The front-wheel-drive Lucerne entry-luxury full-size sedan was introduced at the 2005 Chicago Auto Show as the first Buick passenger car in a decade with available V-8 power. The Lucerne was also the first Buick to offer Magnetic Ride Control, which comes standard on the CXS and new Super trims. Competitors include the Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon.
The new Super trim level is the big news for the Lucerne for 2008. Powered by a high-output V-8 engine, the Lucerne Super has a new grille with bright slats, special badges, 18-inch aluminum wheels and a specially appointed interior. Newly available technology for 2008 includes blind-spot- and lane-departure-warning systems, and XM Satellite Radio is now standard. Buick emphasizes the QuietTuning of the Lucerne and other models, which the automaker claims will reduce or tune out unwanted wind, road and powertrain noise.
Front-end styling of the Lucerne features a waterfall-style grille that uses thin vertical vanes and includes a chrome Buick tri-shield emblem. Polycarbonate headlight modules that taper into the front fenders flank the grille.
Chrome portholes — machined and set high in each front fender — are reminiscent of those on historic Buicks. Lucerne CX and CXL models with V-6 power have three portholes on each side, while V-8 sedans get four portholes per side — a differentiating feature that reaches as far back as 1949.
A steep, 60-degree windshield leads into a roofline that flows into a 70-degree rear window. Horizontal taillamps with floating inner lenses wrap into the deck lid and are separated by a Buick tri-shield emblem. CXS and Super models with V-8 power feature chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes.
Buick promotes the Lucerne's snug body gaps and tight wheel-to-wheel-well relationships. Chrome wheels are optional, and painted aluminum wheels hold 18-inch tires on the CXS sedan. The CX gets 16-inch aluminum wheels, and CXL models wear 17-inch rims.
Built on a 115.5-inch wheelbase, the Lucerne measures 204 inches long overall, stands 58 inches tall and is 74 inches wide. Options include rain-sensing windshield wipers and heated washer fluid.
Seating for either five or six occupants is available. The upholstery features French seams and stitching. Second-row legroom can be as much as 41 inches, courtesy of the Lucerne's long wheelbase. Second-row knee clearance is 5.5 inches, and the trunk holds 17 cubic feet of cargo.
Lucernes can be equipped with a touch-screen navigation system, a 280-watt nine-speaker audio system, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats and a remote starter.
Under the Hood
In the CX or CXL, the 3.8-liter V-6 meets Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle standards and produces 197 horsepower and 227 pounds-feet of torque. Standard in the CXS and optional in the CXL, the 4.6-liter V-8 delivers 275 hp and 295 pounds-feet of torque. The Super's 4.6-liter V-8 generates 292 hp and 288 pounds-feet of torque. The engines work with a four-speed automatic transmission and run on regular gasoline.
Six airbags are standard in all Lucernes, including side-impact and side curtain airbags. All-disc antilock brakes are also standard. Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist and an electronic stability system are optional.