: A Glimmer of Hope from Under the Leash (plus a mini-review)...



AMGoff
04-13-08, 12:55 PM
So the wife and I had a "heart-to-heart" this weekend... Well... not so much that, but more akin to my typical 8 year old's temper-tantrum, jumping up and down going "I want a new car... I want a new car... (hands over ears) I can't hear you... I can't hear you... I want a new car," etc, etc..

This of course, all stems from my play-date earlier in the week with both an '08 Lucerne CXS and an '08 Enclave. Let me get the Enclave out of the way already... it was abso-effin-lutely fantabulous - in fact, I had to run straight home and change my underpants... I don't know how Buick did it, but I give them uber-kudos for taking a vehicle as gargantuan and high-riding as the Enclave and making it feel as cush, smooth, and slippery as my Grandma's Park Avenue Ultra. I can say without a single, shadow of a doubt that Buick has built a large crossover to take on the very best from any of the world's most expensive marques... doesn't matter whether it's a MB or a Lexus because the Enclave is a top-notch vehicle... quiet, smooth, gorgeous exterior, lovely interior, fantastic build quality, the whole nine yards... and then some. If Buick's new mission for the 21st century is to be the "American Lexus," then the Enclave is one hell of a starting point... and if rumors of upcoming models ring true - it's hopefully only a shot across the bow.

But... with that said... I don't think I could live with one for two reasons - A.) I can't justify such a large vehicle, and B.) It would go against everything I've always said about people who drive such vehicles with no real need to. If I had kids or a job which required me to always have people/clients in the car, then that would be one thing.... but I don't, it's just me and the wife. And on the rare occasion I need tons of cargo room or we actually have inclement weather, that's why I still have the Woody.

Now the Lucerne on the other hand would be a much more practical choice... I love the understated exterior and the subdued, yet luxurious interior (not to mention those seats!), and the whole car felt very well made. It also felt strangely familiar... Although the Lucerne's current stable-mate is the DTS, it almost feels like the true spiritual successor to the Seville. The cabin is cathedral quiet... and there was literally this "whoosh" sound made when closing the doors. The Northstar is just as confident and potent in its Buick garb, and the whole thing really does ride, feel, and sound like a Cadillac... only for 10-grand off. I've honestly come to the conclusion that the Lucerne CXS is one of the best values for the money currently available on the market today.

Needless to say I'm smitten... However, the only caveat is that we're redoing the back yard this year - new deck, new permanent grille, new tiki-bar... So being that the wife is off during the summer and I work limited hours in the summer, most of our excess income is already accounted for already.

The glimmer of hope though, is that I've pretty much been given the green-light for a new car by as early as Christmas... which really isn't all that bad, between what we already have, I think I can make due... and it gives me more than enough time to test several different choices before making my final decision.

The Lucerne is definitely towards the top of the list and I've already pretty much come to the conclusion the it'll either be that or a Cadillac.

So... I want some feedback on modern Cadillacs.

I've noticed that the prices of pre-owned STSs are starting to come down to reasonable levels ($20-25K range)... and I especially like the fact that I can get one with AWD. So Koz - I'm actually looking at YOU (as well as anyone else with the new STS), what are the top pros and cons?

Of course the DTS is on the table... but I'd almost be tempted to go with a late-model Deville DTS - I just like the styling a bit better... especially in black, a la Hitmoney's.

I'm on the fence with the CTS... I haven't been in the new ones yet... but the 1st gen ones seem to be a little too small for my liking, and honestly... the ones I have been in have left me a little uninspired by the quality of the interior. Same goes for the SRX... although they are a little bit bigger so the cramped factor doesn't really come into play.. and I've been seeing some good deals on them as well. But then, if I really wanted something a bit cramped on purpose... there's always a used XLR, and again.. I've been seeing some prices on them dropping as of late as well.

All I can figure right now is that if new Buicks are as beautifully made as they are now... then the new breed of Cadillacs have to be as good if not much, much better...

