Is Lucerne Good Enough to Save Buick?
These are tough times to be in the car business, especially if you work for a company with a highly problematic image like Buick – once known as just a step below Cadillac but in recent years more often associated with age and fade.
Now along comes the
Initial sales look promising, with nearly 68,000 Lucernes sold during the first eight months of 2006, its first year on the market. That’s more than either the Toyota Avalon or Lexus GS series, two rivals Buick marketers suggest are Lucerne targets, but substantially less than Chrysler’s 300 and only a couple thousand more than the Ford Five Hundred.
Still, the front-wheel-drive
The steering provides good feedback, the brakes are powerful and the stiffened suspension in my top-of-the-lineup CSX tester kept things mostly flat and properly pointed when the driving got frisky.
The exterior styling is less successful, at least in my view. The ventiports are a Buick icon but I doubt anybody not in a retirement home cares anymore. The overall look is clean and fresh, but not overly striking.
Competent, comfortable and contemporary the