Chevrolet Lumina

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Chevrolet Lumina
2nd Chevrolet Lumina 1.jpg
Second-generation Lumina
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Production1989–2001 (North America)
1999–2012 (Middle East)
Model years 1990–2001 (North America)
1999–2012 (Middle East)
2005-2006 (Philippines)
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size (North America and Philippines)
Full-size (Middle East)
Layout Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive
FR layout (Export Model)
Predecessor Chevrolet Celebrity (sedan)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo (coupe)
Chevrolet Caprice (Mexico)
Chevrolet Impala (Argentina)
Successor Chevrolet Impala (sedan)
Chevrolet Monte Carlo (coupe)

The Chevrolet Lumina is an automobile that was marketed by the Chevrolet division of General Motors from 1989 to 2013. Introduced to consolidate the Chevrolet mid-size nameplates under a single product range, five different generations of the Lumina were produced. The first two generations were sold nearly exclusively in North America, with successive versions sold in other markets worldwide.


The first generation of the Lumina replaced the Chevrolet Celebrity and Chevrolet Monte Carlo under a single nameplate; the mechanically unrelated Chevrolet Lumina APV minivan served as the successor for the Celebrity station wagon. [1] The model line was based on the front-wheel-drive GM10 platform (later designated the GM W platform), shared with Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac. For 1994, the second-generation Lumina was introduced, serving as a substantial exterior revision of the previous generation (the two-door coupe was renamed the Monte Carlo [2] ). For the 2000 model year, the Lumina was replaced by the Chevrolet Impala; the model line would retain the W platform through the 2016 model year.

Throughout its production, both generations of the Lumina were produced by General Motors Canada at Oshawa Car Assembly (Oshawa, Ontario). For markets outside of North America, the Chevrolet Lumina was derived from other large GM sedans. From 1998 to 2013, the Lumina was marketed in the Middle East and South Africa as a Chevrolet-badged version of the Holden Commodore produced in Australia. [3] From 2005 to 2006, GM Philippines sold the Lumina as a Chevrolet-badged version of the Buick Regal (sharing much of its body with its American counterpart).

First generation (1990–1994)

First generation
1991-1994 Chevrolet Lumina sedan -- 04-10-2011.jpg
1991–1994 Lumina sedan
ProductionJanuary 1989–August 25, 1994 [4]
Model years 1990–1994
Assembly Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Designer Irvin Rybicki (1985)
Body and chassis
Body style 2-door notchback coupe
4-door notchback sedan
Layout FF layout
Platform W-body
Related Buick Regal
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
Pontiac Grand Prix
Engine 2.2 L LN2 I4
2.5 L Iron Duke I4
3.1 L LH0 V6
3.4 L LQ1 V6
Transmission 5-speed Getrag 284 manual
3-speed 3T40 automatic
4-speed 4T60 automatic
4-speed 4T60-E automatic
Wheelbase 107.5 in (2,730 mm)
Length1990 coupe: 198.4 in (5,039 mm)
1990 sedan: 197.6 in (5,019 mm)
1991–94 coupe & 1993–94 sedan: 198.3 in (5,037 mm)
1991–92 sedan & Z34 sedan: 199.3 in (5,062 mm)
WidthCoupe & Z34 sedan: 71.7 in (1,821 mm)
sedan: 71.0 in (1,803 mm)
HeightCoupe & Z34 sedan: 53.3 in (1,354 mm)
sedan: 53.6 in (1,361 mm)
Curb weight 3,496 lb (1,586 kg)
1990 Chevrolet Lumina sedan 1990-Chevrolet-Lumina.jpg
1990 Chevrolet Lumina sedan
1991-1994 Chevrolet Lumina Euro 3.4 sedan Chevrolet-Lumina-Euro-3.4-sedan.jpg
1991-1994 Chevrolet Lumina Euro 3.4 sedan

The North American Chevrolet Lumina was based on the mid-size GM W-body, which was shared with the Pontiac Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme (later Intrigue), Buick Regal, and Buick Century (after 1996). [5] Although the Lumina became a popular seller, GM was widely criticized in the motoring press for being late to the game in introducing a direct aero-designed competitor to the Ford Taurus. [6] The "Lumina" name was considered by Ford in the pre-production stage of the Taurus. [7] The Chevrolet Lumina's first generation ended production in August 1994, making this the shortest-produced generation of the first-generation GM W-body cars. [8]

Chevrolet Lumina in NASCAR in 1994 Dale Sr 1994.jpg
Chevrolet Lumina in NASCAR in 1994

In 1989, the Lumina became the nameplate under which Chevrolets were raced in NASCAR, more than a year before the model was available to the public. [9] As a result, NASCAR received many letters complaining about the unfair advantage of Chevrolet racing an "aluminum" car.

