have reported hearing this from day one in their car, and my trustworthy mechanics have confirmed that it’s normal. The car has a nice touch screen radio with navigation in mine, but the GPS is messed up and is too costly to fix and I have a smartphone with maps so I just use that and my auxiliary cord for music. In the year I’ve owned it, I’ve had to put a lot of repairs into it. All 4 wheels were bent badly when I bought it, but I got the car $2500 below MSRP so it couldn’t have been perfect, so that was a $800 fix in the beginning. The car has had all headlights and tail lights replaced in it, and the tail lights are quite expensive at about $200 to replace each one, since the bumper has to be removed to replace them. The tie rods and shocks were just replaced after about a year of me having the car. The water pump was going bad, so that also had to be replaced shortly after I purchased the car. Also, please note that the steering on these cars is naturally terrible. You have to make wise turns. Oh, and forget about parallel parking; you won’t be able to make it into the spot. The reason I wrote this review is to inform others of what it’s like to own a Lucerne. A lot of young people, particularly those who don’t go to a 4 year university and choose to go into culinary work or trade school or work in customer service are buying lucernes and I will say, make sure you allocate money for the repairs. Buick’s aren’t what they once were and the repairs can be pricey. A better car for young ones starting out would be a Toyota RAV4 ,Camry or Corolla, a Honda Civic, CRV or Accord, a Chevrolet Cobalt or Malibu, or a Ford Focus or Fusion. I hope my review helps someone
Steering - 2006 Buick Lucerne
By D Berwald - January 13 - 1:23 pm
If you wish to make a U turn, make sure you have enough room as turning radius does not allow for real sharp turns. It is still a stylish vehicle. It does well on long trips as far as comfort and economy. I have consistently experienced 24 miles per gallon on a long trip.
Watch that tranny - 2011 Buick Lucerne
By Kirby - December 6 - 6:16 am
Replaced transmission at 53,000 miles, luckily it was still under warranty. Come on gm your making the exports look better. Got excellent service from Moses gm though
Great Auyo - 2006 Buick Lucerne
By Clifford Den Otter - November 12 - 4:34 am
WE Bought auto new and only costs to us have been rear brakes, tires, and battery besides normal maintenance. All these are expected. We would highly recommend the Buick Lucerne to anyone. My experience with autos started with a 1938 Packard and this Buick is the best auto that we have ever had. Cliff and Judy
If you can find it, buy it! - 2008 Buick Lucerne
By Joe - November 8 - 4:38 pm
Very reliable family sedan. My 4th Buick over 30 years. And I sold them too!!
Buicks Best Ride - 2009 Buick Lucerne
By Glinda Craig - September 15 - 9:54 am
This is my second Buick. The first was a Century that was totalled my a red light runner and that car saved my life. I feel safe in my Lucerne. Its comfortable and smooth. My Century NEVER gave me a problem and my Lucerne is as reliable. Im sold on Buick. Looking for an SUV for vacations. And Im not using my Lucerne as a trade. Im going to have TWO Buicks.
less then a 1 star - 2008 Buick Lucerne
By marian newhouse - August 7 - 10:10 pm
it is the worst car ever.
Big drop from the Park Ave and La Sabre Ive Owned - 2010 Buick Lucerne
By gmckee58 - December 22 - 8:53 pm
Car rides well on long trips, which is what I use it for. Comfortable to ride in over long hauls. Turning radius and noise was the first things I noticed on the car. Now that its broke in, the noises are more abundant, especially from the read and side windows.
My 2009 Lucerne - 2009 Buick Lucerne
By mcknisley - November 8 - 2:47 pm
I have had my Lucerne for 5 years now and I usually trade every 5 years but I am not ready to give this car up. It has everything on it that you can think of. I have had no trouble with it. Never had it to the garage except to get an oil change every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. I also have a bench front seat which is nice when we have to squezze an extra great Grand child in. I love the big cars why did they have to quit making them?
Great car, maybe a touch expensive - 2008 Buick Lucerne
By rohkey - August 5 - 8:19 am
A little baffled by some of the poor reviews I have seen. Im 24 and have been driving this car for 2 years now, and I enjoy it. Its spacious, comfortable, quiet, and powerful enough. Never noticed any major handling issues other than the large turn radius, and sometimes it can be difficult to park in large spots. Also there seem to be a few blind spots that can get you in trouble if youre not cautious. The interior isnt as fancy/elegant as I would expect, but its not bad, and I like how the exterior looks. The trunk is pretty huge, and there is plenty of room for my 65 frame (something Ive had problems with in other cars like the Malibu and Impala). MPGs are pretty low, however.