2011 Buick Lucerne Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Buick Lucerne Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Buick Lucerne Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.9 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 227 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Buick Lucerne

  • A relic of the way Buick used to design its cars, the 2011 Lucerne is outclassed by newer and more appealing luxury sedans.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Quiet, roomy cabin; available six-passenger seating; large trunk; intuitive controls.

  • Cons

    Sloppy handling with standard suspension; weak V6 engine; subpar brakes; dated four-speed automatic transmission.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Buick Lucerne receives only minor updates, including streamlined trim levels, new audio systems and standard stability control on all models.

Full 2011 Buick Lucerne Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Buick Lucerne receives only minor updates, including streamlined trim levels, new audio systems and standard stability control on all models.


The 2011 Buick Lucerne is an example of the old General Motors, where "good enough" unfortunately became the company's standard operating procedure. When the Lucerne was introduced for 2006, it barely nudged the bar upward from the car it replaced. Now, it's a proverbial fossil among premium or luxury full-size sedans. While Buick is currently reinventing itself, the Lucerne stands as a reminder to show just how far the brand has come with its new LaCrosse and Regal sedans.

Of course, some buyers may appreciate the Lucerne's old-school vibe. If you're partial to the grand Buick sedans of yesteryear like the Park Avenue and LeSabre, you'll feel right at home in the 2011 Buick Lucerne. Smooth and comfortable ride? Check. Controls that can be deciphered without first passing a computer literacy test? Check. Generous room for five or even six? Check. Stylized portholes on the front fenders? Yep. So far, so good.

But run a hand over the cabin materials or gaze at the dash design and you'll notice that the Lucerne is several steps behind the LaCrosse sitting a few feet away in the Buick dealership. Take a look at the spec sheet and you'll find a 227-horsepower V6 and a four-speed automatic in a segment where about 270 horses and six speeds is the norm. The available V8, with its 292 hp, is a virtual requirement. On the move, the Lucerne disappoints with slow steering, lifeless handling, a bargelike turning circle and barely adequate brakes.

As basic transportation, the 2011 Buick Lucerne is good enough. But with so many impressive full-size sedans and a pair of thoroughly modern Buicks now in the brand's lineup, why settle for just "good enough"? Other sedans like the 2011 Chrysler 300, 2011 Ford Taurus, 2011 Hyundai Genesis and 2011 Toyota Avalon are all better choices.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Buick Lucerne is a full-size luxury sedan offered in four trim levels: CX, CXL, CXL Premium and top-of-the-line Super. Five-passenger seating is standard and six-passenger seating with a 40/20/40 front split bench seat is available on all trim levels except Super.

Model variations have been streamlined this year. The basic CX model starts off modestly with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps and foglamps, heated mirrors, keyless entry, cruise control, cloth upholstery, six-way power front seats, leather-wrapped tilt-only steering wheel, air-conditioning, fully powered accessories, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, OnStar communications and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The Comfort and Convenience package includes dual-zone automatic climate control and Bluetooth.

Moving up to the CXL adds access to more options and includes leather upholstery, heated eight-way power front seats with power lumbar adjustments, driver's memory settings, a heated steering wheel and the Comfort and Convenience package. The Driver Confidence package adds remote ignition and rear parking sensors. The CXL Premium includes the Driver Confidence package, plus chromed alloy wheels, a driver auto-dimming mirror, a lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot warning system and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

Finally, the Super trim takes the Lucerne experience to another level with V8 power, 18-inch chrome alloy wheels, a sunroof (optional on CXL and CXL Premium), adaptive magnetic ride control, magnetic steering, perforated leather/faux-suede upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a touchscreen navigation system with real-time traffic. The navigation system is optional on the CXL Premium.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive Buick Lucerne offers two engines from which to choose. The CX and CXL models are equipped with a 3.9-liter V6 producing 227 hp and 237 pound-feet of torque. The heart of the Super model is a 4.6-liter V8 with 292 hp and 288 lb-ft of torque. Both are backed by a four-speed automatic transmission.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for the V6 is 17 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined. The V8 is understandably thirstier at 15/23/18.


