I figured it would be cool to have a rating thread like this, since GM reads the boards. Kind of give them instant feedback.
Here are the Ratings!-
5- GM Has finally turned the corner
4- A step in the right direction for GM
3- About what you could expect from a freshened Buick
2- I though GM was trying to do better
1- Might as well rush out and get a 2005 LaSabre before this thing replaces it
Overall the Lucerne is a visually unoffending car. It has obvious Buick DNA, yet is just enough itself to stand out from the past cookie cutter Buicks. The interior looks nice, and the Northstar and safety features are value added.
Now for the bad news.....
The Lucerne is a good car, especially in the current Buick context. However, if you were hoping for the proposed Lexus beater, you are out of luck (at least this time around). Sad fact is, this is just a revised LeSabre with the Northstar V8 from the soon to be dead Pontiac Bonneville GXP (which got the Northstar once the Aurora died). Worst of all, they dumped a classic name in LeSabre and gave it the dumbest name yet on a new GM car. I wonder if they have Safeway's in Detroit, because every time I hear Lucerne, I get a picture in my head of a carton of milk. I know it is also a city, but still, as much as GM clinics stuff, this had to come up. Between this, and the LaCrosse, Buick is 0 for 2 in renaming it's vehicles. I am no marketing expert, but I am guessing Lexus did not get where it is by naming it's cars after milk and certain unmentionable acts.
My understanding, if I have been hearing GM's rumblings right, is that they hope to remake Buick as an American Lexus. If the Lacrosse and milkmobile are GM's first true attempts at that goal, I have a hunch a bunch of money is about to be wasted. Depending on how maniacal GM gets with rebates (both are built on old platforms and have a lot of profit margin in them), Buick will be lucky to hold the line with these new models.
With all of this, it seems like Buick is really at a crossroads. It wants to completely change it's buyer demographic to the same one as Lexus without alienating it's current "advanced age" demographic. GM was in the same place a few years back when it has a lineup of geezermobile Cadillacs. To resurrect Cadillac, GM chose the Shock and Awe approach of fresh Art & Science design teamed with a vehicle engineered to compete toe to toe with it's competitors (Mercedes and BMW). No expense was spared, and now GM is laughing all the way to the bank. Think about it..five years ago, would anyone have imagined there being five Cadillacs capable of 0-60 in under 5 seconds. The great thing is, cars like the CTS, and STS appeal to a 24 year old the same as a 70 year old because they are well engineered, fantastic cars. This is the approach Buick sorely needs. The CTS was a game changer, the Lucerne is a player in the game past it's prime.
If GM wants to keep Buick in it's current market position, I say that's fine, but don't promise us a Lexus, and give us week old milk in a new box?
In closing, I give it a 3.