Airbags were not yet available at the time of introduction so seat belts were installed in the front doors that could remain latched while allowing front passengers the ability to enter and exit the vehicle without removing them, which satisfied US Government regulations concerning passive occupant safety requirements. The coupe and sedan were installed with McPherson front struts, while the rear suspension used Chapman struts and a transverse-mounted fiberglass leaf spring, borrowing an approach used from the Chevrolet Corvette (C4) rear suspension. [7]

Chevrolet signed a deal with Disney-MGM Studios to make the 1990 Lumina the company's Official Car. [10] Early Lumina ads included Disney animated characters from Fantasia under license from Disney; In return, the Lumina was made the official car of Disneyland and Disney World. In one sequence, advertising the car’s spacious interior, cartoon hippopotami were used to demonstrate the Lumina's wider rear door swings which Chevrolet claimed made for easier access to the rear seat area. While popular, the ads were soon cancelled when focus groups revealed that they remembered the Disney characters better than they remembered the car itself.


Lumina Z34

1991-1994 Chevrolet Lumina Z34 Lumina Z34.jpg
1991–1994 Chevrolet Lumina Z34

Starting in 1990, Chevrolet offered a high-performance version of the Lumina, the Lumina Z34. It came standard with the FE3 sport suspension package, the 210 hp (157 kW; 213 PS) LQ1 V6 engine shared with the Lumina Euro 3.4 (sedan), the five-speed Getrag 284 manual transmission, dual exhaust, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes.

The Z34 also featured cosmetic changes to go along with the performance enhancements such as unique front and rear fascias, side skirts, a rear spoiler, a louvered hood, a unique steering wheel, and sport bucket seats. Performance figures included a 0-60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of 7.2 seconds, a 1/4 mile (~400 m) time of 15.0 seconds, a (limited) top speed of 130 mph (209.21 km/h), a 60-0 mph (97–0 km/h) distance of in 153 ft (47 m), and a lateral acceleration of 0.79 g (7.7 m/s²). A Bose stereo system and automatic transmission, which lowered the horsepower rating to 200 hp (149 kW; 203 PS) and 0-60 times by .5 seconds, were optional. The only paint colors available for the Z34 were white, red, black, gray, silver, and light blue. In 1995, the Lumina Z34 was replaced with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34.


YearTotal SedansTotal CoupesSedan LQ1Coupe LQ1 (Z34)
Total production [11] 901,245154,550

Second generation (1995–2001)

Second generation
ProductionMarch 7, 1994 – April 26, 2001 [4] [12] [13]
Assembly Ramos Arizpe, Mexico
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Designer Chuck Jordan (1990, 1991)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door notchback sedan
Layout FF layout
Platform W-body 1.5 Gen
Related Chevrolet Monte Carlo
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme
Pontiac Grand Prix
Engine 3.1 L L82 V6
3.1 L LG8 V6
3.4 L LQ1 V6
3.8 L L36 V6
Transmission 4-speed 4T60-E automatic
4-speed 4T65-E automatic
Wheelbase 107.5 in (2,730 mm) [14]
Length200.9 in (5,103 mm)
Width72.5 in (1,842 mm)
Height1995–98: 55.2 in (1,402 mm)
1999–2001: 54.8 in (1,392 mm)
1995 Chevrolet Lumina LS rear 1995 Chevrolet Lumina LS (10333826246).jpg
1995 Chevrolet Lumina LS rear
Chevrolet Lumina LTZ rear Chevrolet-Lumina-LTZ.jpg
Chevrolet Lumina LTZ rear

General Motors began the development of an updated Lumina in 1989, under chief engineer Norm Sholler, planned for a late 1992 launch. By 1991, a final body design was approved. Development eventually took longer than planned, delaying the launch by 18 months. The redesigned Lumina was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in January 1994 as a 1995 model. The 1995 Lumina received a rounded body, increasing its size, as well as an updated interior. Unlike its other W platform counterparts, the Lumina retained the first-generation chassis. Replacing the Lumina two-door coupe was the resurrected Monte Carlo. The LH0 V6 was dropped in favor of the L82 V6, known as the 3100 SFI; the latter engine produced 20 more horsepower from the same displacement due to a revised intake manifold and cylinder heads. [15] [16] [17] [18]

