Used 2008 Buick Lucerne Super

2008 Buick Lucerne
List price range
2008 Buick Lucerne


  • Quiet and comfortable ride, spacious cabin, available V8 engine, user-friendly interior controls.


  • Sloppy handling on CX and CXL models, long braking distances, weak V6 for this class, inconsistent build quality, high pricing.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you're looking for a full-size American luxury car with a V8 and acres of interior space, the 2008 Buick Lucerne is worth a look. Less nostalgic buyers will be better served by this segment's more capable competitors.

vehicle overview

The 2008 Buick Lucerne has quite a standard to uphold. As Buick's flagship car, the Lucerne represents the American brand most synonymous with big sedans. It also carries the responsibility of retaining the loyal customer base that likes Buicks just the way they've always been: soft, roomy and comfy.

For those buyers, this full-size sedan lands pretty close to the target. The Lucerne is one of the largest cars on the road, featuring enough room for five adults (six with the optional front bench seat) and an interior with easy-to-use controls. It rides quietly and reacts to bumps with the gentle motions its older customers prefer. Finally, Buick stands above much of its import-brand competition by offering a V8 engine in addition to a V6.

For 2008, the Lucerne gains features that widen its appeal. Drawing inspiration from the original Buick Super line of the 1940s, the new Lucerne Super will settle in at the top of the model line when it arrives in the spring of 2008. The Super has a more powerful 292-horsepower V8, firmer suspension tuning, suede-trimmed seats, a wood steering wheel and various other cosmetic touches. New safety technology also spreads throughout the Lucerne line. Stability control is now available on V6 models, and all but base CX Lucernes can be ordered with lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems.

Even with these upgrades, however, the Lucerne continues to disappoint in key areas, many of them related to its behavior on the road. Its handling and braking are both subpar. Its large turning circle makes it cumbersome, and its abrupt steering response feels mismatched to its otherwise lazy reactions. The four-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly enough, but its tall, widely spaced gear ratios hurt both performance and mileage -- not a good thing in a class where competitors' transmissions offer five or even six forward gears. Lucernes equipped with the base 197-horsepower V6 feel especially rudimentary alongside the powerful V6 family sedans available at this price point.

The Buick Lucerne is far more pleasant to drive with its Cadillac-sourced V8. Unfortunately, for 2008 that engine (in two levels of power) has become restricted to the high-end CXS and Super models. The former costs nearly $37,000, vaulting the Lucerne into luxury-class territory when it lacks common upscale features like xenon headlights, power-adjustable pedals and Bluetooth connectivity.

All things considered, the 2008 Buick Lucerne may please brand loyalists, but buyers in search of more refined performance and digestible pricing would be wise to cross shop it against other large sedans like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon and the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable twins -- all of which offer better driving dynamics, more feature content and a more refined overall feel. Low pricing on the Azera, Taurus and Sable makes these cars a much better value as well.

2008 Buick Lucerne configurations

The 2008 Buick Lucerne is a large sedan available in four trim levels: CX, CXL, CXS and Super. The CX comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, power driver seat, OnStar telematics, an MP3-capable CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio, steering-wheel audio controls and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The CXL adds 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors and a power passenger seat. The CXS comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, the Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension, driver-seat memory, heated front seats, a power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, a Harman Kardon audio system, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors and remote vehicle start. The Lucerne Super adds a more powerful version of the V8 engine; a firmer version of the adaptive suspension; unique wheels; chrome waterfall grille and other Super-specific exterior styling touches; leather-wrapped instrument panel and a heated wood steering wheel. Optional on all Lucernes are a CD changer, a sunroof, a lane departure warning system and a system that warns the driver when other vehicles enter the Buick's blind spots. Available on all but the base CX model are heated and cooled seats and a navigation system, while the CX and CXL can be equipped with a front bench seat that increases capacity to six people.

2008 Highlights

The Buick Lucerne becomes a safer, more upscale sedan for 2008. Stability control is now optional on V6 models, and all Lucernes now offer an optional lane departure warning system and a "Side Blind Zone Alert" system that warns the driver when other vehicles enter the Buick's blind spots. Later in the model year, the retro-inspired Lucerne Super model arrives to replace the high-end CXS trim. The Super features a more powerful V8, upgraded suspension and unique styling cues inside and out. The CXL model loses its optional V8 this year, but high-end CXS models gain a power tilt-telescoping steering column.

