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greg72monte

Has anyone purchased a new Lucerne?

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Well my wife, for the first time since we've been married, noticed a Buick ad on TV and told me so. I have not seen it, but the subject is the heated windshield washer system in a Lucerne. This is amazing progress for a stylish, smart, professional woman to notice an advertisement for a Buick!

I like the Lucerne a lot. The style - both inside and out - is great. I like the Northstar V-8. The interior looks wonderful; I like the easy to use, big controls. The colors are good. The new, longer warranty is quite welcome.

I would prefer a coupe - a Riviera version about four inches shorter. I do not like a four door sedan. And I would prefer rear wheel drive. But I will not rule out the Lucerne despite these issues.

I would not buy one as GM is simply too much of a financial risk for me to own a three or so year old used GM car, with still some warranty remaning, when I get tired of the car and want to trade on something else. I would consider the car on a good two or three lease deal, but I don't want to be stuck with a nice Buick with a year remaining on a warranty from a bankrupt GM.

Interior colors could be better and have more variety. A dark brown, red or blue would be appreciated. Yet I like the car and would lease it if there was a deal. Sorry, but that is what GM has come to.

Respectfully submitted - Ranchero

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Ranchero,

Good comments.

I was a little harsh in my previous post, and don't want to slam the Lucerne. It seems like a legitimate attempt to return some of the cache and luster of those elegant, powerful and luxurious Buicks of the 1960's.

I hope it succeeds beyond Buick's wildest dreams. I am concerned about how Buick has decided to price it. There used to be some sort of logic behind how a car was priced; pay more, get more. But when GM started adding $15K-20K onto a dressed up Suburban and calling it an Escalade with MAYBE an additional $1,000 in content, that logic went out the window.

As for advertising, anyone living in South Texas is almost assured of not seeing a CAR ad down here. It is trucks, period. A break in a local program is almost always made up of ads for Ford, Dodge, Chevy and Toyota trucks. Trucks, trucks, trucks, seperated by lawyer ads or a furniture store. Yeah, I would like to see more CAR ads, especially those that highlight their style, flash and elegance. Even a sporty flavor would be welcome. Right now, the only car ads we see (barely) are for Toyota Corollas, Kia or Hyundai, and an occasional ad for the new Mustang.

Good luck to Buick and their new models. Just hope they don't make any more Buick models in Mexico (their VIN starts with a "3").

Joe

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Philippe, Bob Lutz learned his French in Switzerland, and as you know Quebecois is different enough in slang (and accent!)for this to slip by. But why a Canadian GM person didn't catch it I don't know. But the cars all come with a jack standard.

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On Wednesday night I was watching "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" which is a reality TV show. The challenge for the two teams was to prepare a presentation for the new Buick Lucerne. This was very good PR for the Lucerne. The winning team came up with a very nice display with which featured spot lights and pictures of the features of the car. It was well done and used the Lucerne with black paint. The car looked very sharp and Buick is going to use this display in their dealers showrooms. There were a lot of commercials for the Lucerne during the show and I am seeing quite a few on TV now. I think the Lucerne is the best car that Buick has come up with in recent years. I would like to have one with the Northstar V8!

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Guest my3buicks

And it would be true!!!!

I think that Martha Stewart would be an excellent person to have on board with Buick -much better than Tiger Woods actually.

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Others of you who signed up with Buick to see some of the early online images of the Lucerne probably received your invitations today (via e-mail) for the upcoming Lucerne Preview Parties hosted by dealerships in your area. Scheduled for December 13, my understanding is that these Preview Parties will feature the displays created by the teams on Martha Stewart's Apprentice show.

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Ron, by observation, when "management" (or whoever) decides that a vehicle is "on the way out", investment in the vehicle and its advertising drops off big time. When the sales brochures get bland, serving more of a utilitarian function than to really promote the vehicle, the handwriting is on somebody's wall.

In the "self-fulfilling prophesy", "no or decreased investment" = slow sales and the resultant justification in pulling the plug on the particular vehicle (or vehicle line!). Orchestrated? Hidden agendas? Who's responsible? Who Knows??!!

In the case of the Camaro, the sales brochures got pretty predictable. One great centerfold shot with a vintage Camaro, maybe even the requisite Police Camaro having a Mustang GT pulled over, and then "just the facts" in plain pictures and descriptions. Then, after the future demise of the car came out, the loyalists send their cards, letters, emails to GM in protest. The very next year, the brochure was much more "exciting" with some fancy and expensive-to-do action shots. Even mention of national Camaro clubs on the GM website! Still, no obvious change in the funeral plans ( but possibly a "second coming"? ).

Similar things happened with the '90s era T-birds. A pretty decent car at a great price point, but a bland sales brochure. Ford obviously knew when the tooling would wear out and planned things accordingly. No effort was seen to keep the iconic Thunderrrbird magic alive . . . until the last generation of T-birds was launched.

