Like many previous Buicks, the Lucerne's primary attributes are its cushy ride, along with a roomy and mostly quiet interior. While the model also has a steadier ride and better fit and finish than the LeSabre and Park Avenue models it replaced, the Buick didn't rival the best competition. Its 197-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine is responsive, but sounds coarse and doesn't have outstanding acceleration or fuel economy.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2001
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NA
2010
NA
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2008
2009
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS, side and head protection air bags standard. ESC available.
Road Test

Like many previous Buicks, the Lucerne's primary attributes are its cushy ride, along with a roomy and mostly quiet interior. While the model also has a steadier ride and better fit and finish than the LeSabre and Park Avenue models it replaced, the Buick didn't rival the best competition. Its 197-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine is responsive, but sounds coarse and doesn't have outstanding acceleration or fuel economy. The powerplant was upgraded to 3.9-liters and 227 hp for 2009. Braking distances are long and the Lucerne fishtailed easily in our avoidance maneuver. Stability control is available – but only as an option, which we highly recommend.

Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.9-liter V6 (227 hp)
  • 4.6-liter V8 (292 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2011 Buick Lucerne owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"The front engine mount failed and had to be replaced at 71,000 miles"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"engine mount leaked fluid"

Anonymous, NJ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"2d Time engine mounts broke which caused the transmission to start slipping. Had to take engine out to replace the mounts."

Daniel R., VA (2011 Buick Lucerne 3.9-L V6)

"motor vibration, replaced mounts"

Alfred V., AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"I have had to replace the engine mounts (at least one) three times--all covered by warranty"

Neil T., FL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Front mount broke and has came loose two more times"

Anonymous, MO (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Oil leaks

"replace oil pan gasket"

Anonymous, KY (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Both the oil pan gasket and the crankshaft seal leaked and had to be replaced. This happened at 71,000 miles"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Since i purchased the car, I have experienced 3 oil leaks. 2 were the seal. 1 was the oil pan itself. all work was done under warranty"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"oil pan gasket"

Anonymous, MB (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"There was an oil leak and warrantee covered it"

George K., AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne 3.9-L V6)

"Had oil pan replaced twice, drive shaft seal replaced four times, transmission cooling line to radiator replaced once"

Anonymous, MI (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)

"Need under warranty; Intake manifold gasket Oil pan Oil pan gasket"

Anonymous, ON (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering leaks

"line was put in wrong place at factory and rubbed a hole in it. Took a long time to happen though"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"The tubing used to power steering fluid corroded to a point where all the fluids were lost, causing a loss of power assist"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"Hoses or tubing corroded away"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"For some reason I keep going through shock mounts. This is the 3rd time I have replaced them."

D G., KS (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"spring failure replaced with Monroe quick struts which includes spring"

Anonymous, NJ (2011 Buick Lucerne CX 3.9-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"spring failure replaced with Monroe quickstruts which includes strut"

Anonymous, NJ (2011 Buick Lucerne CX 3.9-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Steering gear leaking a small amount. Replaced at no cost under warranty"

Marlene L., AB (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Tie rods

"Noticed rumbling low level noise when cornering. Took in to dealer and his guy took car out and could not find any problem. Two weeks later I made appointment for his front end guy to ride with me. He had no problem finding or identifying problem.. I"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Wheel balance

"balance with each oil change wall mart life of tire balance"

Hbert H., TN (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"Noise right side"

Hbert H., TN (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Wheel hub replacement due to plastic film wrapping around the hub while driving"

C M., CA (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"AC malfunction caused water to fill floor, left rear, multiple times. Not until personal research were we able to show the dealer repair how to fix what was wrong based on history from others with same problem."

Anonymous, AR (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Ports around windshield become blocked from debris and need to be taken apart and cleaned manually every 1-2 years - at owner's cost. Obvious defect in design not willing to be addressed by GM."

William T., IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Seals around windows and doors have leaked slightly since date of delivery. Weatherstripping around doors is falling apart - dealer claims normal wear and tear."

William T., IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)
Squeaks or rattles

"Clicking noise when engine is running. Also, rattles inside front of dash area."

R B., CA (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Sunroof leaked air and rattled, as well as defective retraction mechanism. Replaced and it still rattles"

William T., IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)
Wind noise

"Car would often have a loud high pitched squeal when driven 55 mph or faster."

Anonymous, IN (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Several side windows have air leaks which can't be detected/fixed by dealer"

William T., IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"Wheel hub and ABS harness replaced due to corrosion"

Gerald E., DE (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Regular brake failure

"metal brake line rusted through causing pedal to floor I was lucky I was stopped when failure occurred"

Anonymous, NJ (2011 Buick Lucerne CX 3.9-L V6)
Rotors

"Rotor warp caused vibration upon braking. Replaced rotors to correct problem"

Anonymous, WV (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"bad rotors, replaced"

Alfred V., AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Warped"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Front rotors warped at approximately 22,000 miles. Dealer turned but would replace. Warped again at 35,000. Dealer replaced front rotors this time"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"The lane departure signal only works intermittently"

Edwin K., NE (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL)

"Lane departure system did not work. Fixed by dealer after delivery"

Anonymous, MN (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"lane change avoidance system"

Anonymous, CA (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"The GPS quit working. It was repaired under the extended warrantee that I purchased when I bought the car new. They had to replace the entire radio area of the dash."

