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wildcat

2006 Buick Lucerne CXL V8 Review

47 posts in this topic

wildcat    0

Buick is bridging the generation gap, good news, according to Steve Purdy of the Auto Channel.

Here's an especially nice portion of his review:

"Buick general manager, Steve Shannon, reports a 'great start' since introduction last October with Lucerne accounting for 27% of large-car sales in the fourth quarter of last year and segment leading sales in December as well. 'We’re very pleased at how Lucerne is performing out of the gate,' he said. Lucerne has also won accolades from USA Today, The Detroit News and Kiplinger’s."

Edited by wildcat

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gmcbob    0

I'm glad the Lucerne is selling well. But I have only seen a couple on the streets of Houston, and Houston is the 4th largest city in the country.

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wildcat    0

Sometimes I imagine yelling out, "How do you like your Buick?" to the driver or giving them some sort of acknowledgement, if they and I are near a stop light. So far, I haven't really had the opportunity. But should the circumstances give me that chance, watch the compliments start to fly!

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Croc    268

Well, if you have no problem with acres of hard plastic on the dash where the DTS has squishy material, fine. The Lucerne interior is styled very well, but the shear amount of hard plastic is hard to reconcile. I will say this: the car gets a B- from me. If the only change made to it were an upgrade of the lower dash to some padded vinyl or something other than hard plastic, I would give the car an A-. If a few features were made available as options (like a telescoping steering wheel, a better tilt, DVD entertainment, etc) then the car would get an A+ with me. Why a B-? Because it is very obvious where GM cheaped out. GM has to stop doing this with their interiors. It's been a chronic problem at GM, and I haven't been convinced they've turned over a new leaf on this yet...too bad.

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Variance    0

When the navigation comes, it'll be great. The pending ES350 assault should be a good test to see if the Lucerne can really hold its ground. The new ES is a fierce competitior but I think it can.

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Northstar    11

I was thoroughly impressed with the Lucerne CXS w/black interior I sat in at the auto show. I felt the materials were on par with the Avalon's, and the layout and controls were much better (the Avalon interior is just dumb with its doors and weird buttons). I also got to sit in the new ES (surprisingly) and I was not in the least bit impressed. The IS has a much better interior, and I'd say the materials inside the old ES are, in most cases, better. The interior wasn't bad in the ES, but I wasn't impressed with the door panels (Lucerne had more soft materials in places you touch -- go to the preview site at Lexus for the ES and look at the door panel; sure, it has some leather, but it's beneath where you would actually rest your arm so you would never touch it, the Lucerne on the other hand actually has nice leather where you would rest your arm), and the layout was really rather boring. The ES is definetly the worst of all the Lexus models.

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Cananopie    1

The LeSabre did not have a cheap, hard plastic lower dash.  I do not enjoy seeing Buick regress in its interior materials.

You have to admit Croc with all your cynnicism about the interior that for each thing you don't like about the interior (which seems to only be the level of hardness of the plastic) there are about 10 things you can find better about the interior of the Lucerne over the LeSabre. Even on the interior the LeSabre wasn't as stylish, wasn't as quiet, wasn't as tight, the leather is higher quality (even the cloth is cushier than the LeSabre cloth), the audio systems better, the fact they finally offer a 5 seater, and even where you rest your arm as a driver there isn't any hard plastic around that area. The only things you really touch in a vehicle are the seat, where you rest your arm, and the steering wheel and all of which are void of the hard plastic.

I don't really expect to change your mind because you seem pretty set on this idea, I'm just saying in the grand scheme of the interior it didn't really 'regress' at all. Most people will not notice the dash material that they won't even be touching. And if they do I have owned cars with much worse plastic like my 97 Skylark. Personally when I'm inside a vehicle so long as the plastic doesn't affect my comfort I could care less how hard it is because I really am rarely going to be touching it and it effects quality little. I'd prefer to have tighter gaps and a quieter ride than a softer plastic on things I rarely touch. In fact aside from only a couple people in C&G I've never met anybody who bases their buying decisions on the plastic they rarely touch.

It's not that soft plastic wouldn't be a good option for the CXS or CXL V8 or even a fine replacement for the current plastic. But don't beat Buick up over it, everything you'll be interacting with daily is so much better.

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Croc    268

Yea...um, so show me a single competitor that uses hard plastic like that in a ~30k "luxury" car. "Better" than LeSabre still isn't good enough. The competition and points of reference aren't with GM's past models, but rather other manufacturers. Now, here are some reasons why the use of hard plastic does affect daily enjoyment of the car (or will soon after buying):

Rattles. Plastic rattles, especially if the roads are full of potholes. Rattles will develop with dash panels.

