2011 Buick Lucerne Review

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, roomy cabin
  • available six-passenger seating
  • large trunk
  • intuitive controls.
  • Sloppy handling with standard suspension
  • weak V6 engine
  • subpar brakes
  • dated four-speed automatic transmission.
Other years
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List Price Range
$11,500 - $13,895

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2011 Buick Lucerne models

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.

2011 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Buick Lucerne.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

My Father's Buick--So What?
ccelpjack,04/07/2018
Super 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
I bought the used 2011 Buick Lucerne Super because I had a Buick LeSabre Limited back in the day and drove it cross country with our family. What a great ride it was on the highways. Well, the Lucerne Super also has a super ride plus it has a peppy little V-8, excellent navigation, lane departure warning, and blind side warning. Yes, it has a huge turning radius but I have never turned around in the middle of a 4-lane highway yet. I bought the car for comfort and it delivers comfort in spades. Case closed! Update: I just completed a 1,000 mile trip of all interstate highways with my family of 3 adults and one child and we couldn't be more happy with the car's comfort, ease of driving, and cargo space. GM will rue the day it discontinued the Lucerne. The LaCrosse is a really great car but it's just not in the same class as the Lucerne when it comes to comfort and ease of driving on long highway trips with the family.
Watch that tranny
Kirby,12/06/2015
Super 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
Replaced transmission at 53,000 miles, luckily it was still under warranty. Come on gm your making the imports look better. Got excellent service from Moses gm though. Update on Lucerne: 12-7-16 traded in the Lucerne for a 2012 Honda Accord EX-l V6 and couldn't be happier. No more GM!
Pretty Lucy!
Little Miss Lucy,07/28/2016
CX 4dr Sedan (3.9L 6cyl 4A)
My Lucerne (Lucy) is a pretty car and she has never given me trouble. I wanted a white car, and got one used in great condition from a totally reliable dealer here in Tyler, TX. At first I didn't like how Lucy handled, but then, it is a 2009 Lucerne as opposed to my 1994 LeSabre, which I miss to this day. As for as a Buick, I am totally surprised with my choice to get another one but the LeSabre was a good friend to me, and I figured a 2009 would also be my reliable car. I recommend to anyone, get a Buick!
Wanted a Buick
Audge Flood,07/13/2016
CXL 4dr Sedan (3.9L 6cyl 4A)
The ONLY problem I have with the car is the lane visibility in the drivers side mirror. It creates a "blind" spot that I have never had on any other car. Other than that, I am very pleased with it so far.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2011 Buick Lucerne features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall2 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall2 / 5
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat1 / 5
    Back Seat2 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.1%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Acceptable
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Marginal
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2011 Buick Lucerne

Used 2011 Buick Lucerne Overview

The Used 2011 Buick Lucerne is offered in the following submodels: Lucerne Sedan. Available styles include CXL 4dr Sedan (3.9L 6cyl 4A), CX 4dr Sedan (3.9L 6cyl 4A), CXL Premium 4dr Sedan (3.9L 6cyl 4A), and Super 4dr Sedan (4.6L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Buick Lucerne?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Buick Lucerne trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Buick Lucerne CXL Premium is priced between $13,895 and$13,895 with odometer readings between 26018 and26018 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2011 Buick Lucernes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Buick Lucerne for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2011 Lucernes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,500 and mileage as low as 26018 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Buick Lucerne.

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Find a used Buick Lucerne for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,110.

Find a used Buick for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $9,222.

Find a used certified pre-owned Buick Lucerne for sale - 11 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $23,393.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 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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