Large car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,000 – $28,500*

2006 Buick Lucerne

2006 Buick Lucerne

2006 Buick Lucerne

2006 Buick Lucerne

  • Acceleration (V8)
  • Control layout
  • Interior materials
  • Quietness
  • Ride
  • Fuel economy

Lucerne occupies a comfortable middle ground between the more flamboyant Chrysler 300 and the more conservative Toyota Avalon. Clearly, it’s a step up in roominess and features from the old Buick LeSabre and Park Avenue sedans that it replaces. The V8 CXS model rivals some sedans in the premium large car class for power, if not for overall sophistication. It also offers better ride control. Best Lucerne value, though, may be a well-appointed CXL with the V6, which delivers performance and comfort at a relatively reasonable price for the large-car group. Resale values have been a little higher than those of other Buick models.


For the 2006 model year, Buick replaced its best-selling LeSabre and also the top-of-the-line Park Avenue with a brand-new Lucerne. Competing against the Chrysler 300, Mercury Montego, and Toyota Avalon, this front-wheel-drive full-size sedan was the first Buick to offer V8 power in more than a decade.

Lucerne shared its basic architecture and V8 engine with the premium Cadillac DTS. Measuring 2-3 inches longer in wheelbase than its predecessor, the Lucerne split the difference in overall length, falling between the dimensions of its two forerunners.

Front bucket seats with a center console permitted five-passenger capacity. CX and CXL models could replace the buckets with an available front bench that provided six-passenger seating.

Four trim levels were offered: CX with a 197-horsepower V6, top-of-the-line CXS with a 275-hp V8, and midlevel CXL that came with either engine. All models used a four-speed automatic transmission.

Antilock four-wheel disc brakes were standard. An antiskid system was standard on the CXS and optional for the CXL V8. Exclusively on CXS models, the antiskid system teamed with GM’s Magnetic Ride Control, which was designed to adjust the ride to match road surfaces and driving conditions.

All Lucernes contained head-protecting curtain side airbags and front torso side airbags. CX models rode on 16-inch wheels, while the CXL had 17s and the CXS 18-inchers. OnStar assistance was standard. Leather upholstery was standard in CXL and CXS models, but unavailable for the CX. Available features included remote engine start, heated and cooled front seats, rear park assist, and satellite radio.

Yearly Updates

2007 Lucerne
Little changed in the Lucerne’s second season on the market.
2008 Lucerne
The 2008 Buick Lucerne added a sporty Super model to its lineup. The new Super had a 292-hp version of the V8 used in the CXS along with GM’s Magnetic Ride Control Suspension. An available front-bench seat on CX and CXL increased capacity to six.
2009 Lucerne
The 2009 Buick Lucerne received a new V6 engine and more standard features. CX and CXL got a 227-hp 3.9-liter V6 engine to replace a 197-hp 3.8 V6. The new V6 was capable of running on ethanol-blended E85 fuel. Heated front seats with memory programming and a heated steering wheel were newly standard on the CXL.
2010 Lucerne
The 2010 Buick Lucerne was largely unchanged.
2011 Lucerne
The 2011 Buick Lucerne is largely unchanged.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Lucernes have come with either V6 or V8 power. In the CX and CXL, a 3.8-liter V6 produces 197 horsepower. Standard in the CXS and available for the CXL was a 275-hp V8. Both engines used a four-speed automatic transmission. The new-for-2008 Super model had a 292-hp version of the 4.6-liter V8.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/231
Engine HP 197
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 227
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


dohc V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.6/279
Engine HP 275-292
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 288-292
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



Road Test

Both engines provide adequate around-town power and work well with the smooth-shifting transmission. The V6 trails Buick’s refined V8 for merging and highway passing power. Neither engine matches Toyota Avalon or Chrysler 300 powertrains for outright muscle.

Fuel economy is about as expected. A Lucerne CXS averaged 15.4 mpg in mostly city driving, and 22.4 mpg with more highway use. In an even mix of city/highway driving, a CXL delivered 18.1 mpg. Buick recommends 87-octane fuel for the V6 and 92-octane for the V8.

Ride quality varies with the model. Though it’s compliant over bumps, unwanted body motions abound in the CXL, including floatiness at higher speeds and some bobbing over broken surfaces around town. The CXS is more composed and nearly as compliant, with little additional harshness. Its Magnetic Ride Control quickly compensates for road irregularities, but the CXS still suffers from an excess of unwanted body motions. Buick says the lower-priced CX’s suspension is more comfort-oriented.