I concur that the last Bonneville was a much better car than the other Bonnevilles (fwd) that came before it.

The new Charger is a pretty neat car. It's got all of the "buzz things" that car people tend to get excited about--including rear wheel drive and optional HEMI power. The 3.5L V-6 is a good running engine (or at least "was" in the 300M and Intrepid) that should do pretty well on fuel economy.

So what's not to love about it?? A few things you have to live with every day, like the Chrysler cruise control is on a separate stalk that you might hit instead of the turn signal lever (it's pretty strong too!). The indicator light for the cruise control is on that little stalk too--a faint goldenrod colored light "dot". Unlike the GM cruise control, you have to turn the Chrysler cruise on every time you start the car (or it at least appeared that way) rather than it being "On" until you turn it "Off" (as the GM cruise is set up).

Many GM cars have trip computers as part of their standard equipment. In the Charger (according to the owner's manual), you have to order a somewhat expensive option package that includes steering wheel controls for the radio just to get a trip computer. And, unlike the Impala SS V-8, it will not tell you how many cylinders are operational at a given point in time.

And it's got some "square" aerodynamics that do not help real world fuel economy one bit. Sure, it looks great and muscular and American, but combined with the "road hugging weight" it also carries, performance and ultimate real world fuel economy will suffer. Still, it weighs close to what the Cadillac CTS weighs. Ahhh, that little Cadillac with the 3.6L V-6 of similar power to the Chrysler 3.5L V-6 . . . but something must have shrunk those Chrysler horses compared to the GM horses as the CTS whups up on the 300Touring in acceleration (or did the road testers leave the Chrysler's traction control, aka ESP, system on during the tests??).

The cruise control items and knowing how the ESP system can impact performance are things you find out by actually driving the cars for a few days. In the case of the Charger R/T, the intervention threshold with the HEMI was a good bit higher than it was for the Chrysler 300Touring of last year.

Just some thoughts and observations,

NTX5467

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Today I inspected the one and only Lucerne our local Buick dealer has. This one was a six cylinder car; the salesman informed me that the Northstar Lucerne is not yet being made (?). Also not yet available were any sales brochures (is this a good way to introduce a new car?). The interior is the best part of the car. It is very well designed. This one had bucket seats with a console - very nice. There is a tach. The controls are well thought out. Also the rear legroom is amazing - like a BMW 7 series.

The cruise control on that Dodge Charger is pure Mercedes. It is quite easy and logical to use when you drive the car daily.

- Ranchero -

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Guest my3buicks

The V8's are very much out there on the lots - I think it sounds like you need to find a different dealer (one that has a clue) - I hate salesman that don't have a clue then make up stories to make it sound like they have a clue. I have looked at several at different lots now, both 8's and 6's. I got brochures at the invitation premiere I went to, so I can't say if the dealers have them or not. I am still not sure if they are "officially" released yet. Possibly the 13th of December since that is the national dealership invitational presentation night. If I didn't need an SUV there would be one in my driveway.

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My local Buick dealer in Westfield, NJ had 5 Lucernes when I stopped by last week, a nice range from $28,000 to a fully loaded $40,000. I will be going to the presentation on the 13th. I have seen more TV, print, and radio advertising for the Lucerne than I have seen for ANY Buick in ages. This is just the car Buick needs to get back on its feet. Hmmmm, now how about that convertible?

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Quote; "Ron, by observation, when "management" (or whoever) decides that a vehicle is "on the way out", investment in the vehicle and its advertising drops off big time."

Unfortunately the Bonneville was never advertised even when it was having decent sales figures in the 90's. With heated seats and mirrors, tilt to the curb mirrors when in reverse, heads up displays, roomy interiors, killer sound systems, traction controls and loads of other goodies including the Northstar the dealers didn't even have much ligature on these vehicles.

It will be interesting to see the resale value of the Lucerne in the next few years as many of the GM one year old vehicles in the rental fleet with low milage are typically 50% off sticker when sold at the end of the model year.

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Guest my3buicks

Passed one on the road today, other than the color, it looked great on the highway.

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I've finally had my first look. I met a silver one on the street on Saturday night. It was fully dark, but I recognized it as a Lucerne as it drove past me. The car looked dramatic and beautiful under the street lights.

Today, I noticed my local dealership displayed its first Lucerne in the showroom. I checked it out at lunch time. This was a dark gray CXL V6 that was beautifully turned out with sunroof, etc. It's great that it's not necessary to order a CXS V8 to obtain the stylish wheels and the nice interior appointments.

For the first time in years, here's a new Buick that I would be really proud to own and drive.

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Well Centurion, you beat me to seeing it here in Washington. I guess I'll have to try this week to see it here in our area. I'm looking forward to it, and I hope I don't have to wait for the 13th to see the Lucerne.

LeeB

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