2007 Lucerne New Car Test Drive
The Buick Lucerne is the brand's flagship sedan. Its clean lines are suggestive of fine European imports yet maintain Buick traditions. Inside, Lucerne is elegant, comfortable and easy. Underway, it's smooth and quiet; but with precise steering and a chassis that handles winding roads with aplomb. we find the Lucerne to be a plush, highly competent full-size sedan at a compelling price.
The Lucerne CXS is certainly the most enjoyable of the new Buicks to drive, thanks to its powerful V8 engine and Magnetic Ride Control, an adaptive sports suspension developed for the Corvette. Yet we might opt for the Lucerne CXL V6, a very enjoyable car to drive, with agile handling and plenty of performance. The V6-powered Lucerne CXL is positioned to compete against the Toyota Avalon and Lexus ES 330, while the V8-powered CXS aspires to the Lexus GS and Infiniti M luxury sedans.
As it has done from time to time throughout its 103-year history, Buick is rethinking, renewing, revising and rationalizing its model lineup. The Buick Lucerne replaced the Park Avenue and LeSabre when launched as a 2006 model. The Lucerne benefits greatly from the structure and chassis hardware that it shares with the recently launched Cadillac DTS. In this, Lucerne is not breaking tradition but confirming it. The biggest Buicks have shared body structure with Cadillacs since the 1930s, if not before; and they have shared significant chassis pieces since 1965.
The 2007 Buick Lucerne is offered in three trim levels.
CX ($25,515) comes with a 3.8-liter V6, four-speed automatic transmission, cloth seats for five people, a power driver's seat, power windows, power door locks, manually operated heating and air conditioning, AM/FM/CD with six speakers and steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, remote keyless entry, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Six-passenger seating is available by ordering the front bench seat ($295). A Comfort and Convenience package ($795) adds an electrochromic rearview mirror, Universal Home Remote, illuminated visors with vanity mirrors, intermittent front wipers with Rainsense, and body-colored outside mirrors with power adjustment and heat. The Driver Confidence Package ($795) includes rear park assist, remote vehicle start and theft alarm.
CXL is available with the V6 ($28,530) or a 4.6-liter V8 ($30,540). Either way, CXL upgrades with leather seats (for five or six passengers), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power passenger's seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, and 17-inch painted aluminum wheels. The suspension is tuned a little tighter and includes Airlift rear shocks for automatic level control. All items from the Comfort and Convenience package (see above) are also standard. The CXL V8 adds GM's Magnasteer magnetic assist steering, with a faster ratio; and firms up suspension damping a little further. To help maintain better control in adverse conditions GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability control system is available as an option on the CXL V8 ($495).
CXS ($34,545) comes standard with the V8, 18-inch wheels, StabiliTrak, Magnasteer, and Magnetic Ride Control for the best handling available in a Lucerne. CXS also has upgraded leather seats with eight-way power and memory for driver and front passenger. Audio is a nine-speaker, 280-watt Harman Kardon setup with standard XM Satellite Radio.
Options for the Lucerne include heated/cooled front seats; heated leather-wrapped steering wheel; factory-installed remote start; Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist; rain-sensing windshield wiper system; the first heated windshield washer fluid application in its class; six-disc in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability; and a satellite-based navigation system, now with touch-screen capability.
Safety features include six airbags: a dual-stage driver's front airbag and a dual-depth front passenger bag, front-seat side-impact airbags, and full-coverage side-impact curtain airbags. The front seatbelts come with pretensioners, so be sure to wear them. Traction control, anti-lock brakes, and a tire pressure monitor are standard on all models. OnStar comes standard and includes the first year of Safe and Sound service; OnStar operators will dispatch rescue crews if your airbag deploys and you don't respond to calls, a great feature for you and the rest of your family. The first-ever application of a dual-depth passenger airbag has two sections; a smaller section deploys in a less severe crash or if the passenger is small or seated nearer the dashboard. In a bad crash or if the passenger is not wearing their seat belt the full bag deploys for maximum effect.