Junkyard Find: 2006 Buick Lucerne CXS
Remember, not many years ago, when American car shoppers could choose among dozens of new Detroit sedans? For the 2006 model year alone, General Motors offered 12 different four-door sedans, and that’s ignoring sub-models plus the sedans bearing the badges of (GM-owned) Saab and Suzuki. Today, there are three new GM sedans available here, and both of the Cadillacs are built on the same platform as the Camaro. The Buick Division got out of the US-market sedan game when the final 2020 Regal rolled off Opel’s line in Rüsselsheim, but the very last proper full-sized Buick sedan was Hamtramck’s own Lucerne. I found this Northstar-equipped first-year Lucurne in a Colorado Springs yard last month.
Ask Jack: Thirty-four With an "L"?
About 20 years ago, I was working on the technical staff of a small hospital under the theoretical supervision of a nice old woman whose name escapes me. When I say “old” I mean about the same age I am now, by the way. She had a 1991 Buick LeSabre and she was having some sort of problem with it that required a long stay in the indifferent care of our local Buick dealership. Around day eight she lost her patience and called the dealership for a good old-fashioned screaming fit.
At some point in said fit, she yelled, “I EXPECT MORE FROM A BUICK THAN THIS!” Then she turned around and froze me with a furious glare, because I was laughing my proverbial ass off. What kind of idiot expected anything special from a Buick in 1999?
Yet there was a time when the tri-shield badge conveyed some real prestige and excellence. My friend Thomas Klockau just wrote something neat about the Electra 225 that has me itching to buy one of those old boats. And while Buick’s current lineup is a mish-mash of Asian hatchbacks and anonymous sedans, there have been a few decent cars in the lineup from time to time. Which happens to be topic of today’s “Ask Jack.”
Piston Slap: Upgrading The Fleet?
I have a question about fleet replacements. Currently, we have a vehicle fleet that includes:
- 2010 Ford Explorer, 103k miles
- 2006 Ford Crown Vic, 78k miles
- 2006 Buick Lucerne, 82k miles
- 2005 Chevy Impala, 76k miles
- 2014 Ford Explorer, 40k miles
- 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, 65k miles
- 2008 – Ford Crown Vic, 70k miles
- 2011 Chevy Impala, 18k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 28k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 18k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 23k miles
- 2011 Chevy Impala, 46k miles
- 2007 Dodge Caravan, 123k miles
- 2012 Chevy Impala, 24k miles
- 2012 Chevy Impala, 22k miles
Our budget only allows to replace nine vehicles with a 2014 equivalent version of each.
What would you decide to keep and replace? What guidelines would you consider?
Review: 2012 Buick LaCrosse EAssist
GM’s track record has been less than stellar. First we had the Saturn Vue Green Line, a very “mild” hybrid that paled next to competitors like the Ford Escape. Next came the extraordinarily expensive 2-mode hybrid system used in GM’s pickup trucks and full-sized SUVs, which cost far too much and delivered far too little. Finally, we have the Volt – ’nuff said. No wonder GM’s latest hybrid endeavor has come to market with little fanfare, no “hybrid” logos on the vehicle and no hybrid branding from GM. Can we honestly call the 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist a hybrid?