Built on Buick's traditional emphases--at least in recent years--of conservative styling and interior comfort, the 2009 Buick Lucerne follows form as a distinguished full-size sedan. Ample seating and storage space, along with one of the quietest cabins in its class, along with a choice of V-6 and V-8 engines, make it the epitome of classic American-made luxury.
The 2009 Buick Lucerne is available in three model types: the CX, CXL, and Super. Standard in the CX and CXL models is a more powerful 3.9-liter V-6 engine delivering 227 horsepower--a 30-hp improvement over the last year's 3.8-liter V-6. Despite the horsepower increase, Buick claims the new engine gets one mile per gallon better fuel economy than the old engine. The new engine is also FlexFuel capable, the first Buick offered with an E85-capable powerplant. The engine is a pushrod design with variable cam timing, and it produces more torque than horsepower, which is perfect for people who drive Buicks.
Powering the Super is a fully modern 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 engine with 292 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque. Paired to the V-8 is an electronically controlled Hydra-Matic four-speed automatic transmission. Both Lucerne engines feature electronic throttle control that matches driver input with engine response and maximizes fuel efficiency.
The Super's chassis features GM's magnetic ride control technology that was recalibrated for 2009 to further reduce body roll when cornering and enhance performance and driver control. Handling is also benefited by the use of premium steering components and eighteen-inch aluminum wheels shod with P245/50R18 all-season radials. All of these changes amount to a Buick that still rides as soft as customers will expect yet has decent handling prowess.
Setting the Lucerne Super apart from the standard models are integrated exhaust tips as well as "Super" badges on the decklid. A unique grille and front and rear fascias and rocker panels also denote this Lucerne as special. The Super's interior features a heated real walnut wood-accented steering wheel, a leather-wrapped instrument panel upper with French seam stitching, suede trim on the doors and on the front seats, model-specific sill plates, and premium floor mats.
Additional options for the 2009 Lucerne Super include a 280-watt, nine-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, touch-screen navigation, sunroof, Side Blind Zone and Lane Departure Warning safety-enhancing technologies.
For 2009 the Lucerne CX and CXL models feature an expanded list of standard equipment. The CXL model now includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated leather steering wheel. Six-passenger seating is available on both the CX and CXL models, and in either configuration the Lucerne has plenty of plush seating space front and back.
Buick reduced the Lucerne's options packages to two for 2009: the Comfort & Convenience package and the Driver Confidence Package. The latter is includes several high-tech features such as StabiliTrak, rear parking assist, remote start, a theft-deterrent system, and RainSense wipers. The Driver Confidence package is standard on Lucerne Supers and optional on CX and CXL models, and a Bluetooth hands-free interface is newly standard on all Lucernes. Heated and cooled front seats also come with Super models.
Additional features available for the 2009 Buick Lucerne CXL and Super models include a touch-screen navigation system, and XM NavTraffic.
The Bottom Line:
A soft ride and roomy interior still form the solid base for the 2009 Buick Lucerne's appeal.