Buick or VW?

May 7, 2018
Northern KY
All things being equal which is most likely to be a reliable vehicle, a 2007 Buick Lucerne with the 3800 engine or a 2006 VW Jetta with the inline five cylinder? Both cars have similar mileage. The VW has a six speed Tiptronic transmisssion, the Buick has a four speed auto. I’m helping a relative buy a car and I’m not sure either would be the best option but they are in his price range and he likes them.
Does one have complete and detailed maint. records where the other does not? That could be a factor. One with any feature(s) he likes/wants the other doesn't have? MPG numbers Buick 17/26/20 VW 19/28/22. Not a huge difference but if he drives a lot it will add up a bit. Tires 235/55/17 vs 205/55/16 going with most popular trim level could make another difference. Consumer ratings 4.4 Buick and 4.6 VW. Good luck choosing.
The 2.5 was a good mill but antidotally I don’t think it was in the same class as the 3.8.

The transmissions in either… not so sure who has the nod here. Was Tiptronic the DSG one, with the DMF? if so, Id avoid. If conventional then I think it might be a toss up.

After that, I have to ask, where will it be taken for repairs? Sometimes its the quality of service that can make or break something.
I suspect I will be doing a lot of the maintenance with him. As far as repairs go I‘m not really sure.
Then I’d read up on how to do the expected, and let that be your guide in how you would advise him.
As soon as you have the updated lower intake manifold gaskets with the smaller diameter EGR tube that presses into the lower intake manifold, and the upgraded upper intake manifold, the Buick 3800 is one of the most reliable engines ever known to the world.