Performance & mpg

The Buick Lucerne CX and CXL are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 that provides 197 hp and 227 pound-feet of torque. Standard on the CXS is a 4.6-liter V8 rated at 275 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque; on the Super it's tuned to make 292 hp and 288 lb-ft. Both engines send their power to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. Our test of a Lucerne with the 275-hp V8 yielded a 0-60-mph time of 7.7 seconds, which is slightly slower than some V6 competitors like the Avalon and Azera.


Standard across the 2008 Buick Lucerne line are antilock disc brakes, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Stability control and brake assist are standard on the CXS and Super, and optional on other models. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the Lucerne earned a five-star rating (out of five) for protection of the driver and front passenger in frontal impacts. A four-star rating was given for side-impact protection of front and rear occupants. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Lucerne scored a "Good" rating (highest of four) in frontal-offset testing and an "Acceptable" (second highest) in the side-impact test.


Though the suspension gets progressively firmer with each trim level, a plush, serene ride is clearly every Lucerne's top priority -- and its highest achievement. The cabin stays admirably tranquil, too. Acceleration is never more than adequate with the V6, and just about any six-cylinder sedan you can name delivers better performance. Lucerne V8 models are more competitive, but the outdated four-speed automatic transmission takes some of the spirit out of the Northstar engine and real-world fuel economy often falls well below the 20-mpg mark. Handling is mediocre on the softly tuned Lucerne CX and CXL models, which exhibit considerable body roll during cornering. The high-line CXS and Super models are somewhat firmer and more controlled, due largely to their magnetic shocks and 18-inch wheels. Steering is problematic on any Lucerne: It's slow and wobbly on V6 models, yet overly quick on V8 models. Finally, the brakes are disappointing. Pedal feel is fine, but panic-stop distances are the longest of any full-size sedan in this price range.


The Lucerne's cabin is handsome and cleanly styled, and boasts simple, friendly controls. The leather upholstery is soft, and the optional Harman Kardon stereo sounds great. Unfortunately, there are still a few low-grade plastic pieces thrown into the mix, and fit and finish needs improvement. The Lucerne comes standard with seats for five, but a split front bench seat can be ordered on the lower-level CX and CXL for six-passenger capacity. Room is abundant in any position, though seat comfort is only average, and the front heating devices can make the seats torturously hot. In addition, the rear seat's head restraints aren't adjustable, and there is none in the center. The trunk holds up to 17 cubic feet of cargo and features a ski pass-through.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Buick Lucerne.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

'08 Super Value with Lousy Fuel Economy
Got a great deal on a leftover new Super ($31.7k out the door) when my '07 DTS was pulled ahead by GM. Ride has softened somewhat with break-in, but the magnetic ride control is still firmer than in my DTS. Knew I would have to replace the standard Bridgestone tires in order to make the ride acceptable. Replaced tires with Goodyear Assurance Comfortreds (235/55/18) which adds about 1/2 inch to the tires diameter and about 1/4 inch to the car's ride height. The tires made a big difference when compared to the hard riding and noisy Bridgestones. The car, at 2,600 miles, gets about 18 mpg combined vs. 20 mpg with the DTS. This may be due to the performance tuning and the final drive ratio.
Lucerne Super
Have driven Cadillacs for over 27 yrs, my last being a 2001 DHS. First Buick ever. My Buick Super is giving me excellent performance. No wind noise. Fuel economy is what is to be expected with a 292 HP Northstar engine, (20mpg city driving) and absolutely fun to drive. A great many options comes with this vehicle. I've also saved several thousand by buying the Buick over the Cadillac with just about all the same options. Completely satisified
Car okay but transmission whines
Bob Muzik,08/24/2008
Traded a 96 Caddy for this in May. After driving a few days, found that the transmission whines loudly in the 15- 30 MPH range. This is the 4T80E transverse transmission which only comes with the 292 on the Super and the Cadillac DTS. GM has a bulletin out on this but a design change projected for early August did not come through. Totally unsatisfactory. GM knew about this way back in 2007 but didn't tell anybody. All other aspects of the car are really good except, as noted below and disappointing MPG. My Caddy got over 30 MPG on flat land and this only gets 25. My 1984 Olds 98 still gets 27. I guess that's progress for you.
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Features & Specs

15 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
292 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2008 Buick Lucerne Super features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2008 Buick Lucerne
Used 2008 Buick Lucerne Super Overview

The Used 2008 Buick Lucerne Super is offered in the following styles: Super 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Buick Lucerne Super?

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Find a used Buick Lucerne for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $13,423.

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Buick Lucerne?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Buick Lucerne lease specials