Initial trim levels consisted of base and LS; the latter replacing the "Euro" trim. Options included an electric sunroof, leather bucket seats, power windows, a power driver seat, and an AM/FM stereo with a CD player. This Lumina was available with police (code 9C3) and taxi packages, because the Chevrolet Caprice was discontinued after the 1996 model year. Production began on Monte Carlo coupes in February 1994 and March 7, 1994 for Lumina sedans at GM's Oshawa manufacturing plant, for a June 6, 1994 market launch for the 1995 model. [19]

The LTZ trim was introduced in 1996 for the 1997 model year because the Impala SS and Caprice were discontinued. Standard features included 16" brushed aluminum wheels, blackwall radial sport tires, sport tuned suspension, a 3.1 L V6 rated at 160 hp (119 kW) and 185 lb⋅ft (251 N⋅m) or an optional 3.4 L V6 rated at 215 hp (160 kW) and 220 lb⋅ft (298 N⋅m) of torque, a rear spoiler, restyled front and rear body clips (resembling the Monte Carlo Z34), a tachometer, and a floor-mounted shifter.

For 1998, the 3.4 L V6 was replaced by the 3800 Series II which produced 200 hp (149 kW) and 225 lb⋅ft (305 N⋅m) of torque. Despite its increased torque, the 3.8 L LTZ demonstrated slightly worse performance due to its lowered horsepower, with 0-60 mph (0–97 km/h) times of 7.5 seconds (as opposed to 7.2 seconds for the LQ1) and 1/4 mile (~400 m) times of 15.7 seconds (as opposed to 15.5 seconds for the LQ1). The car has a computer-limited top speed of 107 mph (172 km/h) and the rev limiter kicks in at 5,800 rpm for the 3.8 L (rev limiter is at 7,000 rpm for the 3.4 L LQ1).

Also in 1997, the 1998 model year Luminas received second generation airbags. The front-wheel-drive Chevrolet Impala was introduced as a replacement for the Lumina in 2000, although GM produced 2001 model year Luminas to be exclusively sold for rental fleets. Retail sales of the Lumina ended in Canada in 1999, with the United States following a year later. Fleet production ended on April 26, 2001. In some Asian countries, the Lumina continued as a rebadged Buick Century/Regal.

Trim levels

Throughout its life cycle, the second generation Lumina was available in three trim levels:

Base (1995–2001): The most popular Lumina had a standard front row bench seat with seating for six passengers, power locks, tilt steering wheel, dual airbags, and air conditioning. Base models were equipped with fifteen-inch steel wheels with wheel covers.

LS (1995–1999): The mid-level trim models included aluminum wheels, optional dual-zone temperature controls, power windows (optional on Base), tachometer, higher-end stereo with GM's Delcolock, anti-lock brakes, remote keyless entry system, upgraded seats, and an optional 3.4 L DOHC engine (1995-1996).

LTZ (1997–1999): The top of the line Lumina included alloy wheels, a choice of the 3.1 L V6 engine, 3.4 L DOHC engine (1997), and the 3.8 L V6 engine (1998-1999), power driver seat, dual-zone climate control and leather with the option for deluxe cloth. A center console was standard on LTZ (optional on LS). Exterior differentiation included the front end, trunk lid, and taillights from the Fifth Generation Chevrolet Monte Carlo.



YearTotal UnitsLQ1L36
Total production1,151,888


Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

1995-2001 Lumina IIHS scores [20]
Moderate overlap frontal offsetGood
Small overlap frontal offsetNot Tested
Side impactNot Tested
Roof strengthNot Tested


1995-2001 Lumina NHTSA scores [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27]
YearFrontal DriverFrontal PassengerSide DriverSide Passenger4x2 Rollover4x4 Rollover
1995Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgNot RatedNot RatedNot RatedNot Rated
1996Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgNot RatedNot RatedNot RatedNot Rated
1997Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgNot RatedNot Rated
1998Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgNot RatedNot Rated
1999Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgNot RatedNot Rated
2000Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgNot RatedNot Rated
2001Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgNot Rated

Third & fourth generation (1998–2013)

Third & fourth generation
2000-2001 Chevrolet Lumina SS 01.jpg
2001–2002 Chevrolet Lumina SS sedan
(third generation)
Assembly Elizabeth, South Australia (GM Holden Elizabeth Plant)
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FR layout
Platform GM V platform (1998–2006)
GM Zeta platform (2006–2013)
Related Holden Commodore
Chevrolet Omega
Pontiac G8
Chevrolet Lumina LS Chevrolet Lumina LS.JPG
Chevrolet Lumina LS

The Australian GM subsidiary, Holden, manufactured a third and fourth generation Lumina based on the rear-wheel-drive Commodore (VX, VZ, and VE series) sedan and Ute coupé utility.