So, enlighten me.... what do you think of the new ones you have, OR which ones are you personally eying up for your next purchase?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-13-08, 02:13 PM
I love the Lucerne for what it is. It's a Cadillac DTS at 80% of the cost, plus the exterior looks fantastic mainly because the rear end reminds me of the forgotten VW Phaeton. The interior build quality is unbelievable, especially for a Buick, and overall it's just a very nice package. But a 00-05 DTS does sound pretty tempting too, and I suppose you could get those for much cheaper than you would a Lucerne.

hueterm
04-14-08, 08:18 PM
I would go 2004 (if you can still find one) or 2005 Deville DTS CPO, that would have say 15-25K miles on it -- before going Lucerne or 2006+ DTS. The DTS w/the console has a beautiful interior, and would be much cheaper than either the '06+ or a new Lucerne. Plus either of the other above has a lot farther to fall in depreciation. Now, a CPO Lucerne might be an option, but I don't know how those are depreciating.

The biggest thing you are giving up w/the Deville DTS, IMO, is the side curtain.

Now -- if you truly don't need the room, then I'd look at an '05 STS AWD CPO. You'd have to decide on the engine. I wouldn't consider the V6, but you might not have the same requirement.

I've driven the Lucerne CXS, and it's great -- but I like the previous gen DTS better. Never driven the STS, but I love the interior. I'm just a little worried about the rear seat room.

HAVE FUN!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-14-08, 08:20 PM
Is the Lucerne CXS a little bit softer than a DTS/STS?

hueterm
04-14-08, 08:23 PM
Oh, and since you bought that Eldo, and if you plan on keeping it -- I'd go larger on this car. If you'd bought an old Brougham and planned on keeping it, I'd say lean more toward the STS.

I personally wouldn't go from an SLS to an old CTS. They're way small, and the interior isn't as nice. The new CTS is really nice inside, but is still small. I'd get an Enclave over an SRX and while the XLR is nice, it's not very practical at all...

hueterm
04-14-08, 08:24 PM
The CXS is tighter than my Concours but not as tight as my ETC, if that helps...

gothicaleigh
04-14-08, 08:41 PM
This has to be the only automotive forum on the internet that thinks a car the size of the CTS is "small"... http://www.8thdaycreations.com/images/gothicaleigh/gothiraspberry.gif



...just had to get that out as it never ceases to amaze me. Carry on.

gary88
04-14-08, 08:47 PM
Is the Lucerne CXS a little bit softer than a DTS/STS?

That would have to be ridiculously soft to be softer than a DTS. I had a DTS base as a loaner once, and felt like I was going to slide out of my seat while taking a corner.

hueterm
04-14-08, 08:49 PM
I think he was talking about a Deville DTS (last gen) -- not the current base DTS.

gary88
04-14-08, 10:28 PM
Oye, forgot about that

Carry on...

Jesda
04-14-08, 10:47 PM
Lots of words.

Playdrv4me
04-14-08, 10:57 PM
I would go 2004 (if you can still find one) or 2005 Deville DTS CPO, that would have say 15-25K miles on it -- before going Lucerne or 2006+ DTS. The DTS w/the console has a beautiful interior, and would be much cheaper than either the '06+ or a new Lucerne. Plus either of the other above has a lot farther to fall in depreciation. Now, a CPO Lucerne might be an option, but I don't know how those are depreciating.

Now -- if you truly don't need the room, then I'd look at an '05 STS AWD CPO. You'd have to decide on the engine. I wouldn't consider the V6, but you might not have the same requirement.

I've driven the Lucerne CXS, and it's great -- but I like the previous gen DTS better. Never driven the STS, but I love the interior. I'm just a little worried about the rear seat room.

HAVE FUN!

This is terrific advice. Certainly don't make the mistake of buying anything new. That is absolutely out of the question in my book.

hueterm
04-14-08, 11:22 PM
Now, I will say that if you can get a sweet deal on a new CXS -- PLUS 0% 60 month interest....that would swing things far into the Buick column.

hueterm
04-14-08, 11:27 PM
Lots of words.
:bacon:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-15-08, 12:38 AM
Lots of words.

Bob Dylan lyrics. Quentin Tarantino screenplay. War and Peace.

AMGoff
04-15-08, 01:40 AM
I would never... ever buy anything "new," I might as well just flush the money down the toilet. The only "new" (and my general definition of 'new' is when the CY matches or precedes the MY) car I've ever bought was the GS... and the only reason we did that was because we got a fantastic deal on it. I'm even a little leery of the whole "Certified Pre-Owned" thing... I realize it comes along with an extension of the factory warranty and all... but to me it still kind of seems like a fancy term for taking what is a used car and charging more for it than a regular used car... but I digress.

