I can't agree more. I own a '99 Park Avenue and I feel that the Lucerne was definitely the wrong direction for Buick. Sales are definitely off from what the LeSabre was in it's first few years. My next car will be an '05 Park Avenue which I hope to buy some time this Summer. I have test driven the new LaCrosse which is a nice car, but not comparable to the Park Avenue. I have never driven a Lucerne because I don't care for the looks at all and would not consider one. I would buy the Lacrosse, but much prefer a large car.
I love Buicks and really hope they can get their act together before it goes the way of Oldsmobile.
I really wish that a suitable large car was put in place before the Enclave SUV. The Enclave is very nice, but Buick is a car division, and the bread and butter customers want cars especially in these times of $3+ gas.
I still can't see why they went so far away from the LeSabre and Park Avenue. The LeSabre was the best selling full-size car for over 10 years running. I am not sure, but I doubt that the Lucerne holds that title now.
Buick sales have fallen off significantly over the past 5 years (over 40%) and it's not completely surprising. Buick completely did away with great selling names like LeSabre and Century for weird names that no one has ever heard of, and styles that look more in place in a Toyota dealership (in the case of the Lucerne).
When will GM learn that domestic buyers want AMERICAN cars, not Japanese knock-offs? The import buyers have been lost and most will never come back, why not try your darndest to keep the buyers you still have, instead of turning them off with Toyota look-a-likes?
My wife and I purchased our 2004 Ultra, new, following a three year ownership of a 2001 Le Sabre of which, we thought to be a superb sedan for the money. We purchased up as we wanted more of a luxury vehicle with a bit more prestige. We did have a uncanny variety of minor warranty repair problems...ex: door lock switch fell into the door, display for the climate control lost its LED display, condensation/water in the rear taillight lenses, interior lights malfunction and the left armrest cracked during seat adjusting using ones elbow for support. However and in spite of these frustrating incidents (all covered under the factory warranty), this vehicle is the best riding and handling vehicle we've ever owned. It has wonderful "spunk" when depressing the accelerator, handles like a sports car and provides a luxury feel with the leather and wood appointments. We looked at the Lucerne as a replacement last year and decided after a test drive, Buick made a terrible mistake when abandoning this roomy, wonderful and handsome addition to their vehicle line-up.
I have just purchased a 2004 Park Avenue. The ride is the best my wife and I have ever had in a car. I compare the comfort to sitting in my recliner at home (which is bad because I get drowsy).
I had looked at other Park Avenues before the purchase of this one, and noticed a similar problem with them. The trim on the bottom of the doors seems to be trapping water and causing early door bottom rusting. The 2004 I just purchased does not yet have this problem, but the mounting screws are rusty. I'm going to replace these screws as soon as possible, hoping it will slow the rusting of the door bottom process. But overall, I am very happy with the ride, comfort, durability, and economy of the car.
You are very right. I have a 2005 Park Avenue with about 40,000 miles, and most of the screws at the bottom of the door are surrounded with lime/calcium. and a few near the edge of the door are rusted. I removed them all and cleaned the trim with LimeAway, and did the same on all of the screws, then I sanded off all of the rust with 1000 grade sand paper and re-painted them with black touch-up paint. The results have been so-so. The lime is reappearing some after a few months, but the rust seems to be mostly stopped for now. I would really appreciate it if you are able to locate these at the dealer, if you would post a part number or something. I tried, and the part the dealer found was about $6 a piece and came with some kind of adhesive, I can't imagine that it was the right part, but I never looked into it, I just decided to do a self-fix as described above. I live in Indiana, so the winters take a toll.