This model was exclusively manufactured for export primarily to the Middle East and South Africa. Luxury specifications of these sedans were also exported in Brazil as the Chevrolet Omega.

High-performance models were powered by Chevrolet V8 engines, including the high specification Pontiac G8 based on the VE Series, exported to the United States.

Philippines (2005–2006)

Philippine Market Lumina
Buick Regal CN 01 China 2012-06-16.jpg
A Chinese market Buick Regal, where the PH-spec Lumina is based on.
Also called Buick Regal (China and North America)
Model years 2005–2006
AssemblyChina: Shanghai, Shanghai GM
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FF layout
Platform W-body 2nd Gen
Predecessor Opel Omega B2

The Chinese-built Buick Regal was also sold in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 as the Chevrolet Lumina. GM had withdrawn from the Philippines in 1985 along with Ford, finding the political and economic situation there at the time was untenable. This left Nissan, Toyota, and Mitsubishi operating in the Filipino market. In 1997, GM returned with the Opel brand, and introduced the Opel Vectra, Opel Omega, and, shortly thereafter, the Opel Tigra and Opel Astra. In 2000, Chevrolet returned with the Chevrolet Suburban and the Chevrolet Savana, and GM dealerships were branded as GM AutoWorld. However, Opel struggled in the Filipino market, and by 2000 the market was still dominated by Japanese automakers who accounted for 80% of the total market. After the discontinuation of the Omega, the Vectra became Opel's largest sedan offering in the Philippines. The Vectra struggled against rivals like the Nissan Cefiro, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. GM withdrew the brand in 2003, leaving the corporation without a car in the mid-size segment. In 2005, GM Philippines introduced Chevrolet Lumina, due to the growing mid-size sedan market. [28]

The Lumina had a 2.5 liter V6 as the only engine offered in the market, producing 152 hp and 154 lb-ft of torque. Mated to the Lumina's engine is a four-speed automatic, producing a 173-km/h top speed and a 0-100km/h time of 12.8 seconds. The emissions are kept to a minimum in this car, thanks to a EURO II-level three-way catalytic converter. And the primary safety system features four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking systems (ABS), an onboard vehicle diagnosis system, a tire pressure monitor, and an integrated turn signal/headlight housings in transparent crystal. In case of accidents, five seatbelts (two for the front passengers, three for the rear) and front dual airbags restrain passengers from slamming towards the dashboard. To reinforce cabin protection, the Lumina's body features an integrated steel body structure (with impact protection) and GM's proprietary Safety Steel Four-Door Beams. To prevent theft, the Lumina features an engine immobilizer and a central locking system. Its main features consist of keyless entry, its eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, its remote trunk opener, and power-assisted dashboard gauge cluster-level side mirror adjuster. The steering wheel features a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with a tilt-adjustable steering column) and hydraulic power steering. It also had leather appointments and faux wood trim found all around the Lumina's interior, along with a rear seat storage armrest (plus dual cupholders), electronic climate control, and a compact disc radio-ready head unit with six speakers and a glass-printed antenna. [29] It was only available in three colors: white, silver, and black.

The Lumina is one out of two rebadged Chinese-market Buicks sold in the Philippines, the other being the Buick GL8-based Chevrolet Venture. Both are sourced from Shanghai GM.

The car cost around 1.290M Php at the time and was quite a bit larger than the Vectra, measuring 20 inches long and around 5 inches wider. This made it the largest car in its class, larger and wider than its main competitors, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. The car was praised for being comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped. And the design was also criticized for being a "bit too bland". [30]

As the car was also short-lived. China ceased production of the Regal in 2008 and so the Chevrolet Lumina was discontinued from the Filipino market in 2006, leaving GM again without a mid-size sedan. Sales were poor, making the Lumina a very rare car in the Philippines.

In 2013, Chevrolet Philippines introduced the eighth generation Chevrolet Malibu as the successor to the Lumina, as it marked Chevrolet's return to the executive sedan segment since the Lumina from the mid-2000s. The Ninth Generation Malibu was Launched in the Philippines in 2018, competing with rivals that included the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and even a handful of more expensive European models.

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