Every 2011 Buick Lucerne is equipped with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds testing, a Lucerne came to a stop from 60 mph in 137 feet -- disappointing for a car of this type and price.

The Lucerne has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to the new 2011 tests)were a perfect five stars for front occupant protection in head-on collisions and four stars for front and rear side-impact protection.

In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Lucerne earned a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset collisions and an "Acceptable" score in side-impact testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Lucerne's roomy cabin is a comfortable place to spend time, particularly if you're not saddled with driving chores. The dashboard features legible gauges, intuitive controls and a simple, straightforward layout. The cloth upholstery on the base CX is definitely a step down from the soft leather trim in more expensive trims and the materials in general are bargain basement compared to those in newer Buicks.

Once underway, the Lucerne provides a serene atmosphere with very little road noise. In this environment, the optional Harman Kardon audio system shines. The seats are comfortable, with ample room front and back, and a Lucerne advantage is the ability to seat six if needed. The large trunk swallows up to 17 cubic feet of cargo, and a pass-through can accommodate longer items.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Buick Lucerne is in its element cruising down the interstate mile after mile while treating occupants to a smooth ride and tranquil cabin. But sloppy handling and slow, vague steering plagues the CX and CXL models, while the Super's sophisticated adaptive suspension is useful but can only do so much. V6 performance is underwhelming, especially because of the outdated four-speed automatic transmission. The Super's V8 delivers more grunt, of course, but its performance (like the V6) is unimpressive considering the competition and the model's price.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Big drop from the park

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Buick Lucerne

Car rides well on long trips, which is what I use it for. Comfortable to ride in over long hauls. Turning radius and noise was the first things I noticed on the car. Now that it's broke in, the noises are more abundant, especially from the read and side windows.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Unsatisfied gm customer

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Buick Lucerne

Had I know my new Lucerne was going to look like all of the other foreign cars on the road I would have bought a Ford. The gas mileage "stinks" 22.3 on a long trip, never changes. I'm sure part of that is the ethenol in the gas, but my 2010 Park Avenue was getting 30+mpg with 125,000 miles on it. I really wish I hadn't bought the car. I don't look at a car a fun to drive, a car is a necessity. The ride is not smooth - my 2001 was smooth! I'll never buy another GM product unless they improve and stop making their cars look like the foreign cars on the road. I realize they are after the younger market. I'm almost tempted to trade this in!


by on
Vehicle: 2010 Buick Lucerne

I get a wind noise (whistle) from drivers window. Dealer said it was design of outside mirror and can't do anything about it. Noise from engine is caused from fuel injectors according to dealer. Drives me nuts!!!! I love the car except for these two items and I'm stuck with buying a brand new car with bugs they won't fix.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2010 Buick Lucerne

I recently got a rental Lucerne and it is not good. The gas mileage is bad. It has too many buttons in the inside to set things how you want them. The radio system is bad. If I had to buy one I would rather walk.

Column or console

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Buick Lucerne

I've been very satisfied with the Lucerne. I haven't noticed any noise problems on mine but I have long legs and I buy cars with column shifts. I wonder if Ricks models have had console shifts.

My 2010 buick lucerne

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Buick Lucerne

Overall I like the Lucerne. This is my second one and prior to the Lucerne I drove the LeSabre. Prior to buying Buicks I had driven Pontiacs for 25 years. i feel that the Lucerne is a very good value for the money.

Talk About The 2011 Lucerne

2011 Buick Lucerne Discussions See all Started By

My hard working mom bought a used 2006 Buick Lucerne with 50,000 miles on Presidents day Feb. 2011 from a local Ford dealership. Car had new Cooper tires on it. Classy looking vehicle. Since then, fir...

Who are you kidding? The Lucerne 4.6L was tested by Car and Driver to reach 60mph in 6.9 seconds. It's basically a slug for a V8. The "Hemi" name is ancient but the engine is relatively new ...

I test drove both the Lucerne and LaCrosse before purchasing a new 2011 LaCrosse earlier this week. The Lucerne rides like the Cadillac DTS I recently had- very comfortable ride. I have heard the Lu...

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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