Safety. In an accident, if your head were to fly forward, would you rather hit a padded vinyl or hard plastic? Yea, that's what I thought...

Quality. It just doesn't seem as high of quality when you know that GM and Buick cheaped out on the dash to cut costs. I've said this before and I'll say it again: if a manufacturer is going to cut costs and cheap out, the manufacturer should only do so on parts the consumer will have LITTLE TO NO CONTACT with. No one is going to care about the material underneath the dash at the back of the footwells, no one cares if the floor carpeting extends under the front seats (or if there's a plastic tray there instead), no one cares if the trunk liner is of high quality materials (as long as it isn't obviously crappy-looking) and no one cares if the glovebox is lighted/made of excellent materials because the only thing that will fit in there is the owner's manual. But people do start to care when there's this big hunk of cheap hard plastic staring at them from the dash every day. Again, find a competitor's vehicle that has a huge plastic dash like the Lucerne's.

To make sure everyone's on the same page...

Posted Image

Edited by Croc

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Croc    268

Can't we have one Lucerne discussion without melodramatically whining about the f@#king dashboard?

:deadhorse:

It's not melodrama. And it is the one glaring flaw in an otherwise superb vehicle. Fly, even your Aurora has higher interior dash quality than the Lucerne, and it predates it by a decade.

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Drew Dowdell    4,999

Yea...um, so show me a single competitor that uses hard plastic like that in a ~30k "luxury" car.  "Better" than LeSabre still isn't good enough.  The competition and points of reference aren't with GM's past models, but rather other manufacturers.  Now, here are some reasons why the use of hard plastic does affect daily enjoyment of the car (or will soon after buying):

Chrysler

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Flybrian    0

It's not melodrama.  And it is the one glaring flaw in an otherwise superb vehicle.  Fly, even your Aurora has higher interior dash quality than the Lucerne, and it predates it by a decade.

I know, we all know, but c'mon. The safety and rattle comments you made have to do with build quality and engineering, not dash materials. If your head flies forward in a modern car, its going to hit an airbag, not the dash. Your head shouldn't be thrown that far if you're properly belted in the first case. And even so, its not a '61 Invicta; even 'hard' plastics are padded and designed to give to varying degrees. And you and I both know G-cars are very safe so head contact won't even be an issue.

The simple fact is, if it bothers you that much, fine. If you're okay with it, fine. Fighting the battle of its importance on a personal level is ridiculous and circular. However, I think we can all agree there is room for improvement in the Lucerne as there is in every single car on the market, God's chariot the Avalon and such included.

I think Cananopie said it best...

It's not that soft plastic wouldn't be a good option for the CXS or CXL V8 or even a fine replacement for the current plastic.

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caddycruiser    50

It's not melodrama.  And it is the one glaring flaw in an otherwise superb vehicle.  Fly, even your Aurora has higher interior dash quality than the Lucerne, and it predates it by a decade.

Yeah...right....along with some nasty fit & finish in some parts, and not nearly as high grade of tightness and solidity. Just because something is squishy doesn't necessarily make it high end in a car...

A big critic myself, the only thing that really bugs me about the Lucerne's interior is the black pod in the center of the dash that just sticks out too much.

Softer stuff typically does give off a more luxurious feel, but go check out a BMW or VW sometime...not a whole lot that's "squishy", but they always still come off as damn nice and high end.

The Lucerne is a terrific car, no doubt, but I think it'd be more productive to focus on issues like the sub-200 hp V6, antique 4-speed, and that homely looking bubble of a nose than constantly doing piece by piece analysis of which little interior piece is soft or not soft enough...

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Cananopie    1

However, I think we can all agree there is room for improvement in the Lucerne as there is in every single car on the market, God's chariot the Avalon and such included.

God's chariot, haha, I like that. Perhaps Toyota should just consider that as the new name for the Avalon with the next generation.

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-Camaro-    0

Yea...um, so show me a single competitor that uses hard plastic like that in a ~30k "luxury" car.  "Better" than LeSabre still isn't good enough.  The competition and points of reference aren't with GM's past models, but rather other manufacturers.  Now, here are some reasons why the use of hard plastic does affect daily enjoyment of the car (or will soon after buying):

Rattles.  Plastic rattles, especially if the roads are full of potholes.  Rattles will develop with dash panels.

Safety.  In an accident, if your head were to fly forward, would you rather hit a padded vinyl or hard plastic?  Yea, that's what I thought...