As far as the Lucerne CSX goes... I can't make a proper comparison to the Deville DTS simply because I've never actually driven one. I can say however, that it felt a bit firmer than my Seville did... but then, if I recall - it does have Magnaride, correct? But I can't say whether a Buick with MR would still be a bit softer than a Cadillac with MR, only for the sake of it still being a Buick. Like I said, it was a bit firmer than the Seville, but not drastically so IMO.

As HT said... I don't think I could go from a Seville to a CTS (yes Caleigh - they are small... lol!). And the new DTS just doesn't do it for me in the way the Deville DTS did - I think their new interiors are gorgeous, but the exterior is just a bit off for me... plus the biggest point is probably that mechanically speaking, the new DTS is virtually identical to the old Deville... so it's not like it was from the Seville to the STS. So it would be really hard for me to justify spending more money for what's essentially the same car that also (IMO) doesn't look as good as its immediate predecessor.

The STS on the other hand is an entirely different story... not only does it look fantastic, but it's an entirely different car to the Seville - not to mention I really like the idea of having an AWD Northstar sedan... and yes, I'd surely go the V8 option especially since I'm sure any DI 3.6 STSs will still be way more than I'd like to pay. I'd also have no problem getting a regular V8 STS because the idea of having a big, RWD, V8-powered Cadillac isn't an unpleasant one at all.

I won't get back into a Seville, despite the fact I still think they're fantastic cars... but A) I've already owned one and; B) Their successor has been too reworked to justify going for the older model. The only FWD Cadillac I'd consider other than an '04-'05 DTS would be an '01-'02 Eldorado, BUT it would have to be in phenomenal condition and it would have to really catch my eye... either way, that would be a long shot at best.

I'm thinking I need to go find some STSs to drive... in both AWD and RWD configurations... as well as said Deville DTSs. Even then... I still REALLY like those Lucernes.

nickc50310
04-15-08, 02:50 AM
I enjoyed reading what you had to say about the Buicks.

Now, I love my CTS and as many hear will agree, I am a HUGE fan of the 3.6. Awesome engine for it it is. However, if you go with an 05 or later STS you should DEFINATELY go with a Northstar.

I wouldnt be too concerned about the winter handling of an RWD STS. Just put some blizzaks on and youre good to go. I had blizzaks on my CTS this year and they were AMAZING. At 80 on dry highway they are a little unstable but thats to be expected from such a soft tire. I live on a giant hill and had no problem driving up it even when we had 8 inches of snow.

hueterm
04-15-08, 05:32 AM
The only reason to get the Eldo over the new STS is if you have to have a coupe, or purely on cost. The new STS would beat it in any and every tangible way. It is essentially 2 generations behind the new STS, b/c it didn't get redesigned in '98. It was updated a little over the years, and the N* received the major update in '00 -- but it would be nowhere near an '05+ STS.

Don't forget to at least find and look at a nice last gen Riv before you buy. That would be probably $15-20K less than an '05+ STS.

blunted
04-15-08, 09:38 AM
That would have to be ridiculously soft to be softer than a DTS. I had a DTS base as a loaner once, and felt like I was going to slide out of my seat while taking a corner.

Seriously! I just had one as a loaner and the seats on that thing will put you to sleep.. its like a lazy boy with 4 wheels.

I'd go with the STS.. I just got one and it really is great looking/performing car. You can get really good deals on them now and should easily find one with 35K miles on it or less and get it CPO on top of that.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-15-08, 09:59 AM
Hey Adam, have you given thought to a 1983 Electra? I heard they can be had for great deals nowadays, and the performance of those cars, with the 307 4bbl and Dynaride suspensions, can be breathtaking. :histeric:

gary88
04-15-08, 11:48 AM
As far as going from a Seville to a CTS (3.6L), I wouldn't even think twice about it. I've spent a good amount of time behind the wheel of a few '07 CTS loaners (with the 2.8L), and they're much more driver-oriented and pleasing to drive. I even fit better in them than I do in my Seville. The only compromises compared to the Seville are the interior quality (it grows on you after ahwile), rear leg room, a few electronic gizmos, and trunk space.