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PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10
the new V6 doesn't feel much more responsive than the previous one
The standard car allows relatively spirited driving
Kelley Blue Book
automatic transmission shifts smoothly enough
For 2010, the Buick Lucerne retains its previous drivetrain options, with engine choice divided among the three available trim levels:; the CX, CXL, and CXL Premium get a standard 3.9-liter V-6 rated at 227 horsepower, and the Super gets a 4.6-liter Northstar V-8 rated at 292 horsepower. The V-6 is FlexFuel-capable, meaning it can run on either gasoline or hard-to-find E85. Both engines deliver lots of low-end torque, helping the big sedan accelerate from a stop with relative ease. Electronic throttle control logic help improve engine response and fuel economy across the range.
The V-6 engine delivers 227 horsepower-a 30 hp improvement over the last year's 3.8-liter V-6. PoweringPropelling the Super is a 4.6L Northstar V-8 engine with 292 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque. Paired to either engine is an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
The V-6 provides "only adequate around-town power," says ConsumerGuide, though the V-8 in the Super is "noticeably stronger, particularly in highway merging and passing power." They go on to point out that neither engine "matches the rival Chryslser 300's V-6 and V-8 engines for outright muscle." The four-speed automatic, archaic in comparison to modern six-speed units, shifts "smoothly enough," according to Edmunds, but the "widely spaced gear ratios hurt both performance and mileage." ConsumerGuide only notes the "smooth shifting" nature of the gearbox.
The 2010 Buick Lucerne is no sports sedan, but Kelley Blue Book finds the "standard car allows relatively spirited driving (more aggressive than its buyers will likely attempt)." EPA-rated at 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway in V-6 trim, or 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway for the V-8 Super, the Lucerne isn't a hog, but it's not particularly efficient either. Edmunds notes that "real-world fuel economy often falls well below the 20-mpg mark." It's worth pointing out that while this is true of in-town driving, the Lucerne does better on the open road.
The Super also adds magnetic ride control technology, which employs magneto-rheological shocks that automatically adjust to minimize body roll while delivering cushy ride. Large aluminum-alloy wheels and all-season tires boost traction and handling in most conditions, without compromising ride quality.
Autoblog praises the magnetic ride control system, noting it provides "a refined, premium ride that simultaneously enables crisp, responsive handling." Edmunds finds that without the advanced suspension, "handling is mediocre on the softly tuned Lucerne CX and CXL models, which exhibit considerable body roll during cornering."
The 2010 Buick Lucerne Super performs well, though it requires more fuel than some of the competition, but the V-6 models lack the power to impress.