You'll Like The 2007 Buick Lucerne If...
If you're a current or former Buick large sedan lover, or have been away from roomy, comfy big American sedans for a while and would like a good reason to return, Lucerne is easily the best full-size Buick ever and one of the best full-size American cars of any brand.
You May Not Like The 2007 Buick Lucerne If...
If you can't get comfortable with the idea of picking a domestic brand versus a higher-image import, you may not care for the new Lucerne. This cleanly-crafted four-door looks good enough to earn more youthful (read fiftyish) buyers than the previous Park Avenue, but it's still no kids' cool cruiser.
New available features for 2007 include a heated leather and wood steering wheel, touch-screen DVD navigation and the OnStar Directions and Connections turn-by-turn navigation feature.
The Lucerne's 203.2-inch overall length falls midway between the previous Park Avenue and LeSabre. That gives interior room comparable to the Park Avenue's, with an inch more rear legroom than the shorter LeSabre's. This compares well to Chrysler's 300C and Ford's 500, and substantially out-spaces Toyota's Avalon and the much pricier Lexus GS. The highly refined interior fits are tight -- materials and finishes are premium with excellent attention to detail -- and Buick's "QuietTuning" substantially reduces most road, wind and powertrain noise.
Unlike the demure LaCrosse, the Lucerne sets the styling theme for the next generation of Buick passenger cars. With a shapely new interpretation of the marque's signature waterfall grille between jewel-like projector-beam headlamps, its look is athletic, graceful and upscale American with a touch of Lexus. Twin under-the-bumper front air intakes sport a single horizontal chrome rib apiece, which are echoed by a slim bright accent along the decklid's lower edge. The sleek roofline holds a distinctively-shaped rear pillar. The wheels fill their wells for a muscular stance, and the portholes are set at a slight angle to accentuate the body's wedgy profile.
We spent quality time on freeways, around town and on challenging two-lanes in both base V6 and top-line V8 CXS Lucernes and found much to like and little to criticize. The standard car allows relatively spirited driving (more aggressive than its buyers will likely attempt) with adequate power, good control and solid braking. Only its ultra-light power steering disappointed us, yet it might please typical buyers.
The V8-powered CXS would be our choice for its full complement of features and outstanding ride and handling although its magnetic power steering also struck us as a bit light and devoid of feel. Especially impressive were the unusually low noise levels inside both cabins, thanks to Buick's standard QuietTuning.
With GM emphasizing lower "value pricing" instead of higher stickers offset by big incentives, the well-equipped Lucerne CX has a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,265. The CXL has an MSRP of $29,280 for the V6 model and $31,290 for the V8. The top-of-the-line CXS has an MSRP of $35,295. General Motors hopes initial demand will keep transaction prices near MSRPs, but time will tell whether value pricing will supplant the major incentives that many buyers have come to expect. Click on Fair Purchase Prices to see what consumers are actually paying and click the Incentives tab for information on promotional offers. In terms of resale value, the Lucerne is projected to fare about as well as its domestic competitors, but do considerably worse than its more expensive import-brand competitors.
Lucerne's six standard airbags include side-impact thorax and roof-rail air-curtain bags, a dual-stage driver bag and (shared with Cadillac DTS) an industry-first, GM-patented dual-depth front passenger bag. Also standard are power rack-and-pinion steering, power driver's seat, windows, mirrors and door locks with remote keyless entry, six-speaker AM/FM/CD with auxiliary jack, four-spoke tilt steering wheel with speed and audio controls, PASS-key III theft deterrent system, 16-inch alloy wheels and tires with tire pressure monitoring, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), traction control, Buick's QuietTuning (which includes laminated steel and laminated windshield and side glass) and GM's OnStar convenience and security system.
Mid-range CXLs add automatic climate control, electrochromic inside mirror, heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, leather-covered seats and steering wheel, power front passenger seat, uplevel audio with MP3 and 17-inch wheels. The top-level CXS boasts the Northstar V8 (optional on CXL), 18-inch wheels and tires, Magnetic Ride Control with Stabilitrak and nine-speaker harman/kardon premium sound with XM Satellite Radio and heated steering wheel. Beyond the trim-level equipment, options include heated/cooled eight-way adjustable power front seats with two-person memory presets, a Driver's Confidence package (including remote start, ultrasonic rear park assist and heated windshield washer fluid), six-passenger seating (with a 40/20/40 split front seat), power moonroof and touch-screen navigation.
Magnetic Ride Control (with StabiliTrak and Brake Assist)
Using magnetically charged particles suspended in a synthetic fluid to adjust the fluid's viscosity continually to varying road surfaces and driving conditions, this remarkable feature responds far faster than conventional valve-damping systems to provide the rare combination of exceptional twisty-road handling and silky smooth highway ride. The added bonus of StabiliTrak offers potentially life-saving electronic stability control, and Brake Assist gives full braking power when it senses an emergency braking situation.
Remote Vehicle Start
GM's remote start lets you start the engine and warm or cool the cabin (while the car stays securely locked) well in advance of departing. Once you've tried it you won't want to live without it.
Under the Hood
GM's reliable workhorse, the 3.8-liter overhead-valve 3800 V6, has been developed and refined through many years to provide a surprisingly pleasing balance of performance and economy. In a rare appearance outside of a Cadillac, the smooth and powerful 275-horsepower dual-overhead-cam Northstar V8 -- an option in the Lucerne CXL and standard in the CXS -- offers substantially stronger performance at a two- to three-mile-per-gallon sacrifice in fuel economy. The standard four-speed automatic could use another ratio or two to better compete with the five- and six-speed automatics found in upper-level imports and some domestics.
197 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
227 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 (automatic)
275 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
295 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (automatic)
The Lucerne is Buick's flagship sedan. Replacing the long-running Park Avenue, the Lucerne shuns the soft ride and geriatric image once associated with Buicks and moves the division into a realm populated by such formidable names as Lexus, Acura and Lincoln. Sharing a common platform with the Cadillac DTS, the Lucerne is offered in three trim levels, each offering a different blend of ride comfort, performance and handling. The Lucerne's spacious cabin is awash in fine materials and displays an exemplary attention to detail -- it's also the quietest Buick interior every produced. Buyers can opt for a fuel-efficient V6 or a potent 275-horspower Northstar V8, as well as GM's Magnetic Ride Control suspension (CXS trim) to transform the Lucerne from stately boulevard coach to agile touring sedan.