D H., ND (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Speakers

"Speakers on the drivers side of the vehicle have been cutting in and out over the past 10 months. often speakers are out for several days at a time."

Anonymous, MO (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Right rear signal lamp failed"

Don B., ON (2011 Buick Lucerne CX 3.9-L V6)

"Right rear tail light bulb failed"

Don B., ON (2011 Buick Lucerne 3.9-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"Heated seats do not stay heated on passenger side."

Anonymous, AR (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Front pass heating mech was replaced 3 times - twice in 2 weeks. No one seemed to know what the problem was until it was brought to the attn of the service mgr - very frustrating"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

"Had the tires rotated as usual with the normal oil change - it took 3 different guys to get the problem solved and I had to return the car 3 times to get it done right"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Heated or cooled seat controls

"The seat heater does not work. It was replaced once and worked for a few weeks. Then it broke again"

Anonymous, MN (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL)
Seat controls - temperature

"Will cost lots of money to have the front passenger seat warmer repaired. Thus, however, is one of the many annoying problems with this vehicle."

Anonymous, AR (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Heated seats were a must for our current Buick in order for me to travel. Obvious there is a short or something that works only spasmodically. This and the interior wind noise are bad. Time to buy a new car. A Buick?"

Anonymous, AR (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Sunroof

"New unit installed but dealership unable to correctly re-install control panel cover after 3 separate attempts."

William T., IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"After driving, it gave off a rotten egg smell. Dealer said they could not find anything wrong but, they finally replaced the catalytic converter. This did not solve the problem. I took it to an ally shop and they said it had 3 bad sensors. Because of"

Donald W., IN (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Converter failed. Replaced under warranty"

Duane H., IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)

"Smell outside and also in the cabin during and after driving"

Anonymous, TX (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Other/unsure

"Warning light that this program is now working"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"The transmission began shifting hard in low gear upon acceleration and needed a complete rebuild. I believe the clutch plate in the transmission was failing and that was replaced along with seals and bearings."

Anonymous, MO (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Transmission was not shifting properly and stuttering when shifting - especially low gears (4 spd) but all gears affected. Took two trips in and a ride with their transmissions specialist to convince them of problem that I probably had since day of s"

Anonymous, OH (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"transmission was slipping on initial acceleration and was repaired under the CPO warranty and has been operating properly since repair over 6 months ago"

Anonymous, NY (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"The transmission began to "clunk" when changing gears. So we took it in for repair to a dealership and they repairs the leaks, solenoid, and various other transmission parts"

Robert H., ON (2011 Buick Lucerne 3.9-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"Right front wheel bearing needed to be replace"

Robert N., AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Leaking seal fixed under warranty"

Anonymous, PA (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"Wheel bearing on passenger side failed. Not covered under warranty since 2010. This is a common problem with GM vehicles"

Steve S., ON (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Electrical failure

"computer comtroller"

Sandra E., VT (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Trim strip between top and door on driver's side has come loose three times"

Anonymous, MI (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 4.6-L V8)

"Driver side roof strip loose at rear of strip"

Don B., ON (2011 Buick Lucerne 3.9-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Paint is an issue. Front bumper was repainted. Trim was replaced. All was done under warranty. Still has paint scratches today, but have not been repaired"

James B., TX (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"the A/C stopped working while we were on vacation the wire grounded out and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NC (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"It was a loss of Freon. The Freon was replaced two months ago and the pressure is still holding as of today"

Anonymous, AZ (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

"I had a Freon leak, was quickly fixed, no problems since"

Judith W., SD (2011 Buick Lucerne)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel pump

"short in fuel pump wiring and would not shut off. would run battery down. fuel pump is in tank"

Anonymous, IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"I continued to get a "check engine light" on the dash. Finally, I was told that there is a fix being worked out by the mfg and it will be covered at no charge to me. I've had this problem for almost 2 years and it took this long to either find out or tell me about it. I have since moved to a new state and must start over again with a new dealer. Frustrating to say the least!"

Anonymous, FL (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Water pump

"The shaft seal started leaking. I detected this by the level in the coolant reservoir dropping"

Charles J., TX (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"engine blew gasket and piston froze"

George C., IL (2011 Buick Lucerne CX 3.9-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Starter

"Starter motor would not function sporadically so car wouldn't start"

Howard M., NE (2011 Buick Lucerne CXL 3.9-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

"False codes were stored in the computer and we got them erased but they kept coming back until the dealership repaired them"

Robert H., ON (2011 Buick Lucerne 3.9-L V6)
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