Quality.  It just doesn't seem as high of quality when you know that GM and Buick cheaped out on the dash to cut costs.  I've said this before and I'll say it again: if a manufacturer is going to cut costs and cheap out, the manufacturer should only do so on parts the consumer will have LITTLE TO NO CONTACT with.  No one is going to care about the material underneath the dash at the back of the footwells, no one cares if the floor carpeting extends under the front seats (or if there's a plastic tray there instead), no one cares if the trunk liner is of high quality materials (as long as it isn't obviously crappy-looking) and no one cares if the glovebox is lighted/made of excellent materials because the only thing that will fit in there is the owner's manual.  But people do start to care when there's this big hunk of cheap hard plastic staring at them from the dash every day.  Again, find a competitor's vehicle that has a huge plastic dash like the Lucerne's.

To make sure everyone's on the same page...

Posted Image

That's like saying that a car with lower quality rubber on their wheels compared to the competition is a bad disadvantage. How again exactly does hard plastic look worse? Plastic is plastic, there is no such thing as higher quality plastics in cars. It's just personal preference that makes people like certain plastics better. Again the hard plastics aren't where people are going to touch very often and if your head hit padded vinyl, you'd probably still be dead or be hurt really bad, it's not an airbag... which most cars do come with now days. Edited by -Camaro-

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Croc    268

If you sit in a Lucerne and don't just look at the photographs, you will understand that it is unfortunate. You just kind of sit there and touch it and are like "...oh!" and then re-touch it because you can't believe they did that. I saw this happen time and again at the various autoshows I've been to...it's really disconcerting.

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pow    106

That's like saying that a car with lower quality rubber on their wheels compared to the competition is a bad disadvantage. How again exactly does hard plastic look worse? Plastic is plastic, there is no such thing as higher quality plastics in cars. It's just personal preference that makes people like certain plastics better. Again the hard plastics aren't where people are going to touch very often and if your head hit padded vinyl, you'd probably still be dead or be hurt really bad, it's not an airbag... which most cars do come with now days.

Why'd GM go through the "trouble" of upgrading the plastics in the DTS then?

To set the record straight, soft doesn't immediately mean expensive and high quality, nor does hard immediately mean cheap. The shiny, molded, soft vinyl plastics in the LeSabre are dated and low-budget by today's standards, while the Tahoe's rock-hard plastics are very convincing simulations of more expensive materials.

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VenSeattle    8

The LeSabre did not have a cheap, hard plastic lower dash.  I do not enjoy seeing Buick regress in its interior materials.

No, but my Park Avenue has a hard plastic middle section that doesn't look bad in the least. Since the Park Avenue is above the LeSabre, there's no "regression."

Hard dash plastic doesn't fade or warp over time and is very easy to keep clean. See 10-year-old Buick interiors for reference. The hard plastics still look new with minimal maintenance. You may think hard plastic is cheap, but it’s also long lasting and durable.

As for the hard plastic looking cheap in the Lucerne, it doesn't. No one knew it was hard when looking at the pictures. It's low-gloss, nicely textured plastic. Even sitting inside, you CAN NOT tell without touching.

Croc, you didn't even detect it on your initial TEST DRIVE. You disputed it with OC and had to check it again at the Auto Show. If you, a car enthusiast, didn’t bother testing the dash plastic during your inspection and test drive (after all, it’s a critical point in determining the quality of a car)… then why would a normal individual in their 40s or 50s, do it?

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Croc    268

Croc, you didn't even detect it on your initial TEST DRIVE. You disputed it with OC and had to check it again at the Auto Show. If you, a car enthusiast, didn’t bother testing the dash plastic during your inspection and test drive (after all, it’s a critical point in determining the quality of a car)… then why would a normal individual in their 40s or 50s, do it?

I explained that at the time; that I had tested both the Lucerne and DTS in the same day, back-to-back, and that since the interiors on both are extremely similar I forgot about the plastic in the Lucerne.

The DTS interior is perfect, material-wise. I think some of the styling is a bit off, but the quality of materials is spot-on. The Lucerne should have the DTS's lower dash materials. Including that would not change the price of the car substantially if at all. My biggest beef with the DTS is that it is grossly overpriced.

No, but my Park Avenue has a hard plastic middle section that doesn't look bad in the least. Since the Park Avenue is above the LeSabre, there's no "regression."

I also think the Park Avenue was overpriced. As for your point regarding the regression, well the Park Avenue was introduced in 1997 and the LeSabre in 2000. I would hope the LeSabre had better interior materials (which it did). I don't see the logic behind your claim that since the Lucerne replaced a dated model and a much less-dated model, that there was no regression in interior materials with the Lucerne because it's interior materials are on-par with the dated model and behind the less-dated model? I don't get that, please explain. Edited by Croc

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