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Preview: 2006 Buick Lucerne large sedan

July 25, 2005 07:39 PM EST | Buick , Sedans | Email to Friend

View large imageWhat Says: The Lucerne should go a long way toward reshaping Buick's lackluster image thanks to V8 power and a more dynamic shape.

What We Know: If you lamented the demise of the Oldsmobile Aurora, fret no more. The Lucerne has much in common with the dearly departed Aurora, including the option of a V8 engine. The 4.6-liter Northstar V8 is standard on the upmarket CXS and optional on the CXL. The base CX will have to make due with GM's 3.8-liter Series III V6. The V6 is good for about 200 horsepower while the V8 will make about 275 hp. All Lucernes will get GM's Hydramatic four-speed automatic transmission. V8-powered versions also benefit from magnetic variable assist steering and the CXS adds 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Turanza tires. All trim levels offer four-wheel disc brakes. The Lucerne is Buick's first V8-powered sedan in about a decade and the new body style is a deserving recipient for the transplant. The styling cues are obviously Buick, but with a bit of a European flair - the rear fascia and taillights hint at the VW Phaeton. Inside, the Lucerne tops the Park Avenue in terms of quality and luxury. The leather is softer, the dash more pleasing and the options list long. If this is the new face of Buick, we suspect jokes about the brand's appeal to blue-haired South Florida residents will quickly subside.

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