Though not athletic, Lucerne is more taut on the road than the traditional large-Buick norm. Magnetic Ride Control and 18-inch tires make CXS the best-handling model. CXL versions suffer copious body lean in turns. The CXS also leans, but handles better overall. With a V6, steering is vague and overboosted on the highway. V8 models use variable-assist steering that feels more precise. V8s also get larger brakes with impressive stopping power, but all models halt with confidence and have reassuring pedal feel. All Lucernes have a wide turning circle, which translates to poor close-quarters maneuverability.

Impressively quiet, Lucernes are reminiscent of traditional Buicks. Engines are muted in all but full-throttle situations. The CXL’s 17-inch tires generate less rumble than the CXS’s 18-inchers, but neither is intrusive.

Clearly marked gauges, well-placed controls, and quality materials highlight Lucerne’s upscale interior. Still, a few lightweight plastic panels seem out of place in this league. Audio and climate controls are refreshingly easy to operate.

Large adults can expect ample front head and legroom. Front seats are comfortable and supportive. Available heating and cooling work well. Visibility to corners is compromised by large roof pillars. The backseat is comfortable for two adults; only taller riders might wish for more head clearance. Three-across seating is compromised by an uneven floor and contoured seat bottom. Some testers say the rear seat is too low for best support. Lucerne trails Chrysler’s 300 but matches the Avalon for overall spaciousness. Large door openings make entry/exit a breeze.

Despite a large trunk opening, its lid hinges intrude on cargo space. Small rear-seat pass-through is a poor substitute for folding seatbacks. The two-tier console is handy, but smallish map pockets and glovebox provide only adequate interior storage.


Model Tested: V8 Lucerne

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 8


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 5


Value - 6

Total: 64


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
115.6 203.2 73.8 58.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
17.0 18.5 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.5 37.6 42.5 41.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Lucerne 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: A wire for the transmission’s torque converter clutch may rub on its clip and short out causing harsh shifting. (2006)
Hard starting
Description: On vehicles equipped with 3.8L engine, a wiring harness may rub on the transmission sifter cable causing a no-start condition. (2006)
Keyless entry
Description: The remote keyless entry system may not work or may work poorly and/or the tire pressure warning may come on due to a malfunction of the receiver and antenna. (2006-07)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks develop on the lower area of 4.6L V8 in the area of the oil distribution plate. (2006-08)
Transmission leak
Description: The transmission (model 4T80-E) may leak and/or slip in gear due to a worn bushing on the clutch housing that allows fluid to build up and leak at the axle seal. (2006-08)
Water leak
Description: Water may leak into the trunk via a faulty seal patch on the sheet metal behind the bumper. (2007-08)
Electrical problem
Description: When using a portable music player (e.g. iPod) there may be noise in the car’s speakers whenever the vehicle’s power adapter is used and a ground loop isolator (from Radio Shack) is required between the device and the power outlet to prevent the noise. (2006-07)
Description: The navigation radio screen may have a variety of problems such as going blank, map reading errors, opening screen may constantly refresh, etc. due to software glitches. (2006-09)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine (service engine soon) light may come on if the car idles over 30 minutes requiring reprogramming of the powertrain control module. (2006)

Recall History

2006 Lucerne w/V8
Description: Power steering hose connectors may leak fluid, which could cause loss of steering assist and increased steering effort at low speeds; if fluid contacted hot engine, fire could occur.
2006-09 vehicles equipped with a heated wiper washer fluid system
Description: A short circuit on the printed circuit board for the washer fluid heater may overheat the control-circuit ground wire. This may cause other electrical features to malfunction, create an odor, or cause smoke, increasing the risk of a fire. Dealers will install a wire harness with an in-line fuse free of charge.
2010-2011 Lucerne
Description: The starter or alternator cable is in contact with the power steering return line. If either the starter or alternator cable is contacting the power steering return line, the cable could wear through the line, causing a power steering fluid leak that could result in a loss of power steering, increasing the risk of a crash, and/or the leak onto hot engine parts could cause an engine compartment fire. Dealers will secure and if necessary reroute the lines to prevent contact. This service will be performed free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.