Power: 4.6-liter 275-horsepower V8
Fuel economy: 17/25 mpg
Under the skin, the Buick and the Cadillac are first cousins, as they share the same drivetrain, suspension and other mechanical components. That means torque steer is still an issue, but the Buick is the more sensible choice.
For starters, it just looks better: The Lucerne has a pleasing design that borrows a little from Lexus and a little from Volkswagen but manages to pull it all together into a perfectly respectable package. Behind the wheel, the Lucerne feels less pillowy than the DTS, and the shorter wheelbase is a plus - you feel as if you could actually steer this car without having to plan your move two blocks ahead.
But since the two share the same engine, they suffer the same problems: an oversensitive throttle and a poorly muffled engine. The slightest touch of the accelerator causes the V-8 to roar unpleasantly and the car to jerk ahead.
Inside, the Buick continues the tasteful-if-forgettable theme. There's a nice center console that's easy to use, and various knobs and switches feel like they came from a more expensive car. On the other hand, the seats could use more wraparound support (you sit "on" them rather than "in" them), and the unilluminated gauges are almost illegible in the daytime.
In an era when even proletarian Accords and Camrys have backlit displays that are crystal-clear at any time of day, is there any reason not to expect the same on a car that costs thousands more?