Buick and Cadillac Win Top Brand Awards Buick wins the AutoPacific 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for top Popular Brand. Buick’s feat completes a General Motors sweep of brand winners – Cadillac wins as top Premium Brand.
With three vehicles – LaCrosse, Lucerne and Enclave – Buick has achieved superior scores overall topping Honda, Ford, GMC, Mercury and Hyundai among Popular Brands. Some might contend Buick is a Premium Brand. If Buick had been included in the Premium Brand list it would have come in behind Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln. Buick’s performance is excellent whatever class the brand is entered into.
Class Without Ostentation With a “mature” buyer base, Buick has to score highly in ease of use, easy to get into and out of, comfort and quietness. A Buick buyer demands transportation that does not challenge them or their neighbors. They want a vehicle that conveys class without ostentation. With Buick, they have it.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.
Several months ago I had the opportunity to drive a pre-production Buick Lucerne Super for a few miles around Malibu with Karen Micklin the program manager for the car from General Motors’ Performance Division. I was pretty impressed with the Super as a very competent front wheel drive large car from GM’s “mature division”. Also impressive was the fact that Buick was not trying to make an overt move to capture younger buyers. They simply want to provide the most competent car a Buick driver can buy.
Last week we had a Super at VehicleVoice offices and the staff had a chance to drive the car. Several balked at the idea of driving the Buick – too mature for their youthful sensibilities – but when they came in the day after driving the car each was surprised and impressed. The highlights: effortless cruising on the freeway, good performance from the tweaked Northstar V8, quiet and comfortable ride, good size.
Buick will retires the LeSabre name with its 2006 model-year lineup and replaces it with the Lucerne. Lucerne is a major change and redesign to the LeSabre, which uses the same platform as Cadillac’s best-selling sedan. The DeVille is also revised for 2006MY, and renamed DTS.
Lucerne will be the first Buick to offer a V8 in ten years, using the 275HP 4.6L DOHC 32v V8 that serves as the base engine in the DTS. The 3.8L OHV V6 carries on as the base engine, and both are mated to four-speed automatic transmissions.
Several standard and optional features, also found on the Cadillac DTS, will be Buick firsts, including Magnetic Ride Control (paired with StabiliTrak), heated washer fluid, and dual-depth passenger airbag. Not only does the airbag sense the passenger and deploy at one of two speeds, there are two sizes, with a smaller bag deploying when the car senses a smaller person or a less severe impact. Six airbags will be standard, including side and roof-rail airbags. Lucerne will also offer a DVD navigation system.
Buick styling cues adorning the conservative Lucerne include chrome-accented portholes on either front quarter panel, chrome-tipped exhaust, and the vertical Buick grille. Lucerne will be offered in three trim levels, with one intended to take up the LeSabre place and an uplevel version hoping to satisfy would-be Park Avenue buyers, as the Park has fallen from production.