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2008 Buick Lucerne

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CAR Review:  The Buick Lucerne is another car in a long-list of General Motors' vehicles that seem to remain anonymous, and I have no idea why.  The automotive cognoscenti rave about the latest from Germany and Japan, yet right here in the good old USA is one of the nicest cars available, the 2008 Buick Lucerne.

The Lucerne is a stylish, four-door sedan, which will seat five or six, depending on the front seat option. It can be equipped with the tried and true, cast-iron, pushrod, 3.8-liter V6, or an all-aluminum, DOHC 4.6-liter V8. Either engine will do fine.

The V6, although getting a bit long in the tooth, produces a decent 197 hp, and 227 lb-ft of torque. The V8 on the other hand puts out 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A higher output V8 thatís standard in the Lucerne Super makes 292 hp. The V6 is slightly more fuel efficient, and in this class of car who is going to worry about a theoretical difference of one or two miles per gallon? All the engines are rated at 22 to 25 mpg on the highway.

The Lucerne I drove had the standard, 275-hp engine. It was combined with a good old 4-speed automatic transmission. GM builds, or used to build, some of the world's best automatic transmissions, but as good as this transmission is, and the shifts are clean and crisp, it just does not measure up to the five, six, and even seven speed automatics available from the overseas competition.  Maybe, just maybe, these engines would get even better fuel economy with a more modern transmission.

The Lucerne is offered in three models, the CX, CXL, CXS, and Super.  Each version gets its own specific tires. The CX has P225/60R16s; the CXL uses P235/55R17s, the CXS and Super get P245/50R18s. These aggressive tires highlight a problem with the Lucerne for traditional (older) buyers.

The Lucerne has a firm ride. Now I appreciate a firm ride, and it definitely is not a harsh ride, but many traditional Buick purchasers are more comfortable with the soft, pillowy ride of years gone by. This is a challenge for Buick; how do you make the Lucerne appeal to younger buyers, buyers more used to cars that are meant to go around corners while still retaining those who want to feel like they are floating on air?

It is a problem I was all too aware of while I drove the Lucerne. I am a 55+ year old, gray-haired, white male. I know many looking at me just shook their heads and said, "There goes another old guy in his Buick." Old Guy and Buick, they seem to go together, like the horse and carriage does.

I hope that Buick can break the stereotype; the Lucerne is a darn good car. It handles well, the fit and finish is on par, or better, than the competition, the styling, although it pays homage to the past with side portholes, is handsome without being ostentatious. 

Price wise the Lucerne is very competitive. The CX starts at $27,520, the CXL at $30,165, the CXS at $37,375, and the Lucerne Super at $39,395. And every 2008 Buick Lucerne comes standard with OnStar. Of course adding to the options list will drive the price up.

To check out the Lucerne and all Buickís just go to www.buick.com, or better yet, go to your Buick dealer for a test-drive and see how nice the Buickís are today.

Bruce Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

Buick Home Page

Byline: Car Review provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: Price wise the Lucerne is very competitive
Topic: The 2008 Buick Lucerne
Word Count:  647
Photo Caption: The 2008 Buick Lucerne
Photo Credits: Buick Lucerne Internet Media
Series #:  2008 - 15
 

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